Talk to any online business owner and they’ll undoubtedly tell you they are interested in improving their website’s usability and visitor conversion rates. The problem usually is that these things either take a lower priority over other marketing avenues or they simply don’t know where or how to start usability and conversion testing.
If you fall into that latter camp, you’re in luck. I’m going to show you the single greatest usability test that you’ll never have to do, but it will give you a significant head start on improving your website. Not only will this test help you improve your visitor’s onsite experience, but it will also help you improve your over all conversion rates. And we all know that happier visitors and more conversions simply means more money in your pocket!
So what is this test, and why won’t you have to spend a penny running it? The answer to the second question is because the test has already been run and the conclusions have been determined. The name of this conversion and usability test is called . . . wait for it. . .
If you want to do improvement testing but you haven’t started with web (or industry) best practices, there is no need to spend money on any other test. The hard work has been done.
You see, over the years, web users have become accustomed to certain things being a certain way. Best practices tell you what those are. For example, best practices say your navigation should be on the left rather than the right side of the screen. Is the left better? Probably not, but that’s what web users expect, so that’s what you want to give them. If you break convention and put it on the right, you’ll confuse them at best and frustrate them at worst.
That’s an extreme example but it illustrates the point. If you give visitors what they expect, they can spend more time doing what they want rather than figuring out how to use your website.
Great websites are not those that do something radically different. They are the ones that give visitors what they expect in terms of how to navigate, find, search and reach their goals. Save the radically different for your delivering exceptional products, services or content, but stay far, far away from it in how your web site works.
The web is full of articles on best practices, and you might be able to find some for your specific industry. Just do some searches and see what you come up with. Start there and you can save yourself thousands of dollars in testing and data analysis.
But don’t stop there. Once you have your best practices in place, build your baseline data and start testing after that. Not every website best practice is best for you. You won’t know which are until you implement and test them.