New Aberdeen Group Research Highlights Website Management Problems

You’ve heard us discuss best practices for websites before. But, it’s been some time since we’ve done so. And these standards change over time.

Aberdeen Group recently released its research and findings on website management. And we’d like to share some of those with you here.

So let’s dive right in.

Why Care About Your Website’s Performance Anyway?

You know it’s important to offer the best presentation you can for your visitors. What difference does that actually make?

Aberdeen found companies who make a consistent effort at improving their websites for their uses are:

  • 4x more likely to have more online sales and revenue
  • 2x more likely to have lesser website downtime
  • 45% more likely to have a greater insight into performance problems

By the way, if you want to read the whole report, you can find it here.

The Average Patience of the Typical Website Visitor

You’ve heard the stat that most visitors leave your website in just seconds. What’s the reality on that?

According to Aberdeen, 20% of mobile websites report users start leaving their site after just 2 seconds. After 3 seconds, this jumps to 40%.

What Smart Companies Do

When you’re first building your website, your priority is ranking and attracting traffic. That traffic gives you data, so you can understand how people use your website, and what they like and don’t like.

At the beginning, you of course create the best experience possible at that point. But, you realize your website will need changes on an ongoing basis to adapt to preferences in your market.

What do sharp companies do to continue to meet their market’s needs?

Here are some things:

  1. Analyze Visitor Conversion Paths

Google Analytics gives you a report called “Users Flow.” You can find it under “Reporting à Audience à Users Flow.”

You’ll see an image like this:

new-aberdeen_blog_17

This report shows where users enter your website, and then the path of pages they follow. It’s huge for understanding how people use your website, and where they leave. Then you can figure out what to do at points where they leave to increase their on-site time.

  1. Heat Maps

Heat maps show similar data to the Google “Users Flow” you just learned about. However, they help you understand exactly how a visitor uses a certain page in greater depth. They show you exactly what the user clicks on in a certain page.

Check out this one:

new-aberdeen_2blog_17

Image Credit: Conversion XL

The red indicates the areas of most frequent clicking. This data helps you understand how to build your pages for the best user experience, and possible elements to eliminate.

Those are a couple things forward-thinking companies do to make their websites most useful for their users. You can get as scientific as you want, and it does make a big difference in your sales once you have consistent traffic.

All Website Hosting is NOT Created Equal

Choosing the right web hosting provider is a critical step to ensuring a successful online presence and internet marketing strategy. Many business owners treat hosting as a commodity decision, believing anyone can do it. However, this is not true. Make the right choice and you should enjoy a quality service that will be an asset to your business. The wrong choice could cost you time and money.
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Beware of the Domain Registry of America Scam

Since at least 2002, domain owners from Maui to Miami have been receiving so-called “courtesy” e-mails and letters from a company called Domain Registry of America (DRoA) reminding them that their domains are about to expire and encouraging them to renew with DRoA for the bargain basement price of $30/year. Often times, people don’t think twice about making the payment—after all, the DRoA name sounds official; the e-mails, letters, and DRoA website look legitimate; the 800 number DRoA offers connects callers to a real customer service tech; and many people don’t remember the last time they renewed their domain and certainly don’t want to allow it to expire and be snapped up by one of their competitors. What these people fail to realize, however, is that they’re not really renewing their domain names; they’re actually transferring them from their original domain registrars to DRoA and getting scammed out of quite a bit of cash (a $30/year asking price is actually an obscene amount of money to ask for a domain).

Many people tend to forget where they’ve registered their domains once they’ve had them for a while, so when these official-looking “courtesy” notes come in, domain owners assume they’re from their original registrar. Red flags should go up when the owner receives another e-mail after he’s made his payment asking him to confirm the transfer (rather than the renewal that was advertised), but if the flags fail to launch the transaction will go in DRoA’s books and the domain will be in its clutches.  

Once a domain owner realizes he’s been duped, it’s often quite difficult for him to transfer the domain back to his former, fairly priced registrar. DRoA’s customer service reps are notoriously heinous to work with, and why wouldn’t they be? DRoA wants its customers’ money, not their satisfaction.

DRoA claims its e-mails and letters are simply part of a marketing scheme, but the FTC has gotten involved and slapped DRoA’s wrists for its deceptive practices. In response, DRoA added an almost imperceptible  note to their correspondences to let sleuthy customers know that DRoA had taken some liberties with the English language and is using “renew” and “transfer” interchangeably. Today the company continues to send out bogus e-mails and letters that mislead countless domain holders.

If your website is maintained by an outside management company, it’s almost inconceivable that they wouldn’t keep tabs on when and with whom your domain will need to be renewed. If you manage your own site, keep a record of where your domain is registered and when it’s up for renewal. And any time you receive an email requesting payment from a source you’re not immediately familiar with, do a bit of research to ensure it’s not a scam: you’ll almost always discover that the 12 enslaved Nigerian princesses who are trying to raise funds to purchase an inflatable raft that they can use to paddle to freedom aren’t actually princesses at all.