Website testing has three main purposes; verify website specifications or goals, usability and managing risk. It is also important to be able to maintain a reliable system for both your company and your users alike.

To run a successful business on the internet, you need to remember this:

Always Be Testing. ABT.

There’s never a time when you should stop trying to improve on your site. You can always be testing it to see if there are new ways to improve.

There are three main types of testing that we are going to cover today:

  1. Usability and Functionality

  2. Content & Design

  3. Security

So, grab that coffee and get ready to start testing.

Usability Testing

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The easier your site is to navigate and use, the longer your visitors will stay on your pages and the better chance they will convert to a customer.

Testing for the overall functionality of your site consists of testing for data validation, user input testing, URL validation and dynamic content testing.

Usability deals with how users are able to navigate around your site and get from one area to another, where they drop off or leave, etc.

You will see more conversions if these testing requirements are implemented and followed through with.
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One of the best ways to test usability is to use real people. Observing a well-selected sample of your target market, in person, as they navigate a site can teach you a lot about how people browse. You can see hesitancy and patterns in behavior that might be lost if you reading the results of a survey or looking a click map to diagnose usability problems.

Eye-tracking can also teach you a lot about how people view your site, but the initial investment in equipment can be hard for some businesses.

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Content & Design

It may seem silly that something as trivial as a red “sign up now” button vs. a blue “sign up now” button can make a difference in the overall conversion rate on your site.

But, if you’ve worked for any length of time in this digital marketing world, you know it does.

A/B, Multivariate and Landing Page Experiments need to be implemented to test for things like content, design and visual appeal for your users.

When you make a design or content change on your site, you should test for performance results and change as needed.

Not all designs nor content runs work out the first time through.

This is why sometimes 3 versions of one page are created to test and see what converts at a higher rate.

A/B Testing Example

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In an A/B Test, we’re only going to change one element between two versions. This helps us isolate the variable and have greater confidence in our results.

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In an A/B Test, we’re only going to change one element between two versions. This helps us isolate the variable and have greater confidence in our results.

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Security

Gaining confidence and earning trust on your website is crucial if you want to increase your sales.

In past blogs I have talked about building trust on your site and how important it is when trying to convert a lead to an actual customer.

This is especially true if you need to take payment information.

If your users don’t trust your overall site, they will not take that final step and put in their payment information.

Security Testing Helps Improve:

  • Secrecy
  • Authentication
  • Integrity control
  • Network security
  • Storage of passwords and encrypted data
  • Payment transaction security
  • User rights

Testing to Improve Leads & Revenue Metrics

Most people don’t realize that a lead is just a lead and really has no value unless it is converted or some sort of revenue gets associated with it.

You can’t possibly grow your business with leads alone; you need the revenue to truly do so.

How do you know how much revenue you are making if you aren’t testing your site? The answer is you won’t.

Part of website testing is assigning value to each lead and campaign and ultimately revenue after being converted.

Tests can be setup, with the help of software, to give you that data to review.

There are many types of software available to help aid in website testing for both website metrics and marketing data as well. A/B, Multivariate and Landing Page Experiments can be setup with software to help aid in your overall efforts so you can determine which of your efforts are working and what is not.

What should you be testing for?

There is an endless list of what you could be testing for on your website. Because we are a content marketing company, we tend to focus more on things like usability, content, functionality, visual and compatibility testing. Our three broad categories give you a place to start. Here are some specific things you can start testing on your site immediately:

  • Security Testing
  • Software and Hardware Reliability
  • Compatibility Between All Elements of Your System
  • System Assurance
  • Optimum Performance (load time, overall speed)
  • Software Quality
  • Overall Functionality of Site (Including broken, missing or wrong links)
  • Content Testing
  • Visual/Design Appeal Testing
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Mobile Platform Testing
  • Usable Marketing/Sales Data (campaign results)

Final Thoughts

Website testing is a very broad topic and encompasses a lot of different information, including much more technical details. This post was intended as a brief overview about web testing, its importance and how it can best help improve your sales from a marketing and sales perspective.

When you are dealing with Marketing and Sales, your focus is more on the user, prospect and client alike and not as much on the technical details (although equally important for other reasons).

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Author Unknown