Businesses looking to boost both online and offline custom would do well to ensure web users can easily access company locations from their website, it has been advised.

Writing in his latest Alertbox column, usability guru Jakob Nielsen said that it is vital to make sure potential customers can find their closest store or branch via the website quickly and easily.

He cited the findings of a recent study where users were asked to find their nearest company branch on certain corporate websites.

Less than two-thirds of these tasks could be easily completed, despite an overall 96 per cent success rate in finding the branch required.

"Particularly for a simple feature like the locator, it must be not only possible to accomplish the task, but also easy and pleasant to do so," Mr Nielsen stated.

The expert recently examined the issue of sitemaps and recommended that all websites incorporate these because they are the only part of a site that can give a comprehensive overview of all of its content.

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