Did you know that your company website can be much more than an onlne destination focused on showcasing your products and services? Savvy marketers and business owners opt to leverage their website presence as a market research engine as well.
Here are seven quick tips to transform your website into an interactive and beneficial market research tool:
Use Online Questionnaires
Encourage website visitors to take answer a few questions regarding your products and services. This will enable you to survey visitors at scale and give you valuable insight into consumer perceptions and opinions. Make sure the questionnaire is not too long and maintain an engaging tone. Focus on important points that relate to key metrics and drop a courteous (automated) note to respondents at a later date or time.
Leverage On-site Forms
A company’s online site will surely have a sign up and contact form. This can serve as a lead generation tool relating to newsletter offering, membership or a simple contact request. Gathering key information on each form will help you capture data about your audience. For example, if you are launching a new product, asking interested visitors to complete a short form in exchange for a free sample is a great way to conduct market research.
Offer a Rich Site Summary
Many websites today offer something called an RSS Feed, also known as a Rich Site Summary. Offering RSS is helpful for customers and prospects to keep them engaged and apprised of your latest content. Keeping a track of RSS subscriber activities can assist you with learning your audiences content preferences which can ultimately inform your marketing strategy.
Customize the Search Field
Adding a search field to your website, that leads to customized results, is important not only from a research standpoint, but it also improves the usability of your site. According to Nieslen Norman Group, a user experience consultancy, “Search is the user’s lifeline for mastering complex websites. The best designs offer a simple search box on the home page and play down advanced search and scoping.” With search data you can better understand what prospective customers are seeking on your site.
Make Customer Feedback Simple
How easy is it for customers to share their feedback on your website? Offer a feedback button, popup or forum is a great (and free) way to gather market research without much effort. Visitors can simply share their reviews and comments. Customer feedback web apps like UserVoice, Qualaroo and Feedbackify make integration and data gathering simple. Asking for feedback also helps online visitors feel more connected to your business.
Integrate Social Media
Do not forget to add social media sharing and follow tools to your company website. Many people share ideas and communicate via social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. When you integrate social campaigns it is possible to make your website more interactive with opinion polls, podcasts, live broadcasts, voting meters, sampling and more.
Provide Real-Time Support
Depending on your industry and business model, it may prove useful to offer live chat and/or a toll free number. Instant access to customer support can act as a powerful market research tool to gather information about a customer while problem solving and troubleshooting issues.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Amiya Foster is a freelance writer sharing marketing tips on behalf of JSB Market Research. Foster writes on subjectes related to SWOT analysis, industry research reports, business research and more. Connect with @JSBMarket on Twitter.
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