This is the first of a series of posts about what web users actually intend to do when the go to different websites.
Part 1 – When a user lands on your website
Scenario: A user, or users, find their way to your home/landing page
What were they thinking to get here?
Let’s lay out the cold-hard truth. They aren’t there because they care about your website. They aren’t there because they care about you.
People visit sites under these general purposes:
- They need/want information about something
- They need/want a product or service
What are they thinking if they stay?
If you get a user to go deeper than one page into your site, you’re doing something right. If all or most of your users bounce off your site, something’s wrong.
(check out our previous post, “Stats are for losers – sometimes” for a little more information about studying and judging data)
Your users are thinking, “This site might have a solution to my situation.” Celebrate! But only a little. Just getting them from the home page to another page is only the completion of stage 1 in this series.
What are they thinking if they leave immediately?
Either, or a set, of these:
- “Oops, accidental visit”
- “This isn’t what I thought it was”
- “I don’t need any of this”
- “I’ll check out some others for a moment”
- “I think I can find better”
- “This is confusing”
- “This is a waste of my time”
If you sell snow boots, it’s probably not a big deal to lose a chunk of visitors from Miami in July. If you sell beach gear and lose a lot of visitors, it would indicate a problem.
Here’s a recent shot of our analytics – lots of lost users, but from countries we aren’t working with, so it’s not anything we need to question right now.
You should always
- cater to your targeted audience. Those are the visitors that matter.
- be able and willing to change frequently and rapidly to fix problems
- keep track of your analytics data
You should never assume
- your users care about you or your website
- “If I can figure it out, they can, too”
- the first changes you make will fix everything
- the solutions that others found will work for you
There are better resources than this info alone
Turn to your users – ask them. In restaurants, your best customer (or maybe “most important” is a better title) is the one that complains the most (hopefully with helpful points, but potentially harsh). Unless it’s the entire world, anyone who tells you that your site is perfect isn’t helping you to improve it.
Check for more articles in the “What your viewers are thinking” series.