When it comes to your BigCommerce store, you want to know what your customers click and why – or at least where they go. Many times your analytics program can tell you this information, but often it takes an enormous amount of effort to get that data.
Your BigCommerce store may be converting very well, but then again, it could be better. How can you test what’s working and what’s not? You can do the well known A/B split testing and multivariate testing with Google Website Optimizer for free. Split testing in this way is built right into BigCommerce for all product pages, single VS multi-page checkout, etc.
However, just like configuring an analytics program to track every detail you want, it takes time and a little effort. If you’re short on time and have just a bit of cash, you can let one or more of the website usability applications below do the testing for you.
When it comes to purchasing products and services, customers will often display different decision-making behaviors that you won’t understand until you test. In addition, since social networks are providing a discussion platform for customers, you’ll want to know what aspects of your site and your social activity are influencing customers’ purchase decisions.
Tools to Improve Your Website Traffic and Conversion Rate
Here are 13 tools I’ve researched to help you test your website navigation, design, sales funnel or path, or use them to test your Facebook fan page as well. There are more tools out there, but for this review, if they didn’t list their pricing, I omitted them – but the major players are here.
- Feedback Army – $15 for 10 responses. Built on Amazon Mechanical Turk. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to do a quick test of your site.
- Five Second Test – has a free community option where you earn points by participating and can use those when you need testing. Otherwise, starts at $20/mo for 100 responses.
- Concept Feedback – also takes a community approach and starts at $99, but I didn’t find out what that entails.
- Uservoice – does feedback for your site and also helpdesk work. Pricing starts at $19/mo for feedback and some full service options.
- Usertesting – cuts right to the chase with their website tagline “the fastest, cheapest way to find out why users leave your website.” For $39, you get feedback, but the sweet part is it comes as a video (and written report, too) with the user talking you through what they are doing on your site.
- Userfly – has a free plan that lets you take the system for a real test drive. You see videos of real users navigating your site, every click, every mouse movement. Great customer testimonials and endorsements. Paid plans start at $10/mo.
- Feng-gui – has a unique payment model — pay per image. They assume you know what you want to test and so have a low-cost attention analysis approach. Offers an easy way to test an ad or a particular section of your site. Pricing starts at $25, which is $5 for 5 images.
- Crazyegg – is one of the so-called 800 pound gorillas in this space. They are best known for their eye-tracking heatmaps so you can see where your visitors are looking, then clicking. Very sophisticated and plans starting at $9/mo.
- Clicktale – offers a limited free plan, then jumps to $99/mo, but don’t rule them out yet. They offer a very sophisticated tool set and it might be a perfect fit for your store and email efforts. They have heatmaps and conversion funnels to help your sales.
- Gazehawk – is another eyetracking, heatmap technology. It keeps track of where your users look on your website which allows you to test landing pages, registration/checkout flows, homepages. Starts at $495 for a 10-participant study.
- ReQtest – is more for software developers testing their user interface and experience. It helps users to do web-based testing and bug reporting on the cloud. Free to $30 per user.
- Unbounce – lets you create, publish and optimize landing pages for testing purposes. Starts at $25 and has a free 30-day trial.
- Optimizely – allows users to improve their website through A/B testing. Starts at $19. Think of it as a more sophisticated Google Website Optimizer.
With affordable and easy tools like these to test almost every aspect of a customer’s experience with your website, there’s no reason not to give them a try. I’ve used several of these and will continue to leverage them. You need every advantage in keeping a customer’s attention in today’s hyper-connected busy, busy world. Start testing and start attracting more visitors, more sales, and greater profits!
A Few Follow Up Notes
I don’t include Amazon Mechanical Turk in this list above, but it’s a good tool if you want to crowdsource your feedback and manage it all yourself. It takes a bit more effort, though. Feedback Army is built on Turk and is very affordable, so I’d recommend it.
We completed a project for Sales Rescue Team last year and it’s a beautiful way to get feedback, in near real time, from a few people to hundreds. However, managing it manually is a real hassle so I would recommend you use Smartsheet – an online project management tool – to manage Turk because they have a sweet spreadsheet interface that’s easy to use.
One last thing about design and testing. In general, whatever you want to be clicked should be put it in the upper left corner. You can put it elsewhere, but so much research data, heatmaps, user studies, etc show people read in an F pattern and they scan the top two horizontal lines of the letter F first, then go down the left side. BUT, they start in the upper left corner. Hardly anyone puts their form or call to action right there. Depending on your design, another location might work, but if you’re using any traditional layouts, then I would test the upper left quadrant.
I’m not a fan of the so-called squeeze page, where you give users/readers no choice but the back button to click out, but simplifying your copy and design to make it really clear is the main goal of what I’m trying share here.
So in a nutshell, use the services above to figure out what visitors are doing and do more to keep them happy. Common sense isn’t always common, so do these simple things and you’ll increase traffic to your site because people will have a good experience and tell others. Simple, but true.