11 October 2012 - 12:25pm | by 1&1 Internet

Could a poor website be
hurting your business?

Examples of Creative Agency websitesExamples of Creative Agency websites

Brand new research of 1500 consumers commissioned by 1&1 in 2012, finds that many consumers today will not forgive a slow or faulty website. In an era when many rely on around-the-clock e-commerce and online banking, more Britons than ever are frustrated by websites which are slow, faulty or taken off-line for maintenance.

Consumers have never been so aware and unforgiving of poor websites. If a website does not perform well, users will switch to an alternative. Firms must be aware that their choice of website package has never been so important. Those that fail to ensure high standards, risk losing revenue and reputation.

Significantly, 38 per cent of consumers have decided to avoid a company in the future as a result of finding a faulty website. Some 44 per cent admit to being more critical towards website errors today than they were five years ago. 39 per cent believe that they have become better able to judge whether a website contains faults over the same period.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet, warns “Unreliable websites continue to reflect badly upon businesses of all types and sizes. It is clear that when faced with a faulty or off-line website, consumers will turn elsewhere. Perhaps more surprising is the proportion that will be unwilling to return”.

The research shows that keeping a badly designed or unreliable website online can comprise a risk to your revenue and development. Consumers have ever higher expectations, and it is essential that every company website inspires confidence.

A well designed, reliable website in minutes
Today there are website packages aimed specifically at helping small businesses launch a compelling and effective website in minutes. In particular, there are packages from around £10/month that provide a choice of industry-specific templates and content, such as those for marketing and advertising agencies. The packages are designed to be used by any level of computer user and include everything that a creative agency needs to launch online.

An industry-specific website package will come with a marketing-themed template and related pre-filled trade texts and images. Within such packages, there will be tools for social media and mobile functionality, and features like feedback forms, relevant image library and location, news and weather content, as well as shop functionality.

No enterprise can afford the loss of image and sales revenue that a poorly presented or broken website can lead to. All marketing professionals would be wise to ensure that their website grows and improves even modestly each and every month. Every firm needs a website that does them proud.

1&1 hosts millions of websites worldwide, and offers its Top Tips for a flawless business website:

Need for speed
Slow running websites are Britain’s number one web gripe, with the average web user wasting a staggering two days a year waiting for slow sites to load. Ensure your website package offers the highest possible speed, called ‘connectivity’.

Practical design
Home broadband and wireless speeds can still limit consumers, so do not risk bad design elements on your landing page. Use a package that makes it simple to design effectively and offers quick links directly to the main functions of your website.

Communicate often
Customers always need help, so ensure comment-boxes, email or enquiry forms are only two clicks-away. Use a package that includes Facebook and Twitter integration, and a newsletter tool. Regular advice from yourself will support your audience and help you to be found on search engines.

Stay reliable
Frustrations have led 72 per cent of web users to abandon a company website for a competitor’s. Make sure to choose a provider that has the experience, technical infrastructure and financial stability to make sure your website performs well and can grow in line with your success.

Be mobile-friendly
1&1 recently found half of small firms have not checked their own website from a mobile device. Millions of consumers buy and research using iPads and mobile phones. Use a package that automatically ensures your website will load promptly, function correctly and look attractive on mobile devices.

Richard Stevenson
Head of PR Hosting International
1&1 Internet

1&1 Internet
Tel: 0844 335 1211
Email: press@1and1.co.uk
Web: www.1and1.co.uk

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