5 Ways to Test Your Website - Captain Coder

5 Ways to Test Your Website

testing your website

Even if your website has been up and active for a couple of years, I always recommend testing it once in awhile.

Why?

You want to ensure that nothing is broken. After all, our customers aren’t necessarily going to tell us when something doesn’t work. In fact, more often than not, they’ll just move on to the next business that can help.

Want to know the things you should be testing on a semi-regular basis? Let’s go through my top 5.

1. Contact Forms

This one might seem like a bit of a given, but you want to make sure that your contact forms are actually sending you an email notification when someone fills out the forms on your website.

If you haven’t gotten a form in awhile, it might be a good idea to go in and test that. Simply use an email different than the one you’re supposed to get the notifications to and fill out your own contact form. Did that come through? If yes, that’s it! If not, then you know you have an issue that you need to dig into.

Ensuring that my customers never miss a contact form is one reason I only use Gravity Forms in the websites I build. It’s a premium plugin with an annual fee, but it saves every single contact request in the back of your website. That means even if one doesn’t get emailed for one reason or another, it’s saved and you can still access it. Never miss another contact form!

2. Lead Capture/Newsletter Sequences

Similar to your contact forms, you’ll want to make sure the other types of forms on your websites work. If you have a newsletter sign up or a lead capture sequence on your website, it’s a good idea to check that it’s working so you don’t have your ideal customer getting frustrated.

First, you’ll want to go to your email service provider (ESP) and see if anyone has signed up within the last couple weeks or so. If it’s been awhile, go back to your website. Fill out the lead capture form (make sure to use an email that isn’t already associated with your ESP) and make sure you get all the confirmations and the freebie links.

If not, you might be able to check within your ESP to see if it’s not sending emails or if it’s not receiving the forms at all. One way to tell is most ESPs will require double opt-ins. Many will let you see if someone filled out the form in your contacts but they haven’t confirmed. Others will even show you if an email in a sequence has been sent. That will help you find the gap and what’s not working.

3. Online Purchases

If you have bigger ticket items or you just don’t sell a lot through your website for whatever reason, I recommend testing the purchase sequences. This will help you know that all is working as it should so you don’t lose that potential sale.

Want to do this without the mess of refunding (especially a bigger ticket item)? Simply make a one-time coupon code that you can use to take the cart value down to $0.01. This will let you test the entire checkout process, including that the card processing works, without the need to refund.

So simple!

4. Mobile Views

It’s no secret that your mobile version of your website is incredibly important to your user experience and overall customer care. If you haven’t in awhile, I’d recommend going through your website on your phone and/or a tablet (if you have it). Just click through, make sure nothing seems completely off, and all the links and buttons are easy to click.

Fixing these issues might require a web developer’s help, but especially if you’ve made any changes to your website in the last few weeks, it’s good to run through it on your phone to make sure nothing got messed up.

(I do not speak from personal experience here or anything….)

5. Google Analytics

Nothing is more frustrating than finding out you’re missing months of data because something got disconnected. Even if you’re not working with your Analytics data on a regular basis, you want it to always be tracking what’s happening on your website. After all, that data can provide you with such valuable information.

If you’re not the type logging into your Google Analytics account weekly to make decisions about your website and your business, I highly recommend you check it about once a month. As long as it’s showing recent information and active data, you’re good.

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