Articles and Research|April 5, 2019

How Customer Behavior Analysis Can Help You Understand Your Customers

Wouldn’t it be nice to gain access to your customer’s every behavior on your website, much like search engines (Google, etc.) extract all the goings-on in your site through their crawling process?

Accessing a deep read of your customer’s digital experience will allow you to know where they’re struggling, as well as where they’re kept engaged and digitally happy.

This is of the essence where user experience (UX) is concerned, enabling brands to create experiences that delight and add value to their customers’ lives. It’s even more crucial when you consider that a visitor who has a bad experience is unlikely to return to a website, much less convert.

Visitors to a site communicate their frustration and satisfaction with every click, hover and tap — tracking these behaviors is the first step towards deciphering the digital conversation to help them achieve their goals.

What is Customer Behavior Analysis?

Customer behavior analysis has a rather self-evident purpose: the methods of analyzing user behaviors of a particular website. It reveals the areas of a site that users engage with, their points of friction and hesitation, and where they show interest or unsurety. It also refers to a slew of other behaviors such as how they click, tap or scroll, empowering you to better understand the impact of your website’s User Experience (UX).

The data and metrics of customer behavior analysis allow brands and marketers to make informed decisions on how to communicate with their audience, along with improving the customer journey on their digital platforms. User behavior analysis pivots you forward in optimizing both the UX of your website, your conversion rates and producing desired customer behaviors (purchases, sign-ups, engagement, etc).

In this way, understanding your customers can spur brand loyalty, in an optimized site, that is. If you understand where users are struggling, you’ll know exactly what to tweak to maintain a healthy brand perception. This keeps visitors engaged with your site and then making their way back to it, the foundation for brand loyalty.

The following is an examination of customer behaviors and their accompanying metrics for a behavioral analysis.

Zooming in on Visiting Manners

We’ll start with the basics; in order to extract insights about visitor behavior, we begin with their visit to your website. Now that they’ve made it to your site, you ought to parse the way they spend their visits and the way they leave, such as through bouncing. This behavior will help you arrive at the elements — whether specific zones or overall design of a page — that need improvement.

Metrics that capture the manners of user visits:

  1. Visit Time – This metric determines the duration of each session spent on your site. It is a measure of the average time visitors spend from their entry on the site to their exit. It is useful to have, as it can show you how visit duration varies based on unique customer journeys.
  2. Bounce Rate – The bounce rate shows the stickiness of your website along with the interest users have in the site or offering. The calculation is the ratio between the visitors who entered the site and left it without visiting another page. You should know that if a user scrolls, clicks through images and reads content, but doesn’t make it to a second page, it qualifies as a bounce.

Content Awareness & Views to Establish Your Brand

It is needless to say that if your site visitors don’t see your content, they won’t engage with it, let alone convert. That’s why you need to be kept informed on whether they see certain elements and to know the time they spent viewing them. This behavior is necessary to follow since it shows you how much of your content is known to your users. Before the users engage or hesitate, they come into view with your content, as it enters their consciousness… or not, so you have to measure to be certain.

Metrics that capture points of user awareness:

  1. Exposure Time – Showing the average time that zone was viewed during a page view, this metric pins down the zones that were viewed the longest. This is important in gauging a visitor’s’ awareness and viewing habits of your content, since it allows you to see which sections they are scrolling past and possibly ignoring.
  2. Exposure Rate – Identifying how far down a page your visitors are scrolling, this metric tells you how much of your creative content visitors are actually exposed to.

Hesitation: A Behavior Signaling Confusion or Interest in the Content

User hesitation is defined by inactivity while at or around a clickable or interactive element. It reveals your site visitors’ inactivity within areas that would typically require some kind of action. This is also important to record as it shows whether your content is easily understood or leads visitors to pause, or hesitate.

Metrics that capture points of hesitation:

  1. Hesitation Time – the time elapsed between the last hover and the first click on a zone. This metric helps you understand if your customers are hesitating because they have trouble understanding or accessing your content. However, it may also reveal that they are interested in the content on which they are hesitating.
  2. Float Time – pointing to the average time spent hovering over an element, this metric also reveals if your users are digesting your content or are confused by it. Since it can represent either interest or confusion, it’s vital to take the type of element being looked at into consideration. Ex: High float times are positive for images viewed, negative when on a CTA.

These metrics should lead you to consider — of the people who hesitate, are they understanding your content? Once you know where your users are hesitating, you can make a move to tackle this hypothetical, from where you can optimize the hesitated elements of your UX.

Engagement: Showing How Well Your Elements Are Understood

Engagement can easily be seen as the opposite of hesitation, as it shows the points in which users are taking action with, or using, site elements. Engagement is a critical behavior to keep track of, as it conveys how intuitive site elements are. When an element is intuitive, it has a high capacity for demonstrating how it should be used by its design alone. For example, a CTA should be easy to see as a clickable element.

Metrics that capture points of engagement:

  1. Engagement Rate- Relays how intuitive an element is,  determined by the number of page views with a click on the zone divided by the number of page views with a hover on the zone. Essentially, it tells you how well your users are engaging with a site element. Getting insight into this behavior allows you to understand if your site elements are doing their job, or at least appear to be. Ex: a clickable element must look clickable, otherwise, no one will engage, i.e., click on it.
  2. Click Recurrence- Measuring engagement and frustration, this metric shows the average number of times an element was clicked when engaged with during a page view. It’s calculated by the total of clicks on the zone / total number of page views with at least one click on the zone. It allows you to understand if a page element was satisfying or frustrating for your users. It also shows you if users are trying to engage with non- clickable elements. If so, you should change such elements accordingly.

Conversions: A UX Behavior in Itself

The behavior at the very bottom of the sales funnel and every brand’s ultimate goal for their site visitors, conversions need little introduction. These can be segmented as an overall user behavior, one that signifies the highest level of interest with your products.

Metrics that capture points of conversion:

  1. Conversion rate per click – this metric is able to help you decide if there is an impact on your behavior or conversion goal when a zone gets clicked. As such, it only applies to clickable zones. The calculation is the number of users who click on a zone and accomplished the behavior divided by the number of users who clicked on the zone. You can use this metric to see which zones are helping customers achieve the goal of clicking on a product page. If on a product page, this metric shows which zones help customers add to their carts.
  2. Conversion rate per hover – similar to the above metric, this one shows you if hovering over a zone impacts the behavior or conversion goal. It’s measured by the number of users who accomplished the behavior and hovered over the zone / number of users who hovered the zone. It helps you decide if hovering over a product’s details result in a high or higher conversion rate.

Customer Behavior Analysis: The First Towards UX Optimization

Site behavior can be measured through a variety of metrics, the more nuanced they are, the more precisely you can understand why your consumers  and site visitors behave the way they do. As you can see, each behavior is not only measured by a single metric, in fact there are many more that can be attributed to the broader sense of a behavior. Thus, each behavior is not limited to the metrics laid out in this article. Scoping them out on your website is the first step towards UX optimization, achieving digital happiness for your customers and potential customers and ultimately attaining more conversions.

Author
Lorraine Ryshin

Lorraine Ryshin is Contentsquare's Content Writer, who enjoys crafting words for the Internet. She is a multidisciplinary writer who hails from a background in marketing and SEO. A Jill of All Trades writer, she has produced written content for clients in a distinct array of industries and disciplines. To hone in on her professional pursuits, she seeks out new and creative channels to communicate with a digital audience.

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