UX audit as the first step to increase the performance of your website significantly

December 19, 2022
UX audit as the first step to increase the performance of your website significantly

Perhaps now is the time for you to order audits but not only ask your friends to check “what is wrong with my site”, “why sales are not going on”. After looking at the reports or visiting the site in person, it is now that the moment has come for you when you have realized that it requires changes.

It is essential to understand that you need to update not the site, but the interaction of your users with it, to make the journey map from the first visit to conversion shorter and easier. How to approach this issue correctly and what options there may be, we will describe in this article.

Who we are

We are a Rocket CRO Lab agency, and our primary expertise is conversion rate optimization work. Besides, we work with performance-based marketing tools and paid ads. Each specialist has a vast experience of work both in-house and inside of the digital agencies.

We decided to publish this article to draw businesses’ attention to other less obvious, but no less effective tools for working with the audience online, aimed at increasing sales and other key metrics. And as our experience shows, many businesses (SME level) are not familiar with the methods below.

So, before you start any changes on the site, it is essential to understand, describe, and justify what problems users have and how they can be solved. In this case, you face the task of conducting an UX audit of the site.

UX audit is the first and vital step in optimizing conversion (CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization) or redesigning the site. With the usability audit, you will be able to find front-end errors, find money-leaking places, and improve your site’s basic metrics. Below is a description of what types of analysis exist, for what purposes, and what business can benefit from it.

The following types and lists of works are taken from the methods with which our agency works.

1. Basic UX audit and analytics

This version of the review contains a heuristic analysis of the site, as well as technical analysis of the site based on data from analytical systems. This audit can answer the question “What is wrong with the site”, why and where are the problems with conversions. It is suitable for small eCommerce stores or for those who want to invest in CRO but have not yet made a decision preferentially or choose a contractor. This is a good option to get quick tips on what to look for on the website to increase conversions.

In this case, the UX audit should describe such topics:

  • user interaction with the site (user path, sales funnel);
  • problems and difficulties in performing targeted actions on the site;
  • interface problems and complexities;
  • where you lose the profit;
  • a step-by-step plan for further action to correct errors and make changes to the site.

The audit may be useful to sites that have:

  • low conversion rates or they want to improve it;
  • high bounce rates on key pages;
  • want to study data on user interaction with the site (customer journey map);
  • plan to update the design and want to make decisions based on data;
  • due to low traffic volume, can not run A\B testing, to test hypotheses.

Steps of such UX audit

1. Preparation phase.

Brief analysis, identification of the target audience, identification of the key metrics by which business performance is measured.

If necessary, setting up analytics systems, goals, events, etc. In this case, after configuring, depending on the traffic volume, it will be necessary to wait for some time to get enough data volume to analyze.

2. Data collection and analysis. At this stage, we cover such questions as:

  • Customer journey map;
  • Analysis of the sales funnel;
  • Heuristic analysis;
  • Content Analysis;
  • Technical analysis: the speed of loading individual pages and the entire site;
  • Desktop and mobile site analysis;
  • Summary of the structural site and basic elements.

3. Creating the list of observations and hypotheses.

Based on the data obtained from the analysis, a number of hypotheses, observations and assumptions about changes in the site, their potential impact on the conversion and their solutions are made.

4. Creating the report.

At the final stage of the audit, all data obtained earlier is collected in one document, which contains:

  • Description of found problems with the examples in the format “Observation – Recommendation”;
  • A list of hypotheses prioritized by importance, urgency and ease of fixing;
  • A step-by-step action plan.

2. Detailed UX audit and research

This version of the audit contains detailed information about user behavior on the website and is an integral part of the conversion rate optimization (CRO) process. The main objective of such an audit is to identify interface issues and analyze the motives of the target audience (TA) that stop or distract them from performing the targeted action, identify behavioral patterns, and facilitate the path from site to site conversion. This audit is well suited for medium and large eCommerce projects that want to grow without increasing marketing costs.

We use “all weapons”: heat maps and user behavior analysis based on recorded sessions, company employee surveys, user surveys, user support chat analysis, user testing, TA analysis and user portrait creation, form analysis, etc.

As a result, you will get answers to the questions “What” a user does on the site and “Why” (he did not make a purchase, left the site, the cart…).

In addition to this you get:

  • A list of observations and hypotheses ;
  • TA survey result, user test result, user portrait;
  • Report across the effectiveness of marketing channels;
  • Report across your TA data;
  • Mobile device efficiency analysis;
  • A detailed report on detected errors;
  • Dashboard in Data Studio with current site metrics.

To whom it is useful:

  • Online stores that have reached their traffic limits and the cost of attracting new customers far exceeds their marketing budgets;
  • Online stores that are not ready to redesign the site, but want to increase conversion to sales, re-sales, increase the average check;
  • Online stores that want to spend resources more intelligently and have a higher return on investment (ROMI);
  • Agencies that want to make sure they are on the right track in redesigning the website for their eCommerce customers.

Typically, this type of audit is done by CRO agencies as part of an ongoing conversion optimization process. The conclusions are based on the heuristic approach (agency experience) and analytics. This makes it possible to make further informed decisions during the preparation process, before launching А\B tests.

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Stages of this UX audit:

1. Preparation stage.

Communication with the owner, analysis of TA, their pain and needs, defining key metrics, goals and objectives. Analysis of key product metrics: LTV, CAC, RPV, CPL. At this stage, we set up systems of analytics, tracking user behavior on the site, surveys, funnel visualization, etc.

2. Data analysis.

At this stage, we cover such questions as:

  • Quantitative analysis;
  • Qualitative analysis;
  • Heuristic analysis;
  • Content analysis;
  • Technical analysis;
  • Analysis of marketing channels efficiency;
  • Desktop and mobile version analysis.
  • Depending on the amount of traffic, it may take several weeks to collect this data, sometimes even a month.

3. Creating the list of observations and hypotheses.

Based on the data from the analysis, several hypotheses, observations and assumptions about errors, their influence on the conversion and their solutions are made. Correlation analysis shows how a specific event on the site influences on the micro or macro conversion.

4. Creating the report.

At the final stage of the audit, all data obtained earlier is collected in a single document of 70+ pages, which contains:

  • Description of found problems with the examples in the format “Supervision – Recommendation”;
  • A list of hypotheses prioritized by importance;
  • A step-by-step action plan.

Next steps

You already have an audit and a list of ideas that you can start implementing. Depending on your initial goals, we recommend the following variations.

Your goal is to improve conversion through changes of individual elements. In this case, according to the received list, you can initially correct obvious and technical errors. Other observations and hypotheses you prioritize, and your team run tests to check the hypothesis.

If the purpose of the audit was originally to redesign the site, in this case, we recommend that you redesign most of the functionality so as not to evoke negative emotions in your audience. Before starting a new version of the site to test it first inside the team and among friends, run A/B test on 20-30% of the audience and collect feedback. If errors were found – eliminate them, make possible corrections and roll out to the entire audience.

After that, all subsequent ideas to submit through the A/B test, as described in the paragraph above.

Thank you for finishing the material, if you have any questions, please leave them in comments to the article or write in personal messages.

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Want to consult about something?

If you still have any questions about how to properly run conversion rate optimization or about digital marketing or you need any help in GA and GTM setup, just send us a message or ​schedule a free 30-minute call with us.

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