blogPosted on: March 23, 2012 by: Dmitriy Naymark
3 ways to learn what users think about your website.
So you got traffic to your website, now what? Is it ‘mission accomplished’? If leads and revenue are important to you, then you’ve just gotten started. See, traffic by itself does not guarantee leads and revenue, you need to capture your website user’s attention, peak their interest, explain your offering and, well…sell your product. To do that, you need to understand what they think about your website. Here are 3 ways to do it:
1. Ask them.
In the good old days, a lot of research was performed by surveys. But that has no place in modern online marketing, right? Wrong. One of the best ways to get incredible insight into what your customers think about your business in general and your website in particular is to survey them.
Send them an email with the survey and ask what they like/dislike about your company, your website, your shopping cart checkout process, your website copy, etc. These people are your customers already, so they have done what you want other users to do – they bought from you, so their feedback can be absolutely invaluable.
The biggest and most feature-rich survey tool on the market is www.surveymonkey.com. Use it. Conversion Rate Experts provide some excellent tips on how to create actionable surveys for lead generation.
2. Study your analytics.
If you don’t have analytics installed on your website yet, go install one (say Google Analytics, for example) and then go fire your marketing manager. After all, how else can you find out where your website users come from, and what they do on the website?
When used correctly, analytics tells you exactly which pages users like most, which design elements they prefer to interact with and even what pages of your shopping cart or sales funnel make them nervous about buying stuff from you.
Analytics is a whole industry in and of itself, so there is a number of great tools.
- Google Analytics – we mentioned it before, it’s free and it’s powerful and it’s a Google product. We like it.
- ClickTale – it is not free, but it does record your visitor’s actual website usage sessions. Seriously, you can actually watch your customers interact with your website. Highly recommended and starts at $99/month.
- Kiss Metrics – is a great analytics tool, which features real time statistics updates, great usability, and easy-made reports. It can even create an actual user profile of your buyers and tell you all about how they got to you, what sold them on your product/service, etc.
3. Get feedback from active users.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could ask the user what they thought when they were right on your website? Well, there is a way. Several actually.
- User Testing – letting your website be tested by users who are paid to give you feedback. Basically, you give testers a job to do (like “buy one of the products” or “find, read, and understand our XYZ service”), and then they go do it, but they narrate everything they do, and their though process. They narration is then recorded and can be analyzed. There are several good tools on the market, but we like UserTesting most.
- Feedback Collection – your website visitors are more likely to give you their 2 cents than you think, but most websites provide no way for them to do it on the fly (and let’s face it, not too many users would seek your ‘feedback’ page, if there is one). But there is a good way to collect feedback in a non-invasive and user-friendly way - that is by installing feedback buttons on all your pages. The visitor clicks the button and is instantly given an opportunity to share his/her thoughts. Some good feedback collection tools are Kampyle and KissInsights.
- Split Testing – let’s say you have a landing page that’s been working well for you, but you want to improve the performance further. So you design another ‘better’ landing page to see if it does any better. What do you do now? Well, you could have an internal discussion about which version your team thinks would do better. You could ask your friends, family or even customers to look at them and tell you which one they liked more. You could even pause the existing landing page and launch the new one to see how it does. You could do all that, but what you should do is launch both landing pages simultaneously and randomly split the traffic between the two. That way you can immediately see which variation performs better and you can do it in real time. What better way to ask your customer which version is better than to have them vote with their wallets, so-to-speak. We love split testing, we love it so very much. There are a number of good tools out there: like Google Conversion Optimizer and Visual Website Optimizer, both of which let you test landing pages that you build. There are also tools that help you easily create and test landing pages, like LiveBall and Unbounce. By the way, once you find the better producing variation, act quickly to implemented and launch another split test as soon as you can – that’s the way to keep driving improvement.
Now, go find out what your website users really think and make some money!