Websites live in an ever changing environment. It’s not just the competitive environment, it’s also how technology is changing. How do you quickly and easily identify the holes in your website? As you would expect there are many, many tools that can help:
1. Website Analytics tools. Google Analytics have the market and for good reason, it’s a brilliant tool.
2. Survey tools, e.g. SurveyGizmo.
3. Mapping tools, e.g. Mouseflow and Clicktale.
4. Usability testing tools.
If you need your website to be successful then before you start looking at how you are going to improve conversions, you need to have a cold, hard look at the workings of your website. If your site is difficult to use or simply doesn’t work then whatever you do won’t make much difference. Here are the areas to look at:
1. Functional. Does the site work? Are there error messages all over the place? Does it work with the most popular browsers?
2. Accessible. Does the site work on a smartphone, iPAD?
3. Usable. Easy to use? Can people navigate their way through the site finding what they need? Is it easy to ask for help or to make a purchase? Is the language easy to understand?
4. Evidence. Are there sufficient case studies/proof that you are an organization to be trusted?
Back to the tools……..
Website Analytics can tell you where visitors are coming from, where they are coming into your site and where they are leaving. It can also tell you which pages are performing well and if you have set up a sales funnel, where most people are dropping out. Click tracking tools can show you what people are clicking on and how far they scroll down.
If you have a sufficiently high number of visitors it may be worthwhile carrying out an online survey to find out exactly what your customers think of your site.
Online tools can provide a huge amount of information but ultimately there is nothing like going through each page and analyzing how the page is performing. There are some key areas to look for:
1. How relevant to the consumer is the page? Does the page the visitor is arriving at make logical sense? Does the page provide the information they are expecting?
2. Your value proposition. All the key pages on your website must clearly define what your offering is and why you deserve to be selected over your competitor’s offering.
3. Clarity. Whatever your offering, keep the language simple and easy to understand.
4. Take away anxiety. Before visitors move to the next level they will be thinking, is it really worth the money, will it work, can I trust them to deliver the product/service? The way to take away anxiety is to try and address all doubts – give as much information as possible about your product/service. Include case studies, online reviews etc.
5. Keep the site clean. The general rule is the closer you get to the checkout screen the less you should have on the page to distract the visitor. Have you ever been to a restaurant where the wine menu and food menu are so large you feel daunted by the choice? Did you find yourself wishing someone would choose for you or spending an inordinate amount of time trying to choose? Think about this when you are looking at your website.
If your site has many products, make it easy for visitors to apply filters and narrow down exactly what they are looking for. Try and keep the design simple so there is minimal distraction.
6. Add in a timescale. If there is genuinely a timescale element to the purchase then use it. Maybe there is a new law coming in which will mean the product is going to become more expensive or you only have so many tickets left for an event. It must be a genuine timescale otherwise visitors will stop trusting your brand. There are many organizations who continually have sales to create time pressure – eventually visitors don’t feel under any pressure to buy because they know the next sale will be coming very soon.
7. Call to Action. It’s classic marketing, put in a call to action where appropriate. Is the call to action clear to see? Does the call to action stand out from the rest of the design?
Best action is to pick out some key pages, analyze, make your changes, review and then make more changes. The review change cycle can go on and on.