Eggplant president urges web audits

It’s important for businesses to identify and remove “single points of failure” (SPOFs) from websites. That’s the message from Alex Painter, president of a website speed and performance testing company, Eggplant, to travel aggregator TravelMole.

In listing the issues which impact a website’s performance Painter addressed links and content that slow down connectivity and download speeds. He advised ensuring “static assets have long cache lifetimes” and getting “rid of non-essential content”.

Painter said, “If there is anything on your site that is redundant, get rid of it. It’s the excess baggage to your customers’ serene and speedy journey. Newer features are added more often than older features are removed, building up the number of unused scripts and styles. A full audit of your website or even just your key pages may not be possible at short notice, yet a brief check of the source code will most likely reveal some content that is not needed and could be removed.”

His bottom line is that spot checks and audits will make your site perform better and optimize conversion from clickers to customers. That applies to individual travelers as well as the corporate market. Is your web presence resonating for you or costing you business because of dated and/or irrelevant content? When was the last time your content was updated, fact-checked and read to see if it is on message?

Destination Doctor does affordable web audits for properties, destinations and venues.

 

 

 

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Websites are missing the meetings market

Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!!

I have just completed two, extensive back-to-back group meeting assignments. This is my 10th year for this title. Between the two assignments, I visited 128 websites for fact checking. About 11 had the information I required. Year after year after year I encounter the same problems and issues with property, venue and destination websites when it comes to servicing the meetings market. My frustrations with website content are echoed by professional meeting planners.

People, stop wasting your money and potential clients’ time. Hotels, resorts, meeting venues and destinations claim to understand the client. No doubt you do on a face-to-face basis, but your websites and on-line presence fails you and your potential clients.

With potential planners researching websites 24/7, bad information, missing information and poorly presented information can cost you money. Whether you’re an event venue, a hotel or a destination, you’re not the only game in town. The world is on-line so everyone is your competition. You have more to worry about than the property down the street, tho’ if that property has a sharper website and on-line presence they’re beating you by making it unnecessary for the client to wait around for pertinent and accurate details from and about you.

And this is a problem for multinational brands as well as solo properties.

The current fashion is to tell stories. But what if you haven’t told it in the right way to engage the targeted market? Since most managers aren’t storytellers, you may be missing the more interesting story or story angle.

What needs to be done to make you competitive isn’t rocket science. Usually a few hours, maybe a day, and you’re ready to roll.

Having spent money for an on-line presence doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gotten it right. Most companies hire a webmaster or an agency to build a site for them. These people have a talent for technology and marketing. They know how to deliver your message through various on-line options. However, they don’t necessarily know your business or the client needs. They may ask you questions, but if they get casual or sketchy information that’s all they can work with. Then they, on your behalf, make the mistake of perpetually supplying insufficient information to the market you’re trying to sell.

Having slogged through thousands of websites it’s apparent that what happens is that the person building the site uses what others have put on their sites as a guide, thus the information gaps spread to become an industry standard.

Enough with the madness! Hire someone (yes, like me) who understands what your group clients want and need to know if they are to consider your property, venue or destination as a place to bring business.

This is a relatively easy fix. It usually doesn’t require redesigning a website. It’s about correct content, presented in an easy-to-follow way. Between my time and your webmaster’s it’s probably less than a day’s work. Can you afford not to re-examine your site and message?