It's no secret that conversion optimization is essential for website success.
However, many overlook the value of quality assurance for website development. In fact, QA can play a huge role in boosting conversions – often in non-obvious ways.
We give you a few ways QA can help improve your website's performance:
More and more often, clients creating their web pages come to Netguru and ask to make them beautiful but also to make them better in terms of conversion. Why? Because the more users convert, the better the revenue. The more comfortable QAs feel in this field, the more value they can bring to the project.
QA engineers are versatile professionals and the scope of their responsibilities is quite broad. Starting with regular testing – manual and/or automated – analyzing flows, creating technical documentation, testing compliance with designs, suggesting UX/UI improvements, assuring high performance (like page load speed), reliable security, decent accessibility – and that’s only a few that come to mind immediately.
What actually is conversion?
Let's start with the basics: what is conversion? Conversion is a goal that may be accomplished on a webpage by website visitors, e.g., making a purchase, subscribing to the newsletter, filling out the contact form, signing up for an event, or asking for a quote. So, conversion is a goal that is crucial for the entire site from the business perspective.
Conversion Rate (CR) is an efficiency indicator that shows what percentage of users who clicked on a page performed the desired action (converted). If CR equals 2%, it means that two visitors out of 100 were converted by performing the desired action.
Conversion rate can be measured at the campaign, ad group, keyword, and placement levels and is an extremely important indicator for marketing specialists. It's so important that companies, especially from the ecommerce industry, usually have a dedicated professional(s) to take care of CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization.
CRO is actually a process during which we try to increase CR. One of the ways to obtain that is to run A/B tests based on hypotheses, run experiments, analyze user movements on the page via MouseFlow or HotJar, suggest improvements – all these to understand a user more and to convince them to convert.
Can a QA have an impact on conversion?
Spoiler alert: the answer is YES!
Website quality assurance is a perfect fit to support Conversion Rate Optimization. Although tasks mentioned in a previous paragraph aren't usually QA testing tasks, their skill set, knowledge, and experience allow this type of specialist to judge website content quality on a page, its layout, and design.
Thus, the quality assurance process can positively impact CR in optimization by using some tricks and hacks that you will learn from this article. Sometimes conversion rate may increase even by up to 400% by only slightly redesigning particular elements of a web page and adjusting it to quality assurance standards defined for the development process.
Low cost, enormous value :) Why is it important? Because the more users convert, the better the company’s revenue.
OK, so what actually might a QA do? What should their expertise focus on?
The page supports one major measurable goal – ATF and the USP
Basically, every landing page should have one measurable goal that we want to be achieved by the visitor. It’s essential to have an appealing Above The Fold (ATF).
In the world of web design, ATF refers to the part of a user interface that visitors see at first sight without scrolling. This one should particularly address the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and encourage users to stay and dig deeper into the offering. If we fail at this point, users will probably just quit the website.
ATF doesn't have to be fancy nor super creative (but of course, it can!) – it's more about being extra clear and answering visitors' needs at this very first step. USP is the essence of what makes the product or service better than competitors.
Communicating USP in a clear manner is one of the keys to getting potential customers to convert on the site. A visitor should find out, without scrolling, that the page if it’s for them, and if it corresponds with their needs or interests.
For example, if we develop a page whose goal is to inform users about a service that is a part of the company’s offering, then we want a user to convert and ask for this service.
In doubts about a perfect ATF, you can ask these questions from the user perspective:
- What is it?
- Is it for me?
- What's the value?
Or simply ask yourself some support questions like:
- What would a visitor expect from this page?
- What do I want a visitor to do on this page?
Writing content isn't part of a QA team’s responsibilities. However, this small dose of knowledge may help to understand why it’s important and why we should care about it. If we fail at this point, probably the user will just quit the website.
Since answering the above questions means a lot of information to include in one heading, what you can do as a QA, is to suggest a subheading feature that your client maybe didn't think of to pack more answers in there!
Let’s have a look at this heading and subheading:
Build and Deploy Apps for iOS and Android with Flutter Development
A quick way to market your finance app using a single codebase
Do they answer our questions?
- What is it about? → Building mobile apps for both OSs with Flutter technology
- What's the target? → Finance industry
- What’s the value → It’s quick and simple (single codebase)
This is an example of a good ATF.
When we succeed at keeping a user’s attention with a persuasive ATF, let’s make sure the rest of the page structure is easy to understand and follow.
Page is easy to scan
Basically, we know that users aren’t reading web pages from A to Z, they are scanning them. The human brain assimilates the content better while it’s divided into short blocks of text. For these reasons, we should make pages as easy for users as possible. They should be able to find interesting, relevant information quickly. To achieve that, we can:
- Add headings and subheadings.
- Build pages that present content in a graphical way like grids or tiles.
- Use a short block of texts. The optimal would be to divide text into paragraphs of 4-5 lines of text.
- Use bullet lists, preferably highlighted in a nice graphic way.
As a QA tester, while performing daily testing of a page we can easily take care of the above and propose some improvements accordingly.
There are no unnecessary distractors
Simply, let’s avoid unnecessary distractors. We should always have in the back of our minds that whatever we include on the page, it may bring us closer or move us away from the goal that we defined at the very beginning.
Thus, a page shouldn't be overloaded with content nor be too long. Sometimes clients want to include as much information as possible on their websites, but it’s not the best strategy. Web pages shouldn’t be overloaded so that a visitor doesn’t feel lost and have a poor user experience. Also, the longer the page is, the risk that the visitor won’t read it or gets bored becomes higher.
Moreover, the page shouldn’t contain unnecessary distractors. Often clients don’t want their pages to be too static and they get tempted with “rich” content and various animations. That’s totally fine as long as a page supports one major measurable goal.
Clickable elements look clickable (and ARE clickable)
Hover states are more than welcome, same as cursors-pointers.
There was a popular belief that CTA buttons of a particular color perform better. Some others are that green performs better because green means “go.” With all of the research now, we know that color itself makes only a slight difference and actually, the most important thing is that it stands out. Buttons must be prominent to function properly and encourage users to click.
Obviously, they should also contain a working link, as nothing frustrates users more than buttons that either contain broken links or don't contain any at all and are misleading.
CTA isn’t only at the bottom of the page
Speaking of CTA already, make sure that users have easy access to the major CTA. Usually, we place it at the bottom of the page and it’s a safe way, but do not fear to use it in the middle. An idea on how to avoid a boring CTA is, of course, an outstanding layout so it’s hard to miss while scrolling.
Also, visitors should know what is going to happen after clicking a CTA. Make sure that all the information needed to take the next steps is provided. For example: “We’ve just sent you the ebook. You will find the activation link in your mailbox.”
Instead of a CTA, we can propose the use of a dedicated form for this particular service, for example, an expert call. Of course, after submitting the form, a clear message is shown to the user, i.e., “Our expert will contact you within the next 24 hours.”
Generic copy – we don’t want that!
Another important thing: avoid generic button copy like “Submit” or “Download” or “Read more.” They need to be engaging and persuasive. We don’t have to be very fancy, it’s rather about being clear. We can focus on what it is exactly about.
Below are some examples:
Instead of this:
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Visuals are relevant and support the content
Content writing is out of QA scope, but as we already agreed before, it has to persuade users to stay and take action. Content should be built around benefits (“Why is it for me?”). It also should build trust – appropriate testimonials, case studies, and logotypes are more than welcome.
When it comes to images that support the content, let’s choose images wisely, especially for hero images (ATF + UPS):
- They must straighten the content and give a visual message about what the page is about.
- They shouldn’t be too obvious. For example, if you want a user to subscribe to the next edition of some event that takes place in London, it may not be the best idea to show a London Eye image in your hero section. Go for an image from the previous edition, show some audience, a photo from the discussion panel – to give an idea of the conference.
- Also, try to avoid stock images.
- If a QA team is engaged in the product lifecycle from the very beginning, like the design phase, I strongly recommend they also cooperate closely with designers. QAs may help with benchmarks, i.e., if the project is about machine learning, maybe it’s not the best idea to use particles (like 90% of competitors).
- Of course, visuals should be up to date.
- Visuals are displayed well on different screen sizes with responsive web design (RWD).
Tech point of view on marketing metrics
Even though QAs are not CRO nor digital marketing experts, website quality assurance testing can still bring value to software development projects in terms of conversion. With their UX and customer psychology knowledge, passion for design, analytics, and monitoring skills, as well as tips and hacks from this article, hopefully CR will bloom in all your projects.