About Analytics, Conversions and On-Site Surveys

Recently, I have given a lot of thought to conversions. A static website may attract a lot of traffic, but unless there is an initial CTA (otherwise known as “call-to-action”), that traffic may be of no use at all.

According to a recent study by Bain & Company, around 80% of companies say they are customer centric, yet only 8% of their customers seem to agree with this.

When it comes to online shopping, this gap is evident.

You already have my contact info, and you know exactly what I bought – why not use that information and ask me for my opinions on-site, as well as at least some feedback about the online store and my purchase experience, or at the very least the product you just sold me?

As we all know, around 90% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. Proper SEO and SEM are, naturally, of a very high importance when it comes to attempts to increase the conversion rate.

Also, to be more precise, conversions only take place when targeted traffic meets the relevant offer. It all starts with knowing who is your target audience – and with knowing what they need or want.

It is highly recommended to begin by asking the right questions.

  • Who are the target customers? And what is their ongoing life situation?
  • What do they want? And what is the biggest pain point related to that?
  • What are the exact needs of the customers that aren’t being met right now?

Surveys can be used to significantly increase conversions by directing visitors to the correct pages on site. It all starts simply by asking questions related to customers and their specific needs, or feedback on whatever is displayed on the current page being browsed.

Qualitative research can offer more insight than anything else for coming up with conversions. Whereas quantitative figures tell you “what, where” and “how much”, the qualitative information tells you “why”.

The primary goal of qualitative research on-site is to gather an in-depth understanding of a website user’s behaviour, and the main reasons for that behaviour.

It makes sense to first inquire the user’s intent – to dig into what exactly is the specific problem they were solving by visiting the site in question. Moving forward, the next relevant questions might be, for example, what mattered to them when choosing the product or service, what kind of comparisons did they do prior to purchase, or how many and which other sites they looked at, and so on. It might also make sense to ask about friction – fears, doubts and hesitations the users experienced before making the purchase.

Your basic Google Analytics tools help you in defining your questions and in placing the surveys on site.

With Google Analytics tools, it is easy to spot the exact:

  • Best performing content (Which pieces of content work best? Try and get a clear view on this one!)
  • Best converting keywords (Which keywords rank? Aim to rank better for these and similar words.)
  • Best converting landing pages (Where is the incoming traffic landing on – and does it convert?)
  • Best converting traffic sources (Where exactly is your traffic that converts visitors coming from?)

To best avoid bounce and churn rate increase, I suggest giving the conversion surveys as well as their placement on your site a lot of thought. Less is more.

Exit surveys, annoying pop-ups and prompts to subscribe to another newsletter are proliferate. With Google Analytics tools, you can easily target the relevant customers with your on-site surveys – it does not matter if they converted, or did not yet.

Space for an Engaging Experience

Click, click, click. Your brand, company or organization may attract one million or more visitors to its website annually, but how do these visits eventually turn into revenue?

I think that conducting quantitative or qualitative research on customer experience is a fundamentally critical factor in turning the organization’s website visitors – be they passers-by or returning – into customers and later on into brand advocates.

Using this approach has the benefit of being able to better anticipate customer needs and desires and adopt to the mindset of the customer. Customer experience, in short, is the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over the customer journey, which result in an emotion-based relationship feeling, or lack of it. Now that the numerous different digital services have multiplied the potential touchpoints, lack of proper customer experience management may have disastrous results for the brand.

“Customer experience … is a fundamental dimension of how a company competes”, says Joseph Pine, who has coined the term in 1999 in his book entitled “The Experience Economy”, co-authored by James Gilmore. Pine underlines the importance of the shift from service economy into experience economy. This shift may be as remarkable as or even more important than the shift from selling commodities to making and marketing goods.

The importance of research cannot be overrated here. It is precisely getting to know your customers and having a discussion with them that helps you better understand their journey.

Once you have the results from the research, be it extensive quantitative material or in-depth interviews with selected few, it is possible to start mapping and managing the customer experience.

This can be done, for example, by creating customer profiles. The customer profiles may help in identifying the customer journeys that really matter, and vice versa.

Creating a customer journey canvas can also be a useful tool here.

What the customer of the 21st century expects now when purchasing a product or using a service, is, most of all, to have an engaging experience.

I think that creating this kind of emotion-based experiences should be the main area of expertise in the Museum Industry for these institutions to keep attracting customers in the future. Most major art institutions have indeed been very successful in creating an environment where this kind of engaging experiences take place. However, when it comes to their online services, not so many museums seem to have put so much effort in creating a space for exceptional engagement.

How to make the magic happen online?

I have no easy solution for this one, but creating digital customer profiles based on extensive research may be the best starting point in creating a composed customer experience. Having a streamlined digital strategy and implementing it throughout the organization is also needed.