In the strategy phase you determine which metrics and KPIs you use to measure whether your website is effective and where you need to make adjustments. As soon as your website is live, start measuring and over time you will get an idea of ​​how well your site is doing. You can immediately see where you need to adjust. The conversion lags behind. Your message is not understood. The number of subscriptions to the newsletter is lower than expected. The number of purchases in the shop is disappointing. These are all things that can be improved and by testing a number of things properly you will automatically have input for improvements.

The five second test

The five-second test offers a solution to find out whether users understand the message you want to convey with your website. In a lab setting you show a page of your website for five seconds. Then you ask the users a number of questions. For example, what message they think they have seen. Or what words and associations come to mind after seeing the website.

You could also present any adjustments you have come up with to users with a five-second test. This way you can see what differences there are between the new and old design.

The five second test really lasts five seconds and no longer than that. If you show a page to a user for more than 5 seconds, the user will look at the page in too much detail. That is something that does not happen quickly outside a lab setting. The point is that you get spontaneous reactions and answers like you would get when users see your website for the first time.

Based on the results of the five-second test, you can determine whether the associations that users have with your site are correct. You can see whether they understand the message right away and you know what users think of your website. Using these insights, you can optimally tweak your website for the desired result.

A / B tests

An extensive test that you run for a longer period of time are the A/B tests. In an A/B test there are two variants of a page. Both variants are randomly presented to all visitors to your website. For each variant you can see what behavior users do or do not show there.

For example, in one variant of a page you can work with different colors, images or texts. Or you show a completely different page. Do you achieve much more conversion or sales in one variant than in the other? Then you know that that variant must be implemented as quickly as possible!

There are many SaaS solutions available that allow you to perform A/B testing. Would you like to know more about A/B testing? Download and read our free whitepaper about this!

1st click testing

The first click test is usually performed in a lab setting. You investigate whether users can successfully complete a task on your website, in the way you planned for them. For example, you ask visitors: “sign up for the newsletter” or “make a donation of 5 euros” or “buy a pair of blue socks”.

Now you look at what steps the user takes to complete those tasks. You see whether they manage to achieve the goal within a reasonable time and you see how many clicks it took them to do so. If the user's first click is correct, the user is most likely to be able to complete the task successfully. Hence the name of the test.

When you see that users often get the first click wrong, there are still opportunities for optimization. Or when they do make the right clicks, but take a little too much time, you can present certain things even more clearly. The faster the user can complete a task in as few clicks as possible, the higher the final conversion.

Eye tracking and heat maps

Asking users about what they do is valuable, but real see what they do is perhaps even more valuable. To determine what users are really looking at and whether they see what you want them to see, you can use eye tracking. Eye tracking records the movements of the eyes and allows you to determine how someone views your website and how and in what order the user consumes information.

Eye tracking is a complex research method, mainly due to the technology involved in carrying it out properly. The interpretation of the data is sometimes quite a job. A slightly easier test that can also be performed outside a lab are the so-called heat maps. Heatmaps give you insight into how the user moves their mouse over your site. The heat maps are a kind proxy of how the user looks at your site.

Eye tracking is therefore not something you just use. But fortunately that is not actually necessary. There are many research companies that have conducted studies using eye tracking and published their results online. Because although every website is unique, there are a lot of them best practices that you could implement on any site. Doing some online research first can often provide a lot of input and insights!

Surveys or polls

Your website was created with the idea of ​​conveying a certain message, appealing to a specific target group or selling your products and services. The easiest way to find out if users like your message appeal and whether you reach the right target group at all is by simply asking.

This can be done very extensively by means of a survey, but it can also be done more simply with a poll. The advantage of setting up a survey is that you collect a lot of data and insights about your target group and that you can perform all kinds of quantitative analyzes on this. The disadvantage of a survey is that it takes quite a bit of time for the user to complete everything, and coming up with good questions and developing them well is a specialist job.

A slightly simpler form is a poll. These are one or two short questions that a user can answer in a single click. It takes little time for the user, but does provide you as a marketer with the necessary input. Polls are fairly easy to integrate on your website and are not that complicated to devise and implement. The disadvantage, of course, is that you collect less data compared to a survey.

From data to action

In addition to the tools mentioned above, there are many more things you can do to evaluate the effectiveness of your website. And although all the tools look nice and useful, we recommend that you only work with one or two. Collecting a lot of data is great, but it takes a lot of time to process and makes your work a lot more complex.

Focus on a few powerful tools and start testing, measuring and evaluating. Turn your insights into a concrete improvement plan and implement your adjustments step by step. Many small adjustments ultimately lead to big changes. It is not necessary to rigorously turn your website upside down, that will probably only be counterproductive. Over time, measure the effect of the adjustments and make adjustments where necessary. This is how you get from data to action and from stagnation to progress!