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Mapping Consumer Actions- Do You Know What They Do On Your Site?

I must start this post by stating that I am a complete statistics junkie.  I love studying my Analytics in Google and trying to figure out the patterns of my visitors.  I can get lost for hours dissecting my data and enjoying every second of learning more about my consumers and what they want, what patterns they follow, etc.

I recently read through a presentation that Jay Thompson gave on "Conversion Optmization For Your WordPress Blog."  In that post he shared a bunch of links to different ways to monitor how people are using your site.  There were a few that stood out to me, one of which was clicktest. It's a simple setup where you can upload an image, and have people do a simple test on your site.  You can either make it a multiple question type test where people can view the image for 5 seconds and then answer questions on what they remember, or as I chose, I ran a test with a screenshot of my site and asked people to click where they would go next when visiting my website.

There is a paid and a free section to the site.  I signed up for the free version which gives you about 20 tests.  To get a few more clicks and test results for free, they allow you to share your test on Facebook & Twitter.  You can also participate in others tests to earn a few more clicks.  By doing this I was able to get a good mix of results to the test from random visitors along with current and potential clients who know me.  This means I had a good mix of new and returning visitors to my site.

So What Did I Learn?

I was pleasantly surprised by the results that I received from my test. I have broken down the findings into the 5 main things I learned about consumers visiting my site:

1.  They Want To Know More About You- When I studied the notes for my site, the first thing I learned is that people do want to learn about you the person behind the business as well as what the business is about.  The hottest section on the heat map by far was my about page.  This made me realize quick that I need to go back through those pages of my site and make sure they are in the best condition possible delivering the most amount of quality information to consumers about what we do, who I am and yet still give them something of value to want to stay at our site.  In the past I always focused my time and effort on providing quality content in blog posts and I know my about section is lacking because of it.

2.  People Click Pictures- If you look the results for my site, you can see that people were clicking on my image in the blog post.  Normally when I write a blog post, I do not set the image to go anywhere with a target link.  So, when someone clicks on the image, it just shows the raw image file.  I learned though from these tests that people actually click on the image on a regular basis and that it is pretty important to have that image linking somewhere.  So, when you place an image on your blog posts, make sure that they deliver something of value.  Either link them over to a page inside your site that continues the conversation on the topic or to an external area that gives more information on the subject you are covering.

3.  People Like Search Options-  This one didn't catch me by surprise as being a popular area of the site.  I know when I visit a site I am not familiar with I like the ability  to find a search button and get directly where I want to be instead of surfing through the entire site.  I was however slightly surprised by how popular it actually was.  What I learned here is that it is imperative for a site to have search button in place in a clear visible position for consumers.  Remember, the easier the navigation is to get consumers where they want to go, the more productive your site will become.

4.  Call To Action Buttons-  I wrote about the importance of a clearly defined sidebar before here on my site, but this test helped to confirm my point.  Having clear call to action buttons on your site above the fold is very important to consumers and they will click on them.  The fourth most popular place people clicked on my site was the call to action button for our Custom WordPress Site Design.  I knew already that this page was the most popular static page of our site from studying our analytics over the past few months, this test just confirmed that validity in having that button on my sidebar.

5. It's OK to Have Products Front & Center-   I've debated having the Products & Services tab at the top of my site.  My one thought was that maybe it was too in your face and turned away consumers that were coming to gather information from a blog post.  My other argument though was that if I moved it to an interior section of my site, it would make it almost impossible for consumers to find their way to that section.  And while it may turn off a few consumers by it being on the main screen, I came to the conclusion it is imperative to keep this here because if consumers cannot find my products or services then it will make it almost impossible for me to earn a living.  And while I really enjoy sharing good information with my sphere, I still need to be able to support the family.  I also think this is the other major contribution to our Custom WordPress Site page being so popular.  This is one of the very few pages on my site that you can get to by either using the main navigation at the top, or the sidebar button.  Clearly though, people want to know more about our products and services when visiting the page as that is the second most popular section of the site.

So do you know what consumers do when visiting your site?  If not, it may be time to find out.

Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

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Comment balloon 27 commentsJeremy Blanton • February 12 2011 10:29AM
Mapping Consumer Actions- Do You Know What They Do On Your Site?
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