Website testing is definitely a buzz word in the internet world – and rightly so – its a key part of any successful website optimization and improvement effort. However, I find the problem is that many website testing discussions focus on the more obvious things to test, like headlines, calls to actions or images, and don’t offer many other unusual testing ideas. And often its more unique testing ideas give you the biggest bang for your testing buck.
Therefore, I decided to create a list of more unusual things that you could test to try and help improve your website - depending on the type of website you have of course. Just like coming up with the unusual test of what would happen when you combined Diet Coke and Mentos… unexpected, but pretty impactful! So lets get started with the test ideas…
- Test adding drop down menus instead of regular flat navigation menus to improve navigation (doing this will allow users to get a better sense of what your website offers, without having to click around unnecessarily).
- Test creating a ‘first time user’ page and adding prominent link on your home page (first time users are often neglected, but often form a high percentage of visitors to websites).
- Test adding a live web chat tool like BoldChat to help your visitors in real time (this helps reduce the amount of confused visitors on your site).
- Test adding a tag line to just below your logo to help clarify your sites value proposotion (don’t just presume a visitor will know what your website is about – creating a tagline will help).
- Test making more use of bullet points rather than long paragraphs on product or service pages to improve scanability (because remember that web users like to scan instead of read long sentences).
- Test removing the leaderboard banner ad on your home page in order to reduce ad irrations (seeing banner ads in prominent places can often make visitors leave prematurely).
- Test removing the ‘email confirmation’ field on your forms to increase conversions (users often just cut and paste into this field anyway, removing may increase form completion rate) .
- Test making registration non-mandatory before user can make a purchase (while it might seem like a good idea, making registration mandatory can greatly reduce conversion rates).
- Test downgrading any of your flash animations into static images, particularly on home page (this is likely to make your pages load quicker and not frustrate users as much).
- Test increasing your font size by one point to increase readability (you will be surprised how many websites’ text size alienates visitors without the site owner realizing it).
- Test underlining all of your text links to make it obvious what is clickable (this is always the source of much debate – but just test it – your conversion rates might increase – too often its hard for visitors to know what is a link and what isn’t).
- Remove some on the more unnecessary links on your pages to reduce confusion (studies have shown that too many choices of links can often confuse visitors and make them leave prematurely).
- Test the color of your checkout or submit buttons to increase conversions (colors often can convey negative unintended meaning).
- Test using an email autoresponder tool like aweber.com for post-purchase or signup emails, particularly to include thanks, next steps or tips (this often assures and helps your new clients/customers).
- Test moving your site search box into the top right of every page to aid user navigation (if a user can’t find what they want, internal search is often looked for next – so should be prominent).
- Test prominently adding your sites value proposition above the fold on your homepage (always let your visitors know whats in it for them by using your site).
- Test adding first name personalization to the body copy of any newsletter lists or emails you send to clients (remember someones name is the most important word to them).
- Test renaming some of your navigation tabs to make them more logical and understandable to users (when builing your site, you may not have spent long on naming the items – revisit and improve them).
- Test adding related links to the end of your articles to increase user engagement and click rates (these reduce the chance of the visitor leaving your site prematurely).
- Test adding a site feedback tool like Kampyle.com on every page to gain ideas and feedback (listen to your visitors – they have great ideas!)
- Test only having up to 3 major calls to action on your home page to remove potential confusion (again, the more choices you offer visitors, the more confusion your site will cause).
- Test moving your site security seals into the site header to increase conversions (dont just move into the body – try the header – particularly important for ecommerce sites).
So there we have it! Hopefully you can take advantage of some these good ideas for you to help test and improve your website – no matter what kind of website you have. And feel free to add your own more unusual things to test on websites - simply comment below to add your ideas…