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The structure and layout of various websites across a wide spectrum of service industries was analysed using the WebQuality Analyser (WQA). The WQA incorporated forty five critical success elements delivered by quality on-line websites. These success elements covered information technology (IT) and marketing-services related sectors, and were further divided into five key drivers encapsulating each sector. Each sector driver was then divided into four or five customer-enabler features (covering structure and function), each with several feature components. A present / absent approach determined each component. A seven-point, Likert scale encapsulated the relative presence of the features of each driver.

Although it houses both measurable and subjective components, the WQA offers a useful means to compare relevant websites, and to understand the differences with respect to one’s competitors.

Further investigation of the specific on-line driver ratings demonstrated where key competitive advantage may reside. This benchmarking tool defined website strengths and weaknesses thereby allowing for corrections to the website structure of the specific business. This paper introduces the WQA, and reports on the marketing-services sector of this new benchmarking tool.