If you know what your website visitors want, you’ll find it much easier to turn them into customers.
However, figuring out what visitors to your site want is much more complex than it sounds, as most businesses soon find out.
Why you might NOT know what your visitors want
This difficulty is usually caused because businesses create websites from the unique position of being far too familiar and knowledgeable about their product or service. Think about it – you know so much about your company or business that describing it in a few words is impossible. You’re desperate to share all the great things about what you do, and you forget what the most important things are for your customers.
Not everything that is good about your business is worth sharing. You MUST prioritise what you tell your customers and when.
It’s really easy to make the mistake of creating a website with severe tunnel vision. As a business, you can become so involved in your service or product that you are unable to see it from an outside perspective. This means that new customers can be alienated by the information presented, find it difficult to navigate the website and find the information they want and then leave feeling confused or at worst, annoyed.
It’s not just the information on your site that can be hard to get right, it’s also the design. If things aren’t organised in a way that makes sense to the customer then they’re much less likely to make a purchase.
Making sure your site is easy to use for someone who’s never heard of your products or service before is really important. Ensuring the whole experience of navigating the site is streamlined and seamless will decrease your bounce rate and improve your SEO as well as your conversions.
Don’t worry though. If you think your website could be improved on then this article can help. We’ll take you through how to ask the right questions about your site and how to gather the right answers.
1: How to understand what people want when they come to your site?
Ok, let’s break this down into some simple questions you can ask yourself to try and figure this out, along with some help on how to answer them.
What are your web visitors clicking on when they come to your website?
If you don’t know – it’s really easy (and sometimes free) to conduct very simple tests. Check out platforms that let you track your customers, using heat maps or video reports to show you WHAT and WHERE your customers are clicking when they come to your site. This can help you figure out if customers feel informed or confused when they explore. There’s a great list of tools that can help you to do this here.
This can be a really good way of figuring out if your web site or feature is easy to use. Some platforms record a test users face and thoughts as they’re spoken aloud, allowing you to get a good picture of how simple your site or product is to use. Something to remember with this, is that sometimes the findings you get may not resonate across all your customers. This is because users in test groups may act differently to users who are simply browsing the web unwatched. Test groups may alter their behaviour to fit what they think you want to see.
Real time demonstrations
If you want to see how visitors are behaving in real time, there are tools in the list that let you see live demonstrations of a user’s cursor on your website. Often, it’s hard to get the full picture when looking at Google Analytics because you don’t actually get to watch individuals browsing your site – this is a way to get around that issue and pick up on things which you may have otherwise missed.
Actually watching someone click around and explore your website can be extremely helpful. It allows you to pick up patterns in behaviour which can then be tested and attributed in a more quantitative form in GA (Google Analytics).
This is a really important tool in helping you figure out what your customers are doing on your site. Here you can find out where people enter your site (which pages they’re landing on first), as well as which pages they visit afterwards and if they have converted – which page did they convert from.
2: How long are customers spending on your site? Is it easy for visitors to find the information they want?
If customers are spending a long time on your site on average and visiting more than one page, this indicates that your site is interesting enough for them to stay! Unfortunately it could also mean it just takes them a long time to find the information they need. Are you sure your site is straightforward and organised enough for them to quickly access the info they need.
How to answer this:
Again, analytics is the best place to look when you want to know how long people are spending on your website. You’ll be able to see the average amount of time spent on site and the average amount of time spent on each page. You’ll also be able to see the amount of repeat visitors – so you can tell if people are coming back to your site rather than finding it and never returning.
Tip: Remember to stop your IP address as well as anyone else at the company being tracked, as this can skew your results.
Real time demonstrations
Watching how customers behave on your site in real time is beneficial. The only downside is that you won’t be sure exactly what information the visitor is looking for.
Using chatbots on your site to ask questions to visitors, however, not everyone will interact with them. You can set up chatbots to ask a set list of simple queries to determine why someone is on your site and what they’re looking for. The more people that visit your site, the more useful this type of tool will be otherwise you risk not reaching any kind of statistical significance with your answers.
Ask test groups several questions in relation to your site that you think people may be interested in. You can then time how long it takes them to discover this information. For example, if you’re a services company, pose simple questions such as:
- Is the service available in your area?
- How much will it cost you?
- How long will the service last?
- What are the main differences of using this service compared to a competitor?
Can this key information be found quickly by your test group? Is it presented in a way that’s easy to understand? If not, how can you make it better?
3: What is the most important thing you want customers to do when on your site?
Is your website distracting people from taking the most important action? You need to figure out the ultimate goal for what you want your web visitors to do when on your site. This could be anything from:
* Call you
* Purchase a product
* Sign up to your service/newsletter/other
* Send an enquiry
* Download a document
There should be one clear aim and goal for the website. This doesn’t mean that customers are only able to take this one important action. It just means that all other actions must strategically push visitors towards taking the main action.
Make sure all pages have a CTA leading to the main desired action and that any blog content is clearly planned to engage with customers and lead them towards this main goal.
For most customers, their first interaction with your site won’t result in the desired action, however, each time they visit your site there should be another push towards this action. Another step towards helping them solve their problem.
Tip: It’s been found that if customers have already interacted with you at a basic level like downloading a document from your site or giving you a call, then they’re more likely to engage with you again or purchase your product or service. The initial interaction acts like an ice breaker – reducing the barrier to entry for a customer.
4: I’ve figured out the basics of what my customers want, now what?
Once you’ve figured out the most important information your customers want, as well as the main action you want them to take, now you can think about adding more value to your site. How can you do this?
Adding value to your website
Your whole website should be focused on adding value for your customers. From information to media, downloads and great quality content, think about everything you can do to help visitors with the problem they’re having which brought them to you
People will come to your site with different intentions, for example, they could be gathering information to compare products and pricing, reading content, researching your company and more. Whatever the reason for the visit, the only reason that they are there is to help themselves overcome this problem.
Make your website about your customer and their problems
Instead of talking about your business – focus exclusively on the customer’s problem and how you can help them fix it. The customer has a problem – this is the reason they have ended up on your site, with the hope you can help them fix it.
This gives you a great idea of the initial information you need to present to customers. Focus clearly on the value you provide your customers and how you can deliver what they need to solve their problem. This should be encapsulated in great value propositions that form the basis of your site and are immediately visible to visitors.
Only include information about your business to specifically help your customer make a decision. For example, if you’re an older and experienced company or if your product has won any awards – this is worth mentioning. This kind of information builds trust in your company and reassures buyers, however, no matter how long you’ve been around, if another, younger company solves their problem better then they will still go elsewhere.
You can include key information about your company on your “about” page. Don’t ramble on. Keep things succinct and try to stick to the facts that support what you’re offering your customer.
Other ways to help customers get what they want
We have already established that when customers visit your site, they’re doing so in order to help them solve a problem. Whilst the customer is on your site, they are at the peak of their interest. They have found some time in their very busy day and they’re concentrating on your site. THIS is the time that you need to push customers to interact with you. If you wait – you risk that the customer has already forgotten you or has moved onto something else more urgent.
So how do you maximise on a customer’s peak interest?
Sometimes, by limiting the information available to a customer in a strategic way, this can actually encourage the customer to take a leap and contact you. However, to stay within this golden time zone of peak interest, you need to be quick. If your customer can speak with you in less than 30 seconds of visiting your site you could dramatically increase conversions. The MIT response time study on responding to internet leads have proved that contacting customers within 5 minutes of their visiting your site as opposed to within 30 minutes means you’re 100x more likely to connect with them and 21x more likely to turn them into a qualified lead. Think about that for a second!
For companies with telesales desks or sales people, this can be the perfect opportunity to sell their product or book in surveys. It’s also easy to do – check out ResponseiQ to find out more.
If you’ve been through all of the steps listed 1-4, you should be well on your way to crafting a website that works for your customers and you in return. Remember, if you keep your customer at the core of your message, this will no doubt improve your site and in turn, your conversions.