Launching your website can feel like a significant milestone after all the days and nights of effort spent getting it up and running but unfortunately, the work doesn’t end there. The site is open to the public and can be accessed by anyone across the globe, so the real challenge now is finding out whether the site is performing well or not, getting a reasonable amount of conversions, and if it is bringing in the required revenue.
A site’s goals will vary based on the type of website it is. For e-commerce sites, goals will be to increase sales and retain customers, and for some it will be to generate more subscribers. The ultimate goal for everyone is to increase conversions.
Conversion Rate Optimization is a continual process which lets us identify the causes of why a site is having less conversions than expected and how that can be fixed and improved.
To increase the number of conversions, or to check the health of the website, a conversion audit must be completed. A conversion optimization audit includes monitoring the site from several aspects and providing the correct statistics, planning for improvements or updates depends on the output of the review.
Steps to take before you start your audit
Before starting work on your optimization audit, you need to be very clear on what you want to achieve with the review. If you are planning on having it done by an external team or using a paid tool, be sure to convey your goals to them. For example, let them know if you want to see the length of time visitors spend on one particular page, or if you’re looking for more information about the Exit Page, you may want to know reasons for abandoned carts in the case of an e-commerce website, or you might want information on CTA clicks analytics.
How to Perform Conversion Optimization Audit
Check on User Experience/UX
The rule of thumb for assessing any loopholes in conversion is to place yourself in the shoes of your end users. Until you visit your website as an end user, it will be difficult to determine what they are looking for, how smooth the navigation is and whether they can complete a flow such as sign up or making a purchase. There are many remote usability testing tools which you can use to observe the experience of arriving at the website from different sources. How a website looks can have an impact on the end user, but more than that, the performance matters. Performance testing is also critical to a websites successes. A visitor may choose not to continue if the performance of the site is slow and the user is required to wait for a few seconds for the action to complete after pressing a button.
Check for Business Goals
Business goals are determined long before website development starts. The website design must make it possible for the user to know the following within a few minutes of landing.
- Who you are.
- What you offer.
- How they can contact you.
- What they need to do next.
- Why you are different.
Check for Mobile Compatibility
There are hardly any websites these days that are not mobile-compatible and cross browser testing is another form of testing that should be used. Use of mobile has gone up tremendously and in a recent report said that conversions from mobile started happening since 2004, but in 2014 conversions from mobile exceeded desktops. Running your website and checking the look and feel from every aspect of a mobile device is a must for your optimization audit and there are many cross browser testing tools that can help with this.
Compare with your Competitor’s Website for any missing features
Review the websites of your competitors to find out if you are missing any essential elements that could attract customers.
Using Conversion Rate Optimization Tools
Using CRO tools to perform an audit will generate more data points and recommendations. Google Analytics is the most common tool used for any website audit. It provides data from every aspect, helps in refining conversion funnels and the reports are easily accessible even from mobile apps. Crazyegg is software that helps in visualizing the visitor’s experience. It provides a heatmap, confetti and color overlay which can help in understanding where the user is spending the most time and which area is the most liked by the customer.
Surveys can be created and shared with customers for their feedback. Usually, it’s a good idea to collect input six weeks post-launch, since it will give more relevant data. There are some excellent online tools which can help extract real-time feedback from Customers. Qualaroo offers a great product which can create quick, customizable surveys. Exit surveys can also be used to gather information on why visitors are leaving the website without converting.
What should you expect at the end of your audit?
At the end of your conversion optimization audit, you should have an Audit Report stating –
- Areas where the site is doing well
- Areas where it needs attention and improvement
- External agencies can also provide recommendations and solutions on fixing the problem.
Once the audit is complete, the next step will be to prioritize the list of improvements and then work on implementing the solution. As stated at the beginning of this article, a website’s goals will differ based on the type of site, and similarly the conversion optimization method opted will also vary. The solution will depend on the expected goals.