An early mistake that marketers can make when they’re creating their website content is to write about what they want people to read. After a short while they usually realise the error of this as their visitors aren’t converting or following their predefined paths. This is a good thing as the marketer now knows that they can’t make visitors do what they want, they need a new perspective.
So they get together and come up with what they think their visitors want to do. Input can come in from sales, customer service, product, management and everyone gives their idea of the perfect visitor experience. This is a step in the right direction as they’re now thinking about their visitor – the result is that they get a few more conversions but still don’t understand why some of their ideas didn’t work.
Well, they (and we) aren’t telepathic, we’re not our visitors and can’t fortune tell what people want to do on our site. At best we can study data and find some generic trends that will point out what is best, at worst our visitors will do nothing.
What you need is to get real insight into what website content visitors want to see and there is no better way than to simply ask them. Whenever you ask for feedback on your website, ask them specifics in a quick poll (very easy to set up), do they want more blogs or more case studies? Make sure you combine this with your website stats, you can see which pages were viewed most frequently and start to track the most popular topics and formats.
Another way to know what is best is to do some A/B tests on pages, you can set these up in Google Optimiser and it does all the work for you.
There are services you can pay for at a relatively low cost, where they’ll get a selection of people to user test your site and you can request feedback on design, navigation, content – whatever you like.
However you seek feedback form your visitors just make sure you do it somehow or all you have is a best guess from a group of people who are too engrained in your company and its own objectives.