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# 1 Mistake You’re Making With Your Website

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Website User Testing

A website is a must for your business. It’s a necessary tool for driving visibility and sales.

Unfortunately, a website can hurt your business too. Here’s the #1 mistake local businesses make with their website and how to avoid it.

Failure to conduct user testing

A website can be a wonderful financial benefit; it drives awareness of your business, leads and sales, and provides useful information to consumers.

However, a website can hurt your business if it doesn’t function in ways that satisfy user intent and needs.

And not many website pages satisfy the needs of their visitors. According to WordStream, the average website landing page converts only 2.35% of its visitors to its desired business action.

Search Conversion Rate Distribution

Why are conversion rates so low?

There are two big reasons:

  1. Websites and landing pages are designed from the perspective of the company and its stakeholders, not from the perspective of its customers.
  2. Companies fail to conduct user testing on their websites and landing pages prior to launching them. They simply build them and hope and pray they works.

 These two things are a deadliy combination. Failure to focus on your customers, and failure to test how they interact with your website and landing pages, directly kead to mediocre results.

Why do user testing?

Our motto concerning user testing is “test early, test often.”

Here’s why: you want to find out quickly if you have a viable website or landing page to produce exceptional results. Your time and resources are limited. User tests help you invest your resources wisely.

Here’s why we recommend user tests:

  • You’ll increase conversion rates. Even if you run A/B tests, your efforts will be better guided by real user feedback. User testing shows WHY users do what they do. You’ll learn what frustrates people, where they get confused, and what keeps them from taking your desired business action.
  • You’ll cut costs. It’s more expensive to fix something than it is to do it right the first time. You’ll identify incorrect assumptions made concerning visitor behavior.
  • You’ll find where your customers get stuck. You’ll see confusing navigation. Inaccurate site search results. Barriers to completing tasks.
  • You gain a customer perspective. It’s impossible to look at your business without bias. What you think matters might not actually matter to customers. User testing gives you a fresh, unbiased perspective.

How to win with testing

Here’s what we recommend you do:

  • Identify 3 to 5 TASKS you’d like people to perform on your website or landing page. Customers come to your website with a goal is mind, and that goal requires them to perform a task for successful achievement. Give them tasks that are required to accomplish a goal.
  • Use a testing service. The two we like best are UserTesting and UserBrain. Both allow you to assign tasks and / or ask questions of testers. You get to select demographic characteristics of testers that match your customers. You’ll see what testers do and hear their observations as they move through assigned tasks. The insight is invaluable. At our agency we recommend UserBrain because they offer a great FREE TRIAL.

Conclusion

Our doctor always says, “test, don’t guess.”

You should follow his advice.

One more thing – the testing services listed in this article aren’t expensive. They run less than $50 a test and, for most local businesses, a $500 investment is a good start.

User testing is one of the best investments you can make.

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