We often get asked why Sitemorse doesn’t assess all the pages of a website every time we run an assessment like some of our competitors (we don’t actually have a limit on the number of pages and client success indicates good reasons not to every time).
We don’t run our QA assessment across every page of a website because it’s a waste of time. Testing so extensively and so often does NOT lead to digital improvement and can even do more harm than good.
At first glance it might seem logical that to improve the quality, compliance and performance of your website you need to assess all your pages and do this often. You’d know the scale of the task you are facing, you’d have oversight of every issue that needs fixing, and as you and your team work on fixes, you’d then get a (slightly) reduced list of issues. Eventually, every single one will be gone. Hey presto, digital improvement!
But it really doesn’t work like that. Let’s look at why.
Reason One: There simply isn’t time in the working week
Let’s imagine you’re a digital manager and you get a site report sent to you on Monday afternoon. It’s assessed your entire site and there are pages and pages of fixes. Your mood dips – there’s so much to do!
You don’t have time to go through that list and then Tuesday is busy. On Wednesday you spend two hours working through the list, prioritising and assigning fixes, but there isn’t time to email the wider content team. You have a training course on Thursday, so you email fixes to our content team on Friday. You get two out of office messages. And then somebody emails you back apologising for the fixes from the previous week they haven’t had time to do.
And then soon again it is Monday again, and a nearly identical report arrives….
OK perhaps that won’t happen every week, but it’s a pattern most digital teams will recognise. When you and your content team are exceptionally busy having a massive “to do” list which takes time and effort to process is just not a practical approach. Teams can waste up to 93% of their time just going through a list of issues, rather than working on the fixes themselves.
Sitemorse does this differently by leveraging the power of prioritisation to just send the most important issues directly to the people who need to fix them, effectively returning time to you.
Reason Two: There are more important things to do
There’s a good chance many of the pages on your website will not get any visits during the week. Do you really need your content QA software to assess a news item from 2015 or the PDF of an obscure report that nobody has downloaded for months? Do your team have any time to repair these issues anyway?
Testing your whole site is going to identify loads of problems, but there will be more important fixes to make and more important things to do with your time. Sitemorse focuses only on the priority fixes on the important pages.
Reason Three; 1,000 issues might be one issue
Let’s say you get a report for your whole site which identifies 1,000 issues across 1,000 pages. But it might just be one issue related to your style sheet which will take five minutes to fix. Taken at face value, a whole site assessment approach could lead you to start to make manual updates across every page.
Reason Four: Nobody is learning anything
Learning is a component of a more sustainable approach to digital improvement. As your team are fixing issues, they should also be learning what they can do to prevent it happening next time. This is achieved best by learning on the job in repeatable, digestible and focused activities, but with a huge list of issues that might not get addressed learning isn’t going to happen.
Reason Five: Your content team will start to ignore your messages
When you start to send out regular messages to your content team with a long list of fixes, and it looks very much like the last one you sent the previous week, your content team will start to just ignore your emails. They’re least likely to open the email if they haven’t carried out any actions!
Reason Six: It’s impossible to keep up to date – which report is the current one?
Receiving a long list of fixes every week makes it far harder to keep up to date. Which report is the current one I should be working on? Hold on, didn’t I fix that last week? Let me go back into the system and check….
Reason Seven: Do you really need the stress?
Assessing your whole site makes the task ahead of you feel unachievable before you’ve started. Your content owners don’t seem to be motivated and you’re making little progress. It’s so tempting to go and do something else, perhaps you’ll work on this next week? When digital improvement feels like a stressful activity it’s far less likely to happen.
Time to take a different approach
Sitemorse offers a clear alternative to digital improvement which we know works. We offer a money-back guarantee to anybody who uses Sitemorse and follows our methodology but fails to see digital improvement.
Step One: Assemble your team
Assemble your digital improvement team, likely a digital manager, a content editor and a frontend developer.
Step Two: Drip feed daily, targeted priority changes for a few weeks
Spend the first few weeks to two months with Sitemorse drip feeding you the most important priority changes to make every day on the most visited, prominent parts of your site. These are identified by our intelligent algorithm.
Automated notifications are targeted to each of the roles to match their skill set. We’re not going to ask your developer to improve content or your content editor to improve the coding. The time spent each day will be minutes, not hours – a far more realistic “ask” so thing actually get done. The combination of short repeatable activities, actionable insights and just-in-time learning also upskills the whole of your digital improvement team.
Your site will be improving in quality, compliance and performance.
Step Three: Repeat for other areas of your site
You can now start to repeat a similar process for other sections of your site which are perhaps less of a priority. At this stage you might not want to run daily notifications. Making changes will also be much quicker with your team’s acquired knowledge.
Step Four: Keep on top of improvements
Once your entire site has gone through the improvement process it may be worth running a quarterly check on the whole site, mainly for reporting to show how much progress you’ve made.
Manage your improvement
Sitemorse’s approach is a far more sustainable approach to digital improvement, that recognises the extent of everybody’s workload. We take a far more managed, measured and realistic approach to digital improvement that actually works.
Assessing your whole site every few days is not the way to improve your site and may actually do more harm than good. Give us a try and see for yourself!