Fix-It Friday (No. 3): Energy Institute

Fix-It Friday is a series of posts where I show how a website page can be improved by applying a few web copywriting principles. My primary aim is to make visitors’ lives easier.

Within just an hour, it’s possible to make a page more readable, accessible and search friendly. I also explain what else I’d do if I had more time. Look at the difference a web copywriter can make!

The Energy Institute (EI) is the professional body for the energy industry. It develops and shares knowledge, skills and good practice, while supporting over 14,000 individuals and 300 companies across 100 countries.

The EI website looks great — modern, fresh, professional and easy to navigate. I’m going to look at its ‘About us’ page from a web copywriting perspective.

Web page before

(Click on the image for a larger version.)
Image of web page before

Good points

  • Individual <title> tags for each page
  • Use of H1 tag for page heading
  • Contains plenty of well-written information, including who the EI serves and its purpose
  • Some links to other pages on the website
  • A web-friendly list is used
  • The page URL is descriptive
  • ‘Skip to content’ link included for accessibility
  • Alt tags used correctly on images that contain information, e.g. the EI logo

Could do better

  • No sub titles used to break up the text, which is wordy and dense in appearance
  • Copy would benefit from better formatting, such as shorter paragraphs and more lists
  • Key phrases need highlighting in <strong> tags for both reader and search benefits
  • No alt tags for primary-level navigation; it disappears when images are disabled!
  • The “description” and “keywords” elements exist but haven’t been used
  • Image alt tags used in places that don’t need them, e.g. “Banner” on banner image (no information is contained within)
  • The <title> tag could be tweaked to greater effect

Web page after

(Click on the image for a larger version.)
Image of web page after edits

Fixes made in one hour

  • Simplified and shortened sentences for easier reading and to be more ‘web friendly’
  • Cut out some text duplicated on other pages
  • Improved the layout and presentation of the copy
  • Added sub titles in appropriate H2 header tags to clearly identify the main sections
  • Added further links from key phrases to both internal and external web pages
  • Highlighted other key words and phrases in <strong> tags
  • Placed suitable information into proper lists

If I had more than an hour, I’d…

  • Further review and simplify the language used (e.g. ‘share’ instead of ‘disseminate’) — ‘plain English’ considering the EI’s global audience
  • Write “description” and “keywords” tags
  • Review image alt tags
  • Make sure links are also underlined (not just highlighted in a different colour) for accessibility reasons
  • Review the <title> element slightly
  • Maybe add anchor links from the top of the page to each H2 header, as the page is quite long

Do you want me to make over a page on your website? If you’d like to suggest a site for me to consider, get in touch!

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