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Maybe the Best $100 You Ever Spent

User TestingThere are all kinds of ways to increase conversion on your website. You can tweak headlines, test offers and play with every single copy element to get it just right – but, at the end of the day, if the user doesn’t really get what you are trying to get them to do, you’re sunk.

Web folks have been employing something called usability testing for years. Essentially this is putting a prospect in front of your site and having them talk their way through navigating towards whatever your goal is. This is a very powerful, and frankly, necessary step for any web site to be truly successful. The problem for the typical small business is that it can also be rather expensive.

I was interviewing web conversion expert Bryan Eisenberg for an upcoming Duct Tape Marketing Podcast episode and he shared a little secret with me about a firm that conduces low cost usability testing.

The site is usertesting.com and for just under $100 you can get some tremendous feedback about the user experience of your web site.

Here’s how it works:

  • You sign up for user testing, specifying the demographic profile of your target audience and how many user testers you want (one user costs $19, five users cost $95).
  • Users record their screen and voice as they use your website, speaking their thoughts as they browse.
  • You watch and listen to them use your site. Each user’s session – mouse movements, clicks, keystrokes, and spoken comments – is saved as a Flash video for you to watch.
  • You read their review.
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  • http://mindfrenzy.com/ Jared

    Great information. Seems like a very useful tool for start-ups especially.

  • http://www.paysimple.com Chad

    Oh, the relevancy! We are in the process of doing usability testing right now. Because we are looking for small business owners to actually come into our office, I have been locally searching on Facebook’s Visa Small Business. This is definitely another avenue I am going to bring to everyone’s attentions. Thanks again, John!

  • http://www.maxentin.ca Max Entin

    That’s a great resource. I can also suggest using Amazon Mechanical Turks http://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome to cheaply get people to do usability testing for you.

  • http://www.ZaggedEdge.com Matt Wilson

    Met the CEO yesterday at Web2expo NY. Got the full rundown, seems like a great service that will test your site using both a team of users and computer programs.

    Also, they are giving away a Wii today. Put your biz card at their booth

  • http://www.dzinestand.com/ Web Design

    Really Nice Post. thanks For Provide the Info About the Useful Tool.