The Secret Life Of The Website Visitor

March 03, 2010
By Robbin Steif

It is amazing what our visitors know and don’t tell us. That’s why we have to keep asking them, and surveying, and looking at our analytics

A couple days ago, I was working with a customer on his website, and saw that as soon as the visitor chose to put something into the shopping cart, she would be confronted with a sign-in requirement. There wasn’t even an option to proceed as a guest.

“Well, that must be a real turn-off,” I said — too quickly, it turns out.  Because, the very next thing we did was go look at his Google Analytics. We saw that less than 10% of the visits that got to that page exited.

“Well,” I continued, sure that I knew his customers and visitors better than they knew themselves, “Let’s see what it says for new visitors only. I’ll bet that new visitors, who don’t already have sign-ins, exit in droves.”  And you guessed it, we saw that less than 10% of the visits that got to that page exited.

So we get back to the need for analytics, user testing and multivariate testing, because we never know what our visitors really want.

Robbin