An Option for Testing and Improving Your Current Site
You are having some concerns about your website design. It’s not a matter of whether you like it or not. Or if it looks good. The question is, how are users responding? And how can I get a boost in business from the site?
Don’t throw out your design just yet. You may have all the info your need to figure out how you could improve website performance. But if you need data, here is a good story on how to get some quality website testing.
Using Heat Mapping to Test Performance
A great way to test user reaction to your website is Heat Mapping. We are talking specifically about the use of Heat Mapping in web design. Heat Mapping is a type of website analytics delivered is a very graphical way. It uses colored charts, usually mapped over a screen shot of one of your web pages, to show where users are going. The “hotter” or brighter the chart, the more eyeballs see that content on your page. If you ever wondered by no one is clicking that “sign-up” button at the bottom of your page. This will show you why.
Suggested Project – Try Crazy Egg
One of the tools we use to test the performance of websites is Crazy Egg. Crazy Egg makes recordings of live website visitors using your website. It is a very visual representation of your website analytics.
The reason that I wanted to bring this up, Crazy Egg actually has a lot of detailed information in it. It can give you a lot of the analytics that you may be wishing you still had from old Google Analytics. Now that we are all using GA4.
Data is organized on a page by page basis. So that might be either a pro or con depending on where you’re coming from. This is perfect for tracking specific landing pages. Either for organic search or maybe for advertising.
What I learned from watching 200+ videos of website visitors using our Homepage.
I am often using Crazy Egg to test parts of our Cybervise website to see what we can do better. The cool thing about this tool is you get to watch other people react to your webpages live. Crazy Egg creates videos of users moving across the pages of your website. I took some time recently to catch up on reviewing the data we had collected. I ended up finding some interesting trends.
Key Behaviors from Live Web Users
- Every single visitor went to our About Us page. After visiting the homepage, our website visitor went to the About Us page as their next stop. Once reading the content, returned to the Homepage. It became obvious that the content on our Homepage and our About Us page is too similar. Knowing that visitors are likely to read both, we need to provide unique information.
- Visitors read every piece of content on the Homepage. This did not change for mobile users. They would still read all the way to the bottom. Mobile users that read everything spent more time doing it. Further proof that everything you post on your homepage counts. If you have content that is just acting as filler for your design, you are wasting prime real estate.
- The path to a conversion is not a straight one. When you design your webpages, you assume you are designing the visitor’s experience. Turns out they create their own experience. I was amazed by how many different paths in our website a visitor could take to click on “Free Consultation”. The lesson here is don’t put your major call-to-action in one spot on your website and expect visitors to find it. Options and repetition are good if you want the lead.
- Internal links in your content increase engagement. I saw many visitors return to a webpage multiple times to make sure they tried all the links on a page. This was true on the homepage and especially true on service pages. Visitors kept going back to a page to try a new link they had not used before. Not only that, but they kept going back to find other things that might be a link. For example, I saw users go to our page on Website Maintenance. Click on every link in the bulleted list at the bottom. Going back and forth between that page and the linked page until they saw all.
Why is this story important?
Many of us have tools collecting data on our company website. But we don’t take the time often enough to review the data and learn from it. In my situation, we were tracking our homepage performance with Crazy Egg and had 200 videos to watch. For you it may be as simple as looking at the website performance report you get emailed each month.
None of the items that I discussed above will need a major website redesign. Incremental changes will help. Make a change and then check your data for improvement. Start the process now. So you have time to test and change, before you find yourself dealing with another crisis.
Block Out Time for Website Testing
Schedule website testing on your marketing calendar as a regular event. Finding and fixing small flaws in your website design extends time to your next redesign. And that saves money. We have more information on website testing. Or if you would like a fresh pair of eyes on your website data, sign-up for a free consultation.