Companies in the rail industry could find that their internet marketing efforts are boosted by improved website usability.

According to the results of a study by responsibletravel.com, 33 per cent of the journeys its volunteers tried to book through rail websites were successful.

This compares to a success rate of 98 per cent for airline bookings and suggests that rail companies must boost the usability of their websites, said responsibletravel.com in a blog post.

Justin Francis, managing director of the online portal, said: "Our poll has shown that it currently takes little more than five minutes to book a flight online to anywhere in Europe, yet to book a train ticket to the same destination can be very challenging indeed."

Writing on the Microsoft adCenter Blog recently, Simone Schuurer, a retail search media analyst at the software giant, said consumers will often give up and leave a website if they are unable to find the information they are looking for.

This means the efforts of internet marketing teams trying to promote their company’s offerings on the web could be undermined by poor website usability.

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