Is your website yielding the desired results?

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Is your website yielding the desired results?

Today’s article reinforces my concern as expressed in previous articles about ways to increase revenue through analytics and usability testing. I would like to share with you briefly some observations made by David Moth.

The expert David Moth who is a Senior Reporter at Consultancy made the following observations from an online measurement and strategy report some few years back.  This result was largely based on survey of over 800 digital marketing executives between April and May of that year.

It was observed that about 56% of the businesses online use Google Analytics for their business insight.  Looking back from three four years ago, David observed that there has been about 33% increment on business owners who do their analysis using Google Analytics.

The findings point to fact that businesses are becoming concerned about their websites’ performance.  Just having a beautiful website’s visitors navigate and engage while on it is critical for conversion.

You can also get more from your website

Most people today are putting up websites for their businesses without the necessary know-how or fundamental knowledge about what works or what doesn’t.

In ecommerce our focus goes far beyond just the aesthetic look of your website.  You should be mindful of the site’s return on investment.  In professional site designing you consider the ease with which customers can navigate through your site.  Most culprits here are some of our big financial institutions with crowded websites which account holders struggle with.

I strongly believe that after reading this article, you will be convinced to test and know exactly what sort of website will be useful to your target audience.  After which you will make the necessary adjustments.  This process of ensuring easy and interactive usage of your website by visitors is called Usability Testing.  In doing this, one is expected to have a fair idea of his/her target market and also be able to come up with various browsing scenarios.

Usability testing

It’s amazing how most designers especially here in Ghana are constantly ignoring this vital procedure in web site development.  It will be very risky to just host your website without going through this process.  If you have already skipped this when you had yours, I will advise you to rethink your decision and have the process done.  Irrespective of how much knowledge you have about your target market, sitting alone behind your PC and coding to develop and web site may not necessarily meet your business goals.

K recently decided to have a blog for a newsletter.  After having a thorough analysis all weekend and choosing my desired colours for the site, it was rubbished by my design team the next working day.  You or your design team might probably have some bias towards what you want to see on the site.  This however might not be what the target market is obviously looking for.  You can only know that through usability testing.

I know most of you see this essential procedure as a total waste of time.  Thinking you know it all.  Some others also view it as an unnecessary cost to their institution.  I beg to differ because; in my opinion you may rather be losing a lot for skipping this process.  For me it is not an additional cost or time consuming.  I will advise you to through this process when designing or making changes to your websites.

So in usability testing, what are you looking for?

Usability testing cannot be done haphazardly and expected to yield any better result.  In fact it needs some good thinking about your objectives.  By so doing, one is able to measure his/her goals at the end of the process.

Achieving specific results:

  • You want to know the end user’ experience or be in the position to anticipate the site visitors’ browsing experiences.
  • As a general approach, you would want to know if the customer gets your method of communication.
  • In a more specific testing, you would want to know if the user is able to complete peculiar tasks on your site.

Ease of navigation testing

Here your main focus area is to test the ease with which a visitor to your ‘African wear’ website for example, moves from page to page.  A poorly designed website can be likened to a shop that is so packed, with some items on the floor of the shop.  Imagine such a scenario where customers have to jump over items within aisles in order to find what they are looking for.

A visit to Shoprite at the Accra mall reveals a well categorization of items, making it easy for one to move directly to specific aisles to find an item.  In summary make it easy for site visitors to; get through pages, use your navigation systems and predict where to find specific items.