Cheap Usability and Conversion Testing

Its almost old hat now to say “what’s the point of a website if it doesn’t improve your profits”. To that end it’s important to keep a constant eye on the performance of your site, constantly checking things like conversion rates and return on investment. One of the great challenges with such testing is it can cost money, but you don’t have to spend a fortune.

I have explained before one method of usability testing is to ask people not connected with your business, to go online and use your site to make an enquiry or a purchase, their opinions of their online experience will be more revealing than you can imagine.

If asking someone to make a test purchase, ensure you don’t explain too much to them, their lack of background and preparation will only help. After all, any problems they might encounter will be exactly those that a prospect may experience the first time they access your site.

If testing this way is your choice. I suggest you set up a series of aspects and ask that they be ranked one to ten. The sort of areas you could test could be as follows:

• Understanding of your product or service

• Ease of finding a given product on your website

• How intuitive is the sites sales message?

• How intuitive is the sites navigation

Another really helpful tool is what is called a “Heatmap” you may never have seen one, but heatmaps can be created by encoding a simple stream in your websites code and they’ll give you a wealth of insight into how users see your website and much more.

This simple example below says a thousand words showing what users are actually looking at. Imagine what such information can tell you about your website and critically, how your prospects see and generally use it.

 

Heatmap example

 

Here is a great blog showing many examples and insights http://www.businessinsider.com/eye-tracking-heatmaps-2012-5?op=1

As you can imagine, there are many companies and providers who will provide such a service to you and examples include…

 

Clicktale.com who offer a free trial if you are serious about considering their service

Crazyegg.com pricing who are currently offering a free 30 day trial

Heatmap.me who will provide a simple real-time heatmap free of charge

 

The great thing about improving conversion rates, is that you can see an almost instant improvement in conversion rates so GO TEST!!!!

 

avatar Name: Alex Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.” Visit Alex's G+ Profile. and Twitter
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