Website Usability Testing Tips
Usability tips to increase time-on-site and conversions
User experience and conversion optimization go hand in hand. Good user experience can significantly improve conversion rate on your website. And the fact is you cannot thrive without usability and user experience.
The better the usability of your website, the more likely your audience is going to convert. However, your website's potential to keep visitors and convert them into loyal customers completely depends on how well you optimize and use the right metrics.
What do you understand about website usability?
A majority of people believe that website usability is all about making your website easy to use. But easy to use for whom? The search engines? The developers? Website searches? Or the users?
Let's picture it this way, many believe that search engine optimization is all about optimizing your site for search engines. But the fact is you optimize your website for users who use search engines to reach your website.
Likewise, the key to attaining your conversion goals is to make your website work for users. The ease with which users are able to access your website is website usability.
It is not only about ensuring every element on your website works accurately but also to ensure how easily and rapidly users are able to use them.
Over the past decade, web users have become accustomed to some standards in web design. And thus it's imperative for webmasters to provide experiences that go beyond those of an ordinary, usable site to make a lasting impression on the users. However, this doesn't mean you have to compromise usability in any form. You just need to take on a different role to put all the standards altogether to provide a great user experience.
The website usability comprises various elements of website design, some of which are also associated with conversion.
How easy it is for the user to find what he/she is looking for on your website determines how effective your website is. Website usability doesn't work according to one's personal opinion. It's about attaining an objective on the site.
So when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of a website, following things are evaluated.
- Are users able to obtain an objective or complete specific chores via your website?
- Are they able to find their desired information, activity or destination on the site?
- If the users are unable to attain the objective, what are the barriers encountered? Can you get rid of these barriers to make it possible for users to perform the job on the site?
Once the effectiveness of your website is determined, it's time to evaluate how efficient it is. You need to check whether your users are able to perform the desired chores accurately or not.
- How rapidly users performed the desired task on your site?
- How many steps were involved in completing the task?
- Were there any elements that prevented your users from accomplishing the task? If so, what were they?
To maintain the efficiency and conversion of your website, it is important to attract the same visitors. Repeat traffic can not only help your website get on top of the Google search engine results page but also boost your conversion rate drastically.
However, when looking for some information on the search engines, there is always a looming possibility that visitors find your website on the search engines, and they may like it and want to visit it again. Therefore, to ensure that they visit your website again, it is important to have a keyword associated with your website's visibility on the search engines memorable enough to enable them to find your site again.
Learnability is the most important aspect of the website usability. It enables your users to learn to navigate your site rapidly. If visitors find it difficult to reach to a particular page or access the desired blog post, they will leave immediately. When users spend more time on figuring out the navigation of the website, they spend less time grabbing your information or browsing your products. Adding easily visible and accessible buttons to your website enhances user engagement on the site.
Error Prevention and Recovery
Nothing in this world is perfect. And of course, the online world is no exception. However, often times a website contains a number of errors that can affect the SEO ranking as well as user experiences such as a broken link, a 404 error page, or more. Thus, error prevention and recovery is the most critical part of website usability.
Elements that can drastically improve your website
Apt CTA's and hyperlinks
Think of all the times you have signed up for a newsletter, downloaded a software or even taken a free class on an online institute.
Each of these signs only points towards an effective call-to-action.
If you don't want your visitors to leave immediately after they get what they need, you got to have an effective CTA and useful hyperlinks. And it's extremely significant to guide your users through the buying process or newsletter subscription or software download journey using strategically planned calls-to-action.
Think about it – would you be using the number of websites or apps you are using now if you hadn't been attracted to the CTAs added to these sites or apps? Of course not!
Some of the examples of great CTA are Dropbox, Officevibe, Netflix and more.
A website usually has less than 5 seconds to capture the attention of the user. As a matter of fact, there are millions of websites operating on the internet and if you are unable to provide what the user is looking for, they won't think twice to move to your competitor's site.
Irrespective of the number of landing pages your website have, the only purpose they should be serving is to convert visitors into loyal customers. And in order to ensure that your visitors are converted, you have to make it easy for them. Adding many elements to the landing page will only distract your visitor, eventually making them drop off. Remember when users land on your website, they shouldn't take the time to understand what you offer and how that fits their requisites.
Moreover, the users are filled with pre-existing thoughts – external influences, questions, feelings, and concern. Your over-designed and cluttered website is only adding to the problem.
It's your responsibility to make it easier for them to do what you want them to do by removing all the unnecessary elements you have added to the website. Consider building a website with an app like interface.
Some amazing distraction-free website design examples are Invstr, Susa Ventures, World of Oil and more.
Make your Site accessible on major devices
Google has announced recently that it will start penalizing websites that are not responsive by severely hurting their search engine rankings.
Even though the rage of mobile-friendly websites has taken the online world by storm, there are still many websites that overlook the importance of having a fully responsive and mobile-friendly website.
An increasing number of users are making use of their smartphones to access the internet, and not being available on these devices will affect your conversion rate and user experience. As per a report by Search Engine Watch, more than 77% of the users employ their smartphones to search for a product or service.
With 55% of the traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, optimizing your websites for mobile is no longer an option.
Make it social friendly
According to an article shared by Fortune, Facebook drives more traffic than Google. The latest traffic estimates of Parse.ly website shows that social media platforms including Facebook drive 43% of the traffic while Google accounted for only 38%. The statistics clearly shows how useful social media network has become for the growth and success of a website regardless of its type and size.
Moreover, the number of Pinterest pins, Facebook shares, Twitter tweets can also greatly affect your SEO rankings.
So instead of just focusing on bringing your website's on the top page of the Google, integrated major social media sharing buttons to pull millions of visitors towards your website.
Site layout and navigation
How would you rate a website that does not have a visible navigation menu or a search bar? I am sure you wouldn't want to visit such a website. After all, it would be a mammoth task to find what you are looking for.
Having a user-friendly website with proper formatting improves user experience on your website while making the content easy to grab and scan.
What makes a website user-friendly?
- Use of app font size and typography
- Strategically used colors and bold headings and subheadings
- Proper use of whitespace
- Use of numbered lists and bullet points
- Breaking the content into small readable paragraphs
Relevant content and its Readability
Even if your audience is highly educated, they most likely do not want to be decrypting a Ph.D. thesis every time they land on your site. Web users are goal-oriented and do not prefer investing half of their internet surfing time in reading a lengthy article.
No matter how useful and informative your content is, they will probably give up reading it if it takes more than 4 minutes to read it. Also, Google considers readability an important aspect while ranking a particular website. So, it's worth making your content relevant and readable.
Web users are not only goal-oriented but also impatient. And why not, there are millions of other options available to check out. Thus, this impatient nature makes it imperative for webmasters to optimize their websites for speed and ensure that their websites load in less than 3 seconds. Use caching plugins, write streamlined and clean code and lower the number of redirects on your website to ensure your website loads quickly.
Optimizing site images
Optimizing your images has a lot to do with the loading speed of your website. The visual content tends to take more than half of your space as they are heavier in comparison to plain text. Simply by optimizing your images you can significantly increase your website's speed.
The tips mentioned in this article are a good starting point to influence your conversion rate and website usability.
If you have any more ideas on improving a website's usability, you are always welcome to share them in the comments section below.
Jason is an expert WordPress developer having years of experience in working with various web development technologies. Currently, he is working for a leading Custom WordPress Development Company – WordSuccor Ltd.. He is always trying to share his intangible knowledge with others on the web.