Today we'd like to tell you about one of our secret analysis tools. It's easy to use, colorful, and it will help you improve your website's usability.
When done correctly, usability testing can greatly improve your website's conversion rates.
We'll tell you about the secret tool we use in a little bit, but let's first tell you some of the things you can learn from usability testing.
List of What Usability Testing Shows You:
1. Most popular page of your website.
2. Where users move their mouse while surfing from page to page.
3. Where users click.
4. How far users scroll down on your page.
5. What part of your page is most visible in a browser window.
Google Analytics will provide data for #1 and #3, but the rest requires another type of tracking program.
Here's some specific data we've been collecting for the past year. This comes from analysis of a few jewelry e-commerce website.
We know that jewelry website visitors usually spend less than 13 second looking at the header of a page. This includes the top menu. Unless you have an eye catching message or image in the header you can assume your users will not even read it.
We know that your top navigation menu should not necessarily be links to specific pages like "About Us" or "Our Company," but rather they should be your primary keyword phrases. If the phrase "engagement rings" is your primary target then have a button or a link at the top that says "Engagement Rings." If your primary phrase is "Diamond Engagement Rings" then that's the link you should have in your top menu.
A top menu button with your primary keyword phrase will get more than 20% of all the clicks from your visitors.
We know that most people spend between 17 to 19 seconds reading information between the top menu and the "fold of the page." Similar to the fold of the page of a newspaper, for a website the fold refers to the bottom edge of the web browser window.
Our tracking shows that jewelry website pages have at least 2 "fold locations." The first one is immediately visible when you land on your home page... it's the bottom edge. The 2nd fold location depends on how far someone will scroll with their mouse; usually a single movement using their mouse wheel.
Your primary information should be above the 1st fold, and then position other information (calls to action) near the 2nd fold if needed.
We know that many users spend less than 11 seconds scrolling beyond the 2nd fold.
The final little tidbit for today is some data on your primary left navigation. We work on various navigation types; some have all their pages expanded and some only show sub pages when you click on the primary section name. Let's review an example of expanding pages. A website section called "Our Company" would have a left navigation like that also says "Our Company." When the user clicks it they might see an expanded page list of "About Us," "Our Services," "Store Policies," etc.
We've learned an interesting user funnel effect when using the expanding page navigation method. The expanded list of links seems to command attention and with 46% to 65% of users clicking those links, ignoring all other options on the page.
So there you have it: some interesting data we can learn from usability testing. With this information you should continually tweak your website functionality until your users are funneled to the right place to achieve your goal and that conversion.
There are many usability testing tools out there. The one we like is Click Tale http://www.clicktale.com/
They have a limited, free version that you should be able to get some decent information from. Their basic plan is $99 per month. We recommend you sign up for the free plan and add the tracking codes to your website. When you have the time, or the staff/agent, then pay for 1 month and feverishly work through the usability data. Then cancel the paid plan and wait a few more months before doing it again.