How well do you know your site visitors?

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How well do you know your site visitors?

When was the last time you took the time to analyse who visits your site?  It may seem like the basics but it is the foundations for all that you do; the products and services you offer, the tone and structure of your site and how engaging your website is or could be.

Who are they?

Write down a list of the types of people you believe are currently visiting or should be accessing your website.   Think about your customers in terms of how they approach will your site  –  if you’re a travel agency you might start with:

Types of customers

Their needs

Experience travellers

These customers are knowledgeable about researching and booking travel through various mediums.  

Occasional travellers

These customers may have limited ideas may require more detailed information.

Business travellers

These customers are looking for a simple and fast solution to supply them with exactly what they want. 

Tourists/ Local residents

These customers may require a more marketed approach; involving imagery, recommendations, etc.  They may want to   contact you via a phone call or an email enquiry for more information.

Families

These customers will want a wide range of needs met within one holiday solution.   Will require detailed information on accommodation facilities, flexible flight schedules, etc.

Gather information about your audience

You don’t need a psychology degree or need to conduct expensive research to know and understand more about your site visitors -   how do they think and what do they want?

Do you provide your audience with the opportunity to provide feedback?  Providing an enquiry form online gives them an easy way to provide their ideas and thoughts.  However, if you’re not receiving any feedback then make your own enquiries.  Contact your regular customers; they will love to talk to you about what they think.  Spend some time calling some of your customers, CALL THEM – make it personal.  Ask them why they are an ongoing visitor, what are their likes and dislikes of your site, what are the other sites they visit and why, etc.

Ask them – everyone has heard of survey monkey and the like, it doesn’t take long to put together a quick online survey (basic surveys from some sites are free) to ask them more about who they are and why they have visited your site, chosen to purchase your product online or made an email enquiry.  PRIZES = LARGER RESPONSE!  You don’t need to think big – an iPod nano, Myer/DJs voucher, or a discount off their next purchase.  TIP: If you run a competition that requires customers to answer a question in “twenty words or less” this is defined as a game of skill, which means you’ll avoid competition permits.

Find your customers – see what interests your customers and what they are talking about with likeminded customers.  Visit blogs, social networks, online forums and chat rooms.  You’ll be able to discover real user’s interests, new angles and questions you or your site might be able to address.  Start with sites such as linkedin.com/answers and socialmention.com

What do I do with this information?

Look at the new ideas and the audience interests generated from your analysis.   What do they tell you about your website?  Are you providing the level of detail and information in the way your audience want to consume it? 

Segmentation – give your audience tailored offers and information based on who they are and what you know they are interested in.  If are sending e-newsletters, you may want to try different versions tailored to your defined customer groups and their interests.

Engage them – now that you know where they are communicating –blogs, social networks, etc you may decide it’s worthwhile for you to become involved in their conversations.   You may want to set up your social media account, blog or regularly visit blogs   Where relevant join in the discussion - remember you’ve joined the conversation to present information in order to be helpful – not to sell.

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