Sunday, September 21, 2008

Consumers shun companies with poor websites

The importance of well designed websites ...

"Some 78 per cent of British consumers have been put off by a company because of poor usability of its website, according to digital consultancy Rawnet.

The 2008 Online Conversion Report reveals that 86 per cent of people research a company (B2B and B2C) online before choosing whether or not to use them - conversion optimation is now more important than ever.

With the internet now easily available to a wider range of consumers, even silver surfers are researching companies online before deciding whether or not to use them – 20 per cent of those aged 45+ claim to always do so.

However, 31 per cent of British consumers believe it is rare to find a web site that is really well designed and easy to use, while really spectacular and creative web sites are usually difficult to use according to a further 20 per cent of consumers.

Adam Smith, managing director of Rawnet, said, “Consumer opinions about web sites in general demonstrate a real gap between creative and technical capabilities of most web design projects. The simple truth is that the two aspects should not live in separate silos – there is absolutely no reason why a really creative web site shouldn’t be easy to use and produce real business benefits for clients.

“Researching companies online is now a part of daily life and a shocking number of companies are losing out on a massive amount of potential business simply because their current web design agency has either focused too much on what looks great, or too much on non-essential technical features and failed to actually produce a website that works for the business.”

For the millions of pounds British businesses spend on search engine marketing each year, they continue to fall at the next hurdle in converting visitors into potential business as only two per cent of consumers claim to always end up dealing with the company whose link they clicked first when searching on Google.

Companies are still falling way short of giving consumers what they are looking for when visiting their web sites, as the majority claim only to occasionally be presented with exactly the information they were searching for.

Online marketing is not just about driving lots of traffic, it is about ensuring that when that traffic arrives at your site, it converts.

Rawnet focus on Conversion Optimisation, as well as Search Engine Optimisation, believing that one without the other will lead to wasted marketing spend and little ROI.

Adam Smith added, “The majority of marketers continue to be preoccupied with their search engine rankings and investing more on ever more expensive paid search keyword bidding in order to drive more traffic to their web site. First impressions are so important online, but unfortunately there is still a massive disconnect between attracting visitors and converting them into customers, as evidenced by the fact that so few people regularly end up dealing with the first company’s link they clicked on Google.

“If you found that only 2 per cent of people visiting your high street shop bothered to walk to the fifth floor to find the checkout and pay for goods, you’d move the tills downstairs to make the experience as convenient as possible. The same, common sense principles should apply online, yet so many sites still get it so wrong."    (Continued via Rawnet.com, Adam Smith)    [Usability Resources]

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