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An assessment of our own website, using the Engaged Web criteria

Over the last few months we’ve been gearing up for an assessment of some of New Zealand's most visited websites for the Engaged Web in New Zealand Report. This has involved a process of observing how engaging these were and comparing them to other websites, scoring them against a set of pre-defined engagement categories. With this in mind, we thought it was the perfect time and opportunity to have a close look at our own website, rating it against the same criteria and taking away some constructive points for improvement.

As the proverb goes, People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. (Not that the report had anything to do with ‘throwing stones’, of course!) While we live and breathe ‘web stuff’ as a core part of what we do, we’re well aware we could be doing better, and doing more, with our own website. We face the same challenges with our own site as anyone else, and have just as much (and quite often more) to learn from the Engaged Web as any of the sites we analysed.

Not all websites are created equal, of course, and different businesses have different needs and, most importantly here, website users with different needs. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and what suits one organisation might not suit another. The Engaged Web Report creates a benchmark, a starting point for discussion rather than a universal panacea, and here we’re turning this yardstick on Intergen.


So, here we go… How engaging is Intergen’s website?


Intergen homepage

Overall results

Compared with the other websites assessed in the Engaged Web report, we stacked up with results that were fairly good overall. We scored top marks for specific engagement criteria, including sticky content, blogs, dialogue and multimedia. On the other hand, social media, personalisation and online communities are areas of engagement where we get a ‘could do better’ on our report card.

Here are some of our findings – what we did well, what we need to develop further, introduce and think about.


What we did well and could develop further

Intergen scored top marks for sticky content, due to us regularly updating blogs, job advertisements and up and coming events and news. This reflects that Intergen’s content is being refreshed on a consistent basis, leaving visitors with new information to ponder. As we know, the best websites are never static – and continually keeping up with new content an important factor in ensuring visitors keep coming back to our website for more.

Intergen’s up to date style and format was consistent throughout the website with the famous ‘yellow’ theme throughout. This helped in making it easy to read, and you are never in any doubt about whose website you’re looking at. This, in turn, visibly distinguishes us from our competitors online.

Multimedia scored well. Intergen offered numerous images and videos throughout the website, creating an engaging website for the visitor. Aiming to integrate creative ways to present content through images, video and interactive content is always something important to consider, and ensures the visitor’s experience is engaging and interesting.

Dialogue was great. Intergen offered a variety of contact channels including email, phone and web form in a clear and consistent manner via the ‘Contact Us’ link. In terms of areas for development here, by integrating Live Chat and publicising social media on the ‘Contact us’ webpage, we could spark visitors’ awareness of the variety of contact channels and online communities Intergen offers.

Publicising social media channels on the homepage is also really important and Intergen does this well with our blog icon featured on the home page. LinkedIn and Twitter could also be added to this list.

All blogs can be rated out of five and the majority of blogs received three stars indicating our blogs are good but could be better. On average 200-700 people rate each blog, reflecting that we do have a large audience taking interest and reading our blogs.


 Blog post


What we need to improve and introduce

Initiating discussion within our online communities was an obvious area for improvement. Not many visitors commented on our blog posts, suggesting that we need to initiate discussion a lot more. This was a common trend found amongst many of the websites assessed in the Engaged Web Report. Asking questions or running surveys could improve discussion between Intergen and its visitors, especially on our blog or Twitter account.

Currently we don’t have a Facebook page and this would also help with participation and initiation of discussion by reaching a much wider audience. A Facebook page is something that Intergen is currently planning to get underway for recruitment purposes; however, jumping into Facebook requires a lot of nurturing, care and attention.

First and foremost, you want to make sure you’re ‘fishing where the fish are’, and you need to work out if your target audience is even on Facebook. Intergen is a B2B company and communicating with our customers via the Facebook platform, at this stage, might not be what our customers expect or want. But when it comes to our never-ending recruitment drive (B2C), Facebook could be a really powerful tool for us. Additionally, making sure that your business has the resources to look after and monitor the page is important when making the decision to take the Facebook plunge.

No one would put up any opposition to the statement that Facebook is one of the most engaging platforms out there in the web space, with over 600 million users a day, presenting a huge window of opportunity for those suitable businesses that are bold enough to seize it!


What we need to think about

Of the websites assessed in the Engaged Web Report, only a small number had live chat capability. This could be particularly helpful for Intergen clients that interact with our Managed Services team. Instead of clients swapping contact channels, they could reach Managed Services via a live chat option on our website. A good example of this is ASB’s online chat on Facebook and other high tech companies like Cisco and Microsoft that use interactive, real-time contact channels.

Intergen has no personalisation features. As I mentioned, though, some of the engagement criteria cannot always apply to certain organisations. It’s horse’s for courses. Because most of Intergen’s web content has relevance to a wide range of business customers we think that a personalisation feature is not needed at this stage. Although, that’s not to say it’s not worth considering in the future!


Watch this space

Having applied the Engaged Web test to our own site, we have our verdict. There are a number of things that need to be integrated and improved for us to achieve a more engaging website. In this day and age things are constantly changing and evolving – websites are a journey rather than a destination – and it’s important to make updates regularly and ensure your website is up with the play.

So in the near future you will see us pop up on Facebook (especially if you’re in the market for a new job), continue to think up creative ways to present our content through rich multimedia, keep on the lookout for new website trends, retain fresh, new content for our visitors to view, make sure our website has a fresh and engaging look and feel, initiate more discussion within our online communities and continue to offer a number of contact channels for our visitors, which could potentially include Live Chat in the future. 

And that’s our assessment. What do you think about our website? What would help you in your journey through our very yellow website? How could we be engaging with you better? Let us know!

You can download the Engaged Web in New Zealand Report here for free!


Posted by: Rose Harris, Marketing Assistant | 09 March 2011

Tags: Engaged Web, Intergen website

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