Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

What Web Analytics Say About Consumer Behavior

May 6, 2011, Clarke Bishop

Advanced Marketing Analytics (AZ501)

Interpreting your customers’ online buying behavior is not always obvious. Good sales results require an in depth understanding of their most pressing needs and wants. Some businesses focus so much on gorgeous website design, they overlook what’s most important – the data. A pretty page may be pleasing to the eyes, but if it lacks data that helps solve peoples’ problems, who cares? At the end of the day, building a website around the needs of your customers is what expands your customer base. What’s the key to knowing their needs? Knowing their intent. Web analytics tools will help you with this.

In his blog article about understanding consumer behavior with web analytics, Google’s analytics guru, Avinash Kaushik discusses how to identify customer intent. He poses 4 key questions you should answer about your website:

1. How did your visitors arrive?

Some visitors stumble upon your website by entering keywords in a search engine. Others enter via referral links. Web analytics provide you with a list of URLs that referred traffic to your site. Correlating conversions with specific referring URLs helps to identify which sites are sending you traffic with high conversion rates. Knowing which sites your customers are being referred from also helps you understand more about their interests and motivations.    

2. What are your visitors looking for?

Search engines now guard keyword data much more than in the past. Still, with a little detective work, you can get a good idea.

If you don't have Google Webmaster tools setup, go do it right now. It's the only way you can reliably get clues about what your visitors want. 

First, identify your high traffic pages. Then, look them up in webmaster tools and see which keywords are sending traffie to each page. You may be surprised and get ideas on how to tune your pages and your copy.

3. Where are visitors landing, bouncing, and viewing?

Visitors enter your website through many different entry points, not just your homepage. Analytics alert you to which landing pages visitors frequent most. If certain pages are popular with visitors, you may want to consider developing them further for even greater results. Similarly, isolating your most unpopular pages alerts you to the ones that require more optimization.  

Analytics also tell you which pages have the highest bounce rates – pages where visitors landed, looked around then left quickly. This is a clear sign that your page is not meeting customer expectations. Optimize it so it caters to their interests!

4. What are your website’s trends over time?     

Identifying performance trends is another valuable feature of analytics tools. They enable you to segment your data over timelines – you can pinpoint which days of the week or time intervals from which products sold best.

Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, SEO, Conversion

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