When you put a lot of time and effort into building a website, the expectation is that the site will be a success. After spending time and effort on building the site, you want it to succeed. However, it may happen that the site is in fact failing. This is a common problem with websites, and there’s no guarantee a specific website will be a success.
It could be there’s something creating an obstacle on the site. It can be difficult to find where the problem is, though there are some techniques you can use to find the issues and fix them. These include:
- Using website testers
- Split testing and web analytics
- Make the sales processes self-explanatory
These methods are more effective before a website is live online; however, they can also be used to fixed things later.
Using Website Testers
Everyone knows that more than one pair of eyes is needed for work such as proofreading or even testing a website. Sure, it’s possible to go over your own work. However, just as with proofreading your own work, most of us have become used to our own mistakes, often missing them during the process of editing and making corrections to text. On the other hand, when you add another pair of eyes, that person will spot mistakes right away. It works the same way when it comes to testing a website.
This process is best done even before the website is completed and before launching a site. This way, there’s a higher chance of finding and fixing any issues before the website’s live.
If your site is already live, don’t despair. It’s still possible to find people to test the website. This can be done by optimally hiring 3-5 people to read through your site. You can also assign them specific tasks and ask them to make notes of places where they have trouble spots. Have a set of questions ready such as why they moved their mouse to certain areas of a page, what did they like about a specific element. Then ask the to record their observations out loud, while making a screen recording at the same time. This way, you’ll have an audio/video record to review any problems the testers may find.
This is a great way to find issues with a website. For one things, more eyes are always helpful. In addition, people who have never used the site will navigate it differently than you. The records the site testers create will be helpful to finding and then fixing areas of the site that could cause problems for site users.
Split Testing & Analytics
A/B split testing is a great way to learn about any issues with pages on your website. When combined with analytics, you’ll have a targeted method to find out why site users are leaving specific pages.
With split testing, you can test everything from content on the site, ads, the sales process and more. This type of testing helps to focus in on those areas that are weak or somehow causing problems for site users.
For instance, if site users come to your homepage and soon leave (sometimes within seconds), A/B split testing can help you learn what’s causing the problem. Or if customers abandon their shopping carts, you’ll find the reason using this method.
A/B split testing isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s pretty easy. All you have to do is create two separate versions of a page on the site, then show these two pages to different site visitors. By displaying the separate pages to different visitors, you may learn which page is more effective, what drives visitors away from one page, and what makes the other page better overall.
Once the particulars have been noted from the more successful page, or from those elements that are more successful with visitors, then it’s easy to take this information and do a redesign of the page. It may not require an entire redesign of the page, but maybe only one or two elements.
Analytics come in to play by examining the numbers—how many site visitors chose A over B, and more. Using split testing along with analytics can give you the clues needed to improve and/or redesign some pages, content or sections of the website, making them more appealing, easier, and more for site visitors.
Make the Sales Process Easier
How are your customers doing with the website’s sales process? Do customers find enough information about your products and services? Do you have a compelling call to action? If so, then you can move on to the sales process! However, if you’ve noticed some issues with information and/or the call to action, now’s the time to take care of these. Once these problems are resolved, you can move on to making the overall sales process easier and more pleasant for site visitors.
Nothing puts off a customer more than finding “hidden” fees or shipping costs that have not been explained plainly. These are sure ways to make the customer abandon their shopping cart and move on to a competitor’s site. To fix such issues, be sure to have everything clearly stated before the buyer hits the “Pay Now” button.
In fact, it’s a great idea to create a FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section that explicitly explain the most common questions buyers have. The FAQs section should include information on the most common questions a buyer may have. Here, again, it may be helpful to have site testers go through the process of buying an item and record any issues they may have during the process.
Why bother to provide all of this information? Because it builds trust with your customers and shows you care for them, which makes them want to return. You’ll have satisfied customers who will be happy to return and keep doing business with you.
If your website seems to be failing, but you’re not sure what the problem is, try using these three methods to test your site. You may be surprised at what’s causing site visitors to leave. Providing site visitors with the best possible experience will bring them back time and again, and your business will grow as a result.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.