Turn quality monitoring up to 11 with Siteimprove Analytics

If you’re running a large website with many devolved authors, site monitoring tools like Siteimprove are a huge help. And the Analytics module is a game changer.

I should say that I have no relationship with Siteimprove. Just a happy customer.

Maintaining quality on a large website is difficult. Even with modern CMSs that have dynamically updated links and content workflows, mistakes still slip through the net. Siteimprove detects problems like broken links, spelling errors or accessibility failings and also allows you to create custom “policies” to monitor issues unique to your organisation.

It crawls your site every five days and then produces an in-depth analysis of the issues found. Armed with this information you can target problem pages and correct mistakes that you otherwise might never have known about.

Siteimprove Analytics

A recent addition to Siteimprove is the Analytics module. To take advantage of it, a short snippet of JavaScript code needs to be added to every webpage on your website (this is new – Siteimprove was previously only a crawler) and, at first glance, it appears to be nothing more than a cut down version of Google Analytics. Clearly a lot of work has gone into it but it all seems rather pointless when GA does such a good job already.

Give it a few weeks though and the scales suddenly fall from your eyes. Having the additional dimension of website usage totally transforms your ability to make decisions about what to fix first.

Here are two examples:

Clicks on broken links

Previously Siteimprove ranked broken links by the number of pages they appeared on. The more common the broken link, the higher up the list it was.

However, with Siteimprove Analytics enabled, the list is also sorted by the number of clicks on each broken link. This kind of insight is a game changer for your web team because it means they can now see which problems are affecting the most visitors.

Pages without visits

One of the major downsides of Google Analytics is that it only reports pages that have been visited – because the tracking tag is not fired unless the page is visited. But because the Siteimprove crawler has a list containing every single page, Siteimprove Analytics can tell you which ones have had no traffic at all. Spotting redundant pages just got a whole lot easier.

If you look after a large website and don’t have a tool like Siteimprove, you’re seriously missing a trick.