Over the past few months Company Connecting has reviewed over 8,000 companies registered in Scotland with an IT classification. This means that we have looked at several thousand websites. It is pretty amazing the difference in quality. I guess it depends on the purpose companies see their websites fulfilling.
The best sites that we have viewed followed these four simple rules:
1. Say What you Do
This is far more difficult than you would at first think. There are some aspects of IT which are difficult to explain and this is clear from the many vague descriptions. The best web sites say exactly what they do on the home page e.g. ‘We manage large scale projects for the public sector’ or ‘We are a consultancy specialising in the management of engineering data and systems’.
There are areas related to data, business analysis, consultancy, workflow etc. which may be difficult to define in a few words, but it is possible to create a headline which gives a flavour of the company.
For larger companies who have many different strands to their business, it is slightly less important as they are already known but even so a great headline will grab attention.
2. Keep it Simple
This relates back to some of the comments above. Writing succinctly is difficult. Nevertheless that’s what is needed on a website. People are not prepared to read screeds of text. It is far better to provide a short paragraph that describes each service and product than muddle all the services and products through one another in a lengthy piece of text. Think John Steinbeck and Cormack McCarthy – their writing is powerful but ultra-concise.
And please don't put unnecessary barriers between people and the content i.e. if its important then they should be able to get to it in a click or two.
3. Less imagery and more relevant information e.g. case studies
Some people may consider this piece of advice as heresy. After all many of us in IT have been brought up with ‘a picture says a thousand words’. That's fine if the diagram or picture is self explanatory. However the majority of the more complex diagrams will be meaningless and perhaps even off-putting to Joe Public.
It can be tempting to pick up stock artwork and pictures – but please, only use them if they have some relevance to what your company does.nformation e.g. case studies
Yes, these are the same rules outlined above – but they are even more important in a video.
So these are our four rules – we would love to
Case Studies on the other hand are great. It lets your site visitors know exactly what you do, the sectors you work in and who your customers are.
4. Keep Videos short and to the point
We all love videos – don’t we? Many websites make use of videos and this can be a great way of getting your message across - as long as you keep them below 90 seconds, or 2 minutes at a push and adhere to the simple rules of:
know what you think. Our website is not up and running – all we have is a couple of holding pages at the moment. We will be live in the next couple of weeks at which point we are open for feedback!
Article was first published by Janice Grant Shaw on Linkedin
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