Last Updated on September 6, 2018
You have the ability to compile more data than you could ever need about your website visitors using conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools. But why should you care about user behavior?
After all, CRO is just about maximizing clicks, conversions, and sales, right? Why should it matter what happens in between those actions?
I’m here to tell you that it matters — a lot.
User behavior gives you insight into how your website visitors act, think, and make decisions. While they’re contemplating a decision — for instance, about whether or not to sign up for your email newsletter — you need to know how they’re behaving. And that’s where CRO tools come in.
If you don’t know that a particular blog post garners tons of engagement and contributes to a high percentage of your conversions, you can’t optimize that post to make it even more effective. The same goes for every other element on your website.
That’s a shame. Lots of business owners are missing out on incredible data and insights, but I don’t want that to happen to you. Here’s how to stay ahead of the competition by tracking user behavior.
User behavior refers to the activities in which website visitors engage after they land on your site. It can involve clicks, scrolling down pages, reading blog posts, taking quizzes, and more.
Think of your website as a brick-and-mortar store. You launch your website, which opens its doors. Customers can come in and out at will.
User behavior tells you how they act once they’re inside. It’d be like tracking customer patterns inside an actual store.
In a physical store, you might want to know which end caps prove most effective at moving product, how signage figures into customers’ decisions, and which aisles turn off shoppers. This data would help you rearrange your store for maximum sales.
Your website works the same way. With the right CRO tools, you can understand the user behavior of all your website visitors so you can optimize each page for a desired action.
User behavior and psychology go hand in hand. People behave based on what motivates or resonates with them.
Take a call-to-action phrase, for instance. Changing just one or two words can impact user behavior based on how your visitors perceive that phrase.
Check out the two CTAs above. If you A/B test the two, user behavior might mark one as the clear winner.
For instance, if “Join Today” prevails, you might surmise that the word “join” has a more positive psychological effect on your audience because it suggests inclusivity and a welcoming atmosphere.
It’s not just about the clicks, though. What if your user behavior tests reveal that visitors think something is a link, but it’s not actually hyperlinked. Your visitors are getting frustrated because they click on an image or a phrase, but nothing happens.
You can use that information to optimize your website for a better user experience.
You’ve heard of the Pareto principle, right? It states that 80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your efforts.
Viewed another way, it also suggests that you need to optimize your site for 80 percent of your visitors rather than the 20 percent, which constitute outliers.
User behavior can vary widely among consumers, even when they’re visiting the same website. Consumers have their own preferences and patterns, many of which you can’t predict without solid data.
You can’t optimize for everyone. Your goal should be to please the majority of your visitors.
First, though, you need to know how that majority behaves.
I meet business owners all the time who make off-the-cuff decisions about things like web design, homepage design, landing page design, and more. They’re making assumptions about what their target customers want.
That’s a huge mistake. No matter how well you think you know your target audience, they’re capable of surprising you.
The way to compensate for that fact is to make assumptions — or, more accurately, hypotheses — and then pay attention to user behavior so you can adjust specific website elements based on data.
Ideally, those decisions will come from the vast majority of your visitors. In other words, what do most people do while they’re on your site.
If you know that, you can help nurture your visitors toward a conversion.