It sounds like a straightforward question, “What do visitors to your website want?” As a small business website owner it’s easy to become overly focused on what you, the business owner, want visitors to do or see while on your website. However, from a strategic perspective it is equally important to have an understanding of what your visitors want when they arrive at your website.
You’ve implement strategies and tactics to get visitors to your website (SEO, social media, email, etc.) and the visitors have arrived. Now what do your visitors actually want when they come to your site? Have you put yourself in the role of a visitor to your website? Walking a mile in your visitor’s (customer’s) shoes can provide some insights on what is commonly referred to as the “user experience.”
Some items to consider when evaluating a visitor’s experience on your website include:
- What do visitors actually see (and click on) when they come to your website?
- What tasks do visitors hope to accomplish while on your website?
- How easy is it for visitors to your website to find what they need or want?
- Is there enough information available on the website for visitors?
Viewed another way, what value does your website provide to visitors? Visitors may find value in your products, services, information, videos, entertainment, whitepapers, downloads, links to other websites, social media links and more. Taking a step back to look at the value proposition for visitors to your website is a useful and potentially valuable exercise. The areas of value will attract new visitors and bring existing visitors back to your site in the future.
“What value does your website provide to visitors?”
Push and Pull of Website Visitors
From a visitor’s perspective, they will want to engage with your website and feel a Pull towards your products, services, available information and your company. This engagement will result in visitors accomplishing certain tasks on your website. One type of task could be making a purchase. But that’s not the complete picture of the total visitor interactions with your website. Other tasks may include gathering information on your products or services, comparing pricing or reading or viewing other content on your site.
Having a wide variety of visitor interactions on your website may be especially true if this is the visitor’s first visit to the site. For instance, an initial visit may focus on learning more about your company to see if the visitor wants to purchase a product or service from your company. Frequently there is a large range of tasks that can help Pull a visitor towards a sale. Either today, or after one or more return visits to your website.
As a business, you want to Push your visitors to take certain actions on your website with the hopes that these actions will lead to sales. Frequently these actions will occur over multiple visits. Having a clear structure to the website with a clear path that helps lead a visitor to a purchase will make the Push more effective. When the Push and Pull are in alignment the result is success for both website visitors and the business.
In reality, not every visitor to your website wants to purchase your products or services today. But that doesn’t mean that their visit your website won’t be a success for them. From the visitor’s perspective, success is likely to be defined in a range of ways since different visitors have different needs and interests when arriving at your website.
Steps in assessing website visitor success can include:
- Define what constitutes a “successful” visit for a visitor.
- Identify the factors that will help you determine if visitors enjoy using your website such as pages viewed per visit, time on site per visit, bounce rate, requests for more information, newsletter sign-ups, file downloads, click-through rates on ads, comments on blog posts, shopping cart abandonment rate, and purchases.
- Implement methods to effectively measure and understand visitor engagement and success.
A successful visitor is a happy visitor. And therefore a visitor that is more likely to make a purchase now or during a return visit. Understanding what signifies “success” to a website visitor is linked directly to what visitors want from your website. The investment of understanding visitor’s wants will pay significant dividends for your business.
“Understanding what signifies “success” to a website visitor is linked directly to what visitors want from your website.”
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