Anyone visiting your site and interacting with your content is a website user, and understanding user behaviour is one key to boosting your conversion rates through website optimisation. In order to optimise, you need to go beyond merely monitoring behavior, and analyse visitor interactions. Analysis will give you insights into when your visitor access and where. For example, segmenting data will allow you to see the devices your visitors use. This means that if your visitors numbers drop off on mobile devices, or the bounce rate is higher for certain pages, you can adjust the site to enhance the visitor experience. Monitoring segmented data also allows you to see which changes are effective.
The importance of ongoing research into user behavior
Just like you, your users’ needs are not static. Their preferences and behaviours will evolve, and it is the job of website optimisation to monitor changing user behaviours and trends, and take action to continue to meet the needs of your visitors. For example, if there is a downturn in browsing time, it is important to pinpoint the reasons why (e.g.: boredom or a cluttered site), and address them to avoid losing customers.
Assessment tools for user behaviour
If you are on a budget, the following free tools are specifically designed for researching the behaviour of your site users:
- Google Analytics: a powerful analytics tool including Adwords and Adsense. Google Adwords offers conversion tracking and data integration with Adsense.
- Awstats: a popular default log analyser
- io: a premium analysis tool that has the capability to scale up for larger enterprise-level demand.
Using data to influence user behaviour
Collecting data is only part of the puzzle. It’s important to understand the context of your data, and use it to drive actionable change on your site. Segmented data can be excellent when you are experimenting, because you can compare findings to your baseline data, and check for movement while you make experimental changes to different areas of your site. Basically, the data is there to help you pinpoint the triggers that convert browsers into customers, or visitors into followers.
Influencing user behaviour can be achieved through compelling copy that includes a call to action, ease of usability, and offers that your demographic cannot resist. For example, some customers may find offers to buy two and get the third one free irresistible, whereas other customers may prefer free shipping. Keep in mind that the internet is a busy, and at times overwhelming, experience for users. Enhancing your site visitor experience through research and data will ensure your page remains alive and clicking.