by Matt Pezzimenti
March 1, 2020 • 6 min read
Have you ever left a website in frustration because you couldn’t find information, complete a purchase, or even find a phone number?
Like for most of the world’s two billion online customers, we’re imagining your answer is a resounding “Yes!” or, at least, a decisive nod on the inside.
One of the challenges of running any business website is that we know our own pages, language and pathways intimately. As a result, it’s easy to miss potential issues, frustrations and confusions that new visitors may face.
CRO testing is all about understanding how well your website meets your visitor’s needs and expectations.
One of the most effective ways to get valuable answers is to run usability tests throughout your CRO process.
What is Website Usability Testing?
Usability tests observe and track real people from your target audience while they use your website, app or other digital product. They help reveal how easy or difficult it is to achieve specific tasks and goals.
Where do Usability Studies fit into to CRO picture?
You can conduct Usability Studies as stand-alone projects, or include them as a component of a UX Audit and Conversion Audit to gain insightful qualitative data.
5 reasons usability tests are invaluable conversion boosters
1. Put theories to the test
Marketing, management, creative staff – everyone at your workplace involved in achieving Conversion Rate Optimisation will each have ideas about how to get there.
Usability tests allow you to validate or disprove a hypothesis, hunches and best practices – before you invest time and money implementing them live – so everyone can move ahead in agreement along the road to maximising conversions.
2. Confirm your design converts
Skill, creativity and experience are all invaluable qualities in a web designer. However, even the best designer can’t predict how an audience will react to their finished product.
Testing design updates at different stages of CRO, and before they’re released to the world, ensures your website design connects business goals and greater conversions to real-world use.
3. Understand customer emotions
Emotions have an enormous impact on website visitor’s decisions.
In website usability studies, you find out how people are really feeling as they move through your conversion funnel. Then, you can make changes that eliminate mood killers and amplify the highs.
- – Are users happy with their experience on the page?
- – Do they feel scared about handing you money or details online?
- – Were they surprised and confused when they clicked to the next page?
- – Are they frustrated because they can’t complete a task?
Even little steps and page elements can dramatically alter someone’s decision to love or leave your site.
4. Increase leads, revenue and ROI
Learning where prospects are getting confused, frustrated and leaving sales funnels is a crucial step in most organisation’s CRO strategy and website profitability.
Usability testing is not just about finding ways to engage, retain and delight more prospects, it also teaches us how to encourage them to spend more, at a lower Cost per Acquisition.
5. Avoid costly mistakes
Strictly controlled CRO programs are the most insightful and cost-effective way for any business to lift web leads, revenue and ROI. For example, at Conversion Kings, our CRO testing services deliver clients a 46% average lift in conversions.
Usability studies cab help stem the flow of losses from your current site, and catches problems that real users face before a site update or new release goes live.
In some cases, avoiding mistakes can be the greatest financial and credibility benefit of usability testing and CRO.
Usability tests also provide valuable insights that your design, content and marketing teams can use to develop strategies and make important decisions, whether they relate to CRO or any other online program.
- – Identify how long it takes to complete specified tasks on the site
- – Gain fresh perceptions and ideas from people using the site
- – Save considerable time, budget and effort over the long-term
- – Understand user behaviour as online habits, interests and technologies change
- – Lift customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand value.
How to set up and run a usability test
Not all usability testing is done the same way, or with the same level of control. At Conversion Kings, our CRO usability sessions include:
Create a persona, or fictional character, that represents a summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations and environment of your key website audience/s.
Screen applicants with the help of a dedicated, client approved recruitment agency to quickly select participants who match the specified personas.
Write out engaging scenarios for participants that are realistic, encourage an action on your site that aligns with your conversion goals, and don’t reveal or suggest how they should do it.
Directing users through these hypothetical guided and non-guided scenarios on your website, we are able to reveal areas of delight and frustration.
Using EEG technology that looks at how the user’s brains react as they interact with your site, we gather information about their experiences and impressions to validate the findings in the facilitation session.
What not to do in a usability study
For usability testing to deliver the valuable insights that can make or break a CRO project, you need to be willing to listen, learn and make changes based on genuine feedback from your target audience.
This means, resisting the urge to:
- Jump to conclusions on a small sample
- Ask leading questions of participants
- Be biased because you have a vested interest in something working, or not.
Usability testing can be an incredibly powerful and discerning step towards achieving conversion rate optimisation.
Just remember, in order to get the evidence you need to make decisions that are important to business and profitability, always ensure that your tests are objectively planned, conducted and reviewed.
If your business needs help executing usability studies or in executing a CRO program, Conversion Kings can help. Speak to one of our experts today.