Countless benefits await those marketers who choose to initiate usability tests on their client’s websites including the chance to understand customers, save on support and development costs and increase overall satisfaction.

Despite the advantages, there are still a large portion who choose not to dabble in testing. According to WhichTestWon’s annual State of Online Testing Report, as many as 41% of respondents are not running tests on their sites or landing pages.

Although quite substantial, the figure has dropped since the survey was last run in mid-2010 when only 37% of marketers revealed they had run an A/B or multivariate test in the preceding 12 months.

Sponsored by web personalisation company, Maxymiser, the report lets those polled do the talking about testing’s usefulness. Only 10% witnessed neutral or no results, whereas 43% saw moderate results and 47% managed big gains.

The Resource Hurdle

What are the reasons for marketers not testing? The main barrier they came up against was one of resources. Roughly 45% considered staff and time two hurdles in their quest to either start testing or simply increase the number they did run.

Interestingly, only 3% of the technology businesses and agencies that do usability testing said their business was slacking off. The rest of the survey’s respondents reported moderate growth, similar gains to the previous year and a booming business.

An array of tests can be performed on a site to get the best possible picture of a how a it is being perceived by users. Marketers are generally seeing the highest impact on cart design tests, which the report state is because of it being so close to the final conversion.

Trickiest Lead Gen Tests Have Biggest Gains

Landing pages have the highest impact when undergoing basic lead generation tests, which is surprising. These tests are the most difficult because there are often no extraneous page elements or visitor paths to deal with.

Resources were again one of the top reasons for not testing websites or landing pages, with 24% saying there simply wasn’t enough staff time. All is not lost, though, as 31% of respondents do have plans for these tests, they just haven’t implemented them yet.

Web analytics and ideas from other sites or case studies are the most-used research tools to construct test hypotheses. However, there is a concern that marketers aren’t able to see their site through visitors’ eyes as less than half adopt usability studies and visitor surveys.