April 10, 2019

How to Design Your Website to Match Visitors’ Intent

Your website is a sales rep that’s always on the clock.

When thinking about website design, UX and strategy, focus on the overarching goal of your website. If your main objective is to get site visitors to book a meeting, then your website should make that process easy to do.

Your website is like a microcosm of the buyer’s journey. Every page on your website should have specific intent behind it, nurturing visitors toward the most valuable next step to eventually convert them into customers.

The entirety of that journey might not happen in one visit, but if you can get the prospect to take the first two steps and convert on something, then maybe they’ll progress even further on the next visit.

What Should the Intent of Each Page Type Be?

Homepage Intent

If people are going directly to your homepage, then more often than not, they typed your URL directly into Google. This indicates that they know who you are and wanted to visit your website for a specific reason. Usually, those visitors learned about your company through another channel, be it a referral, ad campaign or offline source, and they’re searching for more information. You can capitalize on that intent by promoting your BOFU offer.

Homepages typically have one or two main CTAs: one in the right-hand corner of the page and the other in the center of the page. Those CTAs are promoting the ultimate goal of your site, whether that’s starting a free trial, booking a meeting or registering for an assessment.

Below the fold on your homepage, you can provide a secondary action for visitors who aren’t ready to take that ultimate BOFU action.

For example, the primary goal of New Breed’s homepage is for visitors to request an assessment. If visitors don’t want to do that, they can scroll down and be directed to our solution pages instead. That same thought process concerning primary and secondary actions can be applied sitewide.

Solution Pages Intent

When a site visitor navigates to a solution page, they’re looking for information about that solution. Once they’ve learned about your solution, your next goal should be to get them to speak to sales or request a demo of that product or service.

Therefore, the next best step a visitor could take is downloading a resource related to that solution in a way that enables you to capture their information and start a relevant conversation.

Capture their information through a pop-up, a chatbot or a form. One of these options might work better for your site and audience than the others, so play around with each and see which tactics garner the best results.

Blog Post Intent

When someone visits a blog post, they usually have the intent of learning about a specific topic. Your blog post should provide as much specific information about that topic as possible and then lead them to the next step, which is typically downloading a premium content offer.

Readers of your blog content don’t tend to have as much buying intent as visitors going directly to your homepage or solutions pages. In general, people don’t go to B2B homepages or solution pages just to learn about something — they’re looking for a tangible offer.

But if you can get a blog visitor to convert on a premium content offer that provides more context, more information and more value, you increase the likelihood of them taking the next step during their next visit.

They might not be ready to schedule a consultation yet — that can take months or even years — but the long game is part of any inbound marketing strategy.

From planning to launch day, learn how to make your next redesign project a  success with our Website Redesign Guide.

Does Your Page Design Match Visitor Intent?

Once you have your desired conversion points designed in each webpage, you can measure how well they align with visitor intent.

Look at how many people take your primary action, your fallback action or no action at all in relation to how many visitors a given page has. Once you have that data, think about how you can increase the number of people taking neither of those steps to take at least one of them.

Tools like Hotjar and Crazy Egg can help you understand how visitors are interacting with your website. Hotjar allows you to see how far people scroll down a page, which areas their mouse hovers over the most and where people click on the page. You can read more about  HotJar's usability testing here.

Those tools allow you to visualize the intent as it plays out. If page visitors are not interacting with your site in the way you intended, their intent might not be what you thought it was.

Experiment to Optimize Your Webpages for Visitor Intent

Using their actual interactions with your page, create an experiment to optimize your page.

If people are interacting with your page as intended, think about how to foster those interactions at a higher rate. If they’re not interacting with your page as intended, try to identify the intent you’re overlooking.

Think about why visitors are coming to that page, what information you’re providing for them on that page and what the ideal next step would be for those visitors. Remember, the best step for the visitor might not match with the best step for your business.

For example, if your homepage visitors aren’t clicking on your CTAs above the fold, and they’re not scrolling to your secondary CTAs below the fold, your page might not be set up properly.

On the other hand, if visitors are scrolling and clicking below the fold, but not clicking on your primary CTAs, think about how can you frame that above-the-fold offer to resonate more strongly with your audience.

If the visitors scrolling down aren’t clicking on your secondary offers, reconsider how well those offers align with intent. If no one is clicking on solution pages, maybe educational content will work better.

Once you hypothesize a proposed improvement, A/B test it.

You can test a micro change, such as button text or color, or a macro change, such as a whole new version of the page. Micro changes aim to optimize something that’s already working well, and macro changes aim to improve something that isn’t working.

In both instances, A/B testing is critical. If a different button color ends up reducing clicks, you shouldn’t keep that change. Moreover, if you’re testing a whole new version of a page, you need to be able to establish an apples-to-apples comparison to make sure your fix is actually improving performance.

The Takeaway

As you gain a better understanding of how visitors are navigating your site, you’ll be able to better predict visitor intent sitewide. An insight you learned from the homepage could apply to a blog post. Predicting starts with learning and understanding how visitors navigate the site in relation to how you design the site.

Your navigation and page elements should all have a purpose behind them; they shouldn’t just be there to be there.

You should never just hope people find meaningful content on your website. Instead, you should be guiding them toward it. If your website is not designed with the visitor’s intent in mind, it might not be easy for users to find the content valuable to them.

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Guido Bartolacci

Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.


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