Corporate Eye

Addressing the Corporate Website

Wouldn’t you want to keep all roads open to your website?

I visit many corporate websites a week, and am frequently surprised when brought up short by an error message, or by ending up somewhere unexpected, requiring me to rethink my route to the website.

Usually it’s a browser error message:

Oops! We couldn’t find Did you mean

Well, of course I did!

Sometimes it’s an unfriendly server message in bright red: Server Application Unavailable

Occasionally I see an unassuming text-only message saying ‘I am sorry – please call us on 01234 567890 if you keep seeing this message’. Unexpected enough to raise an eyebrow if it is a major listed company I’m trying to reach…

And I have seen a redirect to a completely different company. Now that is unnerving.

You might think this was a tiny problem, and not one that affected big companies: you’d be wrong. In a quick scan of FTSE 100 companies this morning, I ended up at a roadblock in over 15% of cases by not putting www. in front of the company domain name.

This matters because it is one more block in the road to your website, and these routes should be swept clean and made welcoming…

There’s one simple thing you can do to avoid putting this particular roadblock up for your visitors, and that is to make sure that whether they type or simply, they end up at the same place.

Go on, try it: type in your domain name without the www, and see what happens.

If you end up at your home page, that’s great. But if you end up somewhere unexpected, have a word with your web team: see if they can redirect all your traffic to the same place.

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