Understanding where your users are coming from, what actions they are taking, and the results of those actions will allow you to get more clients, make more money, and ultimately grow with more certainty rather than guesses.
You can remember these by thinking easy as A-B-C:
- A – Acquisition
- B – Behavior
- C – Conversion
“A”: Acquisition – Where are my users coming from?
Knowing where your users enter your site is immensely helpful when determining where to invest your time and resources toward the acquisition of more users. Don’t guess – test! Most of my clients are surprised by what we find and it almost never fully aligns with what they expected.
A former client of mine was spending a ton of time and resources scheduling and sharing posts on Facebook. When we dug into her analytics, it turned out that less than 20% of her social traffic was coming from Facebook, whereas 80% was coming from Pinterest. That indicated to us that we should shift those resources from Facebook to Pinterest resulting in immediate growth.
“B”: Behavior – What actions are my users taking?
Knowing what your users are doing when they get to your site helps you get really intentional about flow and design to encourage the actions you WANT them to take. All user behaviors leave numbers behind. Your job is to identify the behaviors you want them to be taking and to look for the numbers that will indicate whether or not these behaviors occur.
A client of mine runs a membership site. When you log in, there is a video that outlines the actions a new member should take to get started. We noticed members were not taking all the actions we’d expect them to take upon getting started. After digging into the analytics, we found that people were not watching the video! So instead, we outlined it as a getting started ‘road map’ and immediately saw people begin to take the ‘right’ steps to get started.
Often times, user behavior can be the ‘bottleneck’ to conversions. This becomes really evident on sales pages when we scroll track (which is where we measure how far down page users scroll). We can see exactly where on a sales page your users are ‘dropping off’. This indicates that some testing is needed to figure out what we need to change to keep users on the page, and, ideally, to get them to click purchase. Simply put: fixing the drop off point gives gets you more sales.
“C”: Conversions – What are the results of my users’ actions?
Knowing the results of the actions your users are taking is essential for measuring progress against your goals. The definition of ‘conversion’ may vary depending on your business. For some, this might be making a purchase. For others, it might be scheduling a discovery call or joining your email list. First, you need to get really clear on what a conversion means to you. Second, you need to track in a way that allows you to understand how well you are converting users to customers or leads.
When conversion rates are not what you’d like them to be, it’s time to go back to user behavior to determine what changes can be made to get your intended actions to take place. For example, are people not making it to your order form? Are they viewing the order form but then abandoning the cart? Knowing this information can help you make better marketing decisions to get better results (more sales)!
A client of mine gets a good amount of traffic from Pinterest. When we dug into her data, we found that her users coming from Pinterest were more likely to opt-in to her email list than to make a purchase. Where some marketers would see this as a problem, we saw it as an opportunity because our purchase conversions from email were amazing.
Rather than try and change user behavior, we changed ours! We stopped trying to sell Pinterest users on products and instead, double down on attracting them to the email list (where we KNEW we would then convert them to purchase).
Pro tip: I really like to look at conversion both 1) overall and 2) by acquisition source. And I always compare to the prior period to see if I’ve improved or declined.