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Your Graduate Website: Is It Browser Optimised?

Posted by Dave Jenkins

Nearly half of Australian Graduates will have a bad experience on a graduate website.

It came as a bit of a shock to us, but some Australian Graduate Program Websites we have seen over the past year don't seem to work well in many of today's popular website browsers. These websites can either look bad, or simply not work in Firefox, Safari and others  (which make up nearly half of Australian graduate traffic).

What is website browser optimisation?

To start off lets cover what browse optimisation means. In a nutshell, web browser optimisation involves making sure that your graduate recruitment web page is displayed correctly in the different web browsers used by graduates today. I thought that this topic is worth a blog post because these days an organisations website is fast becoming the most valuable marketing tool in the arsenal of generating graduate job applications. Once you've done the hard yards to attract graduates to your site through careers fairs and on campus presentations you don't want to scare them off because they think your website is broken.

So how do you check your graduate website works?

To test whether or not your site is being displayed properly to your graduate job hunters you can cover most of your bases by simply visiting your site in the web browsers and checking them out for yourself:

Microsoft Internet Explorer

This browser comes by default with windows operating systems and most corporates and many universities will provide this as their standard web browser. There are a wide variety of versions for this browser the most common being versions 6.0 and 7.0. Version 8.0 has just been released and more users will slowly move to this newer version.

Mozilla Firefox

This is a popular browser that many users are migrating to on Windows, Linux and Mac. You can download a copy here.

Safari

This browser comes standard with an Apple computer. With the large amount of Apple fans out there this is becoming quite a popular browser and it is used when browsing the web from and iPhone as well. You can download a copy here

You may need to try some of these browsers at home as you may not have the security permissions you need in the office.

Why is it important to run these tests?

Most websites are optimised for the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser as it comes by default with the windows operating system. This is due to Internet Explorer having the majority of internet users historically.

Over the past two months we've had around 30,000 graduates come to our website to view potential graduate employers and we've found that there has been a substantial shift away from Internet Explorer as the standard web browser used by graduates; you can see the breakdown of our traffic in the table below:

Browser% of Graduate users 
Microsoft 52%
Internet Explorer 37%
Mozilla Firefox 6%
Safari 5%

We've seen a wide variety of different employers graduate websites that have had issues when viewed in different browsers and you can see that close to 50% of graduate job hunters are using a different browser than the 'standard' Internet Explorer.

This in contrast of total market share, where Microsoft Internet Explorer enjoys a market share of 66% (hitslink.com).

Optimise your graduate website for all major web browsers!

From the statistics we have generated, it is clear that nearly half of all Australian Graduates use a web browser other than Internet Explorer. This is well above the internet industry standard for browser use probably due to the fact that Australian Graduates are extremely technology Savy in comparison with general internet users.  We strongly recommend that you check your website, especially if it is older, to see how it performs under other browsers. We have heard of several websites that have become a major barrier-to-entry for graduates looking for jobs.

All website designers now create websites that adhere to industry standards, so if you decide your website needs re-development, you could get the majority of this covered for around $5000. We can happily point you in the direction of a few great website designers if required.

Let me know if you have any more questions about this topic, hopefully it helps you catch any issues on your grad site in the future.


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