Website Usability Audit and Analytics

Digital marketing Blog Ecommerce SEO Analytics User Experience (UX)

The usability of your website or online store is crucial to achieving success in e-commerce. It deals with logic, clear navigation, and functional interfaces. Generally, good usability means ease of use. No matter how high your traffic is, your sales and conversion rates won’t grow if the usability is poor.

To conduct a proper usability audit and based on analytics data to form certain hypotheses that should be improved usability on the site. Marketers or Usability analysts ask themselves:

  • How much does a usability audit cost?
  • Why conduct a usability audit heuristic?
  • What is a good UX checklist to audit my website?
  • Automatic web usability evaluation what needs to be done?
  • For design engineers, what is a usability evaluation of a technology prototype or device?
  • How to use analytics for UX?
  • How to use Google Analytics to do UX research?

To see collect data analytics of user behavior on the pages of the site, you need:

  1. Install the Plerdy tracking code on the site.
  2. Analyze the heatmap. After installation, the data is automatically collected from the pages where a tracking code Plerdy has been installed.
  3. Configure the rules for recording video sessions.
  4. Analyze recorded video sessions.
  5. If you have an online store, you can analyze what elements affect sales.

As a result, you have some traffic, but the conversion remains – let’s put it that way – insufficient. At first glance, it looks like you need to invest more in SEO promotion and contextual advertising, but in reality, the problem won’t disappear. Users don’t like to look for a registration form, a Buy button, a phone number, etc. It’s a too complex task they are unwilling to solve. When a web resource is unclear, we close it. To understand what problems users face on your website, you should do a usability audit. Usability audit is an effective method of testing the interface for its user-friendliness. The foremost “experts” in usability audit are the audience for which the web project was created. The evaluation method shows actual results because no one will find the weaknesses of the interface better than those who use it.

How to conduct a usability audit? The material will be valuable and exciting to UX designers, project managers (and product owners), and everyone involved in developing the Internet product.

Tasks that can be solved with a usability audit

задачи аудита
When you improve website usability, conversion rates increase. The principle is simple: users come to your website, immediately find what they need, and you get the customers. You literally, step by step, lead them to the desired goal. If everything goes as planned, macro and micro conversion rates will grow. A website usability audit is more than changing a design or adding a Buy button. It includes a deeper analysis. You study different paths and user behavior on your resource, consider your business goals, field, type of the website, target audience, competitors, and other things. Generally, usability audit helps to:

  • Find mistakes, flaws, or bugs which prevent users from completing target actions
  • Implement recommendations and improve the usability of a website or online store
  • Increase conversion rates, grow sales and income
  • Provide a competitive edge, since users will get everything they want on your resource and won’t go to other websites

In most cases, website owners are sure that there is nothing to fix if their resource is new and keeps up with all trends.

But the experience shows that there are always some mistakes, flaws, or details that affect conversion rates.

Thus, a usability audit may be useful for

For websites and online stores that want to succeed in e-commerce, a usability audit is a must. The point is that an increase in conversion rates is key for such resources. Here are the main categories:

  • Existing websites and online stores that want to increase income.
  • Online stores (since usability affects sales and customer loyalty).
  • Projects under development (to create a proper and effective resource from the beginning).

Usability audit allows detecting problematic areas where a conversion rate drops. It shows what obstacles prevent visitors from completing target actions and helps to design a strategy based on empirical data.

Types of usability audit of the site

    You can test usability according to the following plan:

  • The visual part. When we first look at the site, and the target audience has never seen the project
  • Conversion path. We check all the information after a specific traffic channel. For example, go to the landing page and check whether everything is evident.
  • Technical (QA test). This is the task of the QA tester, who must assess the quality of the entire project and make constructive suggestions for its improvement.
  •  To refine all parameters and notice all possible flaws, we recommend sticking to checklists during usability audit. After that, one must create a plan of recommendations on fixing all mistakes. In the process of usability audit, we continually ask the question: Is it convenient or inconvenient? What problems could the user have when working on this page?

    It is best to do usability audit when there is traffic, but there are different kinds of traffic:

  • First, the traffic may be untargeted, and then the results will be incorrect. For example, you will see a high bounce rate due to incorrectly configured contextual advertising.
  • Second, you can get traffic from Facebook, but not from your niche. Or from organics, but not on those requests and not on the necessary landing pages.
  • It would help if you did usability testing based on the perception of how users use specific site elements, rather than how they are supposed to use them (in your opinion). The heatmap, which we will talk about below, can help.

Usability testing and site optimization

What to check during usability audit:

  1. Verbal + visual perception: how are text, images, and graphic content perceived?
  2. The purpose of the page: what task should it perform – to inform, advertise, sell, or entertain?
  3. Convenience: is it convenient or inconvenient to use this site?
  4. Check: check the heatmap and Google Analytics. Even completely identical design and content sites give different bounce rates, clicks, and % conversion.
  5. Website optimization is impossible without usability testing and works to improve it. Unfortunately, this affects the convenience for visitors and the site’s profitability.

How to use heatmap analytics for usability audit?

Heatmap is a handy tool for testing website usability. It allows you to determine which pages attract visitors – product catalog, blog, delivery, etc. These cards will enable you to adjust and speed up the user’s path through the sales funnel – from the first contact to the target action.

    Usability analytics with a heatmap allows you to check:

  • Site features
  • CTA
  • Exactly where users click
  • How the site works in general
  • Scrolling depth
  • Contents – top or bottom
  • Bounce rate
  • Design
  • As for the design, here, the heatmap in usability testing helps identify design elements that users mistake for buttons. Beautiful design with various features distracts visitors, and they can confuse ordinary pictures with signature forms, which is at least a little annoying.

An example of usability audit – Google Store

    Let’s show by an example what errors can be found during usability audit of Google Store:

  1. Click on the logo. It is not good if you get to the country selection page or any place other than the primary or landing page.
  2. Test your search in different languages. For example, write the product’s name in the search box in English and German. Various issues are wrong.
  3. Go to the basket and try to get out of it. If you click on the logo, you will get to the page “Error 400”.
  4. There can be many more of these examples. Each site has its weaknesses that are identified only with usability audit.

15 advantages of a usability audit you have never heard of

Obviously, usability testing is an assessment and guidance for your site and some great bonuses you can get as a result. By reformatting your resource, you can both achieve top search results and attract additional traffic, but most importantly, you can increase sales and turn potential buyers into customers. We have completed a list of the benefits of usability testing you can get after making the changes.

  1. Competitive edge
    By improving usability, you make your website more preferred by potential customers. When a web resource is easy to use, visitors immediately find what they need and become customers. You leave your competitors far behind. Note that you should change your website or online store only after usability testing is done. If you implement all recommendations step by step, test them, monitor and record indicators, you will get great results really soon.
  2. Website responsiveness
    A proper display of your website on all devices is extremely important. In fact, regardless of who your potential buyer is, a businessman or a stylish girl, they use different devices, browse on smartphones or tablets and buy accordingly. So why should we neglect this? The analysis of technical components will help to detect problems with responsive versions and, of course, fix everything. For example, take a look at the screenshot of the feedback popup which isn’t fully displayed

    And in a horizontal mode, menus are overlapping
  3. Download speed
    Download speed takes second place after the responsiveness since customers don’t like waiting (this already should be taken as given). So you must work to improve the speed and strive to make your website as fast as possible. Delete photos and videos that overload your website and unnecessary pages, filters, or non-informative blocks. For example, you can remove extra elements from the pages of a mobile version since they slow it down
    Скорость загрузки
  4. Interesting content
    Informative content of product cards will attract users’ attention and improve your online karma. Indeed, nobody will rack their brains and read an unformatted and boring text to find the necessary information. Please make appealing and optimum content for your blog or product descriptions to tailor them for your needs. A usability assessment will indicate the advantages and disadvantages of your materials. For instance, the page of this health resort includes a low-quality picture that is completely unclear to users:
  5. Promotion in search
    Usability affects ranking in search engines. If your website is easy to use, the behavioral factor improves. As a result, the bounce rate reduces while the time spent on pages and page view time increase. A target audience is more interested in such a website, which is a positive signal for search systems. By improving usability, you will receive small bonuses and get into the TOP faster.
  6. Targeted traffic
    Since optimization improves the ranking of a website, its traffic also increases. If you work with different traffic channels and have great usability, the clients who come through one will return through others. The overall behavior factor improves.
  7. Improvements
    After the audit, you will find out what exactly needs to be corrected, first and foremost, what currently hinders the work of your web resource. An unnecessary functionality, a long registration form, and big ads are killing your traffic and promotional budget. Only a thorough analysis can show real obstacles on the way to the desired rates. For example, this search form on the main page doesn’t work properly

    We enter the request, click Search

    And find nothing related. This should be fixed immediately since users also cannot find what they are looking for.
  8. Great recommendations
    You can fix your flaws with the help of testing and refine your website or online store. Take into account your audience’s preferences to add interesting features, such as reviews of the online store, display of products of the same color, or your advantages in figures. You have to really know what attracts your potential and loyal customers.
  9. Web analytics of the website
    Not only is fixing mistakes important, but one should also monitor the results of corrections and refinements. Preserve achievements and make new corrections based on the analytics. To track the effectiveness of usability changes, use Google Analytics or Plerdy click heatmaps. Also, evaluate the overall performance of the resource, including its technical components, functionality, and design. You will get a clear presentation of useful and important information.
  10. Loyalty and repeat sales
    It is probably a well-known fact, but if customers like your place, they will come again. In addition, to repeat sales, you will also get customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. This parameter is definitely included in the usability checklist.
  11. Higher average check
    Increase your average check. You can offer them more when all processes are fine-tuned and a customer makes an order/purchase/registration or any target action. Cross-selling and upselling are very effective here. For instance, you may use email campaigns.
  12. Better design
    After the usability testing, you can implement great design and style solutions in the whole resource as well as its separate elements, pages, or blocks. Find out what you really need and what can backfire. Anyway, the redesign is a must.

    No Learn More, Go to, or Buy button
  13. Saved promotional budget
    We aren’t going to remind you that a usability audit is a step forward. Sticking to all the recommendations, you will simplify the conversion of visitors into buyers and thus, reduce expenses on clients. Also, your promotional campaigns will be better planned, as you will get higher sales with the same budget.
  14. Unique design
    It would help if you distinguished yourself from template websites and standard online stores. But very often, everything is vice versa. We look at the websites of our competitors and do something look-alike. Sometimes studying the market is useful, yet a unique design will become your defining feature in the ocean of similar offers.
  15. Three-click rule
    The essence of this simple recommendation is that users should find all necessary information with no more than three clicks. Just three clicks, and you get the result. There are proponents and opponents of this theory, but anyway, we insist on making the resource as simple as possible.


At first, it may seem like we are talking about some obvious things. Yet dealing with their own business, people often forget about everything and create a resource to match their personal tastes and needs. However, your website is for users. They are the ones that will make purchases and recommend you to their friends. A website or online store is a direct connection with potential clients, so don’t neglect it. After the usability audit, you get clear instructions on improving your work and making it more effective.

Article by:
CEO Andrew Chornyy

CEO Plerdy — expert in SEO&CRO with over 11 years of experience.

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