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Do You Hate Your Website? Web Site Sales To Hit $316 Billion Over The Next 6 Years
By John DiCristo

What dollar amount does your web site contribute to this $316 billion dollar trend?

Have you spent thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands on your web site only to discover that it attracts more flies than customers?

Do you hate your web site, your web developer or your entire IT department?

Do not despair! You are not alone!

A great web site is crucial in order to effectively communicate to a business’s target audience. It is important for Chief Executives and small business owners to pay close attention to the effect that their web site has on their business. A poorly designed site will not generate desired revenues and could even produce negative results if it sends the wrong message to potential customers.

In a 2003 survey of major corporations from Ford to Wal-Mart, 20 corporation sites failed to meet Forrester’s standards for usefulness, clarity or content. Because a visually unappealing or difficult to navigate site will discourage return visits, many companies have decided to update their site. After it’s re-launch in 2003, Macromedia Inc. saw it sales per site visitor jump 67%!

We have divided companies into three categories based on their level satisfaction with their web site.

1. Happy…But – They are happy with what they have but want to keep up with industry trends and continually update their site as their company grows.

A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that larger companies have a “wild card” provision set into their yearly web budget. Every year their budget includes routine upgrades, maintenance, new projects and “wild card” money set aside for the latest and greatest application or gadget that may come down the pike.

2. Transitional - They have outgrown their site and want to upgrade and expand their web presence.

3. I Hate My Web Site - You need help! Did Uncle Bob develop the site? Maybe your neighbor gave it a try. Or maybe you spent good money on a professional firm but are still not happy with the results.

Try the quiz below. You may want to consider making improvements to your site if you answer “no” to several of the following questions.

Is Your Site:

1) Easy to navigate?

2) Detailed and comprehensive?

3) Visually appealing, professional and pleasing?

4) Up to date?

Does Your Site:

5) Have a unique style or original graphics?

6) Have a consistent theme and convey the central message?

7) Load web pages quickly?

8) List company contact information in an easy to find place?

9) Use correct spelling and grammar?

10) Have a site map?

11) Make it easy to get back to the homepage?

12) Have a way to email the company for more information?

13) Pull up images correctly (i.e. contains no broken images)?

14) Pull up all pages and websites correctly (i.e. contains no broken links)?

15) Have an appropriate text to image ratio?

16) Have streaming audio and video?

17) Print pages without losing any of the text or cutting off part of the page?

18) Translate into other languages?

Do you:

19) Have control over the content and have the ability to make changes?

20) Have an e-newsletter marketing system?

21) Have e-commerce capabilities?

22) If you have e-commerce, can customers easily purchase your products or do they get frustrated and leave the site before completing the transaction?

John, President of ClickCom.com, is available for personalized seminars and can be reached at jd@clickcom.com or 704-365-9970 x 110. Special thanks to Mike Drummond of The Charlotte Observer for article information and facts.

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