One of the toughest things about running a website is how much competition you have to deal with. No matter what your website is about, or what niche website you built, it’s almost a guarantee that there are dozens of other websites about the same thing.
With so much competition, this means you need to work extra hard to get traffic. But you don’t want to get just anyone to your website – you want to get people who are likely to convert into customers. The key to doing this is understanding user intent.
User intent is what the user is hoping to gain by visiting your website. Are they trying to learn something? Find out more about a product? Or are they ready to buy something? By knowing about the intent of your users, you can better tailor your website to fit that intent. This will help you to not only bring in more traffic but bring in better traffic as well.
To do this, here are 4 actionable tips you can use. Apply the tips below, and you should find that you have an easier time understanding what your users are after.
Analyze Your Website Traffic
One of the first things you should do is take a look at your website traffic. Your website traffic can offer a large window into what your visitors are interested in, and help you to understand their intent. In particular, there are a few metrics you should focus on.
First, look at your most popular pages. Let’s say you’re an Internet Marketing Agency. You offer two primary services – Web Design and SEO. If your most popular pages are all related to SEO, and the ones about Web Design get far less traffic, this gives you insight into what your audience really cares about. You can then use this information to make future decisions – such as altering your blogging strategy to focus more on SEO or offering more SEO-related services.
With some shopping cart software, you can also see how often a page results in a user adding something to their cart. This is great for online stores, as you can see which products people are interested in, and which pages do the best at promoting their product.
After that, check your bounce rate and average time on page. The bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your site, then leave without visiting another page. If a certain page on your website has a high bounce rate or low average time on page, this tells you that your visitors aren’t getting what they came for from that page. On the other hand, if a page has a low bounce rate or a high average time on page, this signals that your page is providing value. Study the pages that are doing well, and this will help you to understand your user’s intent.
Finally, perform some keyword analysis. See what people are searching for when they find your site. This will give you a great look as to what people are hoping to find. For example, if one of the common searches leading to your marketing agency is “How do I optimize my website for search engines” and your article doesn’t answer this question, you’re missing the user’s intent.
Study Your Competitors
The next thing you can do is study your competitors. From them, you can usually learn what’s working for them, and what isn’t. You can then apply these lessons to your own business, without having to make the mistakes first.
For example, let’s say you’re tracking your competitor’s social media accounts. Your competitor posts two links to articles they have recently published on their blog. You notice one of these articles generates a lot of feedback on their social account, while the other practically goes ignored.
From this, you learn what their audience – and by extension, your audience – is interested in. Tracking and studying your competitors will help you to not only understand user intent, but it can keep you ahead of your competition.
Add Social Sharing Buttons
Speaking of sharing links on social media, adding social sharing buttons to your website is one of the best things you can do to understand user intent. If someone visits your website and finds exactly what they are looking for, this will make them happy. Happy visitors are more likely to share the information they found so that others can benefit.
By adding social sharing buttons to your website, you can learn which pages are getting the most shares. If a page gets shared a lot via social media, you can bet that this page is providing value and answering your user’s intent. These social sharing buttons are great for learning about your users but also serves as a great marketing tool.
Gather Customer Feedback
Finally, sometimes you just need to go directly to the source. Rather than trying to guess what the intent of your user is, why not ask them directly? Customer feedback is an invaluable tool throughout your business, but it’s especially useful when it comes to understanding intent.
To gather customer feedback, you have a few options. You could create a survey and send it out to everyone on your email list. Another option is to show an exit intent pop-up when someone is about to leave your site, asking why they are leaving, and offering some form of incentive to answer your quick questions.
Imagine if you were to ask every person who leaves your site without converting why they are leaving, and getting a response from each of them. The amount of data you’d accumulate would be invaluable, and you’d be able to transform your website in a way that better understands user intent. Of course, not every one of your visitors will give you feedback, but the more you can get, the better off you’ll be.
Make Understanding User Intent a Priority
There are only so many hours in a day in which to figure out how to be more productive on your website. If you’re spending that time creating content that your users are uninterested in, or that doesn’t suit their intent, you’re just wasting your time. This is why it’s essential that you learn about your user’s intent so that it can inform the other decisions you make about your website.
Hopefully, these few tips will help you to get started. Once you start learning more about your users, you should find that your website starts to perform better, and before long you not only have happier visitors, but you see an increase in conversions as well.
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