How to evaluate and improve behavioral factors on a website

Each day, visitors from different sources and geographical locations visit websites. They all have something in common. They are all looking for something they need. Upon completing specific actions, they find what they were looking for (called ‘conversion’).

And if they can’t find it, they just go somewhere else.

  • Do they go to a competitors’ websites?
  • What makes them leave?
  • What makes them want to stay?

These are vital questions to answer and they make all the difference between a successful website and a bad one.

Customer flow management upon behavioral factors

In many cases, website owners can’t tell which pages visitors lose their interest in and leave. Marketers can regularly check and analyze the bounce rate, which shows the number of visitors who leave without going to more website pages.

Another commonly used metric is the conversion rate which shows the percentage of visitors who take at least one meaningful action while on a website, say, they make a purchase.

For effective customer flow management, marketers need to be aware of more behavioral factors on a website. Whether an online store or a news portal, the point is to get visitors through the “sales funnel” as fast as possible, encouraging them to become customers.

The foundation for improving behavioral factors on a website

It is impossible to meet everybody’s needs, but there should be an understandable interface, attractive design, and easy-to-follow navigation on the website. Tracking website visitors doesn’t make much sense if the website owner doesn’t have those.

Web design has many nuances to it.

To create a user-friendly website, consider hiring a third-party user experience (UX) specialist for an independent review. They can run tests to check if everything works as it’s supposed to.

But even before the design, there is the technical side. Ideally, the marketer should launch a website in a flawless condition after dozens of test runs. It rarely happens in practice, but prioritize the technical factors and perform various types of testing to avoid any critical errors. 

While large companies are more likely to afford a tiresome testing process, it’s usually different with websites of smaller businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Technical errors may remain exposed on the website for months and even years after the launch or update. Naturally, visitor flow management is less effective if technical flaws prevent users from interacting with a website. 

But even without a large team of specialists, it is still possible to do the testing across different platforms. There are plenty of useful instruments that can help with that. 

Knowing customers to increase conversion rates

Knowing the customer and predicting their behavior is essential for any website. Still, many businesses fail to consider them, spending their digital marketing efforts on digital advertising or relying on internal tools.

For comprehensive website visitor tracking and a better understanding of customers, you should break them into six behavior groups:

  1. User experience: a vast set of different behavioral factors on a website to look at, such as web page scrolling, link clicking, etc.
  2. Content: this is what actually attracts visitors. Track the popularity of particular pages, social media shares, and other feedback.
  3. Conversions: visitors turned into customers. The sales funnel should be an easy path with no obstacles preventing users from making decisions.
  4. Accessibility: the website has to be accessible to all users and across all types of devices. It’s vital to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and make the content easily accessible to any potential customer.
  5. Engagement: random visitors turned into those interested in the product or service. The sales funnel journey might be time-consuming, but if the marketer adds conversational elements to the website like chatbots, they’ll reap the benefits of increased user engagement.
  6. External data: analysis aimed at discovering additional factors behind the website visitors’ behavior. It is about finding out what they really want when they visit the website. User surveys and market research can be helpful here.

Website owners need to analyze visitor behavior across multiple aspects and tailor the analysis to their specific needs. For example, getting conversion rates as high as possible is the top priority for online stores, while entertaining resources prioritize engagement over other factors.

Choosing a web analytics service for conversion rate optimization

Suppose everything’s okay with technical issues and web design, and the website owner has already decided on types of behavioral aspects to pay the closest attention to. In that case, it’s time to choose the right tools designed for effective website visitor tracking.

Thankfully, there are a lot to choose from.

At the very beginning, when low on budget, free instruments for analysis like Google Analytics may be of good assistance. Yandex.Metrica is the equivalent that is popular inEurope.

These services work similarly: website owners add analytics snippets to their website’s code. A snippet is a JavaScript code that enables tracking and gathers all available information on user activity from servers.

What does Google Analytics provide?

As a basic and free analytical tool, Google Analytics gives many valuable options:

  1. To start with, it provides data on the total number of visitors within any chosen timeframe. There’s the dynamics between new and returning visitors: a higher percentage of the latter means a good user engagement level on a website.
  2. The tool allows segregating the audience by age or gender, which can be vital for targeting specific goods and services. It is possible to track visitors across different geographical locations.
  3. The Site Speed tab contains data on how quickly different pages are loading. If some pages take longer to load, this might be a serious problem to solve.
  4. Site search shows exactly what visitors are interested in once they arrive at the website. Compare these insights with keyword statistics. Analyze if the website is actually helpful for searchers.
  5. The Acquisition tab tells where visitors come from. For example, Channels can tell what percentage of visitors learn about the website from social networks. In the example above, social networks account for 275 weekly users only, while a search performed on different search engines brought more than 6,500 visitors that same week. 
  6. The service allows marketers to see how many visitors use certain devices to access the website. They can analyze how to distribute further marketing and SEO efforts with this information.
  7. There’s also the statistics by page. Learn how many visitors have clicked on a specific page to analyze what types of content perform best on the site.
  8. Finally, the Conversions tab is an absolute must for websites selling products or services. It allows tracking different products’ performance, analyzing purchases made on a website, and the average time it takes for a customer to complete the purchase.

Consider an all-in-one third-party SEO tool

Google Analytics functionality can undoubtedly give a lot of data to work with. However, we recommend combining it with other tools to get the full picture of the website’s performance.

While Google Analytics provides a detailed report for the connected website, third-party platforms like SE Ranking cover competitors’ data essential for newcomers and small businesses. It’s a good idea to run the website audits using a complex, large-scale platform such as above mentioned SE Ranking. It is an all-in-one SEO software that provides robust backlink analysis and monitoring, website audit, keyword analysis, and, most importantly, competitive research. 

The integrated approach that combines analytics with regular site audits will allow marketers to maximize their business potential. Website audit detects errors of different kinds. They give valuable suggestions and actionable tips on how to solve all the issues found on internal pages.

It is also easier to determine the potential for improvement by covering the missing keywords and getting the backlinks from a competitor’s profile. Eventually, all the undertaker steps will impact the SEO ranking positions and reflect on the website’s user engagement.

What to do next to improve behavioral factors

Here comes the hard work. There are no bulletproof methods to make more visitors do what website owners want them to do on their website. So, there are different aspects to consider while analyzing the site’s performance and user behavior.

Marketers should consider fundamental things like technical issues and design and then arm themselves with various analytical tools to track website visitors and analyze the results.

Start with defining behavioral factors on a website that are most relevant to you. Is it the engaging content or conversion rates that ultimately determine the success of the business? Know what to focus on. It can help you understand what behavioral factors on a website to track. It can help you improve user experience on your website.

This guest blog was written by Alina Tytarenko, a marketer at SE Ranking. She shares her experience in marketing techniques, link building, content marketing, and SEO with readers. You can connect with her via LinkedIn.