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User surveying to find and fix conversion issues

Last Updated on August 21, 2019 by Paul Metcalfe

User surveying to find and fix conversion issues

You can’t see what your users see

If you’ve built your own website, you’re blind to the issues there. You of course know how everything works, and it all makes sense to you, because you built it. Well designed and easy to use and understand? Obviously, but only to you. You’re immune to your own usability issues, because you’re not an end-user. You’ll need to hire eyes to look at your site and find the usability and conversion issues for you.

We all want our websites to convert. Without conversion, you’ll never have any revenue, and without revenue, you’ll die. And then you’ll have to go and get a “real job” and no one wants that. So let’s talk about using surveys to figure out conversion issues, and how to do it cheaply while we’re at it.

If you’ve seen any of my articles before, you know I’m all about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system for doing customer discovery and user testing. I wanted to improve conversion on my own startup, Anterose – Online Dating Profile Critiques, so I ran surveys recently on MTurk and got a lot of actionable items. I used to be a big fan of but once they increased the cost to $49 instead of $29 per test user, I was pretty dismayed, and once I realized they increased the price but hadn’t started paying testers more, I was done with them. You can use a site like or you can do it yourself with Mechanical Turk and Surveymonkey.

What exactly do you need to ask in your survey? Simply what is keeping people from converting. So you should ask questions about what worries them about your site, and what makes them not trust it, as well as what could be added to make them more likely to order.

Some suggested questions:

  • Do you trust this site? Why or why not?
  • What would make you trust this site more?
  • Is it clear what the site offers? Please describe what our service is.
  • What would keep you from ordering, if you were otherwise interested in our service?
  • Is there anything lacking from the order page that makes you not trust it?
  • Does anything confuse you about the check out page?
  • What makes you trust a site and feel okay about ordering from them?

You’ll be amazed by the responses, and it’s easy to make actionable lists of changes to implement from the survey responses.

Potential feedback:

  • Learn what confuses people, and what people tend to overlook (people complained I didn’t have contact information up, but I did)
  • Learn how to increase user trust by getting an SSL or a Mcafee badge or BBB logo etc
  • Perhaps people just don’t quite grasp what your service is, and they leave rather than make the effort to figure it out
  • People are lazy and they can get confused easily. You can learn what is preventing them from bothering with an order on your site.
  • By asking general questions about site trust not specific to your own site, you can learn what overall increases user trust.
  • You probably have too much copy on your site, and they’ll tell you
  • Your copy may come off as too dense and hard to process, or perhaps

I ran two surveys, one on the index page and one on the checkout page, and got a total of 36 changes to make. The cost was about $30 total. So very worth it.

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Have success with surveying to improve conversion? Share it in the comments below.

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