It would give the right content to each visitor so that they could make a decision to act and convert. Start by analyzing how users flow through your site The first step to tapping into the minds of your website visitors is understanding “user flow.” User flows are exactly what they sound like. For example, here are a few scenarios that might already happen on your website: Person A clicks on a banner ad, hits a landing page, converts, and then receives a new email. They fixed this issue by replacing the image of the person looking away from the form with a simple arrow that now pointed toward the form. Our case study CTA at the top is simple, yet effective. You want people on this page to click on one of those options. Look for popular pages with high exit rates On-site behavior is key to producing pages that convert. If people don’t like your pages, they won’t convert. Now reverse engineer goal paths and conversions Hopefully, people are already converting on your website. Then you can test, iterate, and improve on each little step until they all add up to a big payday at the end of the line.
Ideally, you could predict what every person wants when they hit your site.
Giving the user what they want, even before they realize it, can help solve a ton of issues.
It would eliminate the need for extra searches.
It would give the right content to each visitor so that they could make a decision to act and convert.
This is the biggest reason why I tell people to never redesign their websites.
The last thing you want to do is completely overhaul what’s already working.
Instead, you should roll out new updates and improvements over time.
This way, you can watch how people are already interacting with your website.
You can pay attention their behavior to pinpoint the exact problem areas to fix.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to save that hard-earned traffic and preserve those conversions by giving users exactly what they want.
Here’s how to read your visitors’ minds by watching their on-site behavior.
Start by analyzing how users flow through your site
The first step to tapping into the minds of your website visitors is understanding “user flow.”
User flows are exactly what they sound like.
They’re the visual ‘paths’ or ‘funnels’ that people take while navigating your site.
You can see how a person lands on your site from an ad, search result, email, or social update. You can also watch the actions that person takes while on the site.
Connecting those two dots can help you influence how users should behave on your site.
For example, here are a few scenarios that might already happen on your website:
- Person A clicks on a banner ad, hits a landing page, converts, and then receives a new email.
- Person B clicks on a link inside an email, hits a product page, buys the product, and receives an upsell email for a related product.
- Person C searches for a long-tail keyword, clicks your search result, reads a blog post, and signs up for your email newsletter.
Each one of those is a different user flow. And each one is a distinct conversion path you can optimize.
Obviously, a website needs to be aesthetically pleasing. Your content should be visually stunning.
But ultimately, you need to drive as many conversions as possible.
What’s the difference between a five-figure website and one that you could build yourself on Wix?
I mean, those templates are beautiful. They look like a custom site.
Ultimately, what you’re paying a top-notch designer to do is to think through all of these potential website interactions.
Your site won’t just be pretty — it will also perform well as visitors peruse it.
The tricky thing about user flows is that they’re usually ‘stacked’ on top of one another.
Someone completes one user flow, only to begin another one.
Over the next few sections, we’re going to break down this concept into each component.
But here’s the simplest, most actionable tip you can take right now.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Start all the way at the beginning. Visit your homepage and landing pages. Sign up for your own email program. Experience your website the way a newcomer would.
Take screenshots of each and every step. Document each piece of the puzzle.
Get a grasp of the overall sequence. Then let’s dive into the points of entry at the beginning.
Now analyze how people are getting to your site
One of the first steps I like to take is to jump straight into Google Analytics.
The goal is to uncover all of the various ways people are getting to my site.
Basically, I want to analyze which channels are driving the most traffic.
Immediately, we see tons of traffic from Direct and Organic Search. There’s even a little Referral traffic thrown in there, too.
Next, let’s see where that traffic is going.
The Behavior Flow report inside Google Analytics will give you a hint.
It will overlay your incoming traffic data with different user flows to give you an idea of what people are trying to do.
This Behavior Flow report will tell you which paths are leading to conversions. And it will point out the roadblocks that force people to leave your site by the dozens.
Essentially, there are two types of traffic from our previous example:
Audience #1. Organic Search: Most of the visitors here are problem-aware.
That’s a key difference. They’re looking for ‘unbranded content’ like “SEO Guide 2017” and stumbling upon your site for the first time.
“Great! Now what, Neil?”
Now you read their minds.
You secretly watch their every move, scroll, and click. Here’s how to do it.
Audience #2. Referral: By definition, referral traffic finds your site from links on other sites.
That means they’re brand-aware and know exactly what you do.
Spy on your users with heat maps and scroll maps
All it takes is 50 milliseconds for someone to register a first impression.
That means you have the blink of an eye to get your point across.
And according to this study, 94% of those first impressions are based on design.
Design, of course, isn’t just how a website looks. “Design is how it works,” said Steve Jobs.
All it takes is a subtle visual cue to throw people off the “conversion scent.”
For example, let’s say that you see a banner ad for the CRM tool Highrise.
In it, you see a woman who looks like a customer, a short testimonial, and the company logo on a blue background.
Now people should see those exact elements replicated on the landing page to maintain “conversion scent” and keep people on track.
A design-based first impression isn’t just about how much parallax you use.
It’s about matching the visitor’s expectations. Then it’s about giving them a clear path toward conversion.
Even small, subtle visual cues can throw people off this “scent.”
Here’s what I mean.
ConversionXL ran an eye tracking study that analyzed where a user’s attention went based on the page’s design.
The first example showed a person looking away from the form field.
People loved the headline and bullet points.
But, most importantly, they ignored the form! Nobody looked at it.
Putting the form above the fold sounds like a good best practice, right?
You want to get visitors’ attention and focus immediately.
However, sometimes you want to be a little more explicit.
They fixed this issue…