Siteimprove

What is Siteimprove?

Have you ever wondered whether there are any broken links on your website? Whether it can be found by searching in Google? How about whether it’s accessible to people with disabilities? Siteimprove is a tool which can help you with all of these questions. 

Siteimprove is a self-service application available to all Yale faculty and staff to give website owners the insight they need to work towards improving the quality and accessibility of their sites.  Siteimprove can also be used to optimize a site for search engine discovery and to capture basic analytics about a site to help prioritize improvement efforts. 

How Does Siteimprove Work?

The Siteimprove crawler runs every 5 days to store an up-to-date version of the site, along with any issues that are found.  These issues are sorted into categories such as Quality Assurance, Accessibility, and Search Engine Optimization. With the issues found and sorted, users can begin to optimize and improve their site.  And with the embedded analytics script on most of the sites, users are able to see page views and clicks on PDFs to help prioritize these improvement efforts. 

How to Get Started

Send an email to accessibility@yale.edu with the site you would like access to (provide the name and URL of the site).  We will email you back when the site is ready for you to log in and view.  Once you have access, you can begin to explore the following modules.

Quality Assurance Module

The Quality Assurance module is where you can find quick and easy fixes.  It is a good place to start. Use this module to find broken links, misspellings, check readability, view a complete inventory of pages, links, documents, files, etc., and view a sitemap of folders and groups of content. 

Accessibility Module

Currently, Siteimprove will scan your site for any issues that do not conform to the WCAG 2.0 success criteria.  However, these automatic scans only find about a third of the accessibility issues. To help users find other issues, Siteimprove offers Warnings and Reviews, which notify the user to manually go in and check those issues.  There is an accessibility score on the Accessibility Overview page. A higher score indicates few issues in the automated checks (manual reviews are not included). The module allows users to view all accessibility issues on a site and view all PDFs with accessibility issues (on the same site). The analytics data, “Clicks on PDFs”, can be used to help prioritize PDFs to fix.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Module

The SEO module can help optimize content to appear in search engines. There are 70+ checkpoints that affect SEO, separated into four critical categories: Technical, Content, User Experience, and Mobile. These can be filtered by “difficulty level” and/or “category”.  The issues can also be filtered by “Highest Impact”, “Quick Wins”, or “Number of Occurrences”.

Policy Module

The Policy module allows you to check for your organization’s web standards or any content that should be (or not be) on your site.  These are issues that you want to implement and the Siteimprove crawler will include them in its scan of your site.

Examples of ready-to-use policy templates in the Policy Library:

  • Check for “Lorem Ipsum” placeholder text
  • Find inconsistent date or phone number formats
  • Find images larger than 1MB

Examples of policies you can create:

  • Find and change a name
  • Find links to a development site
  • Make sure skip links are being implemented on all pages

Reports

Each module (Quality Assurance, Accessibility, SEO, Policy) has its own report template under Settings –> Reports.  Report templates can be customized by adding modules and issues that are important to the site owners. A report can be run right away or can be scheduled and then later emailed.  A scheduled report can be handy to remind the site owner of issues to keep an eye on.

Summary

There are a lot of features and a lot that can be customized.  There is nothing you can break. Everything can be reversed so don’t be afraid to poke around and customize things as you like!

Important Notes:

  • As you make changes to your site, you won’t see these improvements reflected in Siteimprove until the site gets crawled again. Or you can “re-check” a page (or pages) that you make changes to.
  • Siteimprove can’t crawl CAS protected pages (or any page that requires a login, with some exceptions with manual configuration).
  • All YaleSites should have the analytics script already added.  If you do not have a YaleSite and want to add the script, you will find it in the Usability module (at Usability Overview).

Instructor-Led Training

Siteimprove Basics Workshop

Yale ITS offers in-person workshops to introduce Siteimprove, a website governance platform. Upcoming sessions include: 

  • Wednesday, October 16 from 2:30-4:00 pm at 25 Science Park, Rm 321

Sign up for the Siteimprove training on Yale TMS. Yale will offer these and trainings on an ongoing basis, and new dates will be put on this page.

 
Please contact accessibility@yale.edu with any questions about this service or with any questions about accessibility in general.