Welcome to the first edition of the free website clinic!
First up is Cornerstone Entertainment, an entertainment and event production company, based in Carlisle Ontario.
My contact is Kristin Harrison, who is their Event Producer. I asked her some questions about their company and what they like and don’t like about the current site, as well as where they want to take their business in the future.
Cornerstone Entertainment is an award-winning entertainment and event production company. They’ve been in business since 1987, have won numerous awards and they pride themselves on being able to connect with their clients – to understand how successful events enhance business and a company’s overall success. Their services include technical services (audio, lighting, staging), entertainment, overall event production, catering, décor, registration, venue selection, and so on.
Two things in my interview with Kristin stood out that I should watch for on the site:
1. People perceive them as only providing entertainment, and not their other services. They also do events of all sizes, not just large ones.
2. They pride themselves on their extensive experience. They aren’t the cheapest – they are the best.
Now, let’s take a look at the Cornerstone Entertainment site.
The first thing that I notice is that their home page has zero content. Nothing that describes what they do, and nothing that would help their search engine ranking. The home page is the most important page of the site for both visitors and search engines and while the photos are great, there needs to be some content as well.
Additionally, the pictures don’t necessarily reflect all the types of events that they do. The photography is excellent but it’s mostly of large events – a mix of sizes/services would be better.
My Recommendation: Remove the photos and have a video instead. Event production is dynamic, and a short video that showcases their services, with actual event footage, would be ideal. Add some descriptive content about each of the major service areas, with click-throughs for more information.
The second most important page is the Services section. Here, their services are broken into Entertainment and Event, which may make sense to them, but as a potential customer, I likely don’t know and don’t care about the difference. Once I choose a subsection, I have to click again to view a PDF of their actual services.
My Recommendation: Provide the full list of service categories as a menu that the customer can choose from. Take content out of the PDFs and include it directly on the site, with content that explains the service in detail if it isn’t obvious from the name (e.g. Games and Interactive Activities). Not only will this get potential clients excited about the services, but it’s great content to help their search engine rankings.
The Contact page is often overlooked on a site – usually the last thing to get included, but it’s the most vital. The contact information is great, but it doesn’t provide business hours or a map to their office. There is a separate Request a Proposal section of the site, which should be linked to from the Contact page, if that’s how they want to receive proposals. The Request a Proposal page itself is fairly long and may be intimidating to potential customers. There is also a Newsletter sign up link on this page, which is great!
I also took a quick look at the other pages of the site:
- Add profiles of the people at the company. Who would I be working with?
- Rename Event Profiles to something clearer to potential clients, like Past Events.
- Make Past Events easier to navigate – provide a list that visitors can choose from, instead of navigating one at a time.
- Integrate Galleries and Client Experiences with Past Events, and include commentary on the (great!) photos.
- Update Archives regularly. Otherwise, a new visitor to the site may think that nothing has happened since 2008.
- There isn’t a link to the Home Page anywhere on the site – this should be added.
- I’d recommend adding Google Analytics to the site, unless visit statistics are tracked using another program.
The site design itself is clean and easy to navigate. The content is sparse, but nothing that can’t be fixed up by some copywriting. The architecture issues that I noticed are again more cosmetic – they have great base material, it just needs to be harmonized together into a whole that will really let the company shine.
Thanks again Kristin, for signing up for the website clinic!