We’re so excited to introduce you to our “Learn from” series guest: Russell Wojcik, Content Manager at Mouseflow.
We all know that after you launch your website your work ain’t over yet. You must strive to acquire traffic and convert it. The moment you get the needed traffic, you also need insights into user behavior. And tools like Mouseflow can do the trick here. Mouseflow lets you replay the full visitor experience to identify pain points, boost conversions, and optimize your site. Having over 165.000 customers, they know the drill.
Today we’re going to learn how to use web analytics to identify money leaking holes inside a website.
Listen, we get it — we’re all in this business to make some money. And if your goal is to earn money from your website, you’ve got to A) drive users to your site and B) convert them once they get there.
Driving traffic — there are a thousand ways to do that! But converting users into paying customers once they land on your site? A lot trickier.
You may have a beautifully designed website with clear calls to action, vibrant and inspiring imagery, super-clear navigation, et cetera et cetera — and you can still be losing conversions.
So how can you analyze your website to find out where it’s leaking revenue? The answer lies in web behavior analytics.
Tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics provide a wealth of data. But they don’t go far enough in measuring how users actually see and interact with your website. Therefore, it’s worth your while to invest in a web behavior analytics tool that can add a rich layer of engagement data on top of your existing web analytics. You can choose from lightweight free versions all the way up to costly, full-suite solutions. It’s crucial to find a tool that can help you with this — before more profits leak out of your website!
Here’s what to look for when gazing through the lens of web behavior analytics.
Search for troublesome web behavior from specific referral sources
Within your web behavior analytics tool, filter by traffic referral source. You will see a segmented view of how your users behave and which source brought them to your site in the first place.
Perhaps you’re tracking UTMs for email, paid social, paid search, and more. Look at these UTM sources individually, analyzing key metrics like conversion rate, order value, and lifetime value.
Which sources stand out with high ROI? Pump more money into that channel!
Which sources scare you with their low conversion rates, values, etc.?
Take a close look at the user journey in these cases. You may choose to turn off spending on this referral source. Or, you may just need to send the traffic to a more logical page. Or, the page you send them to now may be fine — it just needs some attention as laid out in the following sections.
Uncover and improve high-drop-off pages
With a segment by referral source or unfiltered, web behavior analytics can show you the most troublesome pages — where users exit your site.
This may be the most direct connection to the leaking revenue metaphor. Think of this page as a leaky, rusty, clogged pipe surrounded by shiny new ones. The plumbing system will only work as well as the weakest link. Web behavior analytics helps you find that weakest link.
By identifying high-drop-off pages, you can make some careful choices. You could improve that page by engaging a CRO strategy. You could replace that page in the user’s journey with a more relevant one. You could adjust your paid ad copy to more accurately represent your offer. And on, and on…
The important part is zeroing in on the problematic page, Rarely is an entire web conversion funnel broken. Typically, a weak link or two is what spoils the journey. Fixing it can get users flowing freely again.
Fix your forms — the underrated web behavior improvement trick
This one’s tricky, because forms are an essential part of actually collecting money from a user or fully completing their conversion journey, whatever it may be. But what if your form itself is the weak link?
How would you even know that?
Aside from reviewing high-drop-off pages and identifying the checkout (or wherever the form is present) page, you can engage the help of a form optimization tool.
Many web behavior analytics platforms have such a tool — they break each form down into a funnel and look at completion rates for each field. That way, you can understand where a user gets tripped up.
- Are they hesitant to give away too much information? Trim down on form fields.
- Are they struggling to come up with a password? Make the requirements easier or at least easier to understand.
- Are they struggling to find a selection in a drop-down menu? Change it to a free text field.
There are a lot of possibilities for faulty, conversion-crushing forms. The best way to understand what’s happening is to deploy web behavior analytics to let data tell the story.
Remove on-page obstacles that affect web behavior
Perhaps there’s an element on your web page that confuses, scares, distracts, or otherwise stops your user from converting. But how will you know that’s the case? How can you avoid making your web users play mouse-click-parkour?
That’s where a web behavior analytics tool with heat mapping and screen recording will become a crucial tool. Tools with these capabilities track and record users as they navigate your site, then layer user session data together to give a visualization of activity.
Warm colors represent high-activity areas, while cool colors represent the obvious. So what should you look for? Here are a few ideas.
Warm spots where there’s no clickable element. This means your user thinks something should be clickable, but it actually isn’t. This will frustrate them and can lead them to exit.
Warm spots too spread out. This may mean the actual clickable section of your element is too condensed and needs to be expanded to capture the entire clickable area, as perceived by the user.
Cold spots over important information. This is pretty simple — it means users aren’t interacting with what you want them to! If you’re able to view a live version of your heatmap, you may find that a pop-up or menu is blocking the CTA, for example. Or, the CTA may be otherwise obscured or downplayed to the point where it goes unnoticed by the user.
Optimize for scroll depth — quite possibly the most consequential web behavior
Using a web analytics tool with scroll depth measurement, look at what percentage of your traffic makes it to the end of your page. You’ll probably notice that barely anyone makes it all the way down to the footer. That’s not so bad, you think.
But we’re not looking at the footer — we want to know if users even scroll past the first fold (the first visible section on a screen — “fold” comes from newspaper lingo). In many cases, you’ll find that only half or less of users scroll below the first one or two folds.
But what can you do with this information?
Identify a point of significant drop-off — say, the point at which 50% of your users are no longer scrolling any further. It’s probably not 50% down the page, but much higher up.
Now, is your most important content — copy, buttons, imagery, products, links, etc. — included in this section? If it’s not, then 50% or more of your traffic isn’t even seeing it!
Now, you can undertake this process for every page, but consider starting on those with the lowest conversion rates or highest potential value. Treat the page like an inverted pyramid — the most important, essential information at the top (which the user will see without needing to scroll) and less important information lower on the page.
Be sure to look at a couple of different screen sizes, including desktop and mobile.
Deploy web behavior analytics to improve website ROI
When doing business online, it’s crucial that you measure users’ behavior to understand how you may be losing money. Something as simple as a purchase button being too small or in the “wrong” spot can cost you thousands of dollars in unrealized revenue. As can complex forms, misaligned referral sources, and suboptimal onsite user journeys.
While it can feel daunting to tackle all these issues, realize that collecting web behavior data and relating it to your bottom line will help prioritize the costliest issues, making for a more approachable undertaking.