Advantage 2008: Agent web survey paints sketchy picture of performance

An audit of every Advantage member website has found that only two-thirds would score favourably in terms of usability, search engine performance and design.

The study by digital design specialist Click With Technology, carried out ahead of the Advantage Conference in Spain last weekend, saw 63% of around 110 websites perform well.

The firm also analysed areas such as use of content, web user interaction and e-commerce capability.

One area enormous concern to Advantage members and management at the consortium will be the poor performance of sites for search engine optimisation and visibility.

The  audit found just 49% of sites which had indexed pages on Google, MSN or Yahoo!; just over a third (35%) had a “good number” of inbound links and a paltry 12% were found to be well optimised in terms of link building and SEO-friendly content.

Dan Caplin, head of marketing and search at CWT, said: “We found some sites could be hugely improved with just some minor changes.”

The survey found a number of strong aspects across the sites, such as 77% were found to have a consistent design throughout the site and four in five adhered to a low number of clicks needed to get to the booking engine.

However, while almost two-thirds used highlighted key products on the sites, just 29% were found to actively push special promotions and offers.

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