Understanding how customers see your website

You can test, QA, check all you like but the chances are you will never spot every potential issue with your new-look website before you put it live. Yet, you needn’t just be responsive when a customer raises a problem with you, you can also be proactive too.

Monitor your up-time

The chances are if you are reading this you are probably a Webfusion customer and since we pride ourselves on our up-time, the following probably doesn’t apply to you much, but if you are tracking what works and what doesn’t via your web presence it is important to know about potential other influencing factors like downtime.

Monatastic and UptimeRobot are just two of the many free services you can set up to email you every time your site is down. If you are using a paid-for search campaign than this can save wasted money on pointless click throughs allowing you to to pause your advertising when your site can’t be reached.

Track your error pages

We all know the importance of tracking your website but that includes errors too. If a customer comes to your site but can’t find a page, or get it to load, there’s a problem. Often it is a tiny coding error, or a typing error that is easily rectified, but you need to know where it is first.

Google Analytics will help you identify that – take a look at this Google Analytics help article on tweaking the code on your 404 page. Using Google Analytics you can also see how they arrived there. It could be customers are frequently typing the URL incorrectly. In which case, setting up a forwarding page from the URL they keep incorrectly going to could be very profitable for you.

Check your conversion path

There are plenty of tools out there now to help you examine the funnel and what it is that puts users off buying or completing their transaction. Again Google Analytics offers a basic analysis as to what pages people exit most from. Analyse those pages and see what can be done to improve them.

Get feedback

Use free survey tools like Survey Monkey to ensure you are on top of the opinions of your visitors. Giving people the tools to feedback will also spur them on positively too, so you can also learn about why they love your site, as well as why they do not.

Carry on the QA

You or your designer probably used a browser testing tool such as Browser Shots or Adobe BrowserLab before you launched to check how your site rendered across platforms etc but have you checked it since? What about those couple of code tweaks you made last week? Keep on top of your site, new technology and how your visitors are looking at your site. If you don’t you may not only be losing new custom but also miss out on potential return custom too.

Most importantly of all, don’t forget to check your website yourself every once in a while. It makes it easier to compare it to the competition in your own mind and may just inspire some new tweaks.

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Tim Fuell only joined the Webfusion team last year but having been a customer of the group for more than 10 years, he knew all about their success in the Web hosting field. After writing his Masters thesis on the threat of cybersquatting way back in 1998, he has seen the Internet grow beyond even his wildest dreams. A journalist for over 16 years and a qualified Solicitor, Tim is one of a team of bloggers in the Webfusion stable aiming to educate, inform and assist their online readership.