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Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 at 9:26 am

In-Page Analytics: See More Than Just Numbers

By Melissa Burdon
October 26th, 2010

At FutureNow, we follow a unique process to help our clients increase their conversion rates and improve their results online. Our optimization process is simple and designed to get results quickly:

  1. We start by helping our clients more effectively convert their late stage visitors (those who know exactly what they want when they get to your site), usually by improving lead generation forms, or shopping cart and checkout. Our clients get amazing results, even at this very first stage.
  2. Once we get the late stage click streams (the click-by-click pathways late stage buyers will follow to complete a purchase or become a lead) optimized so that more people convert (take the action you want them to take), we help the client find more of these late stage visitors and take advantage of the increased conversion rate.
  3. Finally, we turn our attention to helping our clients improve their conversion rates for the middle stage visitors, and then early stage visitors. We teach our clients a framework for understanding the needs and motivations of these visitors, prepare tools to facilitate that understanding, and guide them on how to use their new understanding of their customer needs and motivations to persuade more of these early and middle stage visitors to take the actions we want them to take.

This third step of the optimization process accounts for at least 4 different communication styles and their associated needs and motivations, so the analysis becomes a little more complex. We start this part of our process by identifying those traffic sources that demonstrate a visitor is an early or middle stage buyer, and mapping these to custom segments in Google Analytics so we can look at the data for each one separately. Next, we identify the problem areas that the different segments are running into, create hypotheses about the specifics of the problem and the best way to solve it, and develop a plan to test these hypotheses that includes specific recommendations about changes to make to our clients’ marketing. The goal is to provide concrete direction to our clients about how to improve the persuasive process for each kind of visitor, providing targeted conversion rate improvements across more discrete visitor pathways to the conversion funnel.

How do we go about doing this? We select a path in Google Analytics that an early or middle stage visitor would be likely to follow. We qualify this path for stage in the buying process, and buyer intent, by the keyword or other traffic source the visitors used to get to the landing page. Then we look at the landing page elements most frequently clicked on and follow that click path looking for signals in the data that tell us where the problems might be occurring.

In-Page Analytics is a fabulous new feature upgrade to Google Analytics’s old site-overlay feature. In the past, we used “Navigation Summary” to find the page elements most frequently clicked on (and we still can use this if we like), but the new feature presents an opportunity to do this kind of data mining by looking at these numbers from within the actual context of the website page. The new Google In-Page Analytics feature makes it easier to see visitors as people and not just a statistic. This way of looking at data translates into an easier way to do better, more customer-centric analysis.

Have you already addressed the bulk of the problems in your shopping cart, checkout or lead generation forms? Are you ready for a more insightful kind of analysis? Try using the In-Page Analytics feature to see what you can learn about the kinds of customers visiting your site, and where they hit roadblocks. Let us know what you find and how it goes! If you are struggling to make sense of what you see, or know how to use the data effectively, we can help. Or if you haven’t made the most of your late stage visitors yet, we can help. Let us know what you’re struggling to do, and find out how we can get you back on track.

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Comments (16)

  1. It is always a good idea to tune your shopping cart process, since every conversion goes through this same process.

  2. The analytics sometimes do not re[resent the real value of marketing, since it is online, it is difficult to know whether the viewer is real interested or just passer, or lookers, you can identified by the time length, but still no guarantee to conversions rate.

  3. @Ari Lestariono – re: length of time indicates true interest. Let’s consider the opposite… does shorter length of time indicate a true lack of interest? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It may just be an indicator that you’re not answering the right questions for your visitors, or providing strong enough scent. This is why it is important to establish criteria around both buying stage and visitor persona type, and associated search terms and information needs.

  4. @ Ari I think you have a good point there, I think its very hard to deduce anything from the lenght of time viewers spend on a website. If they leave after a few seconds you are obviously doing something wrong, but I think the number of pages they click trough on your site is more telling.

  5. Say your at .25% conversion based on visitors to sales, even increasing that to a half percent is DOUBLING your sales, that could be the difference in a 6 figure to million dollar business. I’d say any way, whether getting them early or later, is a positive and these tools seem to be a good option to achieve this.

  6. We do a lot of in page analytics work, especially on conversin rate, we found removing things like email to a friend, submit/share this and related items increase the conversion rate dramatically as there were less places for a user to leave the page. simple but effective

  7. Melissa,
    Wow, based on what you are describing and doing, I’d have to say you are a lot smarter than me. :)
    But even I am smart enough to understand the importance or conversions, and optimizing your conversion rate.
    It seems to me that too many people focus on rankings and raw traffic, and not enough on conversion.

  8. @IKB- Agreed, the number of pages clicked through gives you a better gauge of visitor interest.
    The new Google In-Page Analytics tool looks promising as the old site-overlay never worked very well.

  9. @ small business: I have used the in-page analytics last month for analyzing the individual traffic stats of my website pages and it help a lot. I was assigned by my client to bring 10000+ visits to the landing page in one month and the in-page analytics was quite handy for monitoring the stats.

  10. hey what do u mean by this line -improve their conversion rates for the middle stage visitors, and then early stage visitors??

  11. The analytics sometimes do not re[resent the real value of marketing, since it is online, it is difficult to know whether the viewer is real interested or just passer, or lookers, you can identified by the time length, but still no guarantee to conversions rate.

  12. @ecommerce very nice point you got… most of us keep adding as much “leave the page” options to our sites without thinking of conversion rate..

  13. @windows 8 – Our conversion rate optimization process works through the stages that buyers go through when buying something in reverse (late stage buyer, middle stage buyer, early stage buyer) so that we can have a quicker impact on a client’s bottom line. See this blog post for updated definitions of each of the 3 stages.

  14. Understanding the behavior and need of visitors and providing them what they want is the key of higher conversion rate.

  15. We improved our conversion rate by 80% just with simple design changes in our checkout process. Just moving a button from the left to the right, making the background brighter. Some very small hings with big effect.

  16. I agree. A small adjustment on how the Checkout button should look would make a great change on how shoppers behave.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

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