A clear content structure and a stellar design make for a good website.

5 Ways Tree Testing Can Reduce User Bounce Rate

We often use the terms like user navigation, readability, structure, etc., while designing a website. Indeed, these parameters make for an efficient website. However, we need to know the difference between these terms. A website that is easy to navigate may not always be easy to read, and vice versa.

So the content structure and design both play a crucial role in making a website worthy of scrolling. 55% of your visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website. Hence it is essential to design a visually attractive and easy-to-read website.

While testing is often the last stage of product development, tree testing is the primary stage of product design. Tree testing includes testing every content piece that has a tree-like menu. It is a cost-effective and time-efficient way to improve your website's UX.

The article talks about ways tree testing can reduce bounce rates and keep users engaged for longer. However, before that, let us understand why UX and its research are vital in the first place.

Why is UX research important?

A user is less likely to purchase a product or a service from a website that is not user-friendly. If the content on the page is clumsy or the page is stuffed with CTAs, whichever the reason, the user will leave the webpage if it is not simple and engaging enough. This is why knowing users’ preferences, behaviours and needs are important.

Only if you know your users can you build a website that caters for them. If you are still wondering why UX research is important, check the following points: 

  • It increases sales
  • It ensures you’re targeting the right audience
  • It decreases production costs
  • It helps you understand your users’ behaviours

As the points above show, a good UX impacts your overall business success. Also, it is not simply about the design. It is both content and website design. With tree testing, you can identify navigation issues early on and make amends to ensure the content structure and design both are in place.

Now that you know the significance of UX, let’s look at five ways tree testing can reduce user bounce rate.

1. It identifies navigation issues early on

As stated above, tree testing will provide you with pertinent data to identify navigation issues that your users may face. This type of testing is all about framing the right questions, as its answers will get you the data you need. After analyzing this data, you can make amends to your site and discover patterns from the results. This will help you make your overall site more customer-centric.

Navigation testing/ tree testing helps in various aspects and categories that require you to understand how the users work with the product in several navigation scenarios. In some instances, there are challenges in multiple categories of navigation. You can discover these discrepancies and modify the structure for easy navigation.

For instance, the audience comes to your website for specific content. However, that piece of content is lumped with generic content. With tree testing, you can untangle these overlaps and improve findability.

2. It recognizes ambiguous categories

All content pieces fall under their relevant parent category in the right content structure.

However, this may not always be the case. Sometimes a piece of content falls under a heading that is not suitable for it. Over time, such categories become ambiguous as the content under them is no longer tailed to a specific category. So tree testing also helps revamp an already existing content structure and design the one from scratch.

For better results, it is advisable to conduct tree testing at regular intervals. This ensures all content pieces stay relevant to their parent categories and make changes if necessary. Conducting tree testing also benefits in the following ways:

  • It helps you check if your target audience gets your business jargon
  • A list of synonyms that can boost the SEO ranking and readability of your site
  • A list of words/keywords that may be confusing to various audiences and what amends are needed
  • Lets you know what jargons your audience prefer

As you run tree tests at regular intervals, the website will keep getting more optimized.

3. You get multiple users feedback before the website goes live

Tree testing is all about knowing your users!

When preparing a tree test, you must consider which participants you will work with. The most significant advantage of tree testing is that you can conduct this test with many users before your website goes live. The parameters for choosing users vary depending on the products’ target audiences, the type of test you’re conducting, and the product’s goal.

Try to use at least 50 users when running a test to identify customer behavior better and analyze patterns. More the number, accurate the results.

4. You can compare multiple site structures

Compare multiple site structures


Tree testing is no less than a brainstorming session. You can use it to compare your options and choose the best structure. To do so, you must ask the right questions and include insightful people related to your business.

When your business is in the design phase, it is the best phase since you get to be as creative as you want. You can start with your favorite tree site structure; however, keep a what if this doesn’t work? node open. Here is when tree visualization comes to aid. You can create multiple trees, compare them, choose one, or even combine a few features to make that one right structure.

For instance, if you make three trees overall. You realize tree number 3 is the best as compared to the other two, however some parts of 1 and 2 are better. Use this data to create a hybrid model that consists of the best features of all three trees.

5. It helps you lower down the number of CTAs

Sign Up Now, Send us a message, Call us, Speak to us,...

When too many CTAs are spread across each webpage, it is certainly a recipe for disaster. Even if the CTAs make sense, viewers won't bother clicking if there are too many of them across all web pages. They will leave your website, hence increasing the bounce rate. Here is when tree testing helps too.

Through tree testing, you not only learn about your content and site structure but also how many CTAs are enough for the website. As a general rule, it is best not to use more than 2-3 CTAs per page. Also, place them sparingly and in relevant groupings across the webpage. For instance, a primary CTA may be Contact us, followed by Sign up to our newsletter as a secondary CTA.

The purpose of a CTA button is to convert a user to a customer. It is not to say that you should not use CTAs in more than one place on each page, as it depends on the length of the content. Check each page's primary and secondary headings and place appropriate CTAs under the titles. 

Wrapping up 5 ways tree testing reduces user bounce rate

Hopefully, the article helped you understand the importance of conducting tree testing before building the website. All these ways ensure your website is easy to navigate and read, thus reducing user bounce rate. Ensure you involve a user base during the beta phase of website development to run through tree tests.

While tree testing is important in the beginning stage of website development, ensure that your content structure is sorted. Prepare a flowchart for all primary and secondary groups of content to make it easy to discuss and implement. Once done, ensure you involve the development team and designers to take inputs and check the feasibility of implementation.

Parita Pandya is an Engineer turned Writer. She usually finds herself writing for businesses. When she is not writing, she is either strumming her guitar or penning her thoughts down on paritapandya.com.