In today’s world where the web is at the heart of your business you must have a means to evaluate the metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that impact customer experience, regulatory compliance, brand awareness and marketing effectiveness. Let’s face it, how many times have you visited a site and found a broken link, failing PDF or poor performance? In addition to this you must also be able to compare your web quality and performance versus the websites of your competitors.

The days of a simple brochure-ware site that is put together quickly and maintained easily is history. Successful enterprises must have a comprehensive web presence consisting of:

• Many growing, interlinked sites covering individual countries, markets, products or audiences.
• A reliance on 3rd parties in design, deployment, content creation, feeds, hosting, linking, etc.
• A complex technical environment. RSS, Blogs, Flash, payment systems, personalization etc.
• Ever-rising user expectation, fueled by small entrants and heavy hitters.

Companies are spending millions of dollars, building, delivering and managing…and then promoting their web presence. This is the key battleground in the fight for market share. Yet we all have visited websites, experienced difficulties and been frustrated by poor quality. In general, we leave these sites for a competitor that is just a click away. This affects sales, investors, the media - everyone!

There is no longer a place for an online presence that falls short of customer expectations. Everyday we see sites that fail web standards, fail legal requirements, and expose the business to reputational risk. A poor quality sites costs sales, undermines brand value and reduces investor confidence. It’s estimated that 85% of people would have reservations about buying from a business with a poor quality Website. With over two thirds (forrester research found 67% of site visitors would not return to a failing website) of them refusing to give even their favorite Websites a second chance if they hit problems

Why do websites fall short?

• Lack of clearly defined and reportable quality standards
• Reliance on 3rd party content and services
• There’s a constant need to change and update websites to keep the fresh, appealing and up to date
• Control of content is dissipated throughout the organization
• This leads to an inability to carry out thorough pre-deployment testing
• Which is compounded by the failure to implement a thorough on-going testing plan
• “Glitz” spending instead of core investment

How do you solve this problem?

You must develop a specific plan, based on the quality, performance, and compliance (web, brand, corporate and regulatory) standards you have set and then prioritize the corrective action required. A good plan needs a service that will help you identify any quality, performance and compliance problems, in detail, right down to the line of code.

The benefits of doing this are enormous.
• Reduced deployment effort giving improved delivery lead times, so you can come to market faster
• Reduced on-going maintenance effort and cost so you are more flexible and efficient
• Improved Customer experience increasing conversion and retention rates
• Improved website performance and lower site infrastructure costs from better code
• Improved platform security and control of content.

The bottom line is an improved customer experience from using consistent user-oriented standards and reduced legal risk due to compliance failings. This means you create a larger and happier customer base and therefore higher revenue streams from your websites.

Lawrence Shaw (
0870 759 3377

SiteMorse plc

Published on: 12:00AM on 16th October 2007