A guide on implementing website procedures and policies
- key point: A website that is backed by good processes and policies will provide a better experience for the website visitors
- who will benefit from reading this article: people who work in large organisations, that are responsible for maintaining large volumes of web content
- website policies and procedures will support your content strategy: Content requires ongoing maintenance.
Why website policies and procedures are important
Since reputation and branding is affected by the quality of an organisation’s website, website procedures and policies are essential for any company with large volumes of web content that requires regular updating.
Even though there's a lot of up-front setup involved in rolling out website procedures and policies, you'll be saving your company time and money in the long term.
This article will walk you through how and why website policies and procedures will improve your website and your brand.
Highlights of this article
- Build a business case for investment into website policies and procedures
- Get support from the top
- Create the documents
- Get buy in from the people that will be following the policies and procedures
- Implement the new policies and procedures
- Tweak and improve over time.
Website policies and publishing processes are not the most exciting parts of the website production process. The step of documenting processes is often over looked and instead more exciting areas of websites e.g. visual design, attracts focus.
I've found that website policies and procedures and web publishing processes are kind of like road rules. Most people would want to jump straight into driving rather than having to jump through the hoops of getting their licence.
Step 1 in implementing your website policies and procedures
First you need to create your new documents. This doesn't need to be an arduous process because there is an online service that can save you time and effort. The tools at Polished Procedures will save you time. See how it works.
You can have new website policies and procedures in minutes, not days
To make this process easier for you, we’ve created an online tool that streamlines the process for you.
How the online tool works
You save time
Creating policy and procedure documents 'from scratch' can take weeks or even months, but this online tool will mean that after just a few minutes, you can have the building blocks of your website policies and procedures. Instead of starting from scratch, this online tool will save you time and effort in, producing web site policies and procedures and publishing processes.
Once you’ve downloaded your documents, all you need to do is:
- review them
- tweak them, and
- then get them approved by the relevant people within your organisation.
Once you're happy with your new website policies and procedures, it's time to get internal buy-in.
Step 2: Prepare your business case for implementing your new policies and procedures
Get prepared by defining the benefits of your new procedures?
To get support from the top, start with a strong business case for website policies and procedures. There are a number of common ‘selling points’ for website policies and procedures and to make them more compelling you should link them to cost savings. If you need to create a business case for the implementation of website policies and procedures, the following points are usually appealing to senior management.
Benefits of website polices and publishing processes
Website polices and publishing processes yield many benefits.
Website policies and web publishing processes will:
- make the most out of resources available
- improve the quality of your content.
- result in efficiencies and therefore save time and money,
- reduce legal risks
- result in better quality web content
- improve your brand
- mean less chance of complaints about out of date content
- usually result in more website traffic
- ensure everybody understands who does what,
- reduce overlap of roles and responsibilities and
- reduces wastage.
Less risk of legal problems
Websites that have ‘well oiled’ production processes typically produce more accurate and timely content. Website policies and web publishing processes reduce risk because websites that have checks and balances built into their processes, will have less chance of publishing incorrect or misleading information.
More timely content
Content inevitably becomes out of date over time. To combat this, you could implement a process that involves:
- periodically reviewing content for relevance and accuracy, and to
- remove outdated content.
There’s a separate blog post that covers this topic.
Your content will have a faster time to market because the website publishing process will become faster.
Good quality content will improve or at least maintain your brand name.
On the other hand:
- out of date content,
- spelling mistakes
- broken links,
- inaccurate or misleading content
will all work to damage your brand.
More people visiting your website
Content is king and Google will send more traffic to websites that have better quality content. More website traffic means more chance of new customers. The fundamentals of good quality content are well understood processes and procedures.
These are some selling points you can take with you when you are meeting with the people that can potentially support you in rolling out website policies and procedures.
Step 3: Get support from the top
A critical step of rolling out website policies and procedures is getting ‘buy-in’ from your senior team members. This doesn’t have to be C level executives but if you can get at least one person with authority on your side, then the rest of the steps will be much smoother.
Support from senior management is critical
Getting support from the top is critical when rolling out website policies and publishing processes – especially in large organisations.
If you don't have support from the top, then it makes it very difficult or sometimes impossible to actually implement website policies and procedures.
Arrange a short meeting with the relevant manager. Management are almost always short of time so prepare to clearly communicate the high level benefits of how policies and procedures will improve the processes of your organisation. If you have some estimated cost savings that will help bolster your argument. Take a printed one page executive summary from your business case that you can leave with the manager, if requested. If the response is positive then agreeing on some high level timelines and milestone dates. Finish by re-capping what the agreed next steps are.
Step 4: Follow up
Follow up your meeting with an email thanking the manager for their time. In this email, summarise what was discussed and agreed on. Include bullet points on what the next steps are and what the agreed timeline is.
Step 5: Follow through until completion
If you've completed all the previous steps then the rest of the project should roll out fairly smoothly. Make sure that you follow through on all what was agreed and don't be afraid to remind people what was agreed do. If change is rare in your organisation then you may meet with some resistance. Change can be confronting to some people, particularly if there hasn't been much change for a long period of time. Keep up your good work because you're making important improvements developing, or sharpening, a valuable skill set. Your website visitors will thank you by decreases in bounce rate and increases in engagement with web content.
If you have questions, feel free to get in touch. All our team members are very aware of what's involved in making improvements in large organisations.
More on improving your website content
Get tips on how to streamline your web content publishing process
- A content maintenance alert system means better web content with a lower risk of visitor dissatisfaction and complaints.
- This article gives you tips on building a strong business case for a new website, and some of the ideas should help you build a business case for a content maintenance alert system.