Are you maximising your website effectiveness?
Website effectiveness is a measure of how well a company is exploiting its website to deliver on its business goals: driving sales, building brand equity and providing the best possible user experience.
Many IoD members rely on their website as a key business channel. Yet despite its growing importance, companies have been slow to invest in the underlying quality control mechanisms required to protect this most valuable asset. With millions invested in websites each year, it's time for companies to take a more systematic approach to maximising their online investment. The new BSI British Standards specification: "PAS 124" is a good place to start.
Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 124, is a statement of best practice for "Defining, implementing and managing website standards". Developed in conjunction with a panel of industry experts, including: Magus (lead consultant) the Institute of Directors (IOD), Shell, Unilever, Interbrand, SDL, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), it provides an industry-agreed framework for tackling the common set of challenges companies face in maintaining website effectiveness throughout the website lifecycle.
PAS 124 includes an invaluable checklist of the key standards organisations need to safeguard the quality and consistency of their websites. These include standards on: brand and visual presentation; editorial matters; information architecture and navigation; naming and metadata; search engine optimisation; usability; accessibility (particularly important in the context of the Disability Discrimination Act); legal aspects; rich media; code; and performance. It explains how to manage these standards effectively throughout the publication process, gaining editor buy-in, protecting quality and compliance and streamlining operations.
Finally, you can't manage what you don't measure. PAS 124 advocates a rigorous and systematic approach to website monitoring to: track compliance, manage risk and provide the hard data managers need to optimise the effectiveness of their websites. A new breed of automated monitoring tools is now available to support this growing business need.
The IoD was represented on the steering group for this specification and strongly supports the use of the techniques described, they can make a real difference, particularly for organisations wrestling with multiple websites in a range of languages. The PAS is available from the BSI.
A free introductory guide to PAS 124 is available from Magus.
Prof Jim Norton Senior Policy Adviser - e-Business & e-Government.
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IIR Management Development