Surface Level Metrics & User Behavior

February 17, 2011

in Analytics,Call Tracking,SEO

I’m a data junkie, a nut for the minutiae. I become giddy and quite fidgety when I find consistent user behavior patterns that I can share with clients! This particular image tells a significant story and it is my goal to share this story with those who cannot afford high end attribution tools, or those that are making adjustments (adjustments that could be quite detrimental to efforts) based on surface level metrics.

Let’s start at the bottom of the keyword column…

screenshot of call tracking solution

  1. The visit data shows this person was quite specific with their search. They landed on the site and didn’t go beyond that page. So, this visit is attributed with a 100% bounce rate. Most say there’s something wrong with the page.
  2. The second visit shows the person refining their aviation wire search and getting even more detailed in their quest. They landed on a page and didn’t go any further. We have, yet another 100% bounce rate. Surely this page is not worthy of receiving website visitors. Not so fast…
  3. You’ll notice phone calls right above that last long tail query. Well, this data was pulled from this particular client’s call tracking solution. Let it be known that many have yet to adopt this technology as part of their ongoing web strategy. The call was attributed to organic search.

This user originally visited the client’s site on January 6, 2011. They visited the site twice in one day and each time didn’t go beyond the page they landed on. On January 12, the visitor contacted our client. The reason the call is attributed to natural search and not PPC is because the visitor later searched (possibly after deleting their cookies) and found the site by company name. Another interesting point is that in listening to the call, the caller/searcher asked to speak with someone regarding a specific part number. Someone finally came to the line after 2 minutes and 32 seconds. They were looking for the ohms of the wire and the impedance. The caller referenced having a print out from the website. The sales rep requested contact details in order to call the prospect back with further technical specifications about the product.

There are several lessons to be learned from this specific visit…

  1. Bounce rate should be used as a guide and not an absolute to determine success or failure.
  2. Searchers are educating themselves throughout the search process and because of this, it may take several visits and much time before transacting.
  3. Tracking phone calls is of the utmost importance. Web analytics alone will not tell the entire story.
  4. The strategy of targeting only a handful of keywords whether for PPC, or SEO is not ideal. Continual keyword research (both keywords to bid/optimize for & negatives) is necessary for the ongoing growth and success of a marketing strategy.
  5. There is much to be learned from each visit, search query and call analysis.

In utilizing a combination of website & call tracking analytics solutions, we have greater insight into visitor behavior that will allow us to tweak website content pages that will resonate with visitors and guide them through their buying cycle.

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