Website Visitor Behaviour

Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 by nancy.

It’s more important to have good architecture on your website, including simple, straight-forward navigation, and easy to find, clearly identified information that people are looking for, than it is to have a flashy site with lots of bells and whistles. But as always in marketing, you have to consider your audience before you make key decisions on what to include. Are they young, web savvy and easily bored with a site that does not amuse or challenge them in any way? Are they older, didn’t grow up in the tech world so the simpler and more straightforward the better.

No matter how we think people will navigate our site… find us online, or guess what they’ll be most interested in… chances are we will be wrong.

Facebook users are a great example.

You may think that since people know the web address of facebook.com they would type it in to their browser and sign in to Facebook. They don’t! Each month 2,520,000,000 people search Google for “Facebook” and on average another 185,000,000 search for the “Facebook login” page.

We may be wrong in predicting what visitors to our site will do but with improved website tools we don’t have to guess.

Each of the visitors to your website has their own specific reason for being there . They may have found you by a friend’s recommendation, through a link, an ad, a comment you made online, an article you wrote, through social networking or a group you belong to…they may search for you by name, by business name, by area of expertise or any number of phrases.

No matter how they found you, if they can’t quickly and easily find what they want on your site, they will be off searching for the answer or product they need from someone else.

There are a number of paid services such as opentracker.com that offer information on the areas of your site that receive the most attention, the links that receive the most clicks, the pages that most visitors exit from and more. But for the average online small business, Google can provide all the information needed to improve your website results. Sign up for a free Google analytics account, add the code to your website and spend some time learning how to interpret the data that will provide insight into your visitors on site behaviour.

Google analytics provides specific information about what your visitors are doing.

Which pages are visitors landing on first?

Where do they go when they arrive on your site? Examine the click path.

What is the bounce rate? If it’s over 50% on a page its obvious most of them are not finding what they expect to find or are looking for. Search online using the terms visitors use to find your page and see what other sites offer for those search terms.

Find your most popular pages and give people more of what is on those pages.

Identify the pages visitors most often leave your site from. How can you improve those pages or stop the bleed by offering them a more information link or by suggest they may be looking for this or that information instead with a link to that information.

Which sites are linking to yours and sending you traffic?

Which links on your pages receive the most clicks?

Sometimes minor changes can make big results. Sign up for Google analytics today!

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