Manageable New Year's Analytics Resolution #2: Ask Your Web Visitors About Their Experience | ClickInsight Blog

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07 January 2009

Manageable New Year's Analytics Resolution #2: Ask Your Web Visitors About Their Experience

Resolution #1 was "Test Your Pages".

Resolution #2 is ... "Ask Your Web Visitors About Their Experience", before the end of March *.

In my opinion, asking for input is a necessity. Web traffic data analysis is not enough. Analyzing web traffic shows you what visitors did on your site, where visitors came from, and how long they were on your site. But you don't know whether they actually completed the task that led them to your website, and even if they did complete, they could have found the experience confusing, difficult or frustrating.

  • A one page visit could have netted you a raving fan, ecstatic they were able to get the information they needed on the first page they visited. They may have read, printed the page and even forwarded the URL, but your web analytics tool would record this as a single page visit, or a "bounce" because they only looked at one page. Bounces are typically interpreted indicators of poor performance, indicative of an un-engaged visitor.
  • On the other hand, a 10 page visit and a view of the contact us page may have been a frustrating experience, that did not result in the visitor achieving their goal.
How do you find out?

Ask them. Survey them. With just 4 quick questions:
  • What was the reason for your visit?
  • Did you find what you came for?
  • How satisfied are you?
  • Is there anything we can do better?
There are many ways to post a survey. If you already have a means to do this, what are you waiting for?

If you need a quick solution to try (and to complete this resolution), take a look at 4Q.

The fruits of a collaboration between Google Evangelist Avinash Kaushik and iPerceptions, it's free and specifically designed for this task (read FAQs on the 4Q website).
  • 4Q helps answer these questions
    • How satisfied are my visitors?
    • What are my visitors onsite to do?
    • Are they completing what they set out to do?
    • What are they saying in the open-ended commentary?

  • Open-ended commentary lets you hear the voices of your customers.

  • Access your results through a secure Web interface.

  • Visitors are asked permission to be surveyed. If they say yes, a separate window containing the survey is opened under the existing window. When the visitor closes the browser window, the survey will be visible.
  • 4Q gives you control over whether you show the survey to every visitor or a lower frequency of your choice. And you can add your own logo to customize the survey initiation screen.
Analyze your most satisfied and dissatisfied visitors and their intent. This will provide you with hints of which content needs adjustment. You may not be able to jump to a solution in one step, but this will definitely be a start.

[ * Do a survey by the end March?
If it's too difficult to gain agreement to test on a a main site, you may want to try it out on a microsite or sub-site.
Some objections & arguments against asking website visitors for their input are "surveys irritate visitors", or that "surveys won't tell you anything useful".
Whether or not a survey is irritating or useful depends how you implement the survey and whether the survey's questions are appropriate for the survey goal. ]

Give it a try. You're sure to get some surprises and glean some new insights about your visitors.

June Li
ClickInsight
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