There’s a lot of buzz these days about determining “visitor intent”. This is really a new buzzword for the time-proven value of getting to know your prospects. For all our gains in technology, there’s nothing more powerful than augmenting hard data with human feedback. Here are a few suggestions:
Throw your preconceived notions out the window.
The idea is to get to know your site visitors in a more meaningful way — beyond the cold, hard data of web analytics. So toss out any preconceptions about why visitors are coming to your site — and about what they expect to find or achieve once they get there.
Differentiate users for more meaningful data.
Different user groups behave differently. Beyond that, some are more valuable to focus on than others. So avoid lumping all of your site users into one big vat. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with very generic data for a group that isn’t that homogenous to begin with.
Use surveys thoughtfully and creatively.
When you encounter an extensive survey online, what is the chance you’ll take the time to complete it? Probably slim to none. That’s why it’s good to make surveys succinct and easy to complete. And let users know upfront that you respect their valuable time.
Try to connect at the moment of truth.
Most surveys are delivered via email, requiring the recipient to remember the experience after the fact. Another way to go is the onsite survey: where you solicit feedback related to the webpage the visitor is on. This can be valuable in determining what a visitors are really looking for at that moment — or for they’re not finding on pages with high exit rates.
Think of your website as a means, not an end.
Insights gained by determining visitor intent not only help to optimize your onsite messaging. You can use them to enhance your product/service offering to align with the real desires of your visitors/prospects. The more you do this, the better your chances are to develop meaningful dialogues — which can lead to valuable customer relationships.