Raise Your Conversion Rate with User Testing

by Teija Stearns on September 17, 2010

To raise your conversion rate it is critical that you understand how the average user uses your site.  While ordering from your website might seem like a simple process to you, a person less familiar with your website may run in to unanticipated difficulties. User testing is the best tool for uncovering these trouble spots.

If you are on a low budget, one of the best ways to conduct user testing is to sit down with a family member or friend who does not know your site and is not a power Internet user. Take several minutes to watch them closely as they go through the process of placing an order. Observe closely where they have success and where they get stuck.

You might want to start the process by suggesting they go to your site, find a particular product and go through the complete purchase process.

Some of the key issues to evaluate:

1. Can they get from the home page to the specific product page.

2. Do they understand the charges and shipping options.

3. Can they check out.

4. Do they get stuck, confused, or concerned entering their personal information.

5. Can they successfully get their payment to go through.

You might be surprised to find where novice users get hung up. And, many shoppers for consumer products are novice web users!

If you have it in your budget to do some more advanced testing, you can use the service UserTesting.com.

For $39 one of their testers will make a 15 minute video of themselves navigating through your site. They will make comments during the video and send you written comments as well about their experience. You can ask them to do specific tasks such as place an order or find and fill out a contact form. To get a better sense of how it works visit UserTesting.com and watch their intro video. (We don’t have any business relationship with the people at UserTesting.com but think it is a great service).

Take advantage of user testing. Watching someone use your website is an excellent way to expose areas where your site needs improvement.

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