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In this guest post, optimization expert Rich Page (author of Website Optimization: An Hour a Day and co-author of Tim Ash's Landing Page Optimization) shares how he leverages UserTesting to increase conversions for his clients.
Gathering insight from your website visitors using a tool like UserTesting is one of the most powerful ways to improve your website and its conversion rates. However, instead of just changing your website based on their feedback, you need to create high impact a/b website tests and see which variations result in the highest conversion rates. Here are 10 ways to help you do this by using UserTesting… meaning increased online revenue for you!
Just like for any other tool, the acronym GIGO applies - Garbage In, Garbage Out! This means if you use test participants that don’t meet your target demographic well, you are likely going to get unhelpful responses, meaning poor website test ideas being created.
Ideally, recruit some users direct from your website. Getting testers who have previously visited your website means they will be more familiar with it and give you more useful feedback. Fortunately, UserTesting's Enterprise product makes this easy as they help you test with your own customers or even recruit more-detailed demographics of visitors while they are on your website.
If you get feedback from fewer than 10 test participants you will risk receiving biased or unrepresentative responses, and as a result poorly performing tests might be created from their feedback. And the fewer you get, the greater chance of someone in your organization (HiPPOs!) demanding something changed based on something they heard in a limited sample of feedback. Yes it’s more expensive, but the extra feedback is really worth the money!
Asking for visitors impressions of your homepage is really important because they often judge a whole website just by the homepage (often in a matter of seconds), and it can help create some great test ideas. Here are some good tasks to use:
A 5-second test can be added to your test by simply checking a checkbox.
Your web analytics tool is a powerful ally for creating better tasks in UserTesting! In particular you can use it to find high-trafficked pages with issues like high bounce or exit rate, and then create tasks relating to these pages. Once you have found these pages, ask them what seems confusing about them and how to better clarify or improve them. Getting test ideas to improve these troublesome pages is an excellent way to really boost your conversion rates.
Use your web analytics tool again to find your websites’ top entry pages (not just your homepage), as these have a huge impact on your conversion rates. Doing this works really well because the 80/20 rule applies - 80% of your conversion rate success often comes from improving just 20% of your most important pages like these. Don’t forget to create tasks about your PPC landing pages too if you are using them!
These sources of traffic often represent a huge opportunity for increasing conversion rates from these visitors once they land on your website. Therefore for a task you should point your test participants to a web version of your newsletter or email marketing campaign and ask them questions relating to it. For example, ask which features and content they like the most/least, and how they would improve the layout. This feedback will help you form some great ideas for improving these traffic sources.
The forms and checkout flows on your website often have critical influence over your conversion rates (for example your signup form or shopping cart), so it’s critical you create tasks relating to these to create high-impact test ideas. Here are some high-impact tasks to use:
Feedback regarding these can form great test ideas - this is because simple changes to navigation menus can make it much easier for visitors to get around your website, and increase the chances of them converting. Ask them things like whether they understand the options and wording in your menus (quite often they won’t), and whether they think the menus are easy to interact with.
At the end of each user test you create, you can choose additional questions to ask your participants. These are key for gaining great insights for better a/b and multivariate test ideas. Here are some tips to get the most out of them:
Lastly, don’t just run user tests on your website once and move on - you need to do it every time you launch or change something major on your website. Never just presume your visitors are going to like what your web designers or UX team launch or change on your website - always setup a new user test (using the tips above) to gain high-impact test ideas and help increase conversion rates for what you just launched or changed.
Now over to you - which of these have you tried, and what else have you found works for you best in UserTesting?
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About the author:
Rich Page is a passionate website testing and conversion rate expert, and is the author of Website Optimization: An Hour a Day and co-author of the 2nd edition of Landing Page Optimization with Tim Ash. Rich is a consultant available for hire to help improve conversion rates for all types of online businesses.