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Companies need to act now to define standards for success of their online assets and maintain them into the future.
The internet’s journey of innovation to date has been disproportionately defined in terms of the style, look, feel and functionality of the “visible” user experience. This historical bias toward style over substance may stem from the fact that early digital pioneers weren’t as conscious of the rigor and discipline that govern most other areas of business. Or it could have been that the Web as a whole was so new, that it was seen as “outside the bounds” of conventional norms. Whatever the cause, underlying engineering principles, technical standards and process discipline have been largely neglected.
The resulting issues are clear. Consumer confidence is undermined by inconsistent security protocols and consumer privacy concerns. The proliferation of coding technologies, redundant content, inadequate version control and asset management all introduce corporate and brand liabilities, while increasing the complexity and cost of site construction, management and maintenance. Slow-loading pages that deliver an unsatisfactory experience undermine site visits and negatively impact conversion rates.
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Addressing these issues early, comprehensively, and on an ongoing basis will help improve the efficiency and scalability of your digital operations across the board, resulting in higher conversion rates and improved customer satisfaction.
Missing traffic tags, poor link integrity, inconsistent meta-data standards, unsecured visitor data. Such issues profoundly affect the performance and profitability of digital properties, and the experience (and security) of their visitors. Traffic volumes are undermined, conversion rates suppressed, and drop-off rates increased.
Based on thousands of diagnostic scans completed each year for more than a decade, it is evident that such deficiencies are universal. Relatively few organizations routinely identify and address structural defects and technical implementation deficiencies that, if resolved, help pave the way to more consistent and controllable online performance. These issues are hidden in the vast majority of Web properties, and fester, thwarting businesses’ efforts to drive online performance.
The number of digital touchpoints with the consumer is expanding. Each one demands increased personalization and the dynamic targeting of more relevant and timely content. User-generated and crowd-sourced content is on the rise along with the level of consumer engagement and social interaction. The result: More content is being produced by an expanding array of sources, distributed over more digital channels and at a faster rate than ever before.
Given this new reality, what may have been a hidden nuisance in the past will soon become a crippling burden with potentially severe consequences that can no longer be ignored or tolerated. Site deficiencies have undermined volumes, conversions, user experiences, efficiencies, security and scalability, and all this in the context of relatively tame content publication complexity and velocity.
If these issues continue to linger, new market dynamics will compound the problem and amplify their impact. Defining and proactively managing technical standards is essential for enabling effective, agile and intelligent interactive marketing. In fact, the establishment of robust implementation quality (I.Q.) standards is nothing less than a business imperative.
Fortunately, as important and increasingly urgent as this need has become, the solution can be as simple and routine as the automated “spell check” function in word processing. How? Through three pragmatic steps:
Once standards are defined, automated quality and compliance management with intuitive dashboards can provide instant visibility into any digital property (websites, widgets, social and mobile). With the simplicity of spell-checking, such capabilities can ensure that standards are being rigorously kept both before and after sites are launched, regardless of where or by whom the content is produced and published.
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