reduction in broken links
boost in search visibility
total web pages crawled
In the heart of Switzerland, precision, efficiency, and reliability aren’t just principles. They’re a way of life.
For nearly 175 years, Swiss Post has been dedicated to the reliable transport of goods and has just been named the world’s best postal organization for the seventh consecutive time, topping the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) rankings.
A key element to their success? Swiss Post has prioritized accessibility across all physical and digital channels from delivery vehicles and branches to e-voting systems. But to maintain that same reputation across today’s digital-first world, they needed to ensure the online experiences were equally accessible, inclusive, and optimized for performance.
How could the digital team uphold the same high standards across thousands of web pages, 7 sites and 4 languages? That’s where Siteimprove came in.
Compliance concerns and increasing manual work
The road to success isn’t without a few bumps.
When accessibility became a legal requirement for federal and federally affiliated companies (such as the Post) in 2004, abiding by the legal requirements was top of mind. At first, they had to manage their accessibility issues without a tool. They manually checked and rechecked their pages searching for errors and painstakingly identified and removed obstacles from the user journey – at the cost of their digital team’s time and resources.
But as their digital services grew alongside their organization, so did the upkeep. Manual checks were no longer an option: they needed a better way.
We have so much content in 4 different languages with thousands of PDFs, thousands of web pages, links, and documents. We realized we couldn’t manage it all manually. We needed a tool.
Head of Accessibility Department
As a large institution covering many services across the nation, Swiss Post is made up of multiple business and functional areas, with sub-teams and departments. This complexity meant that Swiss Post needed reliable reporting to keep all stakeholders aligned. Everything needed to be carefully tracked and visualized in way that meant anyone could pick up a report and get instant visibility across the organization.
The solution? Swiss Post rolled out Siteimprove across their operations.
That meant everyone in the org, including their IT department, their communications teams, and even their CEO’s staff, could rally around insights from one tool to ensure unified and transparent communication that hit their three goals: accessibility, high content quality, and improved search engine performance.
Here’s how they did it.
Accessibility and reporting done right
Swiss Post has been managing accessibility as a compliance topic in the "Three Lines Model" since January 2022.
The 1st Line is with the business and functional areas. These are responsible for their own platforms and channels to ensure that they are accessible.
The 2nd Line is with the Accessibility Office (Isabelle Haas) on the CEO staff at Compliance., She is the point of contact for information on legal requirements and is responsible for providing up-to-date standards and guidelines as well as training and awareness-raising.
The 3rd line is with the company's internal corporate audit department. Siteimprove provides all the necessary documentation and reporting capabilities to support the Three Lines Model and encourage cross-team collaboration.
With Siteimprove’s real-time Accessibility Score, Isabelle can define actionable targets for the rest of the organization and track overall progress. This not only helps to support all three steps of the system, but allows for open and transparent external reporting too. Swiss Post’s Accessibility Score is proudly published on both the Swiss Post website and PostBus website, clearly demonstrating their accessibility improvements to potential customers, suppliers and other partners.
Besides their daily accessibility work, Swiss Post was able to use this enhanced visibility and clear reporting in a dedicated project in June 2021 to solve many on-site content and technical issues. Through Siteimprove’s integration with Sitecore through a CMS plugin, the team was able to clearly track the issues and send them to the publishing department for implementation and correction. The results? A more streamlined user experience that boosted organic visibility by 12%.
“Accessibility is definitely not just a regulatory compliance, but rather an asset that can contribute to business success. Because accessible customer journeys make for simple, easy-to-use processes and that benefits everyone, whether you have impairments or not. It benefits for example also elderly people, people with a migrant background or people who do not have a high level of education.” - Isabelle Haas, Head of Accessibility Department
Delivering growth with a holistic focus across accessibility, UX and SEO
There are a few pivotal moments where Swiss Post saw the results of their commitment.
Since they started using Siteimprove, they have seen an 82% reduction in broken links across all 7 websites.
In November 2022, when further improved the existing PostShop for online retail service, they sought out to create a digital customer experience that exceeded all expectations.
It’s important not to make any mistakes right from the start, both with regards to accessibility but also performance (page loading time, SEO keywords, etc) in order to have good rankings and sell. Because in the end, our focus is on the conversions in the funnel.
PostNetz operating system manager post.ch.
Like many organizations, Swiss Post had a strategic decision to make. Would they pour a lot of money into Google ads? Or, would they invest in SEO for a lower cost but that required a higher upfront resource cost to implement?
In the end, the teams agreed—they’d already invested in their accessibility efforts and seen results working with Siteimprove’s full suite of tools. And since accessibility has an impact on SEO, they decided to double down on their SEO as the best course of action for them to level up their user experiences.
This decision paid off when they could confidently improve PostShop knowing that their SEO was in order from the start. As a result, they avoided losing their SEO rankings during the switch.
This is just the beginning for Swiss Post. With Siteimprove as a strategic collaborator in their digital success, they will continue to push for excellence not just in their digital services, but in the way they work together as a unified organization.