Intranet governance and contributor engagement

Dan ends our video series by exploring the people elements of intranet governance. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more.

Dan Hawtrey, Managing Director
+ 44 20 7471 8500 | [email protected] | LinkedIn

Governance is a big word. It carries connotations of centralisation, power, control, and authority. But actually I think it’s perhaps a bit of a misnomer because today’s intranets are very social systems with ownership distributed across many different people.

Yes, you do have to define a strategy, put in place a steering team, think about policies and processes; I’m certainly not trying to downplay those pieces, they’re very important. But getting governance right is also about putting the right support structures in place, in particular support for content owners and site administrators.

The key aim of modern intranets is to get plenty of contributions from lots of different people. On top of that you want contributions to be high quality, so that they’re engaging and useful. But that’s only half the battle, you also want your content owners to keep things up-to-date and to continue contributing after their initial burst of activity. It’s all about maintaining high levels of enthusiasm.

Stats graphA great way to do this is to share with them analytics about how their section is doing, and perhaps even show them how it’s doing versus other people’s sections. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in knowing how many times their piece has been read.

You could give them a login to Google Analytics, but I’ve always found that GA is pretty opaque to people who aren’t familiar with it. A better way to do it, is to take the time to create a report yourself, something that is going to be quick and easy to read and digest, rather than letting them drown in data.

Giving support and analytics on a regular basis to your content owners is not only providing positive reinforcement, but it’s also giving you a chance to keep up the dialogue between you and them. This is going to help reduce the chances of empty sections and content growing old and outdated.

View Joe’s previous video: making life easy for your content contributors.
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The 5 minute business case for a mobile website and intranet

Blurred phoneYour website must support your overall business strategy, and you no doubt care about engagement, conversions (of some kind), and ultimately, sales.

Equally, your intranet must support your business strategy, and help employees get things done efficiently and effectively.

But your website, alongside your social channels, also supports your PR and reputation.

Hopefully, you and your stakeholders consider your online estate, of website and intranet, to be invaluable, but youre missing out if they do not work well on mobiles and tablets. If people cant use your website on smaller screens, they go elsewhere meaning your website is not as valuable as it could be. Further, the frustration caused to your mobile visitors could harm your reputation.

Employees with mobile access to a non-optimised intranet will struggle to complete tasks even tablets may offer a poor experience owing to the small navigation targets that can be hard to touch with a finger.

Yet it can be daunting to prove that moving to a mobile friendly design is worth the effort, and so heres exactly what to do go straight to your stats.

Step 1 compare the dwell time of visitors

Find the average length of time people spend on individual pages; this is sometimes called dwell time in conversation. Remember that very short visits are considered bounces and are of little value. When you compare time spent on your site by desktop users with time spent by mobile users, youll see a stark difference.

Google Analytics gives you the average session duration for desktop, mobile, and tablet users within the Audience > Mobile > Overview report.

Google Analytics

If your website is not optimised for mobile surfers, you might see that the average session duration for mobile is in the seconds basically, people bounce off your site when they realise its taking too long to load, or when they get frustrated with having to zoom in on tiny navigation.

In comparison, desktop dwell time should be in the minutes as people take the time to look around, and properly read your content.

A further column within the same Google Analytics report may tell you that people look at four or five pages on desktop, but only one or two on their mobile.

Yes, people have different priorities when using their mobile device to surf your site they may just want your location, or your latest blog article, but these things are still very much enhanced by a site design that is optimised for mobile and tablet use.

Employees have different priorities when using mobiles too often its about locations, phone numbers, and maybe approving documents and decisions. Optimising your intranet for mobile use isnt about making all the content available, its about making the right content and functions work well on smaller screens.

Step 2 make the case for mobile

The business case is clear. Now that youve done your three minutes of statistical research, you need only communicate what your company is missing out on.

X% of our web visitors use a mobile device, yet our website is not optimised for smaller screens and so performs poorly for these mobile visitors. Desktop visitors spend Y minutes on our site, giving them time to understand our offer, whereas mobile visitors spend around Z minutes on our site they reject our websites design and go elsewhere.

Desktop visitors tend to view V number of pages, and mobile visitors tend to view only W.

With these facts, we know we are missing an opportunity to engage certain potential clients, who expect a company like ours to be available to them any time, anywhere.

Optimising our website design for mobile use would capture this missed opportunity, and we would then see a marked increase in dwell time and page views, affording us greater chance to truly engage more potential clients.

If employees have mobile access to a non-optimised intranet, you could write a similarly concise business case based on your intranet stats. If employees do not have mobile / home access to the intranet at all then youll need to build a case for providing secure access and a mobile solution.

In five minutes, you can justify the move to a responsive web design or a mobile version of your online presence. The solution may take some time to implement, but once stakeholders agree that mobile must be part of your website strategy, momentum and budget will follow.

Mobile intranet

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