Just two short weeks ago I spoke on a landing page optimization panel at PubCon. While I in no way consider myself an expert on the subject, I do spend a lot of time testing tools that I think might help improve the usability and conversion rate of the Raven Tools website. As a result, I geared my PubCon presentation around the growing number of conversion optimization tools out there. I thought it would be a helpful resource for anyone working on their site’s conversion and usability to see the multitude of tools at their disposal to save them time and to help get better insight into the work they are doing.
I broke the list into three parts based on the type of conversion work you’d be doing:
Concepting tools help you design/mock-up a webpage or an entire website. They can even help you design funnels and lay out your conversion process. A few tips when in the concepting phase:
- Define your goals: Determine the objective of your website and each page in particular. Once you understand the purpose of a page, it’s much easier to lay out your CTAs. I also strongly recommend that in addition to what your goals are on a page, you consider what your visitors’ goals will be when they view the page.
- Analyze existing data: Before you redesign a page, look at the data you already have. Look for trends, prioritize keywords, get a feel for what the user thinks of a page before deciding for them (again) how they want it laid out.
- Understand the way your site currently reads: What are the first three words of your paragraphs? What images and other visual examples do you have? The goal is to understand the way you are currently presenting a web page to your user. Are you properly setting their expectations with your content and images?
Attention and click testing tools help you figure out what users are doing on your site. What’s grabbing their attention when they first view a page? Where are they clicking? A few of the click testing tools that are on the list can segment by referrer (e.g., Google, Facebook, Twitter), so keep in mind what type of traffic is visiting your page the most and consider tailoring the experience toward that. A few insights you should look to get from these tools:
- Figure out where your users are clicking the most and why. Is it where you want them to click? Is what they are clicking on actually a link?
- What initially draws your visitors attention? Is it your call to action or is it something different? At what point are they actually looking where you want them to?
- Are you properly setting the user’s expectations within the first second? You have less than a second to make an impression on a visitor. Are you making the right one?
What better way to figure out what your users like and hate about your web page/website design than to ask them? The tools listed in this section help you recruit testers for your website; get instant feedback in your site design; record video, audio and your users’ screen movements; and even automate your user tests. A few tips when setting up and conducting user tests:
- Test with real users as soon as possible. “Real users” are users that would actually use your product/service
- Do what Jakob Nielsen recommends: 5 users for qualitative tests (with real users), 20 users for quantitative tests (automated tests) and 15 users for card sorting.
- Ask specific questions to the user. Make sure you encourage them to think out loud so you can fully capture their thought process.
Our list of conversion optimization tools is not a complete one, and we’ll be continuing to update it as we discover new tools. If you have a tool you’d like to see added to the list, drop it in the comments or tweet me.