Saturday, 17 January 2009

Telepathy & metrics

Is it possible to read a web visitor's mind? Well the obvious answer is no, but we have a tool that allows us to get an idea. When someone arrives at a website s/he is looking for something. Faced with a fresh page the visitor may have various options. One is to read what is there and solve their problem. Another choice may be to click on a link to another page (on the same site or another). One brilliant mind-reading trick is to add a site-search tool. That way we can detect almost exactly what the visitor is looking for. Search tools are free and easy to add to sites. I have had internal search tools on most of my sites (but not all pages) for many years

see site 1 or site 2 to see my search boxes. The really astounding thing about analysing such results is that people hold nothing back - they will ask questions that they need an answer to - they search for themselves - they will swear and curse. You really do know what is on their mind. It is not perfect because it is not used by every visitor. But it is sufficient to see motives.

Tip for the day, a site search tool offers a valuable insight into visitor motives.
Best wishes from a windy United Kingdom