4 Tips in 5 Minutes: Influence Visitor Behavior on Your Website

Oct 3, 2018 / by Meghan Hultquist | 5-Minute Read

ways to influence user behavior on your website

Successful digital marketing demands more than just attracting interested users to your website. You need to get website visitors to take one or more desired actions, or exhibit certain behaviors on your site, in order to actually accomplish your marketing and sales goals. 

The actions or behaviors desired of your website visitors will vary from company to company and from page to page on any given website. Desired actions include things like submitting a form, clicking through to an additional page, starting a free trial, or completing a purchase.

There are a set of fundamental guidelines you can follow to influence visitors to take the actions that you want on your website. Most websites we've seen are lacking in at least one of the key areas below. Focus on these opportunities to influence your visitors' behavior and start seeing an immediate improvement in your desired website results.  

Provide Clear Direction

When a website visitor lands on one of your pages, it should be overwhelmingly apparent what action the user is supposed to take. That action might be watching a video, clicking through to another page, converting on a form, or submitting an order.

For every page on your website, you should define and document a primary and secondary goal. Then, decide on a strategy to get users to accomplish those goals. Try to align your page goals with the stage of the funnel that website visitor is most likely in. For products and services pages, for example, a middle- or bottom-of-the-funnel conversion offer typically works best.

Don't make users guess what they are supposed to do when they get to your website! Make it very obvious what action they are supposed to take next. Use labels, microcopy, and directional cues such as arrows or lines to make it as easy as possible for users to take the action that you want. 

Expert tip: Set up your desired actions as goals or events in Google Analytics to track your success.

Connect Emotionally

Your website visitors have a short attention span, so your website pages are going to need to make a lasting impression, and quick. Accomplish this by including thoughtful, strategic website copy that is targeted to a defined audience and written from an empathetic vantage point, with their thoughts and feelings in mind. Aim to provide value and create a positive user experience.

Your website page copy should connect with your audience on an emotional level, even for B2B companies. Be sure that your website copy is written in the language and vocabulary that your target audience speaks. Don't confuse internal lingo or industry jargon with the way that real people are looking for your business online. Include keyword research or customer surveys as part of your website content development plan if you aren't entirely confident in the preferred word choice of your target audience.

Include compelling, unique, and interesting imagery on your pages that supports the content and adds visual interest. This makes your content more engaging, which makes visitors more likely to stick around long enough to take an action you've suggested clearly to them. Use photos or images that allow your website visitors to visualize themselves partnering with your company.

Consider adding video content contextually across your pages as well to increase visitor engagement, time-on-site, and the emotional connection made with your website audience. 

Don't Overwhelm Visitors

If you want to influence a user's action on your website, limit their options. Resist the temptation to put every piece of content you've ever written right there on the page so that your website visitors can access it right then and there. 

If there are too many options on a page, a user will get confused and overloaded, and they will likely leave. This phenomenon, known as the paradox of choice, is a form of friction on a website page, and it often happens as a result of failing to identify a primary goal for a page. Each page on your website should have a defined primary and secondary goal, and the conversion points you include on the page should be in furtherance of these goals. 

For website landing pages, remove the user's navigation until they complete your form. For product or services pages, limit the user's options to 3 for best results. Use heat mapping software to track user's engagement and determine which options to keep and which to swap out.

If you have a stack of related resources you want to get in front of your audience, incorporate the assets into a strategic lead nurturing campaign. Send the assets in an automated, preset cadence of emails to engage your website leads and keep your company top-of-mind for them.

Establish Trust

Your website is often a potential customer's very first and primary interaction with your brand. It's important that you help them feel safe if you want to influence a purchasing decision, even if that purchasing decision is made offline, with your sales team.

Use your website pages to establish trust and credibility for your brand in the minds of your visitors. Include validation elements and elements that inspire trust, particularly those from third-parties.

Here are some ideas to up the trust factor on your website pages:

  • Include logos of well-known or interesting clients that you've worked with.
  • Add written or video testimonials from your happy clients. Include your customer's name, title, company name, and headshot for best results.
  • Add badges or icons for any awards, certifications, or other recognition that your company has earned.
  • Add any industry publications where you or your team have been featured.
  • Add industry organizations or other groups that you or your team are a part of.
  • Add customer or partner reviews, or links to pages where good reviews live.

Focus on the four key areas above to start driving better results from your website. Adhere to these best practices and you'll be sure to see a lift in results, especially over time. Prioritize top-trafficked website pages for optimization efforts like those described above to see the biggest lift in results in the shortest amount of time.

Take your marketing to the next level. Schedule a complimentary marketing assessment with the expert team at HQdigital.

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Topics: marketing, websites, optimization

Meghan Hultquist

Written by Meghan Hultquist

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