Inbound Marketing & Sales Development Inspiration

How To Learn More About Your Site Visitors

Posted June 25, 2015
4 minute read


How well do you know your website visitors? How easy is it for them to use your website? You could probably wager a confident guess about who your visitors are and where they struggle. You’ve probably thrown heavy investments into your website and online marketing based on that intuition. Wouldn’t it be great if we could test what we think we know about visitors in order to make the best marketing decisions moving forward?

Below are two methods we use with our clients to better understand our customers and their journey towards conversion.

Onsite Surveys

Onsite surveys are an inexpensive and simple way to hear directly from the people visiting your site. There are plenty of great survey tools available (we prefer Qualaroo) that offer adequate customization and an easy setup process. We recommend keeping your surveys simple and short. I like to aim for 2-3 questions max. If you want to ask more, save them for your next survey. We want this to be short and sweet.

If you’ve never tried running surveys on your site, here are a few of my favorite questions to ask:

Identification question (ID):

An example of a multiple-choice ID Question might be “which best describes you,” or “what did you come here to do today?” This information can accomplish several things. Most importantly, it helps you understand the different categories of visitors. You may be surprised to see that a large percentage of respondents report themselves as existing customers versus a small percentage identifying as non-customers. If the percentage of non-customers is only 7%, you know the maximum conversion rate you could ever expect from this traffic is 7%. Look at your conversion rate compared to that 7% (or whatever number you see in your results) and find ways to close the gap.

ID questions also provide better context for any follow up questions. Let’s say you are considering five different promotions for an upcoming campaign. You survey your site visitors to see which promotion they’d value more. If non-customers prefer Promotion A while current customers prefer Promotion B, you could tie in Promotion A to an introductory offer and Promotion B to your current customer email database.

Net Promoter Score question:

Net promoter score breaks down respondents into promoters, neutrals, and detractors by asking one simple question: “how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” A score of 9-10 represents a promoter, 7-8 a neutral, and 0-6 a detractor. To learn more about Net Promoter Score and how it can be used, go here. I recommend asking this question AFTER an ID question. That way you can sort responses between current customers and those who haven’t yet done business with you.

Open Ended Question:

We tend to get obsessed with quantitative data, but qualitative data can be just as enlightening. Try asking users, “how can we improve this experience for you,” or “what one thing would you like to see us do better?” You’ll almost always receive feedback you can use in some way.

Brands don't research their customers

User Testing

Usability testing can provide a powerful narrative to the piles of data spit out by our web analytics tools. The best way to improve your customers’ experience is to start listening to your customers.

If you’re new to user testing, here are two good tests we recommend running:

Competitor Journey

If a potential customer is viewing your website, they’ve likely viewed a few of your competitors as well. Send visitors to your competitors’ sites followed by your site. Have them compare their experience. A competitor may do one simple thing you’ve never noticed that could make all the difference.

Task Completion

Ask your test subjects the one thing they’d try to do on your site. Then have them try to complete that task. When they click a certain link, ask why. If they stumble, seek to understand their intent and frustration. We tend to get blind to our sites after seeing them for so long. Someone experiencing your site for the first time may be drawn to things you’ve never considered.

Before you invest more money into design and traffic building strategies, take a month or two to research and understand your customers’ behavior at a deeper level. No matter how much you think you know, I guarantee you’ll walk away with powerful lessons that will impact future decision making and investments.


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