UX Audit: What is this and how it helps to improve key metrics of your website?

December 25, 2020
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The correct UX audit solves specific and measurable problems. It is an opportunity to find out the difficulties the user faces on the website and why they leave it. Removing these frictions will affect on user loyalty, their willingness to move from potential to active clients.

As a bonus, you, as a business owner, will strengthen your market position relative to your competitors – the more comfortable to use your website, the more likely that, all other things being equal, the customers will come and stay with you.

Who is the Rocket CRO Lab agency and why do we think that UX audit is an essential feature for the whole Ecommerce industry?

Our main expertise areas are focused on services and tools aimed at client conversion growth: paid ads, conversion rate optimization, and marketing automation (email marketing).

The current article may attract the eCommerce business’s attention to an under-valued but efficient and useful tool that aims for lead and conversion metrics growth.

UX audit – What is this?

You decided to update the site to improve clients user experience and increase your key performance. But before submitting a change, it’s vital to know, describe and provide evidence about the challenges users face and how to fix or remove the issues found. In general, this is the primary goal of the UX site audit, also known as Usability audit.

This is usually an initial and essential step in the process of optimizing conversion rate (CRO). The audit helps identify “money-leaking” spots, front-end errors, and improve the conversion rate and basic KPI of your site.

What works are included in the regular UX audit?

The main purpose of such an audit is to identify the interface and technical problems, analyze the target audience’s motivations that stop or distract them from the main action, classify behavioral patterns, and facilitate the route from lead to the client.

This will be useful for e-commerce business in general, but specifically for:

  • Websites that want to increase revenue per visitor and stay within current advertising costs;
  • Websites that want to grow sales and the average order value but are not ready to redesign the website;
  • Websites that want to boost return on marketing investment;
  • Websites with low traffic that can’t run A/B tests and need to find their bottlenecks;
  • Design Agencies and web studios before redesigning the website for their clients.
  • Digital Agencies that want to improve the conversion rate for their client’s website by optimizing not only traffic sources but the website itself

Stages of this UX audit:

  1. Preparation stage

At this stage, you need to collect all the input information, for example:

Briefing, pain and needs, target audience analysis, the definition of key performance indicators, goals and targets. Analysis of key performance indicators of the product: RPV, CAC, CPL,LTV and others. Besides, setting up (if necessary) event tracking, analytical systems, recording user behavior on the site, setting up sales funnel, etc.

  1. Working with data

With the help of tools like Hotjar, Trymyui, Google Analytics and Google Data Studio, you will answer the questions “What” and “Why” users are doing on your website.

At this step, the following tasks are covered:

  • Google Analytics Health Check. Reviewing the correct settings of the analytics system. Whether all the data is received, is it accurate, and if you can believe it.
  • Website audience review. Identification and review of core audiences, their behavior on the website.
  • Cross-Device-Browser website review. Researching of the primary devices, browsers, screen resolutions; the study is conducted to determine whether any of the categories face problems when interacting with the site (time spent on the site, drop in conversion, etc.).
  • Site speed and conversion pages review. Summary of page loading speed and how it affects the conversion; which pages are more or less converting.
  • Sales funnel review. At what stages most visitors “fall off” and investigation of associated reports.

  • Research and study marketing channels’ performance. Research marketing activity, what tools bring the best results, and recommendations on further settings and optimization.
  • Heatmaps, Scrollmaps and Clickmaps analysis. Which areas are the most and least active on the pages.
  • Analysis of user behavior on the site (based on recorded video sessions in Hotjar)
  • Heuristic analysis of the website – preparing a report based on personal experience of using the site. What difficulties have appeared while interacting, what can be improved, how competitors do it.
  • Conducting customer surveys (through a form on the site or through the existing email base).
  • User testing – testers go through the unique scenario and comment on each stage of their overall impression of what they liked, what hindered their way for script execution, etc.

Each point also needs to be accompanied by its findings and conclusions.

Depending on the traffic volume, it may take several weeks and sometimes even a month to collect the data volume sufficient for analysis.

You can check here a screen example.

  1. Generating the list of observations and recommendations.

Based on the data obtained in the second stage, we prepare a list of observations and recommendations, the problems found, their impact on conversion, and solutions to correct them. Here, correlation analysis can show how a certain event on the site affects micro or macro conversion. Based on this information, all lists can be prioritized by the commitment level.

  1. Building the report.

In the last step, you need to collect all the information in one document to get the full picture. Usually, it will include about 60+ pages (the average number of pages that we prepare) and it contains:

  • A summarized list of the found problems, with examples in the form “Observation – Recommendation”;
  • A Hypotheses list with prioritization by influence and importance level;
  • Target audience results in surveys, user testing and user portrait;
  • Marketing sources efficiency summary;
  • Target audience data summary;
  • Mobile device performance report;
  • Enough information about issues that were identified;
  • A concrete action plan.

You can check here a screen example.

The results are based on a heuristic evaluation and data are taken from analytics. This allows you to make decisions without running tests.

What Next.

There can be a few options for what you can do after the report will be ready.

Variant A. Fix all issues that are listed in the report. In our experience, most of our clients can significantly increase CR by making small tweaks without big design changes.

Variant B. Using insights from the prepared document, product managers and designers can take it to prepare a new design.

Variant C. Run split tests if you have enough traffic. The list of hypotheses from the report will give you prioritized ideas for future tests.

About the author

Serhiy Smirnov is Co-Founder at RocketCROLab and  Co-Author at Helumium. Has been already 8 years in digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, marketing automation, strategy building, and implementation of working with eCommerce, service, and B2B projects around the globe.

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