MANAGING WEBSITE
QUALITY
I’M AMY
LITTLE
Director of Digital Marketing at
Metzger Albee Public
Relations
alittle@metzgeralbee.com
facebook.com/girla...
HOW DO YOU
MANAGE QUALITY?
THREE KEYS TO QUALITY
• Technical Elements
• Design
• Content
WHEN SHOULD SITE
QUALITY
BE A PRIORITY?
• Building a brand new website
• Updating an existing website
• Planning/creating ...
LET’S TALK ABOUT GOALS.
• What is my goal?
• What is my reason for action?
• How can I support and/or achieve my goal(s)?
THREE KEYS TO SITE
QUALITY
• Technical Elements
• Design
• Content
MANAGING TECHNICAL
QUALITY
• Check the number of pages indexed
• Use the MozBar* (oh, you fancy huh?)
Via Site Audit
*avai...
MANAGING TECHNICAL
QUALITY
• Site audit checklist: bit.ly/audit-checklist
Via Site Audit
MANAGING TECHNICAL
QUALITY
• Even more tools: bit.ly/tools-galore
Via Site Audit
MANAGING TECHNICAL
QUALITY
• Annie Cushing owns you now:
annielytics.com
Via Site Audit
I, for one, welcome
our new
spread...
MANAGING TECHNICAL
QUALITY
• Check out this five minute site architecture check:
bit.ly/site-architecture-check
• Address ...
GOALS CHECK!
MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY
• Design with your user in mind. (UI/UX)
• Test your design and functionality across multiple
brow...
MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY
• Create a design
standard.
• Share with all brand
admins.
• First rule of the design
standard?
MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY
• Organize content in a logical way that leads
the eye.
MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY
• Organize content in a logical way that leads
the eye.
Above image is from this fascinating artic...
MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY
• Consider your audience’s environment.
See a nice summary of Internet Trends Report here:
bit.ly/...
GOALS CHECK!
MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY
• Page copy (HTML)
MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY
• Documents/files for download
MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY
• Documents/files for download
MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY
• Images should be optimized for the web.
• Use a content delivery network (CDN) to help
improve ...
GOALS CHECK!
QUESTIONS?
alittle@metzgeralbee.com
facebook.com/girlasaurusrex
@girlasaurus_rex
Feel free to contact me via any or all of...
RESOURCES
• MozBar: moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar
• Site audit checklist: bit.ly/audit-checklist
• Buncha site audit tools: bi...
Inflow June Workshop: Amy little on Site Quality
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Inflow June Workshop: Amy little on Site Quality

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Director of Digital Marketing at Metzger Albee Public Relations, Amy Little leads this workshop in maintaining site quality.

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  • In a job interview several years ago, I was asked “How do you manage quality?” There was absolutely no additional context given, and when I asked the interviewer to clarify, I just got the question repeated back to me, slightly louder and more impatiently. Twice.
    That was bullshit. So, if at any point during this presentation, you need some more context or clarification, PLEASE let me know.
    This workshop is about the factors that contribute to the quality of a website, and how we can control those factors to improve the performance and perception of a site in the eyes of search engines and human visitors.
  • We’re going to hit on three basic kinds of quality indicators in this workshop, and how specifically they affect a website (whether in terms of performance in a search engine, or for the user’s experience).
    Technical elements, such as code and architecture best practices, Design elements like typography and color, and Content elements such as copy and images.
    So when might these factors be a priority?
  • New websites are more fun for me, because it allows us to build something great from the ground up, instead of figuring out what needs to be fixed and how we can fix it most efficiently. It’s kind of a thrill.
    Prioritizing quality in the redesign or update of an existing site is a different kind of challenge, and we’ll talk about some tools that can help you with this in a minute.
    Always consider the quality and usefulness of new content (blog posts, infographics, video, etc.) and how your users might want to access and/or share that content.
    And pretty much any other day of the week that ends in Y. That’s when you should think about site quality.
  • First, (and with a nod to the World Cup) let’s talk about goals.
    The first question to ask yourself is: What is my goal? Not “what is the goal of my website,” or “what is my goal for the week,”
    Take a big step back and evaluate your reason for action. This is an exploratory exercise I like to go through with new clients before we even propose work. What’s the goal here? Where would you like to be in 1, 5, 10 years?
    And how can we specifically support you in reaching those goals? Sometimes (rarely, but it happens) having a website just isn’t going to help achieve a particular goal. That’s really great to know before you spend a lot of time and money on building a website!
    Goal exploration is an important part of managing quality and efficiency. If a tactic doesn’t support your goal, it’s probably not an efficient use of your resources to pursue.
    So take a few minutes and jot down some goals you have personally, or for your business (whatever motivation you were hoping to get out of this workshop tonight). As few or as many as you like. Then we’ll refer back to these throughout the workshop to help you form a good plan for supporting these goals via your website.
  • Ok. Back to the three keys, remember? We’re going to start with technical quality.
  • You don’t have to be an engineer to perform a site audit that produces insightful, actionable data and significant results.
    A few of the first steps I take is to see how many pages are indexed (google.com & search site:metzgeralbee.com),
    and then use the Moz Bar to see details like page/domain authority, link stats, meta data, etc.). This toolbar is incredibly helpful. There’s a little demo at this link.
  • Annie Cushing is an SEO consultant and data genius. She’s made some incredibly helpful and THOROUGH tools available that I use regularly in site audits.
    Here’s her comprehensive site audit checklist. It’s a freely available Google doc you can get a copy of at this link. It looks like this, and there are 19 tabbed categories included here. I don’t always use them all, but it’s great to have the reference.
  • She’s also got this monster inventory of useful site audit tools. I use this in conjunction with the audit checklist, and if I ever run into something I’m not sure how to check, I just look up a tool for it in this sheet. Super helpful.
    It’s got about 15 categories also organized in tabs.
  • Annie’s website is annielytics.com. Bookmark it, read it, love it.
  • If you’re building a new site, you can of course skip the site audit step and hum right into planning your new site’s code standards and site architecture. A quick Google search can lead you to some widely accepted best practices on both/either of these.
    We also have a post on our site about a 5-minute site architecture audit you can do to help identify any existing issues you should address.
    So, take your audit findings and make a laundry list of thing to address when you update, redesign or rebuild your site.
    And don’t forget if you change any URLs or move content around on your site to redirect those pages. Broken links suck.
  • Goal check! Go back to the goals you wrote down earlier and make any additional notes about how the technical aspects of your site can support them.
    Confirm that your site is being indexed, that the content on your site is readable, that things like purchases or contact forms work properly, etc.
  • Managing design quality…
    So, I’m NOT a designer, but I’ve worked with them for a long time. Some awesome designers helped me with this section of the discussion. Thank your designers, people. Love them.
    First and foremost, design with your user in mind. There are volumes of best practices for web design available in libraries and on the web. They’ll all focus on what the average web user wants and expects to see. Don’t try to get clever. The last thing you want to happen is for your user to feel dumb, or like they don’t really “get” what your site is about. They’ll leave, and they’ll only come back to show their friends how awful your site is. I know because I’ve done this.
    It’s important to remember that not every user is the same. Some of us are Macs, some are PCs. Some swear by Chrome, some haven’t updated their browser since IE 6, and your mom uses XP. Barf.
    You can test what your site looks like across several different browser and OS combos. browsershots.org is a free one, and we use crossbrowsertesting.com, which has a free trial period, and starts at about $30/month after.
    Important rule of thumb: DO NOT AUTOPLAY ANYTHING. I don’t know anyone who appreciates that.
  • Once your brand identity/design is established, create an actual, tangible standards guide to help ensure consistency.
    Here’s part of the design standards document we created for Douglas County School District that demonstrates typeface, heading styles, text and link color, accent colors, etc.
    You can also include standards for your logo, company name stylization, etc.
    The first rule of the design standard? YOU ALWAYS FOLLOW THE DESIGN STANDARD! Once it’s official, make sure everyone who creates content for your brand have a copy of it and understand it. Web, print, promotions and video. Every channel.
  • Making sure the content is organized in a logical way on the page is important.
    You may have heard of “the red F” or “golden triangle.” This is a heat map of where users typically look at a page of search results.
    We’re culturally trained (in Western civilizations) to process visual information from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner of a page.
  • There are design cues we can use to help guide this natural eye path through the page content.
    Here’s a recent eye-tracking study done by a company called eyeQuant that shows where users looked on some different web pages. Slight differences based on the arrangement of the content, but typically they start in the upper left and move down and to the right.
  • Speaking of the way users interact with your content, you should consider the devices people might use to access your website.
    The 2014 Mary Meeker Internet Trends report had some incredible data that shows massive growth in mobile web use over the past year. Not everyone has a home computer, but nearly everyone now has a tiny, inexpensive supercomputer in their pocket.
    So, responsive design (making sure your site is accessible and readable on any device) is more and more important.
  • Ok! Any questions about design quality? Go ahead and add any notes or ideas about how you can make design support your goals.
  • When considering the quality of your site content, the first thing most people think about is the copy. Words on the page. HTML copy is an important part of your site’s content because it’s readable by visitors AND search engines.
    Here we have the Mile High United Way website home page, and you can see that these headlines and ALL of the copy on this page is readable.
  • Sometimes folks will make the text a part of the image, which is bad. Search engines can’t read that, and on smaller devices, the copy can become illegible.
  • Another kind of content you may have on your site is downloadable documents.
    Here’s another example from Douglas County Schools. They’ve got some page content about their medication policy at school, which is perfectly fine to have on the site this way, but they also have several release forms students have to have to be administered medication at school.
  • These forms are specifically formatted for print, and need to be signed by a few different parties and returned to the school office. It wouldn’t be ideal for this content to exist as a web page, as the formatting could be inconsistent on different browsers/devices.
  • The last kind of visual content we’re going to talk about is images.
    Images on your site should be optimized for the web. Make sure you upload them at approximately the exact size you want them to be displayed (not 4000 pixels that you rely on your CMS to shrink down accordingly).
    Also, regarding image quality, 300dpi is standard for printing, but way too big for web use. 72dpi is sufficient quality for the web, and can improve page load time for your users.
    Another way to improve site performance, especially with more image-heavy sites, is by using a CDN. These services take your site content and distribute it across many servers in multiple data centers, which makes your site load more efficiently when a user opens the page.
  • Ok. That was pretty quick and dirty. Any questions about content quality?
  • Any questions about anything?
  • Inflow June Workshop: Amy little on Site Quality

    1. 1. MANAGING WEBSITE QUALITY
    2. 2. I’M AMY LITTLE Director of Digital Marketing at Metzger Albee Public Relations alittle@metzgeralbee.com facebook.com/girlasaurusrex @girlasaurus_rex
    3. 3. HOW DO YOU MANAGE QUALITY?
    4. 4. THREE KEYS TO QUALITY • Technical Elements • Design • Content
    5. 5. WHEN SHOULD SITE QUALITY BE A PRIORITY? • Building a brand new website • Updating an existing website • Planning/creating content for the website • All day, every day
    6. 6. LET’S TALK ABOUT GOALS. • What is my goal? • What is my reason for action? • How can I support and/or achieve my goal(s)?
    7. 7. THREE KEYS TO SITE QUALITY • Technical Elements • Design • Content
    8. 8. MANAGING TECHNICAL QUALITY • Check the number of pages indexed • Use the MozBar* (oh, you fancy huh?) Via Site Audit *available for Chrome and Firefox, see moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar for more info
    9. 9. MANAGING TECHNICAL QUALITY • Site audit checklist: bit.ly/audit-checklist Via Site Audit
    10. 10. MANAGING TECHNICAL QUALITY • Even more tools: bit.ly/tools-galore Via Site Audit
    11. 11. MANAGING TECHNICAL QUALITY • Annie Cushing owns you now: annielytics.com Via Site Audit I, for one, welcome our new spreadsheet overlord.
    12. 12. MANAGING TECHNICAL QUALITY • Check out this five minute site architecture check: bit.ly/site-architecture-check • Address any red flags from your site audit in the rebuild/redesign of your site. • Make sure any old pages are redirected to avoid 404 status errors. Via Site Architecture/Development
    13. 13. GOALS CHECK!
    14. 14. MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY • Design with your user in mind. (UI/UX) • Test your design and functionality across multiple browsers/OS combinations. • Don’t you DARE autoplay ANYTHING.
    15. 15. MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY • Create a design standard. • Share with all brand admins. • First rule of the design standard?
    16. 16. MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY • Organize content in a logical way that leads the eye.
    17. 17. MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY • Organize content in a logical way that leads the eye. Above image is from this fascinating article: bit.ly/eye-tracking-study
    18. 18. MANAGING DESIGN QUALITY • Consider your audience’s environment. See a nice summary of Internet Trends Report here: bit.ly/2014-internet-trends
    19. 19. GOALS CHECK!
    20. 20. MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY • Page copy (HTML)
    21. 21. MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY • Documents/files for download
    22. 22. MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY • Documents/files for download
    23. 23. MANAGING CONTENT QUALITY • Images should be optimized for the web. • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to help improve site performance, especially if your content is photo/graphics/video-heavy.
    24. 24. GOALS CHECK!
    25. 25. QUESTIONS? alittle@metzgeralbee.com facebook.com/girlasaurusrex @girlasaurus_rex Feel free to contact me via any or all of these channels:
    26. 26. RESOURCES • MozBar: moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar • Site audit checklist: bit.ly/audit-checklist • Buncha site audit tools: bit.ly/tools-galore • Annie Cushing’s website: annielytics.com • Five minute site architecture check: bit.ly/site-architecture-check • Eye-tracking study: bit.ly/eye-tracking-study • Summary of Internet Trends Report here: bit.ly/2014-internet-trends

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