When your web governance system is in place, you will have mapped out a clear structure. At the top is a “central manager” or a committee which is in charge of steering the website in the right direction. Each department may have different goals with SEO, but good web governance allows them to come together cohesively.
You will know that your web governance is working when all content creators are upholding brand message and voice. All content creators will know who the intended audience is, including how the audience thinks and speaks about the subject. They will then create content which is structured in this way, such as using the right keyword terms. Doing so will improve your SEO for the right type of traffic so you meet your larger goals.
One of the first steps in SEO is to do keyword research. A large institution may be given a list of 500 words to target, of which 20 of them are considered “golden” and will provide the best conversions. Content creators then start creating content based on the golden keywords.
Here is where things get sloppy and require better governance.
Instead of opening each door to find your answer, you get the heck out of that building. On your way back to your friend, you see another building. It has a sign which says, “The answer to your question is inside.” You decide to give it a chance. When you enter, you also see a million doors. The difference is that all of the doors except on says, “Not in here.” Only one door says, “Come on in, here is your answer.”
In the analogy, the friend is a link and you are a search engine spider. If a search engine spider can’t figure out where to go, they are going to get out quickly. No amount of links can save the website! You must be able to make your content unique and specific so the search engine spiders know where to go.
Astrom recommends assigning important keywords to individuals in charge of parts of the website. That person can then decide where, when and how the keywords are used. If anyone else wants to use the keyword, they need to ask permission. This can only be done if you have a clear web governance model mapped out.
Usually these web governance procedures only need to be established one time and aren’t changed. Once they are established, hiring new content creators and editors becomes much easier because you can provide them with clear instructions on how to best optimize their content for SEO.
The problem is that the web is constantly changing. And chances are that your business goals are changing too.
Content which may have been fresh when it was posted may be outdated by the time a user finds it through a search engine a year later. At Monsido, some of the most common issues that our customers see are:
Unfortunately, few organizations excel at interdepartmental communications. In some severe cases, they even compete for resources and funds. Many issues also arise when different departments rely on each other, such as when your social media marketing and SEO departments rely on your content department. Instead of focusing on their individual goals, each department needs to be made aware of the larger enterprise goal and actively participate in helping to achieve these goals.
Think of it like a dance troop where each dancer is doing their own routine on the stage. Sure, they each might look good on their own, but the entire scene looks chaotic. What they need is a choreographer to put all of the movements together in a cohesive way.
Web governance is the choreographer which pulls everything together. At the head of the web governance structure, you have a central manager or committee which establishes goals. Each department below this level is given its own goal and clear procedures on how to achieve them, as well as the procedures and resources they need for communicating effectively with other departments effectively.
Web governance expert, Shane Diffily, suggests conducting a web governance audit and asking strategic questions to uncover weaknesses in the process and to stay accountable:
If not, then did the issue arise because a process isn’t being followed or because the process isn’t up to scratch? If the H1 wasn’t the result of negligence from an employee, was it because the policy wasn’t clear. For example, do you have a clear policy as to how to use H1 tags versus Title tags? If this is the root of the problem, then you need to make a clear policy for the issue.
If not, then did the issue arise because of inadequate resources? If you don’t give your employees resources like tools (such as a good keyword research tool) or adequate time, then you can expect issues like H1 errors. You may need to shift your resources around to fix the issue.
If not, then did the issue arise because of another problem with web governance? When the issue isn’t caused by any of the above, you may have a severe dysfunction in your web governance structure. A big cause may be lack of authority. Without a central manager or committee to steer the teams in the right direction and facilitate communication between teams, issues are likely to arise.