Business People Club

3 Proven Techniques for Improving Your Website’s Usability

0 like 0 dislike
162 views
by Explorer
The number one factor that makes or breaks your website is whether or not people can use it.  This is typically referred to as your website’s usability.  It seems simple: if people can’t do what you want them to do (buy things, subscribe to things, request a call, etc.), they won’t do it.  Yet, because websites are so easy to change, several companies just create websites, web applications, e-newsletters, etc., and hope that the changes will help their business.  

What further confuses this is typically a lack of clear insight into your website’s performance.  For example, how well does your website convert visitors into buyers?  What are the key decisions that visitors must make on your website?  Do you give them the information and tools necessary to make those decisions?

This article will help you focus on 3 proven techniques for improving your website’s performance: website analytics, usability testing, and personas.  Exactly how you choose to implement these techniques is obviously up to you.  However, one thing is guaranteed: all three techniques help you get closer to the people who visit your website: their needs, their desires, and their behaviors.  This information is critical if you plan to optimize your website’s usability to achieve your goals.

<b>1. Measure Progress with Website Analytics</b>

Many companies mistakenly install a standard “website statistics” program and only get a group of standard reports.  Typically, these reports do very little to help you judge the true effectiveness of your website.  

Want to get a jumpstart on creating your own website analytics?  Just follow these 3 simple steps:

1.    Begin with the end in mind – start with your objectives.  Define your website marketing strategy objectives (i.e. “Increase the number of qualified prospects coming from web search engines”), and what you want your website visitors to do to reach those objectives (i.e. “See our listing in the top 10 in Google and click on it)
2.    Get in touch with your visitors’ behavior on your website.  Track how many unique visitors you get, and how long they stay on your site (including how many pages they view).  You want all of these numbers to be going up, since that means you’re getting more visitors who are staying on the site longer.  You are maximizing the odds that they will do what you want them to do.   
3.    Develop your conversion rate.  Track how many visitors do the key action you want them to do and compare this number to your total visitors.  This helps you determine your conversion rate.  For example, if 15 out of 100 visitors requested more information from you (and that is one of your objectives), then your conversion rate for information requests is 15%.

Once you have these key website analytics in place, you can start to evolve your tracking and look for trends to optimize for.  Here are two examples:

•    Let’s say you notice higher conversion rates on weekends.  Then you might want to spend more on online advertising on weekends and reduce your spending during the week.  
•    Let’s say you need more visitors and embark on a search engine optimization project to improve your rankings.  Then you can track the increase or decrease in visitor flow from your project’s activities.

Regardless of what you want to achieve, getting to website usability first starts with solid website analytics.  Why?  Because website analytics force you to identify those areas that matter most, and identify how well or poorly you are doing in them.  Once you know this, you are armed with key data that can help you focus your efforts and determine where things like usability testing can help the most.
 

<b>2. Leverage Usability Testing</b>

Usability testing is where you take people who would use your website, and actually watch them using it.  Typically, you ask the person to do things on the site, and you watch either over their shoulder, behind a one-way mirror, or via a second computer where you can see what’s being recorded on the test computer.  

It’s amazing how many things you can make better on your website just by watching people use it.  Yet, as you get into it, you may find that hiring a usability professional for a testing project can be unnecessarily expensive.  Usability professionals are helpful, since they typically have substantial expertise in planning and conducting tests, as well as interpreting test results.  However, usability testing does not have to be fancy or formal: people are going to give you their opinion whether you’re sitting in a research company or at Starbucks.  So be careful when hiring a professional that seems to make the testing process complicated or costly.  When someone does this, it’s usually only for their own financial gain.  

To successfully conduct a usability test, just follow these 5 steps:

1.    Define your objectives.  Begin with the end in mind.  What do you want to accomplish with this usability test?  Do you have specific areas of your website that you want to improve?  If so, this is a great way to get ideas on how to make those areas better.  Are you planning on rolling out a new area of your website?  A usability test is a great way to do a “trial run” before the big launch.
2.    Recruit the participants.  This will take the most time, and can be the most frustrating part of the test process.  You have to find people to participate (which can be tough, particularly if you need to match specific demographic profiles), and then you need to schedule them.  Then, some will cancel, some won’t show, and some will be great test participants.  The best way to get a feel for the person is to talk to them directly more than once over the phone.  TIP: Be sure to call the person the day of the test to remind them about it.  
3.    Script the test.  You’ll want to have an intro script, the test script, and a post-test survey.  The intro script serves as a checklist of things you want to be sure to cover with the person before you start the test.  TIP: During the part, try to focus on making the person feel comfortable giving their opinion, and reiterate that any feedback is good feedback.  The next part, the test script, is a checklist of the actual things you want the person to do.  This is followed by the post-test survey, which allows you to ask the person questions, and later compare those answers to what they said during the test.
4.    Conduct the test.  This is the fun part!  You sit down with the person, and walk them through the test scenario.  Some tests benefit from close “hand holding,” while others benefit from letting the person do whatever they think is right.  It completely depends on the objectives, and they information you want to collect.  In either case, the best thing to do is to record both the person and what they do on the computer.  TIP: Be sure to compensate the person for their time.
5.    Report the results.  The best way to report the results is two-fold:  First, do a quick, one-page or less recap of each session immediately after the test.  That way, the information is still fresh in your mind.  TIP: Include a picture of the user in your recap, since it will help make that person’s feedback “come alive.”  Next, take the information collected during testing, and create 1 to 4 “personas” – user profiles that explain the type of person, what they need from the website, what issues they encounter frequently on the site, and what can be changed to help them.  This will help you explain the results to others, and you can reuse these personas later when you are adding or updating areas of your website.

How many people should I test?  
For most usability tests, you can learn the maximum amount by only testing ten people.  Too many more and you’ll start to see too many recurring patterns.  If you go less than ten, you might miss things or not see enough of a pattern.  

 
<b>3. Develop Personas</b>

Let’s face it - no one reads a 20-page usability report from cove

Your comment

Your name to display :
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.

Related posts

0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 243 views
Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Help Promote Your Web Site

Every successful business campaign begins with a strong, viable marketing plan. To rise above in the internet marketing world, you must be prepared to pull out all the stops in the areas of promotion and advertising. Sound difficult? Think again. The expansion of the World Wide Web has made the ... content development, as well as, overall popularity. In the internet marketing realm, it's the web site visitors that make the world go round.

by PlaySeal
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 244 views
4 Steps to Improving Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

Search engine marketing can be a complex and scary topic. Endless opportunities to advertise and market, constantly changing trends and technologies, and overly complex solutions all come with the territory. So, what you don't need when you're evaluating or creating your search engine ... create or evaluate your search engine marketing strategy, focus on what matters most when executing your plans, and more effectively achieve your goals.

by LovableStorm
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 199 views
Keeping Your Website's Content Relevant

Visitors and search engines love content-rich web sites, but just having a lot of content on your web site is not enough. It all has to be relevant to a main topic with each page or section of the web site having a specific theme (And yes, this includes any resource or links pages ... appeases search engines but your visitors as well. And as mentioned before, both visitors and search engines should be kept in mind when creating web site content.

by HairyMagpie
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 212 views
10 Time-tested, Battle-Hardend Blog Traffic Techniques

1. Blog Regularly - many of the top blogs post 10-20 times per day. 2. Create Authority Articles - instead of blogging frequently, post less often but focus on creating Authority Posts -- lengthier articles that are really well put together which will attract attention from other bloggers & users of social ... "10 Time-tested, Battle-Hardend Blog Traffic Techniques". Many readers are particularly fond of "Top X" lists, or "How To ..." posts.

image
by GroundHurricane
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 102 views
How To Choose The Right Web Site Builder For Your Web Design Needs

Web site builders are a relatively new addition to the web hosting company's mix of products and services. Website builders have been introduced mainly to service the majority who don't know how to program in HTML or any other programming knowledge but still want to control and flexibility that comes from ... you will be well on your way to a web site builder that meets your needs and gives you quality, professional results at a reasonable price.

by Knightmare
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 93 views
How to Create a Splash Page for Your Website?

These splash designs prove to be quite popular, especially among the designers as they allow the designer to show their skills in flash and any other technology on a single page. The splash page design involved in the splash page will be one that is very attractive to the eye of the viewer. Its main ... fun to build. They are very creative and allow the user to play around with animation and sound, to get the desired splash page design they need!

by HuggingDuck
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 93 views
How to Hire a Web Designer/Programmer for Your Website

Why hire a designer or a programmer? You might ask this question yourself when there are 100's of easy to build software on the internet. But building a website yourself and a professional designer makes a lot of difference. The designer put in years of expertise in building your website. ... server. Follow these steps and increase your chances of successfully hiring a web designer/ web programmer who meets your needs and those of your project.

by Titank
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 87 views
How To Make It Easy For Your Web Designer To Build Your Website

You have an idea for a website and you are now looking for somebody to build you the site. You want it to be a smooth ride, and want to have a good working relationship with your web designer. You are also looking for a low cost website, so how will you make all of this possible? I ... of graphics and colours you would like, but then give them a free reign to use their skills to produce what hopefully will be a low cost professional website.

by PerfumedNecromancer
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 255 views
5 Tips For Developing A Website For Your Audience

Developing a website is important if you want to be a player in ecommerce. However, you don't want to just develop a website any old way. Instead, you want to develop a website for your audience. When doing research online you have probably seen generalized information on how to develop a website, ... no problem developing a format that will reach them. Also, your format improves your site's message, so it is beneficial in a variety of ways.

image
by HistoryGuy
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 621 views
Blogs: Free Promotion For Your Online Business

It's been a few years since blogging first emerged. But it's only recently that it's been considered as more than just a fad. Many teenagers have resorted to blogging as an outlet for their emotions, a little online nook where they can sound off about whatever bugs them or makes them happy. Now ... search engines. So now you know a bit more about the free advertising benefits of blogging, the next step is to take action - now. Happy blogging.

by Cybora
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 333 views
What an Automated Web Site Can Do for Your Business

As your Internet business grows, your free time will dwindle. Site changes will become time consuming and stressful. Automate your site and you can use your time for better purposes. Automating Automating a web site can cut out tedious tasks such as updating HTML, FTPing pages and changing site designs. ... your time. If you are creating a site, make sure you use an automated platform. Don't waste days of your life making manual changes.

by Catnip
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 1,743 views
What are the free tools for your website?

It does not have to be expensive to get started with Internet marketing. There are so many free tools available, including HTML editors, graphics programs, and competition analysis. Free Blogging Program Blogs have become very popular, and the most popular blogging platform is Wordpress. Wordpress is a powerful ... can be had for around $10 and hosting can be bought at places like Go Daddy or Host Gator for about $15 per month or cheaper.

by KeyboardPie
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 256 views
How To Choose A Shopping Cart Vendor For Your E-Commerce Site?

How To Choose A Shopping Cart Vendor For Your E-Commerce Site?

by Cheatah
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 105 views
Do Small Businesses need websites?

Should Small Businesses have a web presence? In one word, yes! The internet is the most effective marketing tools in existance nowadays, have the capability of reaching far more people than any leaflet drop or advertisement in the local paper ever will. Should you produce your own website? It all depends on ... can produce something along that line! If they can, you're on the way to bringing into being what can be one of your best employees!!

by TwinNut
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 300 views
Making Money On Forgotten Websites

A forgotten website is a site you may have created a few years ago that seemed like a great idea. Unfortunately, like many big ideas for the web, only a few realize their potential. The webmasters for these websites probably have tried banner ads, pay-per-click, and affiliate marketing and found that they ... a website, that will at least cover the site's hosting fees and add a few thousand dollars to your net income at the end of the year.

by FatKomodoDragon
0 like 0 dislike
2 comments 387 views
How bad guys hack into websites?

How hackers hack websites? and how to protect my website?

by Octopixy
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 286 views
Do Small Businesses need websites?

as a small business owner, should i have a website?

by LovableStorm
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 228 views
How to Create Lucrative Websites?

How to Create Lucrative Websites?

by AfternoonFay
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 156 views
3 Way Linking - The New Link Popularity Building Strategy

There has been a lot of talk over the past few months, even more so with the latest Google update, about the value of linking. What types of links are better, which types are still seen as value added to a website. Well if the truth be told, the only people who can tell us are ... the search engines trust your site to make these recommendations then there is no way that the applied due diligence will get you in trouble with the search engines.

by GiftedWrecker
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 257 views
3 Must-See Keys For Expanding Your Business

1. Team Up No one knows your market like you! What are the main characteristics of your target audience? Find someone else out there who isn't a competitor, but who reaches the same class of customers that you do. Team up with them to do joint promotions! We all know ... strengthen you business and push out the competition by adding new layers to your existing business, teaming up for joint promotions, and discovering new markets to reach.

image
by MammothMoth
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 101 views
How to choose colours for a website

When designing a web site, most of the web designers give attention to two major factors; the design, i.e. the graphics and logos of the site, and the content. However, colour too plays a very important part in the design of a website as it defines the mood and emotions of the visitor and reflects your ... thrills you, just jot it down and save it for the future as you may never know when you may need it for the colour scheme of your website!

by Cybora
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 67 views
Real Estate --What Makes for a Great Agent Website

In today's market it is important for an agent to have a website that caters to the needs of the consumer. This means that a website needs to go beyond the old rule of providing just the pictures, size, style, and price of a home. The agents website today needs to have more information and links to the ... /he is new in the business or refuses to accept change 2. S/he may not believe that the Internet is important. 3. S/he is afraid of technology

by UncleRhino
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 222 views
Domain Name Suggestions For Success

Have you seen or read some domain name suggestions? What did you find? Some explanations and facts? Obviously, these are some of the basic questions when asking about domain name suggestions, and these questions often surface as the number of domain name resources and web sites provide some sorts of domain ... know how to balance their ideas with yours. Those suggestions are just there to give you some ideas, but the decision is in your hands.

by Knighttime
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 230 views
What You Should Look For in a Web Hosting Service

If you are thinking up putting up your own website, the most important thing you should consider is the type of web hosting service you'd like to avail of. There are a lot of web hosting services in the internet today. Some of them are even offered free of charge. Web hosting services ... sure you trust your website only to the experts. Go with the company that understands the needs of their clients when it comes to uptime and functionality.

by Amigod
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 210 views
Tips For A Successful Adsense Site

One doesn't have to dig very deep on the internet to find an adsense site. At its most basic level, an adsense site is a site which displays Google Adsense ads to earn money. The problem is that the majority of Adsense sites are trash - just content scraped off other sites that has been thrown ... sell text link ads on your site. This serves to diversify your income, as well as gives other content for your visitors to look at or click on.

by Sumogre
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 238 views
Using Overture For Keyword Research

Many of us who build websites get in the habit of using the Overture "Keyword Suggestion Tool" to do keyword research. It's convenient, and one of the few remaining such tools that is free. Be careful, though, because there are four problems you may run into with it. 1. Singular and plural forms are ... to learn if there is some demand for a keyword, and it's still free. For serious keyword research, though, it's best to look to other tools.

by Knighttime
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 443 views
how to promote my website for free?

I am building new website and how can i promote it? any tips?

by VoyageHooper
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 309 views
How to get best wordpress theme for my website?

I am looking for best free wordpress theme for my website?

by VirtualAssassin
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 335 views
0 like 0 dislike
1 Comment 275 views
How to plan for ecommerce website?

I am planning to start an ecommerce website. How to plan for ecommerce site?

by FlamboyantChomper
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 106 views
How To Choose Your Website Colors

Color is often overlooked in the business of optimizing websites for better returns on investments. Website sales can be greatly affected by simply changing its colors. Ever come across a website that uses some funky combination of print and background colors? If you ever want to experience an eye- ... fun playing with colors but every choice you make comes with a set of pre-defined societal meanings and emotions, so choose with deliberate care.

by Knighthawk
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 99 views
How to improve your site search

Making sure that your search engine makes it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they are looking for is business-critical. It is also very difficult - good search engines can cost an awful lot of money and require a lot of ongoing effort to keep them up to ... large text (e.g. 28pt). This would help people spot any inadvertent errors.Results pages should also provide the telephone numbers for customer enquiries/assistance.

by SilkPredator
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 91 views
How To Create Meta Tags To Optimize Your Web Site

In this article, I will teach you the basics about Meta Tags and their functions. Learning how to create Meta Tags is essential for your companies web site ranking. What Are Meta Tags? Meta Tags are a series of sentences created by either you or your web designer in order to let the search engine ... option "View Source". This will open another word document to show you the web sites "Code". Meta Tags are typically near the top of the document.

by GiftedWrecker
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 115 views
How to achieve success in business using your website

Designing a web site that get results can take time to complete and the best results are gained when you are fully involved and prepared in the process. Making your company an attractive and popular is more than just placing a picture of a product or a description of a service on a web page and ... so that they can build a web site, which your customers will find useful and will purchase from. After all the web site is for your customers!

image
by TwinNut
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 74 views
How To Pick Your Website Colors

Before you can consider the finer points of your design, you need to make the big decisions. Few decisions are more important than the color scheme your website is going to use. Pay Attention To Contrast You need to pick colors that provide enough contrast to make your text stand out in order to promote ... you design your site. Make sure they can at least read your text. To see things the way a color blind user would, visit vischeck.com.

by Camella
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 65 views
How To Design Your Site Effectively

You decide you want to have a web presence. How do you design your website in a way that is effective? How do you effectively create website in a way that makes your clients want to come back? A client or visitor to your website may not want to come back if their experience on your website is tedious ... once. - Use a white background for the main content of your page. The reason is that it looks much more professional and it is easier to read.

by AfternoonFay
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 131 views
Answers To Your E-commerce Problems

First of all, what is e-commerce? E-commerce is commerce, including business, trade, buying, and selling, that is transacted electronically, rather than hand-to-hand. Businesses need efficient technology and strong marketing in order for e-commerce to be successful. The goal is to increase your ... is e-commerce, you want to take all possible steps to make sure you and your product are presented professionally, friendly, and easily accessible.

by HarshThunder
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 187 views
Accepting payment at your ecommerce website

To have an online store, the easiest way is to find some open source ecommerce script. For example oscommerce or zen-cart shopping cart. Get these script setup on your web hosting. To accept payment online, its either customer pay through your website, or route customer to payment gateway website ... More review found here www.ixwebhostingreview.org and its good to have expert taken care of the payment solution if you are unsure of what to do.

by Knighthawk
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 94 views
Web Design Elements You Should Avoid Having on Your Site

As a web designer, you should design your websites to give your visitors the greatest ease of use, the best impression and most important of all a welcoming experience. It doesn't matter if you had the greatest product in the whole world -- if your website is poorly done you won't be able to ... your job is to make sure your website does what it's meant to do effectively. Don't let some minor mistakes stop your site from functioning optimally!

by Octopixy
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 66 views
Who Is Your Audience?

Understanding the type of people who visit your site is a very important task because you can use that information to enhance your site to suit them. As a result, you will gain more loyal returning visitors that come back again and again for more. What is the age level and what kind of ... . This in turn builds a trusting relationship between you and your audience, which will come in useful should you want to market a product to your audience.

by ShowDolphin
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 1,157 views
Create Your Own Shopping Mall and Work from Home

There's no disputing that the Internet has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to launch their own home based business. And, with the economy on the brink of recession, more people than ever before are looking for ways to supplement their existing income, to recover from a job loss, ... . Starting a home based business can be incredibly satisfying, as well as financially rewarding. The secret lies in partnering with the right company.

by HistoryYak
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 300 views
Seven Ways to Generate Income From Your Website

If you own your own website, there are a variety of things you can do to generate extra income for yourself. To enjoy the most success for your efforts, you must take into consideration your existing website content, as well as your particular target audience. You will also want ... also consider affiliate programs. Most affiliate programs are free to join and usually offer marketing tools and resources that are readily available for your use.

by MysteryWasp
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 727 views
URL is one of the important elements of SEO and affects your Page Rank

How important are URLs in SEO? Importance of URLs from the SEO point of view is highly controversial question. In the hundreds of search engine algorithms is it an important one to be looked by the search engines? According to some SEO experts, placing keywords in the URL is vital for your website but highlighting ... it in the first encounter. For example, a URL after your name or your firm's name, may not-in the long run-be the best choice.

by BumblingBee
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 1,411 views
Increasing The Perceived Value of Your Product or Service

Whether online or offline, small businesses often show little faith in the quality of their service or product. Instead, they tend to focus on the limitations and lower their prices. This natural insecurity can lead to disastrous financial results because lower prices cripple your return on investment. ... . Don't kill your business by lowering your prices. If you are offering quality, charge accordingly and provide proof of your credibility.

by Herogue
Connect with us:
...