With so many marketers focused on conversion rates, it’s no wonder why web design gets the attention it does. The way we design our website, from the look and feel to how a user interacts with and navigates through it, has a huge impact on conversion rates. And when we aim to improve conversion rates through CRO, the best way to do it is through small changes in design.

It is in part because web design is so important that website analytics matter. They give us an idea how people are using the site. What pages are they visiting? How did they get there? Where are they dropping off?

Google Analytics, and more advanced paid analytics platforms are great tools. Mouseflow goes a step further and lets you actually “watch” individual user sessions so you can see exactly how they are navigating the site (for a cost). And of course you can conduct focus groups or user studies to get more detailed, more personalized information.

But one tool that is underused is the onsite survey. There are a number of tools out there that allow you to build and install simple surveys on your website so that you can collect answers to big questions you have in real time.

You might ask:

  • Are you able to find what you’re looking for?
  • How likely are you to recommend this website to a friend?
  • Did you encounter any problems with our website?

There are hundreds of questions you can ask. Some will be specific to certain pages on the site, while others will be more general. The key is, instead of making guesses with analytics, you are getting real feedback from the actual customers you are trying to serve.

Naysayers are going to say that this is an unnecessary distraction. With so much of our focus on conversion rates, making sure as many visitors as possible complete a purchase or some other desired action, introducing a survey has the potential to hurt rather than help.

To them I say that it’s all in the execution. A simple, short survey built into the site, designed in a way so as to limit confusion or distraction, will not keep people from converting. And if for some reason a small number of people complete the survey rather than take another action, you are still getting useful data that you can use going forward to improve conversion rates.