Do you still have room in your 2013 marketing budget? Unsure how to get the best bang for your buck? Optimization of the content, layout and flow of pages is always a good investment. But where should you start? After you’ve adjusted the low hanging fruit (high traffic pages with high bounce rates) for any obvious user experience issues, review these pages below. Create a list of immediate fixes and fixes you want to test before pushing site wide.
1) Product Category page
A product or service category page was likely in your low hanging fruit category – a page you’ve tested and modified a dozen times. If It’s not – you’re likely overdue for a few optimizations. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself about your category page:
- Do your product titles give the user enough information?
- Are your images large enough and cropped well?
- Can you condense product listings (ex: the same product in many colors or sizes)?
- Are you showing enough products at once?
- Are you showing enough information about each product to give customers the confident to click that “add to cart” button?
- Are your “add to cart” or “add to wishlist” easy to find?
- Does the entire page of images load quickly enough?
- Are your filtering options easy to understand, and in the customer’s language?
- Is it easy to understand how your filtering mechanism works?
- Is it easy to understand where you are in the buying process on this page?
- Do you have an internal search engine for products on this page?
Don’t have an FAQ page? You may want to test simply adding one to the website, link in a subtle way from pages where there is a lot of drop-off from the website. Link to this page from all order and customer service emails. The more information you can supply up front to help customers, the more they will appreciate your company and feel comfortable doing business with you. Ask yourself the following questions when reviewing your FAQ page:
- Have you addressed common questions your call center receives?
- Is it easy to skim your page of questions, to find the answers you need?
- Do you have categories for questions?
- Do you have a date on your FAQ page, to signal to users the page is updated often?
- When you link into this page, are you linking to question categories or just the top of the page?
- Is your call center phone number present for more complicated questions?
- Are your answers clearly written? Consider that news articles are written at an 8th grade level.
- Are you providing contact information or resources for questions not answered? Live chat and forms are easier than ever to implement, and the e-commerce customer expects them.
3) Search Results Page
Products like Google’s custom site search make an internal search engine easy to set up, implement and track. A site search is crucial to making your products easy to access, especially with product skus in the thousands. You could quickly lose eager customers with a poorly organized search results page. Be sure to ask yourself:
- Are the results helpful?
- Is it easy to distinguish between product pages and content pages?
- Are page titles, descriptions pulling into your search results correctly?
- Is your search results page free of ads?
- Are the links clearly marked?
4) Landing Page(s)
Whether you’re using social media, PPC or partner sites to link into your sites, the first page they visit (landing page) is key to conversion. If you haven’t examined these in a while, here are a few questions to visit:
- Does your page title clearly describe the product(s) benefit? Does it match your advertisement/listing?
- Is the offer being given clear and compelling? Is it obvious what the conversion is?
- Are you asking for a purchase immediately or some smaller conversion?
- Do you have strong images?
- Do you have compelling third-party content to re-inforce your authority? (as seen on ABC, winner of a great product award)
5) Thank you page
So, you’ve successfully landed a sale on the site. The re-conversion clock is ticking! Make sure your thank you page is compelling. Here are a few items to look out for:
- Have you provided an opportunity for users to share their purchase?
- Is the next step (a confirmation email is coming) clear?
- Is it clear how they can get in touch with you for discounts? Customer service?
- Are there tutorials or instructional content your users may need to have a successful experience, are you linking to them?
But, how should I test?
Not sure you want to roll out site-wide changes without seeing some proven impact from the changes? Here are a few quick methods to get data you need to move forward or scrap testing ideas:
User Testing – sites like usertesting.com allow you to test changes with real website users or a panel of paid users. Get recorded feedback about challenges they have going through your site with a series of scenario-based questions. How easy was it to filter? How easy was it to find the customer service phone number? Use generic scenarios to get even more feedback on the functions and ease of use with your site!
A/B Testing – Google and other platforms allow you to run 2 versions of a page at the same time. Over a period of time (length of time will depend on how much traffic you receive to get a significant sample) you can review bounce rates, conversion rate impacts of small changes.
Surveys – If you have a friendly base of loyal customers, send them a quick survey to collect feedback about particular experiences or review changes before you push them live. Be sure to offer a friendly discount for their help!
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