Wednesday 13 February 2013

Know Your Visitors - Use Surveys

OK, this may not at first appear to be that relevant to AdWords, but it is, trust me.

What's the worst thing that can happen to an AdWords advertiser?  No, not that, or that; it's receiving clicks that cost you money and don't turn into sales.  Let's face it, you're sitting there sometimes just weeping at all those clicks that came to your site - and spent quite a long time looking around - but which then leave and never came back.  If only you could know why?

Clever use of Google Analytics can give you clues.  You can see which pages are favourites for leaving, which ones "bounce" high, and even which key pages people don't visit at all.   You can see where people come from, what browsers they use, all sorts of fascinating stuff.  What you can't do is ask them all, one by one, why they didn't buy from you.

Well, you can.  You simply run a survey.

You can't have used the web for more than a few weeks (perhaps hours if you're really keen) without running across a site that asks you "just for a couple of minutes to answer some questions".  Despite appearances these surveys are not simply there to annoy visitors, they serve a key purpose in helping to identify whether a site is fulfilling it's objective.  They're there to gather the "why".

Surveys have been around for a long time but Google have just launched a new tool - Consumer Surveys - that make the process easy and, for a limited time I imagine, you can get $75 worth of surveying free.  What?  I have to pay for a survey?  Well, yes, but think of the possible advantages.

Let's say your current Conversion Rate is 5%.  Not that bad, pretty good in fact, compared to some businesses.  But what if a simple survey that costs you less than $100 could show you something that could increase that rate to 8% or 18%?  I'll leave you to work out what that could mean in terms of Net profit.

Don't be a Pain
However, as I've already said, most of the time these site surveys are a complete pain in the **bleep**.  They ask too many questions and take too long.  How many times have you grudgingly consented to fill one in (usually because of a promise of money or prizes - remember, I still want that Oris watch and a Porsche 911) that's supposed to just take 2 minutes only to find you're still sat there answering question 2,872 six months later?

Google's Consumer Surveys are significantly different in that they ask just one question of each person they trap approach.  You build a survey of how ever many questions you want but each individual is only asked one of them.  Because these questions can be asked on all manner of sites, at all sorts of times, you'll get a much better "representative sample" than just getting mugs to fill in all 2,873 questions in one go.

So how can this be used to help Adwords?  It's all about satisfying the needs of the potential customer.  If you can find out what people really want, you can tailor your marketing towards that.

Let's go back to my old favourite - lawnmower sales.  If you sell all manner of lawnmowers, you could create a survey that just asks a handful of questions like; "Do you prefer electric or petrol?", "Cylinder, Hover or Rotary?", "Qualcast, Black and Decker, (other brands)?", "How much would you spend?".  There are probably a few more you could think of but just these four questions could give you a much better understanding of what is really popular in lawnmowing web users today.

OK, it's not going to be for everyone, but it's worth thinking about, isn't it?

If you want a more traditional approach to individual surveys - and the concept of using this information to enhance your marketing is just as valid - I can recommend these folks: they have a great product that is FREE for small organisations (be honest now...) and very reasonable for the paid plans.  What have you got to lose?

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