Website optimization tools


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Give your customers what they want, and they’ll keep on coming back. It's a theory we all believe in, and one as old
as the service industry itself. We all know we should be building “customer-centric” businesses and “customerfocused”
websites, but how many of us are able to base our online decisions on actual customer experiences, and
how much today is guesswork?

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Website optimization tools

  1. 1. BestFree & PaidWebsite Optimization ToolsThe 2012 Buyer’s Guide
  2. 2. Know thy customerGive your customers what they want, and they’ll keep on coming back. Its a theory we all believe in, and one as oldas the service industry itself. We all know we should be building “customer-centric” businesses and “customer-focused” websites, but how many of us are able to base our online decisions on actual customer experiences, andhow much today is guesswork?The user-testing spectrumUnfortunately, there is still no golden bullet, no one tool that does it all. Marketers today are stuck in a catch 22 ofhaving to choose between in-depth qualitative feedback solutions and statistically heavy quantitative tools. Whileone dives in to all the details but only a small sample of users, the other is able to analyze hundreds of millions ofwebsite visitors, but only offer basic analytics. The good news is that this spectrum offers more than simply twoextremes. If companies take advantage of tools available at each level of the spectrum, they will have a much morecomplete understanding of their website needs and goals.
  3. 3. How to use this guideIn this guide, we’ll be introducing the full gamut of web solutions, starting with tools that evaluate your entire site traffic, and ending withtechniques and best practices for understanding the individual user. At each step of the spectrum, weve handpicked the best free and paidtools that you should be using. Generally, the free tools will offer enough basic functionality for small businesses and individuals who needgreat feedback at a low budget. The paid tools on the other hand, offer advanced features and functionality vital for large businesses andenterprises, and are definitely worth the money if you can afford it.aditional Web AnalyticsCustomer Experience AnalyticsCustomer FeedbackConcept TestTraditional User TestingTraditional Web AnalyticsCustomer FeedbacConcept Testin
  4. 4. Traditional Web AnalyticsSample Size: Quantitative score: Qualitative Score:Billions 5 1These tools were built with one goal in mind – Numbers. Essentially an evolution of the old “hit-counters” you saw on websites in the 1990s,these tools tell you how many people came to your site, where they’re from, and what pages they looked at. This qualitative information is thefirst, basic step to understanding your customers.Best Free family minivan of the web analytics world, Google®Analyticsis free, easy to setup and a breeze to use. It can do lots of themore complicated stuff as well, and theres a great community ofusers and experts out there to help you along the way. It staysfree as long as you have less than 10 million hits a month, and ifyou exceed this limit, you should be looking at a full-page solutionanyway!Best Paid www.webtrends.comIf Google®Analytics is the family minivan, these guys are theFerrari and Lamborghini. Incredibly powerful but much moreexpensive, these are the tools used by the worlds biggest websitesto let them know exactly how their sites are performing. In general,Adobe®is better for marketing based analytics, while Webtrends®goes for the more modern approach with the addition of mobile andsocial analytics.$10K+AnalyticsFree $8K+
  5. 5. Customer Experience AnalyticsSample Size: Quantitative score: Qualitative Score:Millions 4 2Hoping to give qualitative insights but still maintain the scale of traditional web analytics, Customer Experience Analytics offers a deeper lookinto the customer’s actual behavior on the website itself, what their motives were for coming to the website, and what they experienced while onthe website itself.Best Free Toolwww.clicktale.comBy recording every mouse move, click, scroll and anonymouskeystrokes, ClickTale®is able to create playable videos of yourcustomers actually browsing your websites, and lets you search forthe videos you care about the most. It also gives a morequantitative view of these interactions with heatmaps and otheraggregated reports that show you what your website visitors aredoing en mass.Best Paid Toolswww.clicktale.comBuilt on the same recorder technology, but scaled to support theworld’s largest websites, ClickTale®Enterprise boasts a wholerange of features not found in the free plan. These additions, suchas segmentation, behavioral drill down, 3rdparty integrations andUltra-Scale reporting make a massive difference in the quality ofinformation gathered and significance of the findings when lookingat datasets of tens, if not hundreds of millions of customers.Free$5K+ENTERPRISE
  6. 6. Customer FeedbackSample Size: Quantitative score: Qualitative Score:Thousands 3 3These are the first tools on our list that require active user participation, by asking visitors to answer some questions or fill in a form. By its verynature, this is going to encourage a response from those customers who are particularly satisfied with your website, dissatisfied or simply havetoo much free time on their hands. It is still, however, the best way to collect in-depth user feedback on a grand scale.Best Free Toolwww.4qsurvey.comDeveloped by Google®Analytics guru Avinash Kaushik, 4QSurvey essentially asks your website visitors to answer simplequestions: How would you rate your site experience? What wasthe purpose of your visit? Were you able to fulfill that purpose?And if not, why not? Its incredible the insight youll get from askingthese questions alone, and how having a set of fixed focusquestions actually improves the quality of the feedback you getfrom your customers. They hide their free plan quite well, but youcan find it at Paid Toolwww.opinionlab.comWhat started off as completely customizable website feedbackforms has now grown into something much bigger. OpinionLab’smobile feedback, in-store feedback and product feedback make itseem as if you are able to collect feedback on anything, at anytime or any place.Free$2K+
  7. 7. Concept TestingSample Size: Quantitative score: Qualitative Score:Hundreds 2 4Now that we’re moving into the realm of focus groups, you have to remember that while you may not always be dealing with a group of peoplewho represent your customers, the feedback you are going to get is going to be much more in-depth.Best Free Toolwww.conceptfeedback.comYou can upload any image, web design concept, or live page, anda massive community from experts to idiots will let you knowexactly what they think of it. The feedback is great, and will usuallypick up on details you never would have thought to look for. Thecatch? You have to give feedback on five other concepts beforeuploading five yourself, which we think could only make you betterat your job in the long run.Best Paid Toolwww.fivesecondtest.comBased on the theory that we judge a website in the first couple ofseconds of landing on a page, this service lets you pay forhundreds of testers to give you their first impressions of yourwebsite or mock-up. With loads of custom functionality and moreadvanced features than you could imagine, you get a lot morebang for your buck here. However, like our other paid tools, ittakes a little bit more of a commitment from you, both in terms oftime and money.Free$100
  8. 8. Traditional User TestingSample Size: Quantitative score: Qualitative Score:Tens 1 5Finally, we hit pure qualitative feedback, with no focus on quantitative results whatsoever. By literally sitting down with your website visitors,asking them questions, and getting them to talk to you, you get 100% transparency into the mind of your customers, one customer at a time.Best Free ToolHeuristic EvaluationsYour office, home or local coffee shopYes, it sounds scary. But all Heuristic Evaluations mean is askingpeople what they think about your website. Its the oldest andsimplest trick in the usability handbook, and from experience, itworks! After watching two or three of your friends, colleagues andrelatives fail to see the big, fat call to action on your landing page,things begin to fall into place very quickly and it’s a great way tounderstand exactly what is, and isn’t happening on your website.Best Paid ToolUsability LabsMany, based on locationThese are the be all and end all of usability tools, and there arehundreds of labs all over the world offering in-depth user testing.Different processes involve one-way mirrors, web cams, even eyetracking devices, and can take up to a week to drain a handful ofparticipants of absolutely everything they think about your website,as well as run hundreds of mock tasks and usability tests.Free$10K+
  9. 9. About ClickTaleClickTale is the leader in Customer Experience Analytics, the next advance in web analytics, optimizing usability and maximizing conversionrates of any website. Its patented Customer Experience Visualization™ technology allows ebusinesses to see their customers’ true-to-lifeonline experience at all levels of detail, from aggregated views to playable videos of users’ browsing sessions. Unlike traditional analyticsplatforms that assess page-to-page navigation, ClickTale reveals the customer experience inside the page. ClickTale, an enterprise-class SaaSsolution, is fast to deploy and provides immediate ROI. Serving over 2,000 customers worldwide including Fortune 500 ebusinesses, ClickTaleis the fastest growing company in its space.To learn more, see:© 2012