3 Digital Body Language Signals You're Not Seeing


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, May 13, 2019

Digital body language can be a powerful indicator of what website users are looking for, and companies can tap into these insights to optimize their user journey.

Article 4 Minutes
3 Digital Body Language Signals You're Not Seeing

Digital body language can be a powerful indicator of what website users are looking for, and companies can tap into these insights to optimize their user journey.

We’ve talked before about digital body language, but it’s worth mentioning again as it’s a key element of how brands can interact with their target audience. A user’s digital body language is the behavior they display online as they interact with your site. If you can understand how to effectively utilize this information, it’s thought you could potentially increase sales on your website by as much as 15 to 20%.

This is vital if you want to keep up with your competitors. Clicktale found that more than three-quarters (76%) of big data professionals believe that consumer shopping habits are essentially irrational. Yet, if your analytics are set up to track elements like users’ mouse movements, clicks and scrolling, you can start to understand the digital body language of your audience and being able to see all this data is no use unless you know what signals you should be looking for, and what they mean. Here are three of the key signs you should be looking out for:

1. Multiple clicks

One thing you might notice when you’re looking at your user data is people clicking on the same element of your site multiple times. This could be something interactive, like an image carousel, or something like an image or text that typically wouldn’t do anything if clicked on. These mean slightly different things, but both can be a bad sign for your customer engagement.

One study found that, on a form with an average completion rate of 77%, users who clicked multiple times on an element of the site only finished the form between 14 and 17% of the time. Clearly this is a digital body language sign that spells frustration, indicating a poor user experience.

However, it can give a good indicator of changes you can make to your site. If users are often clicking on an element that isn’t interactive, it is a sign that clicking on it makes sense to them and they expect it to do something. Potentially, this means it is the most intuitive option for users, so changing it to fit their expectations could be beneficial.

2. Scrolling up and down

Usually, a user scrolling down to the bottom of a web page is a good sign. It shows they are engaged with the site and the content hosted on it. However, if they are repeatedly scrolling up and down, it is a sign of something completely different. Usually, this is an indication that users are searching for something on the page that they can’t find.

This is a frustrating process for users, and if you spot it regularly it is a sign that you need to make some changes. If people are looking for information or links that they can’t find, it might be a sign that they aren’t highlighted clearly enough. If you can determine what they’re looking for, you should work to make it clearer how to get to it.

On the other hand, you might find that they’re looking for something that isn’t there. If so, it’s time to reconsider your user journey. Think about what users might naturally want to find while they’re on the page, or where else on the website they might want to go. If there isn’t a clear option for them to do that, you should add it.

3. Mouse reading

So far we’ve been talking largely about negative signals; signs that users are not having a good experience with your website. However, there is one positive signal that needs mentioning: mouse reading. This refers to when a user is clearly tracing the mouse pointer over text they’re reading, in the same manner one might use a finger while reading a book.

This is a good sign. It points to a user who is engaged with the content on your page, and is paying close attention to it. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. Digital body language isn’t just about overall trends; it is also about spotting individuals that could be good sales prospects, so you can attempt to move them down your sales funnel.

If you spot someone mouse reading, it could be a good time to send them a call to action via a pop-up or a chat window. You could also follow up with them later if they’ve provided you with an email address or other contact details.

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