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Merck KGaA

Challenges:

  • Efficiently manage content across 70 regional and global websites
  • Maintain content quality across a culturally diverse communications organization
  • Low search visibility compared to other well-known pharmaceutical brands

Results:

  • Quality Assurance Score of 94 vs. industry benchmark of 77
  • Improved content quality across 10,000 web pages
  • 300% increase in organic traffic from SEO efforts

 

Content management systems like Adobe Experience Manager support our communications strategy and Siteimprove fills the gap between the authoring environment concerns and the website health concerns. It allows us to define workflows, define more efficient author processes, and get an overview of content quality at different levels.” - Joerg Lothal (Senior Communications and Digital Analytics Manager, Merck KGaA)

 

Improving customer experience and brand reputation

Merck KGaA, the multinational pharmaceutical company, has a footprint in nearly every major market worldwide, with 69,000 employees and locations across 140 markets.

But this global presence also presents specific challenges when it comes to maintaining a consistent brand message and managing content on the company’s global and regional sites.

Whether it’s Slovakia, South Africa, Peru, or Poland, Merck KGaA’s sites must positively and consistently represent the brand. However, making a good first digital impression is difficult to do at scale -- common issues like broken links, accessibility issues, and poor organic search rankings can have a significant impact on the customer experience and brand reputation.

Before launching a new, rebranded digital platform in 2017, Merck KGaA wanted a solution to ensure its sites had error-free content that was optimized for search engines before going live. They turned to Adobe Experience Manager for a hybrid content management system (CMS) and Siteimprove to identify, test, and fix errors and to optimize content for search pre-launch.

The seamless integration between Siteimprove and Adobe Experience Manager allows Merck KGaA’s communications team to use a single interface to access both systems in order to improve customer experience and maintain brand reputation.

 

Achieving dramatic SEO results across markets

By using Siteimprove SEO, Merck KgaA increased organic traffic to its website by 300 % since the relaunch in 2017, and now has three to four times more high-quality search results from Google, ranking on par with its competitors.

The dramatic SEO results Merck KGaA achieved came from their global communications team using Siteimprove and Adobe Experience Manager to execute on a singular SEO strategy, which allowed them to work more efficiently and collaboratively to improve content quality and optimize SEO.

“It’s really a success story,” Joerg said. “We weren’t really visible online compared to other pharmaceutical companies. Now we are.”

On top of that, by using the two platforms together, the group communications team is now able to ensure all Merck KGaA’s websites are on brand, legally compliant, and in line with the company’s internal corporate communications policies. The team also holds regular trainings with key staff across its global organization to help them make even better use of Siteimprove.

 

Automating content management and quality assurance

Joerg Lothal, senior communications and digital analytics manager at Merck KGaA, said before the relaunch Merck KGaA had a very fragmented web presence across its global and regional sites.

“There wasn’t really strict governance. Every department and business unit was free to create its own website,” Joerg said. “The goal with the relaunch was to integrate all the content under one website.”

As the company prepared to migrate hundreds of web pages, the team conducted a content audit and realized they needed a tool to automate the process and check all the pages before the new site went live. They used Siteimprove to identify content quality issues like misspellings, broken links, poor readability, and poor accessibility pre-launch.

Merck KGaA has a 94 quality assurance (QA) score across all its websites, by far exceeding the industry benchmark of 77. QA scores measure the credibility and usability of the user-facing site characteristics including content quality, freshness, user experience, and security.

In addition, with Siteimprove Quality Assurance, the Merck KGaA team removed broken links and “lorem ipsum” content and optimized every page for search. This process was key to increasing the visibility of Merck KGaA’s site in search engines like Google and to ensuring its page ranking was just as high as those of competitors.

 

Saving time with a seamless integration

“The integration between the two platforms helps us save time. This wasn’t our major goal — the major goal was to improve the quality of the site — but it has a big impact now because the users [on our team] can easily see and correct mistakes and quality issues,” Hundt said.

The team used the smooth integration between the two tools to automate checking the site pre-launch and maintaining content governance at the author and editor level, which made it possible to achieve quality while automating at scale.

“It makes it really easy on the backend while the users are authoring in Adobe Experience Manager to see typos and other things they can improve. It’s a very smooth integration that allows us to improve our content,” said Andreas Hundt, digital program lead at Merck KGaA.

 

Creating efficient workflows for local web teams

Also saving time, Merck KGaA’s communications teams and local editors can, now, easily access content specific to their region, run quality assurance tests, and make improvements.

All they have to do is log into Adobe Experience Manager to access Siteimprove’s features within the Adobe Experience Manager editing environment. While viewing a specific web page, they can click Siteimprove’s logo to access the integration and view insights on readability levels, broken links, and pages with SEO and accessibility errors. They then can fix these issues within Adobe Experience Manager, publish the page, and check it again to make sure the issues are resolved.

“Content management systems like Adobe Experience Manager support our communications strategy and Siteimprove fills the gap between the authoring environment concerns and the website health concerns. It allows us to define workflows, author processes, and get an overview of content quality at different levels,” Lothal said.