What’s a server guy have to say about CRO, SEO and usability? Well good site design drives our sales. Here are a few of the tools we’ve found useful in trying to make our site and effective sales tool. Best of all, these will not cost you a bundle. Marketing server management and offsite backup services is challenging, so I need all the help I can get.
When you are in the middle of a major site and business overhaul, you can easily miss some simple things. For example, we had the term “Get Started” on some contact buttons. This term caused confusion. Some users thought this meant they were signing up for the service. In fact, what we meant was “Contact Us.” During the sales process, we like to speak with prospects to assure we can meet their business goals, so we have few services that are turn-key. How did we find this out?
We turned to UserTesting.com. For $200, we had 5 people review our site. We set out some simple tasks, find and inquiry about backup services. UserTesting.com then records their actions along with audio input from the tester. With just 5 users, we identified about a half dozen easy fixes that make the site simpler to use.
Driving traffic to your site is great, our traffic is up about 20% in the past few months thanks to social media, more blog posts and our continued growth. However, all of this traffic is worthless if you do not monitor how your users navigate through your site. A couple of tools we use are Google Analytics and ClickTale.
By using Google Analytics, we were able to track navigation paths and bounce rates on popular pages. By adjusting the wording on these page, making call outs more prominent and providing better interlinking of our site, we were able to drop our bounce rate by 10% in a few weeks. We will need to measure this, but I suspect the longer someone is on your site, the more likely they will be to contact you for services.
The other tool we used was ClickTale. Clicktale provides user tracking, heat maps and other tools. By using this tool we could monitor how random users use our site. We noticed some design issues, which we quickly fixed, and some other issues that will take a bit more effort to resolve. I don’t have direct number yet but ClickTale identified some friction points that in hindsight should have been oblivious.
Fortunately, the rackAID.com site has been around for quite some time, and according to the SEO gurus, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, we had not been paying attention to SEO or search results. Most of our business comes by word of mouth and partnership with companies that provide un-managed hardware. Now, however, we are trying to get our name directly in front of clients and SEO is important. Aside from advice from a very good client of ours, I’ve found the tools provided by SEOMoz very powerful. They do require some understanding of SEO, but you can quickly pinpoint issues with your site.
What tool do you use for CRO, SEO, user testing or other metrics?