Enterprise web managers around the world look to Shell as a beacon of online excellence. As a pioneer of global digital governance, they were one of the first adopters of Crownpeak DQM (formerly ActiveStandards) back in 2006. DQM continues to be an important tool in Shell's online operations, and is used daily by the Shell web team to protect the quality and compliance of their global web content
As one of the world's most high-profile and successful companies, Shell needed to ensure its websites met exacting user expectations. Lisa Hayward, Head of Website Management at Shell says “We're very aware that our audience has high expectations of us, and we're committed to ensuring those expectations are met at every single user interaction. With a large and complex global website and a distributed editorial team, we realized early on that we would need a centralized, automated solution to the challenges of web content quality management.”
Shell's web presence is managed by 20 full-time site managers, each with responsibility for a different group of sites. Shell wanted to achieve global visibility of all quality and compliance issues across its web presence, and to support the web team in eliminating errors and progressively raising the overall standard of its web presence on a continuing basis.
DQM monitors Shell's global websites on a daily basis, making sure that all content meets the company's website standards, as well as best practice legal and regulatory standards. Editors know quickly if there is anything they need to address. Hayward says: “DQM gives me global visibility of quality and compliance issues across every Shell website. I use the dashboards frequently and find the data easy to export and manipulate for presentations.”
Caroline Ritchie, Regional Web Team Lead – Asia Pacific, is Shell's DQM specialist: “My role is to coach, support and encourage my team to use and understand DQM. I've built DQM into my daily routine and it is one of the first tools I open every morning. Since achieving zero errors across my sites last year, it has become even more important as it helps me maintain the high standard we have set. I'd love to see all the Shell sites across the world with zero errors.”
With a widely dispersed team, visibility is especially important. Site managers are also encouraged to benchmark their performance against other group sites. Hayward says: “One of the most important things for us is openness and transparency. We make sure everyone can see how other sites are doing in terms of quality and compliance, and how well they are performing in key areas such as SEO, usability and accessibility. That has been great for creating a healthy sense of competition among the team.”
The Shell team now has a basis for consistent standards and achievable aims. Hayward says: "DQM has given us a common platform to set and achieve goals for our websites, such as compliance targets and the number of pages and assets each site should have.”
Shell has experienced a range of benefits using DQM.
Improved quality and compliance
Using DQM Shell can be sure its websites meet exacting user expectations.
Hayward says: “The professionalism of our site has really improved. DQM enables us to set quality standards for all aspects of our website and ensure they are being met. It's a powerful tool for optimizing the customer experience.”
For the team at Shell, accessing rich information about the company's web presence has been a crucial benefit. Hayward says: “DQM enables us to visualize our progress towards our compliance targets on a daily basis. We can also see where editors are spending their time and set priorities accordingly. It's been valuable in helping us set KPIs for the individual sites and define what we mean by a ‘successful site'.”
Hayward says: “I open up DQM every day and review the global league table of our sites' quality and compliance performance. I can sort the results according to which site has the most errors. That means I can see where we need to do the most work – and we can get on to fixing it quickly.”
Enhanced customer experience
Using DQM has helped Shell ensure users have a positive experience when visiting its websites. Ritchie says: “DQM has a direct impact on site visitors. They get a much better experience with no broken links and no missing images."
Hayward says: “Using DQM makes it easier to identify and reward those who are doing a great job. It also means we can see where our strongest skills are located and ensure they are shared around the business.”
Streamlined quality assurance workflow
DQM has enabled Shell to adopt a more accurate and efficient quality assurance workflow. Hayward explains: “In the past we found that our global content packages would contain errors. Since these global packages are replicated across all our regions, that meant that the mistakes would also be replicated and it would take a long time to fix. Using DQM, we can validate our content packages pre-distribution, ensuring any errors only need to be fixed once.”
DQM plays an important role in helping to train editors in the different areas of online compliance. It works to guide editors through the error resolution process, helping them to hone their expertise, and ensure they are up-to-date with the latest standards and guidelines. Hayward says: “One of the advantages has been that we no longer have to customize our CMS to include extra content checks. Not only does DQM do the checking for us, it is an educational tool that helps the editors learn which standards they have to meet."
Country site managers have also started ensuring that others are aware of what is required. “We now have a situation where country managers won't accept content from providers unless it meets the appropriate standards, and this is helping us to minimize duplication of effort.”
Efficient site maintenance
Ritchie says: “It takes just a few minutes to review and maintain the sites each day. I find if you leave it too long, errors build up and then it takes more time to correct them. I really like DQM’s “Page Checker" module, which allows you to validate a web page and correct any errors prior to deploying to your live site.”
Being alerted to issues as they occur is also a key benefit. Ritchie adds: “DQM notifies me about any broken links or images or other compliance issues – I can't check every page every day, so it does the work for me.”
With all of its sites in excellent shape, where does Shell go next?
Using DQM for Search Engine Optimization
"With the new Google update, search algorithms will be focusing much more on content quality. So, we're placing great importance on using DQM for SEO, with specific campaigns to do things like audit all our PDFs to ensure they have meaningful metadata. DQM's inventory feature will play a big part in helping us do this efficiently."
Rationalizing online assets
The team will also be making use of DQM's inventory reports to help rationalize its online assets. The team has set up a tiering model to provide guidelines on how much content websites should have, according to their commercial importance and the businesses they represent. Using the inventory feature, they will be able to make sure sites stay within the guidelines.
Caroline Ritchie says: “We'll be using the inventory features to help manage and tidy up our sites. With DQM we can get audits of all our content assets, for example: all email addresses used on the site, all links to external websites, pages with missing metadata, and a profile of all PDF and Word documents we have on the website. This makes it easier to review our assets and helps with routine housekeeping activities.”
“The professionalism of our site has really improved. DQM enables us to set quality standards for all aspects of our website and ensure they are being met. It's a powerful tool for optimizing the customer experience.”