Crash Test of Top-5 Agricultural Companies’ Websites & Tips for Improvement15

  • 6 June 20:26
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A website is your key promotional platform in the digital space, and this is true for any kind of business including agriculture. It shapes the face of the company showcasing its image and serving as a tool for improving and upholding the reputation. It also allows you to sell more and at that note, it simplifies work for traders. But a lot of the agri websites don’t really fulfill most of these purposes.

In this article, we’ll look into why many websites don’t work as they should and what you can do to improve yours.

What Can a Website Give You?

First, let’s go deeper into how a website can improve your agribusiness, and for what are all these efforts and money paid.

  • Improve the image of the business

Many people who aren’t familiar with your company will receive their first impression from checking the website. A good site is one that creates a solid image, speaks your voice and helps visitors understand your services and benefits. And yes, an up-to-date design also plays one of the primary roles.

Clients, media, potential investors — they are likely to think that a company with an old seemingly dead website doesn’t have that much time left and soon will pass away. Don’t let them think of you like that.

  • Increase sales

It’s not just the image. There is a direct correlation between the quality of a company’s website and the volume of sales. If the site is good (transmits your style and image, speaks your voice, shows the benefits) and convenient to use, if it is SEO-optimised and has a sustained flow of new visitors — you will get more leads.

  • Company website affects every aspect of the business

Among other things, it can serve as a great tool for the HR department, helping to find and hire young talented specialists. It will help you attract investors and give them preliminary yet comprehensive info about your company. It will also be useful for business development, collecting data about your audience and potential clients, among many other things.

The Crash-Test of Agri Websites

But let’s get to our main topic — agricultural companies’ websites. We learned this market quite well while creating a trading platform for our client, NMGlobal, and have sufficient experience in developing websites. So, we decided to share our experience with you.

The review of five top agricultural companies’ websites includes our observations and advice on how the issues could be fixed or improved. It will help you spot the elements in your own agri company’s website that might hinder its main functions, such as upholding your image and attracting new customers. The crash test shows what to take into account when making a new site or choosing a web development agency to do this job.

At the end of this article, based on our first-hand experience, we will provide you with information on how much your company would need to spend to get a new professionally-made website.

1. DuPont

DuPont is an American multi-profile conglomerate that was founded back in 1802. Now it is the fourth largest chemical company in the world based on market capitalization.

New DuPont

Let’s first take a look at the new promotional website for the DuPont brand, and get to the main one later.

The first thing we should notice in the middle of the page is “Welcome to the new DuPont” phrase. Though written in white font on top of a light-colored background, the phrase is practically unreadable:

The phrase is practically unreadable

On the other hand, the new company logo deserves some praise — a 2018 update of the 1907 old logo:

A 2018 update of the 1907 old logo

It shows that DuPont is going towards changes and modernization. There is a 2019 copyright mark at the bottom of the page that serves as another clear message that the company has a long history and is still active on the market.

As for the content of the promo site, it does not fully reflect what the company is about. If you don’t know what products or services DuPont offers, the stock images and very general vague text can hardly tell you that.

DuPont

First impression

The main website of the company definitely looks old. The most striking thing is, of course, multiple banners on the same page next to each other. This visually overloads the page and lowers conversion significantly as users just can’t decide where to click. In Dupont’s case, the banners also have unrelated and unclear messages.

Here’s a free tip: never put so many banners on the main page. 

Never put so many banners on the main page

Open any page and you will see a different font, and very small letters compared to the ones on the main page as well:

Open any page and you will see a different font

When fonts are so inconsistent, it adds to the whole sloppy impression the website gives.

Website structure and design

The structure of this website is frankly bad. Every page of the website opens in a new browser tab. The pages for the company’s products are placed on separate domains. Every new page has a different design and inconsistent font size: 

Every new page has a different design

That all is extremely messy.

And what do we see after clicking on any banner on the main page? Even more pictures with links encouraging you to open more new pages:

To open more new pages

You just end up with a lot of open tabs.

Ideally, all pages should be interconnected through the same logic and message. All information should be well structured and easily accessible. That’s a tried and tested approach that works best, keeping visitors on the website and helping them to access the information.

Another element that proves the lack of accessibility to useful information on this website is the “Careers” page. Specialists looking for a job in DuPont on their website won’t find any. In fact, we had a hard time trying to find DuPont’s vacancies on one of these pages and just gave up.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

All in all, dupont.com looks like a bunch of different websites glued together. Unrelated to one another and overwhelmingly confusing. Anyone visiting the site will have a hard time finding what they were looking for.

“Chaos” would be the best word to describe this website. And it’s easy to think that the company has the same messy and inconsistent approach to everything that they do. Which might not be the case, but makes you wonder. Probably not the impression DuPont wants to make on people visiting their site.

The best way here would be to use the promo site as a base and:

  • Improve website navigation;
  • Place good-quality juicy photos, with an idea behind each one to reflect the company’s work;
  • Add a clear message about what the company does;
  • Make sure all text is in the same font style;
  • Make sure none of the pages open in new tabs.

2. Cargill

Cargill is an American privately held global corporation mainly focused on trading, purchasing and distributing grain and other agricultural commodities.

First impression

The first thing that sticks out on Cargill’s website is the font, yet again. White font on a light-colored background is never good:

 

White font on a light-colored background is never good

Colors of the website, in general, are also not the most welcoming — a lot of cold colors in its design make the page also look cold and uninviting:

A lot of cold colors in its design make the page also look cold and uninviting

Website structure and design

When looking at the site structure, just as earlier with DuPont, we see a lot of poorly organized and low-quality elements.

  • First, the pictures. It is obvious that the quality of these photos is low, they look overextended and blurry:

The quality of these photos is low, they look overextended and blurry

This is because the rectangular shape of the website’s elements doesn’t fit the original size of the pictures. So cargill.com gives us one important insight: the structure must fit the content and the idea of the website, not vice versa. It’s a rude mistake to create a structure and design without considering the filling.

  • Second, Cargill’s website also has another very typical problem we see in a lot of corporate websites and that is having many different elements, placed without any logical connection to one another:

Many different elements, placed without any logical connection to one another
Once again, that will confuse visitors and most of them won’t keep sifting through tons of information struggling to find something relevant unless they absolutely have to.

We also tried to replicate how a potential client would try to order some of Cargill’s products. When opening the Food & Beverage page, we see a form allowing us to pick a type of product we are interested in, its category and region of the world.

Clicking on the “View Results” button gets us to some sort of table with absolutely no illustrations. And when trying to see the price of a chosen product to make an order, we realize that Cargill’s website doesn’t allow us to make any purchases directly:

Cargill’s website doesn’t allow us to make any purchases directly
They sell goods through local distributors exclusively, so all the info about the company’s products is just for general information.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

The biggest problem is that Cargill’s website has absolutely no elements to convert its visitors into new clients. The pages provide a lot of information about the company and its products, but every action on this website leads to a dead end.

The website could get considerably better by improving a number of its components, such as:

  • Articles, and the text content in general, by changing to a better one, with graphs and illustrations of the company yearly progress with an option to compare with previous results.
  • Visual content by pictures of the products, photos of Cargill’s employees at work, videos of its core “green” environmental initiatives, etc.
  • Product tables by adding relevant descriptions and an option to order from the site.

3. Land O’Lakes

Land O’Lakes is an agricultural cooperative, which distributes products for more than 300,000 producers. One of the largest producers of butter in the United States.

First impression

Guess what’s the first thing we’ll see when opening the Land O’Lakes’ website? White text on the light-colored background. Again.

A really nice video on top of the main page could grab our attention and tell us about the company’s products, but it didn’t — it took too long to load. The problem with placing a promotional video on the first frame of the homepage is that loading this kind of a clip always takes some time, regardless of a user’s Internet connection speed. But the first frame — exactly, loads first so the rest of the website will load much slower.

Website structure and design

Land O’Lakes produces butter, cooking oil, and dairy products, and for its main website, the company has chosen to market through recipes. The recipes part of the website is done quite well, with nice pictures and well-written step-by-step cooking instructions:

The recipes part of the website is done quite well, with nice pictures and well-written step-by-step cooking instructions

A good idea but not thought out well enough.

As good as the pictures are, the main purpose of these recipes on the Land O’Lakes’ website should be to increase sales of this brand’s products. Makes sense, right? But, instead of effectively converting visitors into clients by giving them a simple and obvious option to buy Land O’Lakes’ cooking products, all it does is encourage site visitors to subscribe so they could… get more of the recipes in the future:

Get more of the recipes in the future

And that’s all. The link to the “Where to buy” page is only in the footer and at the very top of the site:

The link to the “Where to buy” page is only in the footer and at the very top of the site
(and in a small font at that), so it’s not very obvious thus low-effective.

The “Where to buy” page itself is far from perfect as well. For example, it doesn’t show you the location of nearby stores on the map and lacks some crucial info like working hours of these shops.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

Overall, Land O’Lakes has quite a nicely designed website, with a large audience by the way (the traffic is around 0.5 million unique visitors per month). It obviously blunders when it comes to turning this audience into new and possibly regular clients for the company as there are no conversion elements.

This could be fixed though, or at least improved, by:

  • Adding a more obvious as well as informative option to buy products. And preferably to order them online, without having to look for an actual store nearby.
  • Adding GPS locations so that site visitors could find nearby shops to buy Land O’Lakes products.

4. Chiquita

Chiquita is a Swiss producer and distributor of bananas and a number of other products. It is also the leading distributor of bananas in the United States.

First impression

Chiquita’s main business is growing and selling bananas, and the website is more than vocal about that. We see bananas everywhere. With yellow as the main color of the website, it’s hard to forget which fruit it is all about. So from that point of view, the design seems more or less fine.

Website structure and design

When looking closer at the website structure we see a lot of banners yet again:

When looking closer at the website structure we see a lot of banners yet again

It’s bound to make visitors confused because they need to make a choice of which page to open first. As we mentioned when talking about DuPont’s website, that is never a good decision to put so many banners on the main page, especially if each click opens a new browser page.  

The video clip on the main page has no title:

The video clip on the main page has no title

If the clip had a catchy and clear title, more people would be watching it for sure. But without a title it is not clear what the clip is all about, thus many website viewers just won’t bother to watch it.

As with the previous website in our review, Chiquita posts a lot of recipes. Just with bananas:

Chiquita posts a lot of recipes
And this should encourage people to buy heaps of Chiquita’s main product, but does it? There are no CTAs (call to action) to buy them or references to why you should.

The font choice just couldn’t be less unfortunate. The blue font on top of the white background looks almost like Chiquita specifically invited someone from Microsoft, world’s greatest experts in bad designs and interfaces, to choose the most annoying and uncomfortable way for this page to look:

World’s greatest experts in bad designs and interfaces, to choose the most annoying and uncomfortable way for this page to look

 

And if you managed to read the whole recipe, and your eyesight is still not gone, you will notice the website doesn’t have any options to order Chiquita’s bananas or to buy them from a local distributor.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

The company obviously spent a good deal of money on creating the content for this website: expensive videos, pictures, and text. But at the same time, they did not bother to create a proper conversion strategy for the company to actually benefit from this content by getting new clients.

The design and some other elements of the website could be improved, for example, by:

  • Getting inspiration from some of the best restaurant websites.
  • Telling the audience about the social mission of the company. For Chiquita, it could be pursuing environmental sustainability or helping the community where they plant bananas.
  • Improving the ‘benefits’ infographic on the homepage. While a good concept, it lacks in visual quality: While a good concept, it lacks in visual quality
  • Adding the ‘where to buy’ option via an online store or connecting to local distributors.
  • Adding call to action messages, like why people should buy Chiquita bananas. If they are the best, potential buyers should know about it.

5. Perdue

Perdue is an American multi-profile food and agribusiness company. Major chicken, turkey, and pork processor, as well as one of the biggest grain businesses in the US.

First impression

Perdue’s website finally gives us an example of a really impressive first page. Here we have juicy pictures, amazing animations, well-written titles, and catchy descriptions. Perdue did not forget about site conversion — potential clients can make an order through the website, with all the necessary information to do that available online. And there is a 24/7 support in case you need help. That’s how it should be done.

Website structure and design

Social mission, health, and environmental protection is also a part of Perdue’s website. The company brings the visitors’ attention to the fact that their chickens are grown by family-owned farms. Their products are also organic meaning the chickens weren’t fed antibiotics.

On the other hand, white fonts on light backgrounds are here as well:

White fonts on light backgrounds are here as well

In this case, they look not as bad as on DuPont’s website for example, but some titles are still hard to read due to the font choice. If you look at the website more closely you would also notice they use several different font types:

If you look at the website more closely you would also notice they use several different font types

This is not the best decision because ideally, every page of your company’s website should be consistent in structure, font and color choices.

If we will try opening the “Careers” page, we will end up on a slightly different website (perduecareers.com), which is not as well-structured as the main site:

Which is not as well-structured as the main site
Old icons, a bad font choice and a lot of stock pictures without a single photo of real Perdue’s employees. It is quite obvious the company hasn’t put much effort into this page.

Conclusions

Perdue’s website made a much better impression compared to the previous ones in our review. But some things still could be changed, such as:

  • The fonts, the current ones are quite outdated and generally unattractive.
  • Some animations and banners could be improved (better fonts, nicer pictures) to fit the general structure of the website.
  • It would also be good to add maps to show the location of local distributors to those users who are interested to make an order.

Let’s Talk Money

We have reviewed the websites of five major agricultural companies and as you can see they turned out to be pretty far from perfection despite presenting such big names as DuPont or Perdue. Imagine how much bigger they could get with a higher conversion from the websites.

If now you think your company’s website could really use some major changes and improvements, or you don’t have a site yet, here is some info on how much it would cost.

How Much to Invest In a Website?

A nice professionally-made corporate website with an admin panel and regular updates would normally require a budget of US$15,000 to US$30,000.

For this kind of a budget, aside from web development, you can expect an agency to offer you other services. Additional services may include SEO analytics and audit (of your current website and websites of your competitors), design, an admin panel for your employees to manage the website. Around nine months to a year of tech support should also be on the list.

Technical support

Tech support of a newly made website is essential. Many web development agencies don’t provide it and that’s an issue. After a new website is made and presented to the client with access to its source code and admin panel, a company would quite often experience problems with it. Typically, shifting layout, users not being able to log in, some functions not working, and in the majority of cases, that’s only because the admins don’t know how to operate the site.

Some admin panels are quite complex and not very easy to figure out on your own. That’s why when ordering a website, make sure the company will provide you at least around 9 months of tech support.

At 404 Agency, we address this issue by providing clients with a detailed video manual. The manual has information on how everything works and what should be done to maintain the website’s proper functioning.

Images and other content

A decent website needs proper content. Images and videos are essential for attracting and holding the audience’s attention. And also quite costly to make. You should consider adding another $10K to 20K US dollars to your budget for the visual content if you want it to look fantastic. This sum will get you good quality photos and videos taken at 3 to 5 different locations (around 100-200 photos each) and 3-5 unedited video materials, which normally is enough for a corporate website.

Wrap Up

As you can see, creating a professional well-structured corporate website has huge benefits for the business, increasing sales, improving its image, helping to find new partners and employees, and it’s not a simple task.

Even top managers of some big and reputable businesses often underestimate the significance of a site. The examples you can see in this article. Many large international corporations have websites full of typical mistakes:

  • Lack of CTAs. The website may describe the company’s products but without properly placed CTAs all that wouldn’t increase sales in any considerable way.
  • Inconsistent structure. Many websites look like a bunch of totally separate pages, with different fonts and unrelated content.
  • Banner overload. It is very common to see a company website overloaded with different links and banners forcing visitors to open countless new browser pages.
  • Lack of attention to details in the design. Banners and fonts not matching each other, blurry images, poorly chosen colors, all that makes the website look sloppy.
  • Inconvenient site navigation. Finding any particular information on a website with poor interface and navigation turns into a struggle.

If your business is doing great, that doesn’t mean it can’t do better. Each of the companies, whose websites we reviewed, is doing quite well. And still, they could improve sales and brand image significantly just by correcting some of the typical website mistakes.

That being said, it’s not always easy to spot the little issues in your website that cause bigger issues with site conversion and overall image of a company. Contact us to a crash-test like that for your website.

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Previously, we wrote that “If consumers do not see anything unique in your brand, you have consumer goods”

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A website is your key promotional platform in the digital space, and this is true for any kind of business including agriculture. It shapes the face of the company showcasing its image and serving as a tool for improving and upholding the reputation. It also allows you to sell more and at that note, it simplifies work for traders. But a lot of the agri websites don’t really fulfill most of these purposes.

 

In this article, we’ll look into why many websites don’t work as they should and what you can do to improve yours.

What Can a Website Give You?

First, let’s go deeper into how a website can improve your agribusiness, and for what are all these efforts and money paid.

 

 

  • Improve the image of the business

 

 

Many people who aren’t familiar with your company will receive their first impression from checking the website. A good site is one that creates a solid image, speaks your voice and helps visitors understand your services and benefits. And yes, an up-to-date design also plays one of the primary roles.

 

Clients, media, potential investors — they are likely to think that a company with an old seemingly dead website doesn’t have that much time left and soon will pass away. Don’t let them think of you like that.

 

 

  • Increase sales

 

 

It’s not just the image. There is a direct correlation between the quality of a company’s website and the volume of sales. If the site is good (transmits your style and image, speaks your voice, shows the benefits) and convenient to use, if it is SEO-optimised and has a sustained flow of new visitors — you will get more leads.

 

  • Company website affects every aspect of the business

 

Among other things, it can serve as a great tool for the HR department, helping to find and hire young talented specialists. It will help you attract investors and give them preliminary yet comprehensive info about your company. It will also be useful for business development, collecting data about your audience and potential clients, among many other things.

The Crash-Test of Agri Websites

 

But let’s get to our main topic — agricultural companies’ websites. We learned this market quite well while creating a trading platform for our client, NMGlobal, and have sufficient experience in developing websites. So, we decided to share our experience with you.

 

The review of five top agricultural companies’ websites includes our observations and advice on how the issues could be fixed or improved. It will help you spot the elements in your own agri company’s website that might hinder its main functions, such as upholding your image and attracting new customers. The crash test shows what to take into account when making a new site or choosing a web development agency to do this job.

 

At the end of this article, based on our first-hand experience, we will provide you with information on how much your company would need to spend to get a new professionally-made website.

DuPont

DuPont is an American multi-profile conglomerate that was founded back in 1802. Now it is the fourth largest chemical company in the world based on market capitalization.

New DuPont

 

Let’s first take a look at the new promotional website for the DuPont brand, and get to the main one later.

 

The first thing we should notice in the middle of the page is “Welcome to the new DuPont” phrase. Though written in white font on top of a light-colored background, the phrase is practically unreadable: the phrase is practically unreadable

 

On the other hand, the new company logo deserves some praise — a 2018 update of the 1907 old logo: a 2018 update of the 1907 old logoIt shows that DuPont is going towards changes and modernization. There is a 2019 copyright mark at the bottom of the page that serves as another clear message that the company has a long history and is still active on the market.

 

As for the content of the promo site, it does not fully reflect what the company is about. If you don’t know what products or services DuPont offers, the stock images and very general vague text can hardly tell you that.

DuPont

 

First impression

The main website of the company definitely looks old. The most striking thing is, of course, multiple banners on the same page next to each other. This visually overloads the page and lowers conversion significantly as users just can’t decide where to click. In Dupont’s case, the banners also have unrelated and unclear messages.

 

Here’s a free tip: never put so many banners on the main page never put so many banners on the main page

 

Open any page and you will see a different font, and very small letters compared to the ones on the main page as well: Open any page and you will see a different font

When fonts are so inconsistent, it adds to the whole sloppy impression the website gives.

Website structure and design

The structure of this website is frankly bad. Every page of the website opens in a new browser tab. The pages for the company’s products are placed on separate domains. Every new page has a different design and inconsistent font size: Every new page has a different design

That all is extremely messy.

 

And what do we see after clicking on any banner on the main page? Even more pictures with links encouraging you to open more new pages: to open more new pages You just end up with a lot of open tabs.

 

Ideally, all pages should be interconnected through the same logic and message. All information should be well structured and easily accessible. That’s a tried and tested approach that works best, keeping visitors on the website and helping them to access the information.

 

Another element that proves the lack of accessibility to useful information on this website is the “Careers” page. Specialists looking for a job in DuPont on their website won’t find any. In fact, we had a hard time trying to find DuPont’s vacancies on one of these pages and just gave up.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

All in all, dupont.com looks like a bunch of different websites glued together. Unrelated to one another and overwhelmingly confusing. Anyone visiting the site will have a hard time finding what they were looking for.

 

“Chaos” would be the best word to describe this website. And it’s easy to think that the company has the same messy and inconsistent approach to everything that they do. Which might not be the case, but makes you wonder. Probably not the impression DuPont wants to make on people visiting their site.

 

The best way here would be to use the promo site as a base and:

  • Improve website navigation;
  • Place good-quality juicy photos, with an idea behind each one to reflect the company’s work;
  • Add a clear message about what the company does;
  • Make sure all text is in the same font style;
  • Make sure none of the pages open in new tabs.

2. Cargill

Cargill is an American privately held global corporation mainly focused on trading, purchasing and distributing grain and other agricultural commodities.

 

First impression

 

The first thing that sticks out on Cargill’s website is the font, yet again. White font on a light-colored background is never good: White font on a light-colored background is never good Colors of the website, in general, are also not the most welcoming — a lot of cold colors in its design make the page also look cold and uninviting: a lot of cold colors in its design make the page also look cold and uninviting

Website structure and design

When looking at the site structure, just as earlier with DuPont, we see a lot of poorly organized and low-quality elements.

 

  • First, the pictures. It is obvious that the quality of these photos is low, they look overextended and blurry: the quality of these photos is low, they look overextended and blurry This is because the rectangular shape of the website’s elements doesn’t fit the original size of the pictures. So cargill.com gives us one important insight: the structure must fit the content and the idea of the website, not vice versa. It’s a rude mistake to create a structure and design without considering the filling.

 

  • Second, Cargill’s website also has another very typical problem we see in a lot of corporate websites and that is having many different elements, placed without any logical connection to one another: many different elements, placed without any logical connection to one anotherOnce again, that will confuse visitors and most of them won’t keep sifting through tons of information struggling to find something relevant unless they absolutely have to.

 

We also tried to replicate how a potential client would try to order some of Cargill’s products. When opening the Food & Beverage page, we see a form allowing us to pick a type of product we are interested in, its category and region of the world.

 

Clicking on the “View Results” button gets us to some sort of table with absolutely no illustrations. And when trying to see the price of a chosen product to make an order, we realize that Cargill’s website doesn’t allow us to make any purchases directly: Cargill’s website doesn’t allow us to make any purchases directly They sell goods through local distributors exclusively, so all the info about the company’s products is just for general information.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

The biggest problem is that Cargill’s website has absolutely no elements to convert its visitors into new clients. The pages provide a lot of information about the company and its products, but every action on this website leads to a dead end.

 

The website could get considerably better by improving a number of its components, such as:

  • Articles, and the text content in general, by changing to a better one, with graphs and illustrations of the company yearly progress with an option to compare with previous results.
  • Visual content by pictures of the products, photos of Cargill’s employees at work, videos of its core “green” environmental initiatives, etc.
  • Product tables by adding relevant descriptions and an option to order from the site.

3. Land O’Lakes

Land O’Lakes is an agricultural cooperative, which distributes products for more than 300,000 producers. One of the largest producers of butter in the United States.

 

First impression

Guess what’s the first thing we’ll see when opening the Land O’Lakes’ website? White text on the light-colored background. Again.

 

A really nice video on top of the main page could grab our attention and tell us about the company’s products, but it didn’t — it took too long to load. The problem with placing a promotional video on the first frame of the homepage is that loading this kind of a clip always takes some time, regardless of a user’s Internet connection speed. But the first frame — exactly, loads first so the rest of the website will load much slower.

Website structure and design

Land O’Lakes produces butter, cooking oil, and dairy products, and for its main website, the company has chosen to market through recipes. The recipes part of the website is done quite well, with nice pictures and well-written step-by-step cooking instructions: The recipes part of the website is done quite well, with nice pictures and well-written step-by-step cooking instructions A good idea but not thought out well enough.

 

As good as the pictures are, the main purpose of these recipes on the Land O’Lakes’ website should be to increase sales of this brand’s products. Makes sense, right? But, instead of effectively converting visitors into clients by giving them a simple and obvious option to buy Land O’Lakes’ cooking products, all it does is encourage site visitors to subscribe so they could… get more of the recipes in the future: get more of the recipes in the future And that’s all. The link to the “Where to buy” page is only in the footer and at the very top of the site: The link to the “Where to buy” page is only in the footer and at the very top of the site (and in a small font at that), so it’s not very obvious thus low-effective.

 

The “Where to buy” page itself is far from perfect as well. For example, it doesn’t show you the location of nearby stores on the map and lacks some crucial info like working hours of these shops.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

Overall, Land O’Lakes has quite a nicely designed website, with a large audience by the way (the traffic is around 0.5 million unique visitors per month). It obviously blunders when it comes to turning this audience into new and possibly regular clients for the company as there are no conversion elements.

 

This could be fixed though, or at least improved, by:

  • Adding a more obvious as well as informative option to buy products. And preferably to order them online, without having to look for an actual store nearby.
  • Adding GPS locations so that site visitors could find nearby shops to buy Land O’Lakes products.

4. Chiquita

Chiquita is a Swiss producer and distributor of bananas and a number of other products. It is also the leading distributor of bananas in the United States.

 

First impression

Chiquita’s main business is growing and selling bananas, and the website is more than vocal about that. We see bananas everywhere. With yellow as the main color of the website, it’s hard to forget which fruit it is all about. So from that point of view, the design seems more or less fine.

Website structure and design

When looking closer at the website structure we see a lot of banners yet again: When looking closer at the website structure we see a lot of banners yet again It’s bound to make visitors confused because they need to make a choice of which page to open first. As we mentioned when talking about DuPont’s website, that is never a good decision to put so many banners on the main page, especially if each click opens a new browser page.  

 

The video clip on the main page has no title: The video clip on the main page has no titleIf the clip had a catchy and clear title, more people would be watching it for sure. But without a title it is not clear what the clip is all about, thus many website viewers just won’t bother to watch it.

 

As with the previous website in our review, Chiquita posts a lot of recipes. Just with bananas: Chiquita posts a lot of recipesAnd this should encourage people to buy heaps of Chiquita’s main product, but does it? There are no CTAs (call to action) to buy them or references to why you should.

 

The font choice just couldn’t be less unfortunate. The blue font on top of the white background looks almost like Chiquita specifically invited someone from Microsoft, world’s greatest experts in bad designs and interfaces, to choose the most annoying and uncomfortable way for this page to look: world’s greatest experts in bad designs and interfaces, to choose the most annoying and uncomfortable way for this page to look

 

And if you managed to read the whole recipe, and your eyesight is still not gone, you will notice the website doesn’t have any options to order Chiquita’s bananas or to buy them from a local distributor.

Conclusions and tips for improvement

The company obviously spent a good deal of money on creating the content for this website: expensive videos, pictures, and text. But at the same time, they did not bother to create a proper conversion strategy for the company to actually benefit from this content by getting new clients.

 

The design and some other elements of the website could be improved, for example, by:

 

  • Getting inspiration from some of the best restaurant websites.
  • Telling the audience about the social mission of the company. For Chiquita, it could be pursuing environmental sustainability or helping the community where they plant bananas.
  • Improving the ‘benefits’ infographic on the homepage. While a good concept, it lacks in visual quality: While a good concept, it lacks in visual quality
  • Adding the ‘where to buy’ option via an online store or connecting to local distributors.
  • Adding call to action messages, like why people should buy Chiquita bananas. If they are the best, potential buyers should know about it.

5. Perdue

Perdue is an American multi-profile food and agribusiness company. Major chicken, turkey, and pork processor, as well as one of the biggest grain businesses in the US.

 

First impression

Perdue’s website finally gives us an example of a really impressive first page. Here we have juicy pictures, amazing animations, well-written titles, and catchy descriptions. Perdue did not forget about site conversion — potential clients can make an order through the website, with all the necessary information to do that available online. And there is a 24/7 support in case you need help. That’s how it should be done.

Website structure and design

Social mission, health, and environmental protection is also a part of Perdue’s website. The company brings the visitors’ attention to the fact that their chickens are grown by family-owned farms. Their products are also organic meaning the chickens weren’t fed antibiotics.

 

On the other hand, white fonts on light backgrounds are here as well: white fonts on light backgrounds are here as well

In this case, they look not as bad as on DuPont’s website for example, but some titles are still hard to read due to the font choice. If you look at the website more closely you would also notice they use several different font types:If you look at the website more closely you would also notice they use several different font typesThis is not the best decision because ideally, every page of your company’s website should be consistent in structure, font and color choices.

 

If we will try opening the “Careers” page, we will end up on a slightly different website (perduecareers.com), which is not as well-structured as the main site: which is not as well-structured as the main siteOld icons, a bad font choice and a lot of stock pictures without a single photo of real Perdue’s employees. It is quite obvious the company hasn’t put much effort into this page.

Conclusions

Perdue’s website made a much better impression compared to the previous ones in our review. But some things still could be changed, such as:

 

  • The fonts, the current ones are quite outdated and generally unattractive.
  • Some animations and banners could be improved (better fonts, nicer pictures) to fit the general structure of the website.
  • It would also be good to add maps to show the location of local distributors to those users who are interested to make an order.

Let’s Talk Money

We have reviewed the websites of five major agricultural companies and as you can see they turned out to be pretty far from perfection despite presenting such big names as DuPont or Perdue. Imagine how much bigger they could get with a higher conversion from the websites.

 

If now you think your company’s website could really use some major changes and improvements, or you don’t have a site yet, here is some info on how much it would cost.

How Much to Invest In a Website?

A nice professionally-made corporate website with an admin panel and regular updates would normally require a budget of US$15,000 to US$30,000.

 

For this kind of a budget, aside from web development, you can expect an agency to offer you other services. Additional services may include SEO analytics and audit (of your current website and websites of your competitors), design, an admin panel for your employees to manage the website. Around nine months to a year of tech support should also be on the list.

Technical support

Tech support of a newly made website is essential. Many web development agencies don’t provide it and that’s an issue. After a new website is made and presented to the client with access to its source code and admin panel, a company would quite often experience problems with it. Typically, shifting layout, users not being able to log in, some functions not working, and in the majority of cases, that’s only because the admins don’t know how to operate the site.

 

Some admin panels are quite complex and not very easy to figure out on your own. That’s why when ordering a website, make sure the company will provide you at least around 9 months of tech support.

 

At 404 Agency, we address this issue by providing clients with a detailed video manual. The manual has information on how everything works and what should be done to maintain the website’s proper functioning.

Images and other content

A decent website needs proper content. Images and videos are essential for attracting and holding the audience’s attention. And also quite costly to make. You should consider adding another $10K to 20K US dollars to your budget for the visual content if you want it to look fantastic. This sum will get you good quality photos and videos taken at 3 to 5 different locations (around 100-200 photos each) and 3-5 unedited video materials, which normally is enough for a corporate website.

Wrap Up

As you can see, creating a professional well-structured corporate website has huge benefits for the business, increasing sales, improving its image, helping to find new partners and employees, and it’s not a simple task.

 

Even top managers of some big and reputable businesses often underestimate the significance of a site. The examples you can see in this article. Many large international corporations have websites full of typical mistakes:

 

  • Lack of CTAs. The website may describe the company’s products but without properly placed CTAs all that wouldn’t increase sales in any considerable way.
  • Inconsistent structure. Many websites look like a bunch of totally separate pages, with different fonts and unrelated content.
  • Banner overload. It is very common to see a company website overloaded with different links and banners forcing visitors to open countless new browser pages.
  • Lack of attention to details in the design. Banners and fonts not matching each other, blurry images, poorly chosen colors, all that makes the website look sloppy.
  • Inconvenient site navigation. Finding any particular information on a website with poor interface and navigation turns into a struggle.

 

If your business is doing great, that doesn’t mean it can’t do better. Each of the companies, whose websites we reviewed, is doing quite well. And still, they could improve sales and brand image significantly just by correcting some of the typical website mistakes.

That being said, it’s not always easy to spot the little issues in your website that cause bigger issues with site conversion and overall image of a company. Contact us to a crash-test like that for your website.

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