Major websites are "inefficient"
Friday, July 04, 2008：Leading online travel firms are failing to make the most of their dominant ranking in search listings because consumers find their websites slow and inefficient.
That is the assessment of Gomez, a company that advises on website usability.
It said companies such as lastminute.com and Holiday-Hypermarket.com may rank high on Google searches, but they fail to back their position with responsive sites.
Gomez found that a third of companies it surveyed were spending up to 25% of their marketing budget on online advertising, but it warned they could be pouring money down the drain.
Gomez entered two regularly used search terms into Google – “hotel London” and “holiday Spain” – and over a two-week period tested the top 10 resulting sites for response time and availability through its worldwide network of 50,000 people.
The “hotel London” search found lastminute.com to be the second-slowest site, despite sitting in the top three of the search listing. Gomez said it took five times longer to load as top performer LateRooms.com.
In contrast, Marriott.com came eighth in the search list but was third fastest.
TravelRepublic.co.uk came top of both the search list and response time in the “holiday Spain” test.
By contrast, Holiday-Hypermarket.com, fifth in the search listing, was found to be five times slower than TravelRepublic.
David Flower, Gomez’s vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “If a company is at the top of a search and the website doesn’t perform then it’s not good.
“The key thing is that the market is becoming more competitive. The web allows new companies to come in quickly and the key differential is efficiency.
“If firms are not measuring and monitoring efficiency, then they are leaving a lot of money on the table.”