May 29, 2020

How To Define the Success of Your Digital Properties

In his keynote for GOVTalks Spring 2020, Chief Digital Officer Nikhil Deshpande gave attendees a detailed look at digital metrics strategies and the critical role they play in helping agencies measure, analyze, and report on the effectiveness of their digital properties. He also discussed the ways that GovHub, the state’s official digital publishing system, and its performance measurement tool, Siteimprove, give agencies everything they need to monitor, evaluate, and improve their website’s performance. 

GovHub: Reflections from 2019

Nikhil started by discussing the 2019 launch of GovHub, the state's official digital publishing system, which centralizes content management for state agencies and elected officials. He thanked the 80-plus agencies who’ve partnered with DSGa to date to help make the 2019 launch of GovHub so successful. “What we have built,” Nikhil stated, “is something we have built together.” Because DSGa’s agency partners took the time to share their wish lists, workflows, bottlenecks, and more, we were able to create a centralized digital publishing system that addresses key needs in the areas of strategy, content, design, code, hosting, maintenance, security, and support. 

With GovHub in place, agencies are now ahead of the curve when it comes to providing a secure, scalable infrastructure; a robust, web-based content management system (CMS); compliance with accessibility guidelines; mobile-first and compatible across devices; customizable, cross-channel content; machine- and user-friendly search engine optimization (SEO); digital metrics; and more.

Digital Metrics: Measure to Manage

So how do you know how well your site is performing? By having a digital metrics strategy in place. Nikhil demonstrated how qualitative and quantitative metrics intersect with automated and manual efforts to provide a comprehensive digital metrics strategy. To truly understand how well your website is meeting your users’ needs, everything must be taken into consideration — from surveys, search data, and web traffic, to downloads, page views, clicks, scrolls, and more. Siteimprove makes this possible. 

Introducing Siteimprove and the Digital Certainty Index (DCI)

GovHub’s newest offering, Siteimprove, is a user-friendly tool that enables agencies to monitor, measure, and improve their website’s performance and, most importantly, create a great experience for their users. Nikihil introduced attendees to Siteimprove and explained that, through this tool, they now have 24/7 insight into three key areas to gauge their website’s success from a user’s perspective: Quality Assurance, SEO, and Accessibility

Each of these three areas, also called modules, come together to create Siteimprove’s trademarked Digital Certainty Index (DCI), a score that indicates your website’s overall performance. Each individual module makes up one-third of a website’s total DCI Score, which OPB aims to be 80 or higher across its digital properties.

Using the Siteimprove dashboard, you can explore each individual module and how it affects your DCI. Even more, Siteimprove shows you where issues exist at the page level of your site and — here’s the real differentiator — how to fix them to improve usability. And, as you fix them, you can see your score improve in real time.

DSGa Is Your Partner in Digital Excellence

Nikhil closed by sharing the various resources DSGa will be providing to help agencies get up to speed on Siteimprove and its offerings, including training, monthly classes, workshops, and ongoing support. He also asked agencies to go through the Download this pdf file. DSGa Playbook , as it provides a set of best practices to achieve or even beat OPB’s goal DCI Score of 80. Finally, he reminded agencies they can always access support materials like training manuals, videos, FAQs, and downloadable resources by visiting the DSGa website.

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