The holidays are here and although many of us worry about the toll this season will have on our waistlines, I doubt anyone would complain about having a fatter wallet and website success. We love organic rankings and we love gobs of website traffic. In my opinion, I think most of us enjoy positive growth trends in site goal conversions as well as e-commerce revenue.
At the end of the day, the greatest of rankings and thousands of site visits mean little (aside from branding) if you do not understand the pathways of your traffic and the hiccups, roadblocks, and confusion you are presenting to your site visitors. Below, we will initially harness the power of Google Analytics, and then we will move to Lucky Orange for a review of common behaviors from site users.
Where to Start?
We must begin with Google Analytics so that we can understand the common pathways of converting site visitors, the non-converting site visitors, and the obvious pain points on the site. When we have reviewed these three items, it will give us a direct focus once we use Lucky Orange to review user behavior.
The Converting Customer
In Google Analytics, choose the sessions with conversions advanced segment (note: you can also choose sessions with transactions). If you have several different types of site conversion—that is, weighted differently or sought by different types of users—you can create a custom advanced segment to only look at these types of converters.
Now, take a look at the Users Flow section. You may review the information by using landing page or channel-specific traffic, but the main point here is that we want to gain an understanding of the common pathways of users who are successful. Why do we want to know this? We want to understand what is working well. We also want to know what drop-off points to tighten to improve conversions, even if these pathways are working well.
Inversely, we are going to flip our focus to non-converters. We will choose this advanced segment just as we chose the converters above.
Again, we will go to the Users Flow section to understand the common pathways and the common points of drop-off. Keep an eye out for the page view counts to show a common progression through the site and the amount of drop-off that is happening on specific site pages.
Before we leave Google Analytics, while we still have the non-converters advance segment chosen, we should review the landing page bounce rates. We have looked at the drop-off rate of users throughout their site visit; however, it is beneficial to review the automatic loss of those entering the site but not creating a pathway or moving to another site page.
• We understand the pathway of converters.
• We understand the pathway of non-converters and where many are dropping off.
• We understand the visitors who are making it through the door but are choosing not to begin a pathway to conversion.
Enough with Analytics, Let’s Find the Problem and the Solution!
We have reviewed enough static numbers to understand what pages we want to review in the Lucky Orange real-time data as well as in the heat map data. This view includes pages in the converter’s page pathway, pages in the non-converter’s pathway, and pages that confuse visitors from the first impression.
Do you have some time on your hands? Great, take a chance on Lucky Orange to review how users are traversing your site. However, just before you start watching visitor behavior recordings, you should create behavior rule tagging. Remember the pages that you found in the takeaway list above and create tags for these pages so you can watch videos where you know visitors at some point in the video crossed these pages.
If you don’t have a lot of time to review visitor recordings, that’s fine too. We can still take the information provided in the recordings and see it displayed in a numerical and visual format as well. Again, we will look to the pages that we found previously that are viewed as an issue for the user experience.
Is It the Page or the Page Contents? What Do I Look For?
Personally, my favorite perspective is to review the heat map data. What am I looking for though? You will be looking for several different items. It is not so much that the page is a problem; instead, it is typically the location of the call to action, distractions, and poor internal navigation. I am looking for the user behavior to tell a story. For example, in the image above, many people click on the PDF download. However, the call to action or intended call to action is below the fold of the page. Could we lift this above the fold and see a higher conversion?
Considering many of you may see a high percentage of traffic from mobile users, I will review pages from the perspective of desktop and mobile users.
What are we looking for?
• Clicks: Where are users clicking on the typical non-converter path pages? Are there links, image links, or navigational elements that are distracting users from the intended pathway? Are important “next page” destinations for a possible converter buried in the dropdown navigation? Do you need supporting navigation on your site or specific calls to action?
• Moves: What portion of your site pages receives attention? Are users hovering over text and reading, or are images consuming all of their attention?
• Scrolls: It may be quite surprising, but you may find that a call to action or a link to the next page path is below the first or second fold and that less than half of your page traffic is even seeing what you want them to see.
• Desktop/mobile disparity: With the above points in mind, how do these vary between a mobile user and a desktop user?
• What works: Here is why we originally took a look at the data through the perspective of the converter. When we look at the click, move, and scroll activity of the pages that work well for us, we can understand which supporting navigation, internal link structures, and calls to action help users convert or satisfy their needs before converting on another site page.
This explanation has allowed you to get into the mind of your typical site user, the converter or the non-converter. Instead of simply reviewing the analytical data, nothing beats the ability to truly understand why your pages are performing or not performing so you can analyze, review, revise, and create success!