The majority of consumers are getting the online experience they're looking for, new research shows.

A study by digital solutions firm Kentico revealed that nearly 60 percent of the public believes websites have improved over the past five years in design, functionality, usability, content, usefulness and other elements. Just 12 percent of those surveyed think things have gotten worse.

Part of the improvement can be attributed to businesses making more of an effort to personalize the online experience. The research discovered that 70 percent of those surveyed believe at least half the websites they visit offer products, services or content in a way that caters well to their particular interests.

Despite the improvements, consumers are loyal to only a handful of sites. Three-quarters of those surveyed regularly visit fewer than 10 websites for non-work purposes.

"Over the past five years, marketers have been implementing a variety of new methods and tools to optimize the website experience for their customers, and it appears these efforts have not gone unnoticed," said Kentico CEO and founder Petr Palas. "Still, with most users revisiting only a small handful of sites, maintaining user loyalty with sites that are compelling, personalized, and intuitive remains a key prerogative for digital marketers today."

To compete on the modern Internet, Kentico believes websites must be differentiated, compelling, valuable and easy to use. The company offers a checklist for the things every successful website should include:

  •    Maintaining an ongoing search engine optimization plan for search engine discovery.
  •    Creating consistent messaging across your multi-channel activities.
  •    Real-time enterprise resource planning/customer resource management integration.
  •    Responsive design support for consistent mobile experiences across all devices.
  •    Real-time Web analytics.
  •    An ongoing strategy for message optimization using A/B and MVT testing.
  •    A marketing automation solution to manage campaigns while freeing up marketing time to focus on more productive tasks.
  •    An ongoing strategy for content personalization that provides an immersive experience.
  •    A buyer persona between sales and marketing.
  •    A lead scoring program that focuses on delivering leads at the right time.
  •    Consistent email marketing.

The study was based on surveys of 300 U.S. consumers over age 18.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.