UK companies waste £2 billion on poor websites

Badly constructed websites are costing UK companies £2 billion pounds a year, according to Ivan Imhoff, managing director of the conversion optimisation company House of Kaizen.

In a presentation at a Travelzoo Hoteliers’ Breakfast in London today Imhoff said only 9% of marketers take conversion rates into account when planning their marketing strategy.

This leads to cluttered, confusing sites, low conversions and high bounce rates. Failure to properly assess all elements of conversion means most sites are losing valuable business, Imhoff said.

Imhoff questioned the very concept of a website. “A website does nothing well,” he said. “It is a one size fits all, it caters to nobody, talks to nobody specifically and it talks to everyone simultaneously. So by default, it does not work very well.

“That is why I don’t like conversion rates as a whole. But the elements that make up conversion, that’s interesting.”

In a study by House of Kaizen, the company discovered the easiest way to increase conversions was to simplify the site. Just by removing flash, Imhoff said the company was able to increase conversions by 34% and raise engagement by 64%.

He said the most important thing is to decrease user anxiety. That means giving people who visit a site all the information they need, clearly and simply on as few pages as possible.

To do this Imhoff recommended firms remove all unnecessary adjectives like “best”, “biggest” or “finest”. He said every company claims they are the best so unless the business has won an award to prove it, it should remove unnecessary claims.

Another tip was to keep elements of the website under five in number, for instance providing users with the five most valuable pieces of information as simply and quickly as possible.

Imhoff said this makes sites easier to understand and significantly increases the chance of conversion. To prove how effective understanding conversions can be House of Kaizen is holding a contest.

It will optimise the winners’ site for free and promises to achieve a 100% increase in conversion rates.

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