1. Heuristic Analysis
Heuristics analysis is a method of inspecting potential problem points on the website. The evaluator examines the interface and how it complies with usability principles. This is a widely applied practice and taught in e-commerce where UIs are designed within a short period of time and low budget which limits usability testing.
The analysis starts with the expert sniffing around for quick wins in the battle to optimize your site. The site would be inspected for the most obvious issues with your user interface (UI). This generally applies to the most visited pages according to Google Analytics such as the homepage, collection page, product page, cart page, etc.
What does a heuristic analysis focus on?
1. Simplicity and clarity of the website and the offer.
Users don’t like confusion – your system should give them clear navigational cues and instructions as to where they are and what next step they need to take.
2. Ease of information handling.
The language your UI uses should match the customer’s, and the message you are sending should flow naturally into their mind. Take some time to do customers research and see what language they are using.
3. User freedom.
This is one of the most common mistakes of modern websites. Users want a certain amount of control over navigation, and a constantly sliding header with no way to control it often violates this freedom and leaves customers anxious or frustrated.
Use a consistent language, image, and style across your site so that your customers will easily remember you. This also helps to standardize your value proposition.
5. Error messages.
Users will eventually make mistakes. In these cases, deliver a sophisticated message to avoid frustrating or irritating them.
6. Visible retrieval.
Users often forget what they have read, so reminders should be visible to facilitate. In practice, a sticky header or changing the color of an already-clicked button are two smart examples of this.
7. Aesthetic aspects of the page.
An attractive page encourages the user to spend longer on the page, but remember that minimalism is ideal when delivering your message to customers.
Certainly, there are many other factors besides those examples we mentioned above, so our suggestion is that you consider hiring an expert to conduct the analysis for you. Since you’re the one who developed the site, you might have become too familiar with the content, leading you to assume everything is clear and well-reasoned. Hence, you need someone with expertise and a fresh pair of eyes to evaluate the pages and determine what can be quickly improved. An expert may only need a day or two to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis.
Working with an expert in quality heuristics analysis will give you a bunch of low-cost optimization opportunities, allowing you to take a great leap ahead of other companies whose A/B testing choices are based on random guesswork.
2. Technical Analysis:
Technical testing is what should be done next to ensure your site is functioning properly. As boring as it may sound, by following the points below, you might just discover that your site suffers from terrible technical bugs. Don’t overlook this steps unless you’re prepared to skip a lot of optimization opportunities. If you don’t have the basic technical knowledge, don’t hesitate to ask a developer for assistance.
The following are things you should be checking for during your technical analysis (remember, you’ll want to test your site on a variety of different devices and browsers):
More indexed pages means more people will visit your site – which means more money – so when checking your index, consider how these factors are affecting your index: .txt file; the presence of meta tags on the pages; lack of iframe, JS, the presence of Flash or other navigate technologies that prevent indexing; sitemap format speeds up-indexing and reindexing the pages; invalid URL structures; and incorrectly configured server response codes.
2. Load speed.
The higher your page load speed, the more satisfied your users will be; this also increases your search ranking. You can utilize tools like Firebug and Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Remember, errors often appear on small devices so don’t skip response speed testing on them.
3. Bad links and 404 pages.
Bad links lead to broken pages, non-existent images, etc. In these cases, users will end up on a 404 page. Too many error pages like this will cause your site ranking to be downgraded. Hence, check for pages that have been removed, whether intentionally or by accident. There are several ways to do it: Yandex.Webmaster Panel, Google Search Console, Xenu Link Sleuth, Screaming Frog Seo Spider, and so on.
To technically analyze a website, you will need to build a to-do list of necessary tasks and always have a developer to assist you if you’re not one yourself. Note, errors often appear on mobile devices, so, pay attention when you do cross-browser testing.
You can watch this video to learn about the four elements to conversion optimization research: