Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:46 AM
Having a successful website in terms of getting lots of 'targeted' traffic is one thing but what are others doing to better assess and understand the needs of their site visitors. As far as I know... Analytics is very quantitative and the little qualitative that you do get: keywords to entry, are usually not enough to draw customer profiles as many books suggest. What kinds of things are site owners and managers doing to develop visitor profiles in order to web market better?
Posted 11 December 2008 - 06:53 PM
I guess my visitor profile is not far from my targeted market customer to begin with (someone I hope I am familiar with by this time) . I know I can always hope to improve their online experience by outright asking them what they think either through polls or faq's, email responses, purchasing comments, and even complaints...
Testing is another way that I like to think I approach most things open-minded and have often been mistaken on my first instincts. But this is why I test, it tells me what is happening by the visitors actions (or lack of) - or, if something I did worked, or worked better (some of the analytics you spoke of) - did they convert? More or less? Did I get them to take the desired action I was looking for ?
So while I like to think I already knew my target market, maybe I misunderstood what you were asking exactly? I began the (any) website with a basis for a visitor profile (customer), this was the target market we actually started after, and then we make many mistakes and improve what they want, desire, or dislike, and go on from there. "Keywords to entry" analysis as you called it, really assists me in what my site may be lacking in searches or problem solving (IMO), but you are right, it gives little insight into their other preferences.
Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:27 PM
I generally know at least one sector of my target audience before I start a site. I may add to that profile later, but I try to always have a fairly well defined starting point.
Then I test all sorts of things on the front end before visitors become customers. This helps me to further refine visitor profiles. Or at least the visitor profile for those who buy. Heck, when you're trying to figure out B2C vs. B2B you can often get a hint simply from the email address people use when they make a purchase!
Then on the back end, I always make sure to have some sort of Suggestion Box or Make A Request form. I don't push these too terribly hard (meaning I don't do true scientific surveying) but I've found over the years if you make it easy for people to ask a question or voice an opinion --or give them permission if you will-- people will let you know their thoughts. Good and bad. And sometimes they'll even ask for something that you can't do right then, but may lead to development of new products or services.
You do have to have a bit of a thick skin for that last one. But it really is an invaluable tool to get direct user feedback.
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