When it comes to boosting website conversion, I’ve always been in the quantitative camp – “send enough users to different versions of your landing page and look at which version works best (i.e. delivers the best conversion results)”.
And that approach works great, but there’s still plenty of room for qualitative tools to help increase your conversion rate (in fact, the two play very well together.)
Conversion optimisation isn’t about software and tools
The tools you need to do A/B and multivariate testing are relatively mature, and they’re not just cheap, they’re free (try Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer for starters.)
But the tools aren’t the constraint. The constraint is knowing what to test. You not only need to devise the right test elements, but you also need to apply a proven process to increase conversion on an ongoing basis.
Coming up with “stuff to test” happens in a number of ways, including marketing expertise and experience of what has worked in the past. Another valuable source of information is to rely on the voice of the customer to help you answer the 4 critical site experience questions…
The 4 critical site experience questions
- How satisfied are my website visitors?
- What are my visitors at my website to do (their purpose)?
- Are they in fact completing what they set out to do?
- If not, why not? If yes, what did they like best about their experience?
Knowing the answers to these questions can provide you with new optimisation ideas and priorities, straight from the customer’s mouth. You gain insight into WHY visitors are doing what they’re doing (or not doing!) on your website.
How We Used the Free 4Q Survey Tool To Answer The 4 Critical Questions
Late last year we used the free 4Q exit survey tool (a collaboration between Avinash and iPerceptions) to ask our website visitors the 4 critical questions.
Here’s how the invitation process works (from the 4Q FAQ page):
4Q employs a two-stage invitation process. When visitors arrive at your site, they will be presented an invitation to participate in a survey after their session. If they accept, a second, minimized window, which contains the survey itself, will be launched and will wait in the background for the visitor to complete his or her session. 4Q surveys are designed to be collaborative brand building exercises, not annoying browsing interruptions.
The tool is, by design, extremely simple. Here’s a sneak peak at the control panel:
Once the survey is set up, it’s a case of insert-the-code and away you go.
One of the nifty features is the ability to adjust the survey invitation rate — so only a percentage of users are invited to participate. For our test, we used 20% of site traffic.
4Q Survey Results – What We Discovered
- Over the course of the test, 46 surveys were completed
- The overall “task completion” rate was 75% (i.e. 25% of people who completed the survey were unable to do what they came to do on the site.)
- A few responses were “junk”, but that doesn’t matter. We are looking for patterns and bright ideas.
- What they liked: a number of users commented on our use of fact-based website optimisation methods and liberal availability of online marketing case studies.
- What they didn’t like: a few users were looking for information/articles and resented being “sold” to.
Here are some examples of useful gems from the survey which we have translated into action:
Bright idea #1:
I had trouble finding the right subscription, which a friend forwarded me initially. I suggest having a ‘subscribe’ link in your email subscription.
Bright idea #2:
Well, I loved the case studies; I really felt like I was connecting with a business that had succeeded as a direct result of their relationship with you and I wanted to be one of those too. But It wasn’t clear which of your services they had used to achieve those results when I went to look on your Services tab to find out more.
Was using 4Q worth the effort? You bet it was. It is very quick to set up, provides a good user experience and yields measurable and usable qualitative information.
We have since installed 4Q surveys on several sites for our SME consulting clients and a couple of Enterprise clients as well. In each case, the results have been well worth the effort. In one case, the results have heavily influenced the direction that a major site redesign is taking. Better to know this information NOW, rather than after the redesign has taken place.
When you take your instructions directly from end users and marry them with scientific testing and tracking, you can also cut weeks or months of your conversion improvement cycles. And you know what they say about time = money!
Why not give 4Q a go? And if you need help with an orchestrated program of traffic and conversion improvement, get in touch and we can explore whether or not we’re a ‘fit’.
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