The importance of knowing user intent when conducting behavior analysis
When trying to understand customer behavior on your website, a true intent study can help you uncover your visitors’ intentions. This should help answer questions such as, “Why are they coming to the site?” and “What are they trying to do?”
Web analytics solutions, such as Google Analytics, will provide statistics on web traffic including number of visitors, page views, bounce rates, where visitors are going etc, but does not answer the why question i.e., the purpose for the visit.
Other tools, such as Clicktale or Crazy Egg, provide visual information with recordings of mouse movements, heatmaps of where visitors are clicking, or scroll maps, but provide no context behind the data. Without knowing the ‘why’ behind the numbers, it’s impossible to have a complete picture of what your customers are actually experiencing on the site.
For an in-depth and entertaining guide to measuring UX, check out our free-to-download, 42 page guide to running both longitudinal and competitive benchmarking.
How can you better understand what visitors are doing on your site?
Consider conducting a true intent intercept study to obtain not only insight into what customers are doing on a site, but also the why.
At UserZoom we refer to such studies as live intercept or true intent studies as they are designed to reveal what users intend to accomplish while visiting a website.
It helps site owners make informed decisions to increase metrics like task completion rates and NPS score, while generally improving a site’s usability and conversion rate.
True intent studies enable customers to understand:
- Who is coming to the site?
- What are they trying to accomplish?
- Are they successful in their intended task?
- How did they accomplish their intended task?
- How difficult was it to use the site?
- What are the obstacles to task completion?
How does a true intent study work?
The intercept would invite visitors to participate in a short study. Those who accept the invitation would be asked a few short questions to establish who they are and why they’re visiting the site. Visitors are then asked to complete their intended task on the site. Once they’re done, participants will answer a few short follow-up questions about their experience.
By asking users a few initial questions (“Who are they?” “What’s the purpose of their visit?”) and then tracking their behavior, this enables you to understand not only what visitors are doing on the site, but also understand who they are, what they’re trying to accomplish on the site and whether or not they’re successful.
Your study results can also be integrated with the most common web analytics solutions to obtain data from your analytics packages and tie that to the true intent study data.
True Intent studies are a great approach to obtain a holistic view of what’s happening on your site. As our own Rima Campbell, Senior Director, Research Partner, states:
“Website visitors who participate in a true intent site intercept survey will tell you who they are, what they have done during their visit and how they feel about it. It’s powerful, timely and relevant (as it doesn’t rely on memory). It is the most unbiased and honest form of gathering insights from users immediately after completing their intended tasks.”
If you’d like to know more about how UserZoom can help test, measure and improve your own site’s UX, please get in touch!
Ann is an expert in conducting remote online, user experience studies with over 15 years of experience providing research consulting services from startups to Fortune 500 companies across a variety of verticals. Prior to joining UserZoom, Ann has led hundreds of customer engagements and managed a team of researchers at Keynote Systems.