analytics

Using Analytics to Understand who your visitors are

Who are your visitors really? We all know who we think our visitors (and hopefully customers are), we all know who we’d like our visitors to be (future customers) but who are they really?

What might surprise you is that there is often a disconnect between who you think your customers are, and who they actually are. This can be a problem but to be honest more often than not it’s just about you shifting your expectations and trying to target your new audience (or the audience you do want) by understanding what it is they want.

One of the best things you can do is to build up personas. 1-3 profiles that cover examples of who your visitors/customers are, what their goals are and what their journeys may be. They should have names, Ages, Jobs, desires, interests, goals and even phone/computer hardware.

For example:

Profile A

  • Linda Smith
  • 34 (Millennial)
  • Lives in London (Urban City)
  • Senior Product Manager for Marks & Spencers
  • Devices: Chrome Browser, on Windows 10 using a laptop with a 1920×1080 resolution.
    Interests
  • Enjoys Celebrities Entertainment news (and gossip). Likely to either read an entertainment/gossip magazine or follow celebrities online.
  • Enjoys watching videos online, likely to have a netflix or Amazon prime subscription and spend regular time watching TV shows/films on demand.
  • Enjoys funny pictures/videos and the ‘meme’ lifestyle. Likely to spend time each day browsing these and sharing them with friends or on social media.
  • Likely to have started a new job in the last 6 months and still be looking for new suppliers (for work) or new things for home.
  • Likely to enjoy following what is happening with the Royal Family, as well as supporting the Monarchy.
  • Needs: Where can I buy popcorn related gifts for family?
    Likely Actions
  • Recommended website/company by friend – Search Engine for brand name.
  • Uses search engine with search ‘Novelty popcorn gift’
    Site Interaction Flow
  • Google Search Result page for ‘Brand Name’ etc.
  • [Mobile Device] Landed on Homepage
    – Scrolled
    – Click on ‘Gift’ CTA
  • [Mobile Device] Gifts Category Page
    – Scrolls
    – Selects Product
  • [Mobile Device] Product Page
    – Scrolls through imagery
    – Reads description
    – Adds to basket
    – Clicks Delivery tab
  • [Mobile] Abandons website.

The Power of Personas

It’s important to have Personas, In the case of the site interaction flow from above hopefully it would continue with a second flow where the customers returns on desktop and makes a purchase but it’s important to lay out your statistically likely customer basis with profiles like this.

It can give you so much insight into why your visitors/customers act like they do, and more so what areas of your website and user journey you need to improve to convert a visitor to a customer.

Breaking it down

From the profile above we know that our profile is for a millennial , who likes funny videos, and is very familiar with the world of the online. This means that our design has to be fresh, youthful, modern and clean. It can’t be too body and ideally it needs to use fun or humorous brightly coloured aspects to it.

We know from their job they’re likely to have disposable income, and we know from the way they interact with the website that they prefer to browse for a product rather than using a search bar (so how easy is your website signposted?).

Finally we’ve identified that our persona is likely to add to the basket on mobile, check delivery but not checkout. Likely to mean that they’re only researching on mobile and that it’s likely that they would return on desktop to complete an order later – Assuming they weren’t put off by the delivery cost (So a lesson here would be to make delivery costings as clear as possible as early in the journey as possible), additionally with them adding to the basket they show intent to buy, if we can capture an email address at this stage then we can target them with an abandoned cart email.

The beauty of making 2-3 personas like this is that for every campaign, every design and every change you make to the website you can check it against the personas interests and likely actions. If it alienates one of them or is against their normal path (e.g. If our persona is a searcher rather than a browser and we make the search less obvious, it’s probably a bad ideas!).

So where do we get this information from?

It’s important that this data is factual wherever possible with only small snippets of creativity and educated guesses. It also needs to encompass all of your visitors, not just the ones that buy something from you. This leads us to tools like Google Analytics.

Google Analytics collects a scary amount of anonymous data about visitors to your website, and from this using the most popular elements of data we can start to build up likely personas.

Have you ever looked through the audience tab?

This is a report from the Audience -> Demographics -> Gender page, where the gender has been selected based on the majority (In this case female) and then the age-range has been selected again by the majority In this case 25–34. A secondary dimension has then been applied ‘Affinity Category (Reach)’ These are essentially the interests of visitors high in the funnel who you have the potential of converting, or speaking to.

So already we’ve got some data for a ‘Likely’ Persona – In this case They’re female, they’re in the 24-34 bracket so let’s call them Rosie and say they’re 32 years old. It’s a small creative licence but it helps to humanise this into being an actual person.

Next we have a list of likely affinities that may interest or describe Rosie. So while this data set is quite small and not necessarily the best to base it on – if it were larger we could say that…

  • Rosie enjoys cooking, but doesn’t consider herself a budding chef in the making, instead she prefers to cook safe 30 minute recipes and it’s something she enjoys.
  • Family is likely to be very important to Rosie, she may be a mother or she may be close to her own family.
  • Rosie considers herself a devoted follower of fashion, Up-to-date on the latest trends and is likely to spend a lot of time herself to mimic these looks.
  • Rosie considers herself a professional with makeup,The potential and skill to be a make-up artist to the stars.
  • When it comes to purchasing Rosie is likely to always be wary of the price, she’ll ideally be looking for big brand quality but at budget prices and is therefore likely to compare a number of products, their pros/cons and weigh up the price before purchasing.

So what does this mean, well it depends purely on your business and if these values speak to you. If you’re selling Makeup or Fashion then there’s some instant wins that you know that your SEO / Organic and Paid campaigns are attracting the right kind of customers.

Beyond that, what can we learn?

Well we know with someone who enjoys 30 minute meals that they’re happy to be hands on DIY themselves but only to a small extent. So likely to be happier using a product builder on your website, or likely to be able to handle your product if it requires some basic self assembly. They’re also likely to be about to do basic troubleshooting so if something doesn’t work on your website they’re likely to try alternative routes and not give up as easy. So you can start to display more call to actions, or information about your product if it requires self assembly, they’re bound to be drawn towards it – especially if it’s a food item!

The last point about Value is an important one, if Rosie is likely to compare goods then we need to make sure on the product page we mention low price guarantees, give her confidence that it’s a great value item and if she’s still unsure then we should have features that allow us to compare other items on the website easily. The last thing we want her to do is to start comparing our website with another where we might lose her.

Impact of Device and Screen size

Using more audience filters around device, and screen size within analytics we can also give our Persona a likely device and browser resolution.

Why is this important? Because not everyone has the same resolution as you do – Most in fact are likely to have a smaller resolution which means where you consider the page ‘fold’ and how far your navigation drops, or how much of the page is taken up by your cookie bar can have massive impacts on desktop users who have much smaller screens. So if you identify that your users (and in turn Rosie our persona) has a smaller screen, perhaps from having a Macbook Air with enlarged settings or a cheap 13” Chromebook we need to know, and you need to start testing your website and user journey on that resolution to make sure that it actually works, and that the design and signposting you’ve spent hours and hours getting perfect are perfect for your actual customers.

Summary

Whatever the size of your business, and your website, you need to put customers first and you need to understand who those customers are so you can start to understand alongside other tools how they interact with you. The more you can perfect the journey, the higher your conversion rate will be. There is no point driving traffic to your website through PR, SEO and PPC if it’s the wrong kind of traffic or worse if the current website design and journeys annoy them, scare them off and prevent them from converting – Imagine if you could convert more of the traffic already hitting your business without having to invest in more ad-spend.

Personas, Data Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimisation, understanding your visitors and forming a digital strategy for growth can be quite overwhelming, It’s often left at the bottom of any small companies to-do but that’s where we’re here to help. Reach out to us and we’ll take a look at your analytics, your website and start guiding you on a simple and understandable journey to get more from your website and business from your customers.

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