What can User Testing achieve?
User testing companies like User Testing Inc. and whatusersdo offer a whole range of different services which could greatly benefit your website. They can provide you with videos of your target audience navigating your site, whilst reporting any difficulties they encounter, including feedback on the layout, theme, ease of use and so on, as they work their way through. You can have games tested as verified users play in real time, you can gain access to videos and reports from users reviewing your competition, to see how your site compares with theirs. You can find out whether your site is accessible and usable not just from a computer, but from a tablet, smart phone and so on. With some services, you can even design your own test, so that you target areas of your site you may already have concerns or reports of flaws with. You can find out how the public feels about your social media presence, which can make a big difference to your overall image, and things like how much your content gets read. You can also check whether the images you use are having the desired effect, and how users react to different images, or you can observe how people's use of your website changes over time with more longitudinal tests. You can even check how users interact with search engines to end up on your site - a truly valuable test for anybody hoping to generate more traffic and gain more readers, followers, or customers.
Clearly, then, user testing holds at least one benefit for every type of business imaginable, and it is undoubtedly something worth investing a little extra time and money into. It doesn't have to be particularly expensive, especially as you can often choose a package of services best suited to your particular needs, and so avoid paying for irrelevant or unhelpful tests.