Here’s what I’ll cover in this article:
- How to analyze your website for higher conversions.
- An example of how to analyze an ecommerce store (petco.com).
- An example of how to analyze a lead-gen site (statefarm.com).
How to analyze websites for higher conversions (and lower bounce rates).
I perform website reviews using heuristic analysis. It’s a structured experienced based analysis of a website. It’s the same as an experienced mechanic knowing what's wrong with your car by looking at it. In the same way a conversion analyst can look at your website and tell you what could improve.
First we’ll map out the pages/steps it takes to complete the goal we’re optimizing for. Then assess each page in the funnel and answer these main questions:
- Do the pages load fast enough?
- Is the offer and how it works clear and understandable?
- Are there any elements on the page distracting visitors from the main goal?
- Does the landing page relate to what the visitor thought they were going to see?
- Is the copy clear or confusing?
- Is it easy for users to navigate through the site and know what they need to do?
- Are forms easy to use?
- Do users encounter error messages that confuse or deter them?
I take screenshots of each page and write comments with tools like Notable or FrameBench. Everything we observe needs to be double checked in analytics and user testing to make sure we get the truth. For example I might think the copy of the site is confusing. But your visitors who speak the industry jargon might not think it’s confusing at all.
- This is not a thorough analysis of the site. It's a quick review of the homepage to help you learn how to analyze your high traffic pages.
- This feedback is an educated opinion with experience optimizing sites.
An example of how to analyze an ecommerce store (petco.com).
I picked a random website for pet supplies (petco.com). We need a goal to optimize towards for this example. Looking at the homepage I would guess that their goal is for people to buy with repeat delivery.
Here’s their homepage critique on optimizing for people to buy with repeat delivery.
- The homepage is lacking a clear value proposition. Why should I buy from you instead of your competitors? Because of their large social media following they could use social proof or start with their why.
- Make the main goal more prominent in the visual hierarchy. The three main boxes (repeat delivery and food offers) are competing for my attention.
- They don’t answer some top questions on how and why new visitors should get repeat delivery. I found the benefits after adding a product for repeat delivery.
- The call-to-action labels aren’t clear on what will happen next. For example “Learn more” compared to “Learn how repeat deliveries can save you money”.
- Learn more about repeat deliveries isn't relevant. Because not only does it not give that much more info but it doesn’t sell me at all on repeat deliveries.
- Increase clarity and relevancy on buttons. “Shop Now” isn’t a great call-to-action. It should be relevant to what they’ll see next. For example “Get natural ingredient pet food” and “Get whole nutrient rich pet food”.
- Questions that could come up when selling repeat deliveries: How do I know how many bags I need per month? What if I start having too many bags at home and want to delay the next one? How many more steps to create a recurring order? Is this more of a hassle? Do you get an email before it ships so I cancel/delay the next shipment?
An example of how to analyze a lead-gen site. (statefarm.com)
State Farm's main goal is to get leads through insurance quotes. Below is their homepage review using the process I use at the top of this article.
- No clear value proposition. The main headline makes no sense. If I came into their office and said “Why should I buy insurance from you?” and they replied with the words from their headline “Save mass quantities. Do a discount double check.” I’d blink in confusion and be out the door. This is what they’re doing with their website.
- The call-to-action buttons “Go” are vague and don’t give me an idea on what will happen next. Label your buttons with what people will get when they click it.
- Make “Get a quote” or one of the other three more prominent. Check the analytics to see what people do most on the site.
- The copy (or lack of) needs some work. How do I benefit from using your services? How is it better or different from the competition? Why do people trust you?
- Reduce anxiety. How long will the quote take? How long do claims take to go through? What’s the service like after I pay? Always state your claims with proof.
- There’s nothing that urges the visitor to get a quote now. Increase urgency with your offer.
- There’s not enough information on the page to make a decision. Try selling someone insurance using only the words they have on their webpage.
- The coneheads aren’t relevant to getting insurance and causes confusion.