Last week after a long process of redevelopment YourLocal.ie, an IIA Member company, relaunched their site. Personally I think it looks rather spiffing but my opinion in this instance is neither here nor there. Josephine from YourLocal.ie has been in touch and is looking for feedback on a very particular aspect of the new site:
“We would love to get some feedback on the search results on our site. There are particular results coming back for searches that make sense in terms of Geo coding however I am not sure these are the best search results for our users.”
So all you search marketing experts out there please visit YourLocal.ie, run a search and let YourLocal.ie know in the comments below what you think of the results. If you need more direction please ask in the comments below – Josephine is on hand to respond.
If you haven’t taken part in Feedback Friday before PLEASE REVIEW THE GUIDELINES before getting all harumphy when I don’t publish your comments. Thanks!
In this post I get more than a little ranty about my pet internet peeves and Darren decides to throw in his tuppenceworth too. However, on a positive note, I do share some useful resources and content. I wonder finally is it time to resurrect Feedback Friday?
A tweet I saw from Michele Neylon in Blacknight and another from Ann Donnelly of O’Mahony Donnelly eBusiness reminded me of one of my personal online pet peeves. They were both complaining about sites that did not work if you left out the “www” e.g. iia.ie versus www.iia.ie. It’s a little thing I know but I did title this post as being about my pet online peeves!
Will I go on? Okay a little venting! Another one that drives me a little more bonkers than I am already is Out of Office emails that begin with Re: + my subject line. This means that I have to check them just in case you have replied to my email. Not a problem when it’s an individual one to one email but when you send to a list of over 6000 as we do with the Digital Digest it can become a bit of a chore. I know, I know that not everyone has control over how this works on their email but are you sure you can’t fix it on your email?
On the subject of email, I am asking you now to check your signature and make absolutely sure that you include a contact phone number at the very least after you sign off on every email, even then ones that only say “Grand fine with me.”
Whatever about not including your phone number on every sign-off a registered company in Ireland is required by law to include certain details on their website (See Information Leaflet No.7 on the CRO website). It is best practice to include as much detail in your contact page as possible. We also use Meebo (see on the right) to allow people to contact us live. With the recent news that Google will be including negative/ positive reviews in their search algorithms wouldn’t you prefer that people contact you one to one with their complaint rather than write an online review that is negative about your customer service rather than focussing on your exemplary product? (Thanks Christophe Bernigaud for the link!)
On a slightly more serious note I abhor websites that rip off content. Obviously we’ve all discovered through Google Alerts that some blog somewhere has wholesale copied and pasted our blog content as part of some weird link farming activity (SEO specialists – help me out on this one!) but it’s clear that this is fairly automated and it won’t take long for the host of the free blogging platform to shut them down. What bugs me is when legitimate businesses copy and paste content from other sites, maybe write a prefacing paragraph and sometimes include a link back to the original post. A couple of blogs I have seen recently have done this and I am racking my brain trying to work out if they think this is okay. Yes by all means quote salient points from the content you have read online but please reference and link to it properly. This one particular blog I had ocassion to visit had really good content and I was thinking, “This guy is wasted here: his content is gold!” It was only after day 5 of 5 of top-quality content that a link back to the original article that I realised it was a word for word match. There’s a name for this and it’s copyright infringement and even if the law can’t help you, by Nelly, the internet will. Another give away on a different blog was the fact that the blogging software garbled the pasted text, displaying the HTML code for special characters (eg á). Nobody types that stuff by accident… I presumed the worst and thought, “Poor show, chaps!”
On a more positive note I read a great blog post recently entitled “Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website” which will have food for thought and some actionable items for nearly everyone who is responsible for a website. (Hat Tip to DeepSpin for that one!)
When my colleague Darren, our events & training manager, realised I was writing this post he sent me an email with his pet peeves for your enlightenment. We’re easily ticked off, aren’t we?
Websites that automatically play music or videos. It’s not helpful – I know how to click play! It’s more likely to make me close your page rather than sit and listen to your new song/advertising spiel/video introduction…
Flashy, sparkly, slow-loading homepages. Chances are, I’m just looking for your email address. Don’t make me wait two minutes to see your actual content. Close page, move on.
Websites that don’t actually tell me what the company does. Is it so hard to include a short paragraph telling me what you do? Where’s your About Page?
Pop-up ads. Do I really need to elaborate on this one?
Not knowing the difference between you’re and your.
Typos in generel. Peopel, we live in de age of Splelchek, use it.
Sites that are incompatible with my Mac. This makes me sad and it makes your website useless to me.
I’m done (for now)
Regular readers of this blog will remember a feature I ran on a Friday for a good while called Feedback Friday. It was intended to help companies get some ideas about areas in their sites (their own or clients’) that needed improvement. Well Darren reckons it’s time we resurrected this feature. So if you are a member of the IIA and you would like some constructive feedback about your website or an element of your site or a client’s site please email details to me and we’ll kick off again.
After a brief hiatus caused entirely by your total satisfaction with yourselves because nobody asked for feedback we are now back with this Friday feature! Something to while away the morning… After you’ve voted in the Net Visionaries of course and bought your ticket for Congress.
Joy Redmond from IIA Member company Flexitimers is looking for feedback on her recently launched new and improved Flexitimers redesign. Joy tells me,
“The changes are not just cosmetic as they are using the redesign to reposition themselves as the definitive source of contract/freelance people for start-ups, web companies and SMEs. The downturn has meant a considerable shift in the jobs sector with more and more companies electing to outsource or use flexible contractors.”
Don’t forget we do have some rules. I’ll be on a train from 1pm and then at a meeting so bear with me if the comments slow down a little then. Hopefully we’ll get a good chat going between now and then!
Dorothy Ryan from IIA Member company Dotwebs is looking for feedback on her blog or DotBlog as she calls it. She puts considerable time and effort into maintaining her blog but she wonders “why visitors don’t leave messages and what I could do to improve it.” Dorothy has been a very active participant in Feedback Friday and has offered lots of great feedback to others since we started the feature so please check out her blog and share your thoughts below and give as good as you got!
Would you like to get feedback on a site that you own or are working on? Maybe you have a new client who wants to redevelop an existing website? Get some FREE net-savvy, design-savvy, SEO-savvy, online marketing and sales-savvy input from a broad range of experts. Contact me, Roseanne, at members at iia dot ie and give it a go!
Well not quite! Channelship have recently completed two sites for a client and would love a bit of feedback before putting the sites to bed entirely. Both sites focus on products and services for fixing cracks and potholes and beautifying driveways and roads. I doubt there’s a person in Ireland who doesn’t know a spot that could use that kind of TLC! But what about the sites themselves? Are they a bumpy ride or as smooth as silk? Over to Fred Caballero Project Manager with www.channelship.ie to tell us a little bit more about what they would like you feedbackers to focus on when looking at the sites:
The idea would be to have comments on the usabilty, general look & feel, Search Engine Optimisation, coding and any helpful comments that people might have, since we are still on time to make a few changes. If you can think of more aspects to cover let us know!
Don’t forget that we have some guidelines when giving feedback and I will be moderating all comments.
www.reverbstudios.ie is the website for Reverb Studios Multimedia and Website Design, a small company based in Co. Leitrim.
I have had many people comment on my choice of dark colours for the website with the general consensus so far being that “it’s too dark” so I’d like people to look at that issue please. Bear in mind that there needs to be a good contrast between background and text colours and in that regard I believe White on black is as good as black on white! Also bear in mind that a significant number of people have said to me that my colours were “different” and it made my site “memorable”. My influence for the design was the iPhone if that’s not immediately obvious!
I’m planning a re-design soon so any comments may be influential!
Here are some other issues I’d like feedback on too please:
- Clarity of purpose.
Thanks to Leon for volunteering. Please don’t forget the guidelines when you are giving your feedback.
If you would like to volunteer your site or a client’s site please email me at members /at/ iia /dot/ ie
Imagine if you have a meeting with a client and you want to highlight the areas on their site that require development how helpful this could be. Do get their permission though!
Have a look at previous Feedback Friday entries to get an idea of how it has worked so far.
This week I am going to hijack Feedback Friday for my own purposes. *Rubs hands* However rest assured that this is still all about you, the IIA members and all businesses using the internet in Ireland. The IIA currently has six working groups made up of between 10 and 15 expert volunteers each from all sectors and types of business in Ireland. They work hard to produce whitepapers and events. However we are not 100% sure that the medium is currently suiting the masses (whatever about the message: that’s a discussion for another day!) Therefore we would like you to take the poll below in order to let the working groups know what medium most suits you for their outputs. For example would you prefer a series of 5 minute videos to a 10 page whitepaper on a given topic? More options listed below and please feel free to add your own via the “Other” option.
20/02/2009 15:05 Edit: FYI I set this poll to one response only because we are interested in your preferred output medium. I too like to choose how I digest my material depending on a number of factors, one of the most important being whether I am using my laptop or phone for example. However if I had set it to multiple choice, as PollDaddy call it, it would have muddied the results. However I welcome the qualitative feedback via the comments – thanks!
Thanks again to everyone who has participated in Feedback Friday over the last few weeks. Since last week the Subscribe to Comments has been added (about time says you!) so it should help keep the conversation going.
This week’s Feedback Fanatics are Sonru.com, a member of the IIA since who have only recently gone live with their site and beta service. Edward Hendrick, MD of Sonru has a very specific aspect of his site that he would like you to focus on. He explained in an email to me:
“We are having some difficulties getting our message across from our home page. We are being confused with Skype etc, we need to get across the fact that two people do NOT have to be online at the same time.
We currently don’t have benefits up there and are trying to think of a nice way of doing so.
So we’d love some feedback on our home page and the message we are getting across. We would really appreciate people’s suggestions on how to improve it.
I think Feedback Friday is a great idea because you are getting fresh eyes giving genuine opinions, we are so used to looking at it now, it has become hard for us to judge.”
Please bear in mind the few low key guidelines and let’s hear what you think!
Last week we kicked off the Feedback Friday feature with Pressieport.ie. I don’t mind telling you that the post was the most popular on this blog in the last month and the feedback Fred Schelbaum received was second to none. Not long after the post went live I got an email from Fred with the subject line, “WOW!” so he was very happy too. So well done to all the commenters and Twitterers who helped out.
This week our featured site for Feedback Friday is Puddleducks. Aedan Ryan, director of Puddleducks, sent me the following to help you fabulous feedbackers:
PuddleDucks is an online retailer of outdoor clothing clothes for children and adults. Our best selling items are the waterproof dungarees, jackets and suits for younger children.
What I would like to achieve from Feedback Friday is to get feedback and make improvements to our Home Page so we can try to reduce the bounce rate from visitors to the site.
Therefore I’d appreciate feedback on some of the following:
- initial impression of our Home Page
- layout of the Home Page
- is it easy to know how to progress from the home page to start shopping on the site?
- are there any other design improvements we could make to the home page or the product pages?
- any other ideas on how to make shopping easier or encourage visitors to purchase
We’d also like to offer a 10% discount to all readers for any purchases until Sunday 8th Feb. Just use the discount coupon “iia12″. Please note that you need to be registered as a user on the site before you can redeem the coupon.
Thanks very much in advance for your feedback.
Again please keep the guidelines in mind when giving feedback and most of all, thanks very much!
So the first company in our brand new feature “Feedback Friday” is Pressieport.ie who are also one of the newest members of the IIA. The idea with Feedback Friday is to allow members of the IIA to seek feedback on their site and in fact Fred from Pressieport.ie describes what he hopes to get from it himself:
Pressieport.ie launched in November 2007 and then re-launched in June 2008 on a brand new platform (you live, you learn). We focus on trying to provide our customers with a different and original range of products/gifts than might generally be available on the High Street in Ireland and we pride ourselves on our Customer Service and the fact that we deliver to your door overnight anywhere in Ireland. In addition to this we provide a gift-wrapping service and personalised greeting card service. We are constantly looking for and working on improvements, but being in the thick of it means that sometimes it can be difficult to have objective or detached opinions about different aspects of the site. It is for this reason that we would really welcome feedback and suggestions from fellow IIA members and readers of this blog whether it is negative or positive.
The site can be viewed at www.pressieport.ie. You can leave comments below or pingback from your own blog. And, if you don’t mind, a few pointers in order to make this a pleasant and constructive experience for all:
- We are looking for feedback on the site: on its navigation, usability, accessibility, design, optimisation and any other nuts and bolts aspects that you in your own specialised expert field might notice.
- Tell us what you like about the site, not neccesarily the service or goods Pressieport are offering.
- Tell us what you don’t like about the site and please try to express exactly what it is that irks you. “I don’t like the photographs.” is not as helpful as “I think photographs that give a better idea of the recommended usage of the product would be better.” (A hypothetical example )
- Make sure you let us know where you blogged your contribution to Feedback Friday.
- Have a look at this wiki from Wikihow.com which I think sums feedback up generally.
- If you can ‘t say anything nicely maybe you should go for elocution/ creative writing lessons