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Monday, Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:30 am

Your Visitors Are Individuals So Treat Them That Way

By Melissa Burdon
January 25th, 2010

I have a friend who is responsible for gathering & reporting all the stats for his company.  In speaking with him, I found it interesting when he said “although stats are vital for reporting, they sometimes don’t tell the full story of what really is going on.”

Numbers don’t report the in-between stages of the sales process, they’re only black and white, yes or no, conversion or no conversion.  Numbers do an excellent job of showing trends and forecasting, but numbers are numbers and don’t necessarily give us the whole story. The whole story is about people. He went on to say “if I could somehow find a way to track and follow the buying process from start to finish on an individual basis, that would be unbelievably powerful!”

The power of being able to track and analyze individual buying behavior is relevant to your web site as well. There is always more story behind every web site’s analytics data. Wouldn’t it be great to set a parameter after the fact, to filter out/focus in on, specific visitors by some specific behavior they took on your site so that you could dig into those individual visits one by one? You might want to set a filter to view all visitors who successfully arrived at XYZ page, what their individual visit/click process looked like in order to get some real insights into why the visitor behaved in a specific way.

OnTarget- list of keywords and successes

OnTarget- list of keywords and successes

OnTarget is the tool that allows me (and our other consultants) to easily analyze our client’s web sites in a way that no analytics program can. OnTarget is so vital in order for me to do my job effectively because it allows me to get individual insights into what my client’s visitors are doing on their individual visits.

I can look at a search term that sent visitors to my client’s site and actually see a list of all the individual visits that took place from that term. So instead of only being able to look at aggregate behavior that a search term brought to a web site, I can actually look at each individual visit separately. Sometimes averages lie, so I generally come up with a theory about behavior based on some of the averages, and then I always dig into individual trends to prove or disprove my theories. This helps me determine if changes need to be made based upon personal patterns, not an entire aggregate.

One click path for one visitor in OnTarget

One click path for one visitor in OnTarget

Having access to this information is as good as following a shopper throughout their buying process step by step, except that we don’t have to worry about the shopper’s behavior changing based on the fact that I’m following them. They have no idea that I’ve been spying on their every move!

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Comments (49)

  1. “They have no idea that I’ve been spying on their every move!”

    It’s like the KAIZEN: Total Quality management type of style

  2. It’s definitely a very powerful tool, when you can see the entire click path of a user. It can not only reveal where your site may have weaknesses but even show you shopping cart abandonment rate. I once managed a website that was a Yahoo Store and Yahoo Analytics was able to show each user’s click path just like this.

  3. thanks for info :)

  4. i do find the keywords data very helpful to me. It makes me see what visitors want and i make sure that they get it.

  5. Silver Spring is right this is definitely a powerful tool and a useful one too. this will change the way things are analyzed! It is now in much more detail. This is really great!

  6. yes stats are a good source of daily market trends. It can also be used to show which keywords have a good conversion rate, Which will help in the SEO side of your website.
    thank you for this post has a lot of information

  7. Individual analysis can be quite volatile. It is good to look at the extreme deviation from aggregate behavior to see if insights can be seen.

  8. Great Insight Enjoyed reading your blog. Hope to see some more stuff from you in future.

  9. “The power of being able to track and analyze individual buying behavior is relevant to your web site” << Like This. I Will follow your article. Please write more.

  10. This is a great tool. But still the kewyword analytics is important to assess your site objectives.

  11. hi, i agree with Alfandi, kewyword analytics is important to assess your site objectives.

  12. You are 100% right. Many marketers and even referral programs treat their visitors and members as just number or stats. They miss the importance of behavioral and more personal marketing.

  13. Well, quite useful post, i am definitely going to subscribe to your blog.

  14. Excellent post.I got an idea about marketing and its strategies.

  15. I completely agree. A good sales person will try to read the customer that is in front of them and change their approach based on their conclusions. Many companies neglect their online customers because of the lack of face-to-face interactions. But watching the behavior of your visitors is the equivalent of paying attention to a customer in front of you, companies need to pay attention.

  16. Thanks for the great read! I appreciate it.

  17. I agree with this article as well. What people tend to forget with marketing and SEO is that people are going to read your website, not just the bot. Your content needs to be developed so users can easily read and be interested in your website.

  18. So we can check which keywords generated the most buyers instead of just visitors? Ineresting

  19. You are right.Stats do not tell the whole story.You need to know how is your website performing with the common people.Another great article.

  20. Yes i agree with your friend. its better to track what customers really doing fromm start to end.

  21. You are so right, they are numbers on the computer. But we need to hone in on the fact they are humans.

  22. This is a good way of thinking about the customer. Client Habits can show you where to invest your marketing budget strategically.

  23. We use analytics but try to engage readers by posing questions – hasn’t really worked so far so maybe your ideas will spark some change on our site.

  24. thats a good advice. Don’t know that before. respectively I don’t take a thought about it.
    Where I can the Programm On Target?

  25. Thanks for an interesting post.
    Nice article

  26. I think the seo is very important to blog, so the nice design for you blog is a value thing

  27. this is the interesting article,It’s definitely a very powerful tool

  28. great article – I agree that would be extremely powerful. I like to target buyers later in the buying process I can see how this would be an extremely valuable tool!

  29. Stats are only a tool, and rarely the first tool you should use out of your tool chest.

  30. [...] full post on Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow, Inc Enjoyed this article?WebsiteWordpress [...]

  31. Thanks for the information…very useful for newbies like me

  32. Stats are great, but numbers don’t give you all the feedback you need to make real changes, and see real improvements.

  33. You are completely right when you said, “it is all about people”. I know some people who started a company which went from 100 clients to 20,000 in 3 years. There slogan was simply, “we’re all about people”

  34. Great post!

    I am definitely going to subscribe to your blog.

  35. nice post. I know some people who started a company

  36. It is tedious data mining job to analyze each and every customer’s data and understand their behavior’s pattern.

  37. hi, i agree with Alfandi, kewyword analytics is important to assess your site objectives.

  38. This post is money. The internet has made communication so impersonal to the point where we don’t even think of other users as human beings. Crazy.

  39. Agree totally with your comments. OnTarget looks like an excellent piece of software. John

  40. I agree that numbers and statistics cannot tell the full story. When you look at statistics, you cannot say that the same people who bought the same item at about the same time were thinking the same thing.

  41. Motivations for buying are so different for buyers. Now, motivation is something that cannot be individually gauged unless buyers are obliged to offer the information.

  42. This is an amazing program. There’s nothing more helpful than being able to know what your (potential) clients are up to in order to help manage your own website accordingly. Thank you for this great article!

  43. Of course, no stats will tell you the whole story but will for sure do a lot. Depending of what you want to know you can change the questions.

  44. I agree with the fact that you need to treat your visitors as individuals but if you want to do it properly, you will need a few people working for this and working on a daily basis.

  45. It might seem easy to do, but I am telling you from my experience it might take so much time that will make you give up easily.

  46. The internet is brilliant but people still buy from people. thats why social media is now so huge for businesses.

  47. I would try something in between since it takes so much time to see data coming from each visitor. Anyway, I got the general idea and I agree.

  48. I’d have agree. Specially if you have a local service or business where you’re only dealing with 20-50 new visitors a day. Its a good idea to see what they do. Much easier to approach then and even leave enticing messages or emails.

  49. Agree, social media is huge business but at the expense of people to people skills! People bye people first.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

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