Where and how should you engage with your website visitors

Written by on December 27, 2018

Conversion rates. Bounce rates. Time spent on page. Pages per session.

These are just a few of the metrics you’re probably using to track visitors on your website. But no matter how useful these metrics are — and they can be — they all share the same limitation.

They’re reporting about user’s behaviors.

And only that.

If you want to learn more about the ‘why’ and ‘who’ behind your traffic, you have to look deeper than that. You have to get feedback.

Why you need visitor feedback

Do you know what the businesses who deliver best-in-class customer experiences have in common?

70% of them use customer feedback to shape their operation.

It’s a common practice in design, as well, where feedback is the life and blood of user research and testing.

Feedback is a form of qualitative data. While A/B tests and session replays provide quantitative data — hard numbers — they’re not enough to make an informed business decision, because without qualitative data to supplement them, they’re only one side of the picture.

You need context. Feedback from your visitors provides that.

4 Ways to measure website engagement

Polls and feedback can do a lot of things on your website. Whether you’re trying to sell more products, grow your brand awareness, or improve your customer experience, feedback is a vital instrument for making it happen.

Today, we’ll look at four actionable strategies to engage with your visitors and how they can help your website.

1. Use radio button polls on your help documentation

Your knowledge base is your customer’s first line responder when they need to know something or have a question.

Which means it’s a critical part of ensuring they get the assistance they need when they want it. If users have to go through a separate route to get help, that’s an obstacle that’s going to hurt both of you down the line.

But how do you determine if they’ve learned what they need to from your help documentation? Is it enough to assume they’ve gotten what they were looking for if they don’t come to your customer support channels?

No. 96% of your customers will never let you know when they’ve had a bad experience. 91% of the same will just leave.

The solution, fortunately, is simple. Just ask your visitors — and be sure to keep it short.

They’re already at your help documentation for a purpose that’s probably time-sensitive, and they won’t want to sit down and have a long talk about it with you.

(If they do, the customers have likely been escalated to your customer support team, and it might be more of a rant than a talk.) Using a poll with radio buttons is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. Here’s an example:

Why does this work? Because it’s a two-second interaction and encourages the 96% of dissatisfied customers to speak up without having to sink their personal time into it.

If you see a section or page in your knowledge base that’s getting too many naysayers and not enough approvals, you know you’ve got an issue on your hands.

And since you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s there, a radio button poll helps your customers shine the searchlight for you. Simple as that.

2. Ask for your net promote score after purchases

Net promoter scores measure how likely someone is to recommend your brand or website to someone else. They’re usually on a scale of one to ten.

Although this form of feedback includes more quantifiable results, it’s still considered a type of “soft” measurement because it’s asking for people’s opinions — even if those opinions are on an incremental scale.

The incremental scale is an important feature of this type of survey for a few reasons. Chiefly, it’s a familiar spectrum, and users can separate the degrees between “No, I’d never recommend you” and “I’d advertise on my car for you” in even segments.

Odd-numbered scales, such as scales that run one to five or one to seven, make that distinction more arbitrary. What one user identifies as a “six” on that scale might be what someone else assumes is a “five.”

So when is the right time to ask for your score? It depends on what you’re trying to track. For an ecommerce store, a great time to ask users is after they purchase a product or service.

By doing so, you can highlight how satisfied  — or dissatisfied — they are with the checkout process. 28% of people say they abandon carts because of convoluted checkout processes, so it’s an important stage of engagement to measure.

If your process was frustrating for them, it should reflect in their recommendation score.

And given that the user has already purchased from you, any score in the mid-to-lower range warrants an investigation.

3. Use surveys on your content pages

Formal surveys are tricky to roll out. They provide the most information, but users can be fickle about whether or not they’ll respond. The most brilliant survey in the world can’t provide actionable insights if it doesn’t get enough responses.

While long-form surveys are more typically associated with email, there’s another place to use them.

Specifically, on your content pages. Think about it: what’s the purpose of your content campaigns? It’s to engage and inform visitors, build trust, and grow your organic outreach, right?

So what better place to engage your visitors than on the same page with the content designed to capture their attention?

Unlike your knowledge base, your content pages don’t have the same impending sense of urgency, so they don’t need the same level of brevity.

Plus, asking on your content pages can highlight alignment issues you may have with your traffic by identifying if:

  • They’re the intended audience
  • The content is what they expected to find
  • The content was useful to them

But to be clear, you should still be keeping the survey as quick and to the point as you can. 46% of customers say they’ll provide feedback if a company asks for it, but only if it doesn’t eat into their day.

As a best practice, design a survey that takes two minutes or less to complete and let users know how long it’ll take before they start.

4. Gauge clarity on pricing pages with short-answer polls

Too often, especially in the SaaS sector, pricing pages are overwhelming and unclear to users.

Which is crazy when you consider how important that single page is to a business. If your pricing page doesn’t provide users with exactly the information they want in a trustworthy way, what’s the more likely scenario:

They reach out to your help team, or they go to your competitor and look at their pricing page instead?

It’s probably the latter.

Instead of asking if visitors find your application useful, ask them about their experience with your pricing information. Potential ways to frame the question might be:

  • Is this page clear?
  • Do you find this page helpful?
  • Did this page answer your questions?

Then, follow it up with a simple addition:

  • If not, can you explain why?

That’s it. Just two questions with a short, free-form input field and you’ll have access to direct feedback from your prospective customers about issues that were difficult to understand with your pricing or things they want to see addressed.

They don’t have to devote more time than they want to — remember, expediency is the primary barrier to feedback requests — and you can use the suggestions and data you receive to create variants for an A/B test and improve your page.

The answers you receive might not all be world-breaking snippets of feedback, but the users who sit down and tell you about their issues? Their answers are like the rough, unbeautified stones that eventually become crown jewels.

They just need a good spin in the tumbler — or conversion rate optimization testing — to reveal their depth and clarity.

Bottom line: your pricing page is too important to leave to chance, so take the element of mystery out with a short-answer poll.

Conclusion

Almost everything you track on your website is about user behavior. And user behavior is a strong source of data, but it’s not enough.

You need context. Feedback is one of the ways to create said context.

In fact, it’s one of the strongest methods, because unlike buyer personas and audience research, feedback comes straight from your users.

There’s almost no aspect of your website that can’t benefit from feedback, but you have to be careful with how and when you ask.

Using radio buttons on your help pages is a great way to gauge their usefulness, asking for your net promoter score after a purchase provides insight into your checkout experience, and surveys on your content pages catch users when they’re already engaged.

Last but far from least, use short-answer polls on your pricing page — one of the most critical parts of your business — to highlight areas of confusion for prospective customers.

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