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Small Firms Floored by Basic Web Errors

October 12, 2009 by · Comments Off on Small Firms Floored by Basic Web Errors 

Hosting Blog Gloucester, UK – The vast majority of consumers who used small business websites in the past year found usability faults, according to research released today by Streamline.net, a leading provider of value web hosting. The study of 1700 consumers(1) found that a remarkable 83 per cent of users faced faults including unfinished web pages, broken URLs and email addresses and an out-dated design. A further survey of 450 UK firms(2) reveals that whilst most (51 per cent) consider their website to look ‘professional’, 1 in 3 owners admit that they are guilty of ‘neglecting’ their sites. The data also highlights a worrying discrepancy between where consumers wish to find web addresses, and where companies are displaying them. For example, 48 per cent of firms questioned still do not make any efforts to optimise their URL on search engines like Google. In the past year, 1 in 5 consumers have used a web address taken from the side of a small company’s vehicle, whilst only 10 per cent of small firms currently display their web address in this way.

Data from Streamline.net’s ‘Local Web Matters’ study found that many small firms are alienating web users through simple web errors. Three quarters of consumers have now used the website of a small business (76 per cent). Whilst 47 per cent of consumers consider their experiences of such sites to be overall ‘good’, a further 1 in 4 Britons conclude such websites to be ‘barely usable’. In the past year, 83 per cent of online consumers have found technical faults on more than one occasion. Web errors reported included unfinished web pages (54 per cent), broken URLs (52 per cent), outdated email addresses (50 per cent), and missing contact details (31 per cent).

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