Rachele Piras has been with us on work experience. She is from Sardinia in Italy, aged 19, and has written this blog on how businesses can improve their websites.
Recently, I have been looking at different types of businesses located on the South Coast of England to find out which of these currently has a ‘news section’, and which has not. And if they have, if it is up-to-date.
News sections are usually not being looked after enough. Some businesses may think it is not important. What they might not realise is that nowadays people often pay more attention to their online presence than they do to their advertising.
Being up-to-date with its ‘news section’ is essential for any business. As a potential client you do not want to see an article dated back to last year; you would much rather see recent posts. This makes the future customer think that the company puts effort into what it is doing, and that it does care about how its clients view the business.
A company which caught my eye was a recycling and waste business, which will remain anonymous. Its website had a host of basic problems.
The first thing I noticed was that the website was running slow. This is a breaking point, as first impressions matter. If you see a website with this characteristic, you click away. An improvement could be working out what is making the website run slow, which could be the amount of superfluous content displayed, and fix it.
The second improvement would be updating the layout of the website. It was too elementary and old-fashioned. As I clicked on the website link, I found myself thinking about whether there had been any work done since the webpage was first created.
The website lacked a ‘Meet the Team’ section, which I believe is a downside, although easily fixable. This particular section is important as it makes the potential customer aware of who he might be dealing with.
Another improvement I would add is on the ‘clients’ section. This is where the business talks about the companies it works for. This offers good publicity to all.
What this section needed was for all its clients to be named. All it now contains is a few images of the companies’ logos, which are not indexed by Google algorithms. This makes it harder for the business to be found using a simple Google search.
For instance, if you searched Google for one of the famous food companies it works for, there would be no mention of the recycling and waste business. It is all about specific content when it comes to being found online.
Another improvement I would make is to the company’s website banner. It was old-fashioned and amateurish and extremely off-putting.
In the background there was a slide of pictures with tacky transitions. Another poor first impression.
This website contained all the basic errors that are common. It didn’t work well, it was slow, it looked old fashioned, content was out of date and it lacked important elements.
However, these things are easily rectified; a small amount of time and money would radically improve the website and quite possibly lead to more business for the company.
The first thing most people do when researching a business is to look at its website and any other online presence it has. A website is a company’s shop-window and ought to make people want to walk through its virtual door.
An up-to-date ‘news section’ shows visitors not only what is going on, but that the website is added to on a regular basis.