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Survey Shows Companies Falling Short on Optimizing their Web Site for Sales

October 08, 2008

A new survey has revealed that 83 percent of businesses are operating under the belief that their Web sites are failing to convert enough visitor traffic into actual sales or enquiries. These results have been reported by online consultancy Backbone IT Group.
 
In a poll of roughly 100 U.K. companies, only 15 percent expressed a high level of satisfaction with the amount of business that is generated by their Web sites. Companies also feared that less than half of potential online sales were currently being achieved.

Backbone IT Group carried out the survey, along with assistance from Lancaster University to highlight the lack of awareness in the wider business community of some of the more recent online marketing practices.

While the majority of respondents appeared to be familiar with Search Engine Optimization – or improving the quantity and quality of visitor traffic from search engines – only 42 percent had heard of Conversation Rate Optimization, which improves Web site performance so that more visitors are converted into customers.

"Most businesses clearly need to improve the number of online sales and enquiries they are generating, but few are aware of the specific services now available to help them do it," comments Richard Unwin, director of Backbone IT Group, which provides Conversion Rate Optimization as a central part of its service portfolio.

Only 11 percent of sampled businesses were using some form of Conversion Rate Optimization, compared to 75 percent employing Search Engine Optimization. These are figures that Backbone believes must change in the face of the global credit crunch.

"Difficult economic conditions will mean businesses with wasteful Web sites are likely to lose out to competitors operating fully optimized sites that convert far more visitor traffic into sales," said Unwin.

"Web sites increasing visitor conversion rates by just a few percent typically double or even triple the number of sales or enquiries generated. The impact of Conversion Rate Optimization on bottom-line profitability can be remarkable," he explained.

The full results of the survey are now available online at http://www.backboneitgroup.com/survey2008, together with additional information and tips and advice on improving Web site conversion rates.

Businesses that fail to optimize their Web sites are missing out on significant opportunities. Consumers are increasingly searching the Web to make purchasing decisions and those sites that fail to convert a browser into a buyer are losing revenue and potential customer loyalty.

The results of this survey indicate that many U.K. businesses have much work to do to not only become educated on how to maximize their Web presence, but also how they can have more control over driving traffic to their site and keeping people there as customers.
 

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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