Based in Metro Boston, we have been a trusted source of benchmark data and online strategy advice since 2003 for major companies in the insurance, telecommunications, education, government and retail industries.
Our customers include many of the most respected organizations in the world including MetLife, Verizon, and IBM. Our analysts are regular speakers at industry conferences and have columns in major trade publications.
Customer expectations come not just from your own competitors, but from a wide range of websites, many of which offer very different products and services. Customers have tasks in mind and have little patience with drifting around, searching for information and functionality. Usually there is an alternative available.
Expectations are influenced by navigation, content, functionality, language, and contact options. A site that offers a clear route to task completion will always be more successful.
Benchmarks provide comparative data and actionable recommendations. Strengths and weaknesses are easier to identify when considered as part of an objective set of data. Benchmark data can address functionality, task completion success, language usage, social media activity, and overall site performance. Project priorities are easier given clear and objective competitive differentiation — moving away from subjective opinions to facts.
Website reviews in isolation have limited value. For any identified weakness, is that required within the industry? Who else does this well? Does the function enhance the business strategy and objectives?
Customers judge websites not on Web design standards but by their own experience. A comparative review puts the site into context with best-practice examples.
Social media is a burgeoning industry in its own right. There is no alternative other than to embrace it, but why? Social media is a tool, not a goal, and it is vital not to “build a Facebook page” but to build a strategy to enhance clear business objectives.
Success objectives should be determined, legal and management considerations will dictate organizational structure, fan recruitment strategies will influence campaigns, and engagement goals should determine content development. Platforms are the tools to deliver the strategy.
Studies show that typically 25% of site activity is concentrated in 5% of the functionality. To enhance task completion, it is important to identify top tasks, make them visible, create clear paths, and eliminate obstacles. Wireframe diagrams often drive site designs where all paths are equal. However customers have priorities and the best sites match design to these priorities.
Using well-tested and inexpensive techniques, we can develop data models to encourage a “Fact not Opinion” approach. Once identified, top tasks need to be honed to ensure maximum throughput. Task performance is a critical process.
Customers might find content, but do they understand it? We can crawl through content across the site or at specific locations, reaching as deep as required to highlight problems.
Results are available for readability, average sentence length, passive language use, long sentences, and word complexity. When it is impossible to review every page manually, our automated tools can help focus revision efforts. As well as language usage, the process can highlight inconsistent or outdated terminology and acronyms.