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1. Web Measurement Basics > 7. Understand Visitor Intent

Understand Visitor Intent

Despite the great body of knowledge that web measurement applications help you collect and organize, the intent of visitors when they come to your web site is nearly always part of the “great unknown” online. By recognizing this, you can often improve your overall understanding of the metrics, improving their value and use.

If you ask any online retailer why people come to their web sites, they usually answer, “Well, to buy things of course!” While it sounds like a great answer, it is usually not true; if it were, retailers’ buyer conversion rates would be much higher than the three percent widely reported. Most people who visit online retail sites are simply browsing or doing research and have no intention of making an online purchase. The problem is that order and buyer conversion rates [Hack #39] are built from the assumption that every visitor is a potential purchaser, a fallacious assumption if there ever was one.


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