December 17, 2003, 12:00 AM

Home page failures are driving away customers, says new Jupiter research

In a survey this month of 239 consumer-oriented web sites, Jupiter found that one in seven web sites failed a test of links to other pages. "The errors were severe enough to cause visitor defection," Jupiter reported.

Home page errors are turning away customers, reports Jupiter Research. In a survey this month of 239 consumer-oriented web sites, Jupiter found that one in seven web sites failed a test of links to other pages. "The errors were severe enough to cause visitor defection," Jupiter reported.

For its new report "Managing Web Site Quality: Stanching Customer Defection," Jupiter tested over 22,000 links. It found that more than 50% of clicks on links were routed through manual "redirect" or tracking scripts, to measure consumer behavior. It characterizes those redirects as "especially prone to generating errors." It also found that 24 home pages had broken links ("404" errors), 14 provoked server errors, five linked to sites with nonexistent host names, and three pointed to servers that responded with server unavailable errors.

Jupiter also recently reported that web site operators rank site usability as their top challenge, above budget constraints and measuring ROI. "Despite the high priority of improving site usability, the basics of web site operations--having error-free pages, consumer-friendly messaging and navigation that makes sense--require putting yourself in the visitor`s shoes, a tact only indirectly served by traditional quality assurance," says David Schatsky, senior vice president of research.

 

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