You don’t know what you don’t measure. By diving into your website’s analytics, you find out how to improve user experience for your target audience. It’s a long-held marketing truism, but it has limitations.
Analytics offer qualitative data. In other words, it provides numerical information about the occurrences on your website — how many people visited a specific page, how long they spent on that page, and whether they clicked through to another page or exited your site altogether. What analytics can’t tell you is why a user spent just three seconds reading your 2,000-word blog post or abandoned your website after adding your product to their cart. That is qualitative data, and it’s what you can learn through user testing.
Here’s why you should stop over-analyzing your analytics and learn more about the people behind the numbers.
Website analytics certainly have their place. Metrics like the number of visitors, conversion rate, and bounce rate can flag successes and failures in your digital experience. But your audience’s behavior is more nuanced than a series of yes or no decisions. They are motivated by wants and needs, driven by emotion, and nudged toward action by evocative textual and visual elements. Often, website analytics pose more questions than answers.
For example, let’s say your website ranks in the top three search results for a relevant keyword, yet the number of visitors remains low. Why? Do the meta title and description displayed on SERPs (search engine results pages) fail to drive clicks? If so, what is it about the language you have used that elicits a negative or disinterested response from your audience? Are there any words specifically that are consciously or subconsciously pushing your target audience away?
And here’s another example. Your home page is attracting visitors, and the average session duration is several minutes. Yet, visitors are not clicking on your other web pages (about, blog, product category pages, etc.). Is your navigation confusing, leading to a poor user experience? Does the copy on your home page fail to inspire your visitors or, more fundamentally, demonstrate the utility and value of your product or service? Are you missing the mark when it comes to user expectations? Are you fulfilling their search intent?
While analytics give us part of the user experience story, they don’t paint the full picture. We are left filling in the blanks, connecting the dots, and making assumptions about our audience that may or may not be correct. Instead, we need to get to know the human beings behind the number. We need to flesh out our audience personas so that we can understand the forces behind the decisions. It’s only when we have clarity on the why that we can optimize the user experience and elevate our conversion rate.
The best way to get to know your audience and how they respond to your digital presence? Ask them.
User testing — also called usability testing — collects qualitative feedback on a product, design, website, advertisement, or interface. Users are asked to perform a specific task, such as browsing a website or viewing an ad, and share their reaction to what they see and read.
User testing empowers you to leverage data on user behavior and the context surrounding that behavior. User tests aim to improve the overall user experience, increasing conversion rates and triggering customer loyalty. It achieves this by:
- Uncovering problems in the design or text
- Identifying opportunities for improvement
- Deepening your understanding of your audience persona’s preferences and motivations
Conventional, in-person user testing is not accessible to all businesses. The good news is, Easy User Test has innovated the user test process to empower brands of all sizes to secure the information they need to compete.
User testing matters because it teaches you about the people behind the numbers. It brings them to life in three dimensions, quirks and all. With this information in tow, you can stop wasting time and energy re-writing and re-designing and fine-tune your content with razor-sharp precision at the most decisive moments in the buyer’s journey. That’s how to improve user experience and your bottom line.
Let’s go back to our example scenarios. Your website ranks in the top three search results for a relevant keyword, yet the number of visitors remains low. You don’t know why, so you organize a user test. It turns out your audience, who typically shops in the luxury market, are put off by the word “cheap” in your meta title.
And now, our second example: your home page is attracting visitors that stick around for several minutes yet don’t click on other web pages. A user test finds that the playful navigation menu labels you’ve chosen (“Who” instead of “About” and “What” instead of “Services”) are confusing users. It’s an easy fix for a significant result.
The value is evident. If you’re going to sell to an audience, your success hinges on your understanding of their motivations. User tests paired with website analytics offer the most comprehensive look at how your audience behaves and why.
Even the best teams can fail to identify problems with a design or text. Sometimes, we get too close to our work, and the glaringly obvious becomes undetectable. The more eyes you have on your website, ad, or email copy, the more you can tweak and refine it to drive conversions. In short, user testing can become your instant competitive advantage.
Think you don’t have the time or resources to set up your own test? Think again. With Easy User Test, you can set up a research study in just a few minutes and have your results in 12-48 hours. Don’t leave your business’s success to chance. Get to the bottom of what motivates your audience so you can meet users’ expectations, win their trust, and secure their business.