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A Simple Method to Discover Your Site’s Friction Points

Corte Swearingen | April 22, 2016 Comments
Cortes Blog

Every website has a primary goal – that one important action that you want all visitors to take, whether it’s filling out a form or buying a product. And while you should obsess over that goal and work on ways to improve it, don’t forget that the average conversion rate for an ecommerce site is only 2-3%. What do you do with all the people coming to your site and leaving without purchasing or filling out a form?

People coming to your site will be at many different points within the purchase cycle. It doesn’t matter what type of site you have (e.g., ecommerce vs lead gen) or what industry, some visitors will be in the consideration phase and are looking to get confirmation that your value proposition matches their need. Others may have come to your site several times previously and are ready to make a commitment like filling out a form or purchasing a product.

In the A/B Testing program here at Americaneagle.com, we start every engagement by collecting visitor data so that we can better understand why people are coming to your site and where they might be getting tripped up. We do this through the use of an exit survey. You may have seen these on other websites. They usually pop up a form in the lower right corner and ask 2-3 simple questions.

The importance of actual visitor survey information can’t be overstated. In a world where everyone has instant access to web analytics, exit surveys help provide meaning and context behind the numbers. Web analytics will tell you what people are doing on your website, but not why they are doing it. In order to answer the ‘why,’ you have to use a tool like an exit survey.

When setting up an exit survey, we ask three very important questions that only take a few seconds to answer. They are:

  1. What did you come to our site to do today?
  2. Where you able to do it successfully?
  3. If not, why?
                      Corte blog

The important thing about this exit survey is that we are measuring the success rate of the visitor based on what THEY want to do, not what we want them to do. This type of qualitative measurement is critical to understanding the basic health of your website and is known as the Task Completion Rate. It’s simply the percentage of visitors that were able to complete the goal of their visit.

While there is no industry data available for average Task Completion Rates for different types of sites, my own experience shows an average rate to be around 75-76%. I encourage you to use an exit survey to measure your own Task Completion Rate. It should be a critical key performance indicator that you monitor several times per year.

The last question of the exit survey will provide you with a rich source of data to help uncover various friction points all throughout the site. Not only will you know what your visitor was trying to do, but you’ll know the reason why they weren’t able to do it. Imagine all the actionable insight you’ll get from this one question! 

Using an exit survey is inexpensive and is one of the most important things you can do to quickly understand the intent of your site visitors, from first time visitors in the consideration stage to repeat visitors that are ready to take immediate action.

Contact Americaneagle.com today if you’d like more information on setting up an exit survey on your own site.

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