What is Website Optimization and why you should care about it
Every visitor on your website is a potential customer and can perform different types of actions. This action, no matter if it is submitting a lead form, signing up for a newsletter, calling the company, talking with a consultant or maybe immediately buying a product or subscribing to a service - it is the conversion which you want. You can have few goals at once but definitely, there should be a prioritization made in regard to the desired user’s flow path. The percentage of visitors that follow your idea on how to navigate in the site and complete actions you want them to do, is the conversion rate. Improving user experience and creating a website which fulfils visitors needs is a step to have (most likely) a higher conversion percentage. The question is, how to optimize it and establish a positive user experience.
When to optimize a website
If you are goal oriented then a proper website conversion is more than necessary. A lot of companies try to do it but without good data, it is not likely to happen. Well, without experience and a good strategy instead of getting more real customers, it is often doomed to fail and instead of helping the company, actually decreasing the conversion rate and as a result - also decreasing the revenue. Website optimization is a process and the ground for is a good understanding of the target audience but to learn more you need to test what do they like and what they don’t. If there is a chance that your website could bring more revenue or you want to re-design the KPI’s and whole strategy, then the optimization is a way to go. Basically, constant testing and analysis should be taken into account.
One thing is bringing traffic to the website and another is to catch the visitor and turn it into a customer - that’s the best and the most tricky part at once. The key is to understand how to keep the visitors on the website, a.k.a improve user experience, once they get there and effectively increase conversions.
How to improve conversions
That’s the most demanding part. If you have never done it before, it is quite possible that there is plenty of work to do. On the other hand, if you implemented some changes, still you might need help to get more conversions. More revenue is always a good idea, right?
This is why it is important to keep an eye on a traffic and analyze the website, proceed with UX audit and stay on top of the positive user experience approach. However, even with the best tools but without experience and proper knowledge, it could be counterproductive. Lack of knowledge, when it comes to analysis of the website and its traffic can, in the end, cost more time and money than ever expected - instead of bringing revenue, we are losing clients. To avoid this nightmare it is always better to ask a specialist who knows exactly how to deal with this matter. Hiring an in-house UX researcher or UX designer is a good choice but for some cases, it is better to outsource it and find a top-notch UX consultation service. If you are using tools to analyze users’ behaviour on your website, asking a competent specialist from time to time can be a game-changer. We categorized tools in 5 groups. Having at least one tool from each group should help you in website optimization.
1. For traffic and conversion analytics
- Google Analytics - the most common tool used by marketers, business owners and everyone who wants to check the traffic, check the flow and see conversions. Easy to use with free tutorials and integrates with most of the sites in no more than 10 minutes. Particularly helpful when you are interested in checking your SEO performance, AdWords campaign or setting conversion goals. Extremely powerful with great data visualization.
- Kissmetrics - the basic difference between Google Analytics and Kissmetrics is that the first one shows you exactly what happened while the second one - who performed the action. Not only you can easily check there tracking funnels but also get A/B tests’ reports which makes life easier.
2. Navigation and information architecture
- Optimal Workshop - a proper website navigation, well-defined information architecture, first-clicks and qualitative research is a way to go for everyone who wants to create a positive user experience (of course not only this!). Optimal Workshop is a User Research platform which helps you in making design decisions based on real data.
3. A/B tests
A/B testing is a great method for UX design and digital marketing and it shouldn’t be a surprise because this kind of controlled experiment enables you to compare two (or more) pages/flows/adverts and pick up the best performing one to optimize the metric you want. A wise decision making can minimize the possible risk. There are many, many tools for A/B testing which are quite similar, so the choice is up to you in which your workflow seems the most intuitive for you or the features are suitable for your company’s needs.
4. Remote tests
If you want to understand how the user is navigating on your site, where does he or she get stuck and which things they can’t find - the remote test will have all answers.
Of course, there are also other ways to find solutions (i.e. lab testing or guerilla user testing) but remote testing has some unbeatable advantages like:
- quicker and easier to perform - you can get final results in less time compared to other methods;
- location independent;
- realistic: the user is acting as he/she would normally do;
- can be performed as often as you need;
Better User Experience = better conversion rate
Understanding why people come to your site, which problems they need to solve and what is the most wanted information for them is the first step. The next part is to realize what do you want people to do on the website. Goals might be different on each page or sections. Landing and home pages are often the visitor’s first experience with your business and a proper optimization can be crucial for the company. It also applies to the checkout process and conversion points, which - not optimized in the right way - can decrease the conversion on your website. However, even if you get the data and follow the user’s behaviour it doesn’t mean you will find out why the user performed in this particular way. Quantitative tools like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Hotjar or crazyegg, shows you how many users do this or that, but only together with qualitative tools (UserTesting, Optimal Workshop), tell you why they act like that. Improving the website conversion is a process which requires knowledge and experience - you might get the data out of the optimizing tools but what should you do with it? Here is where a UX consultancy service could help the most - not only for websites and applications in the process of development but especially for established websites which are striving after higher conversion rate.