If you want your website to be successful, you need to test its usability. This helps you learn if your visitors are using the website efficiently and whether the site is satisfying their requirements. Just because visitors haven’t complained, doesn’t mean that your website is perfect. User testing helps you improve your visitor retention rate. Acquiring new customers online is no easy task, and testing your website will show you why visitors leave. When they leave, visitors rarely provide a reason, but user testing will help you trouble shoot and understand why they don’t explore your website further.
A few common reasons new visitors leave a website quickly are:
- the pages take too long to download
- the site requires a plug-in such as Flash Player
- it is too confusing to navigate
- the visitor doesn’t find the link to the website promised
Some methods that can help retain new visitors are:
- providing updates on the homepage, so people know what is happening with the business
- having exit pop-up ads
- offering free things from the homepage*
Improving the online user experience is important because 44% of visitors give up searching online and resort to buying products from traditional stores.* User testing gives you information on which parts of your site are failing and why. Testing also helps you discover the faults in your site so you can fix them.
Sometimes users abandon their shopping carts filled with products before checkout. User testing helps shed light on why some visitors leave the checkout process before making a purchase. It could be that the checkout process is confusing and needs to be streamlined more, that the process took too long, or that there are technical problems.
User testing will improve the brand experience for customers. Having a pleasant website is essential to retaining customers and gaining new ones. There are certain problems that can give users a bad impression of your brand because of a negative website experience including: broken links, poor grammar and misspellings, error messages, and a confusing layout. The first priority is that users get the information they need. The second priority is that they have a positive experience.
User testing will improve your visitor retention rate, decrease the dropout rate, and improve your customer’s brand experience. Most importantly, it will give you a better understanding of your customers and their wants and needs, leading to an increase in sales and profits.
* The Importance of Web Site Usability Testing. (2015). Retrieved July 2, 2015, from http://www.great-web-design-tips.com/web-usability/71.html
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