What Google Analytics Won't Show You: The Reasons Why Customers Don't Buy


I got a note today from a client who said that she wanted to buy our product, but that certain things on the website made her unsure.

So to put this in perspective, she was looking at our website at 5000bc (which is a membership site). And she said:

1) I found a spelling error on your front page.
2) The screen shot of the forum is from 2007. That doesn’t tell me how active the forum is right now.

Now normally you’d look at your stats in Google Analytics and see a bounce rate. Customer enters. Customer leaves. And you’d think, ooh, my keywords are not working or my CPV (cost per visitor) or RPV (revenue per visitor) sucks. And all that yada, yada will circulate in your brain for no reason.

But you can’t see the reason why the customer is shying away from the purchase, can you?
She didn’t have a problem with the product.
She had the money to buy the product.
She was on the tipping point and something stopped her.

It was the tiny little glitches that Google Analytics can never catch.
And these little glitches are called ‘objections.’ Yes you’ll roll your eyes, because it’s more than likely that you know all about ‘objections’.
But there’s a massive difference between knowing and doing (For example, someone who’s fussy about grammar may notice that in the previous lines I put the period before the quotation mark. And then shortly after I put it after the quotation mark).

These are objections. And objections are distractions.
And distractions do their job: They distract.

There are things on your site that your clients see that distract them from buying.
And there are things on your site that clients ‘don’t see’ that distract them from buying.

And while you can depend on any analytics software for several issues, all the software is doing is giving you is data. It’s not telling you what’s going on in the head of the client. It’s not telling you why the client won’t buy.

Ugh comes to mind, doesn’t it?
Ugh: As in, yes you and I are probably measuring correctly what’s happening from an analytics point of view, but ignoring the issues. And the issues are the distractions and objections.

So what’s a business to do?
There a few things you can do, actually.

1) Get instant feedback using the ‘Bug’.
2) Get recurring feedback using a prospective client.
3) Get ongoing feedback using a client who’s just signed up.

1) Get instant feedback using the ‘Bug’
On our website at www.psychotactics.com you’ll find a graphic of a ‘bug’ on every page. And a link with a little note. The note gives an incentive to the person sending us the ‘bug’. That incentive is a $50 voucher (for the best ‘bug’ of the month). Now be aware. Not every ‘bug’ gets the $50 credit voucher. Just the best ‘bug’ (and yes, our decision is final). But without exception, everyone gets some sort of goodies from us, just for having sent in a ‘bug.’

I then put the ‘bug’ in my list of improvements. I then fix the glitch. And then I report back to the person that I’ve fixed the glitch. You think it’s tedious work? I don’t think so. A customer who finds a glitch and reports it, wants you to fix it. But when you go beyond that level and actually reward them and then fix it, and report back, you’re encouraging them to send in more bugs. And you’re also forging a bond. Now  most folks would rather not do so much work. Those folks also lose customers, and spend thousands on fancy consultants, because they won’t do what’s necessary.

2) Get recurring feedback using prospective clients

This task is simple. Get prospective clients to take a look at your sales pages. These prospective clients needn’t be new clients. They can be existing clients. So for instance, when I wrote the sales page for the ‘Brain Audit Version 3.2 Special offer’, I didn’t need to go out and get new clients. I just got clients who hadn’t bought that product before. Even as I was doing the ‘Brain Audit Special’ for this week (and this is for new clients), I got feedback. Some clients pointed out grammar errors. Some pointed out confusing elements. Some pointed out other issues. We fixed them, and I’m writing this as the orders literally come pouring through in my inbox. I can categorically tell you that if those issues hadn’t been sorted out before I made the special offer, there would be a stream of complaints coming through, and far fewer sales.

So yes, you don’t always need brand new customers to look at your sales page. When a new product is being launched, your existing clients haven’t seen the offer, and it’s easy to let them have a look and give their feedback. But of course, it also helps to have just prospects looking at the page. With the ‘bug’ system, you’ll get feedback through the year, but it also helps to have prospects take a look every six months or so.

You don’t need an army of prospective clients. Just 3-4 of them will be fine. And doing this task just twice a year will show you all the glitches that cause your customer not to buy.

And this takes us to the third segment…

3) Get ongoing feedback using a client who’s just signed up.
When a client just buys a product or service, they’re in a unique position to give you feedback because they’re no longer just prospective. They’ve actually gone through the process and paid for the product/service. They can tell you where they were stuck, where they slowed down. And where they almost backed away.

It’s easy enough to do this feedback with new clients. All you have to do is send them an autoresponder a day or two after their purchase. Or give them a call. I engage some of them on Facebook, or Twitter. Or Skype. Or whatever.

So yeah, no one’s telling you not to use Google Analytics or any other tracking device.
Just don’t expect the software to tell you what’s causing the customer to be distracted or to slow down. That glitch has to be fixed in real time, with real customers and real devices like the ‘bug.’  It’s only then that your sales will really start to kaboom! :)

Footnote: The client who pointed out the glitches went on to become a customer. And now we’re talking on Skype about her sign up process and how to make things even better. So yeah the tweaks never end :) And yes, if you want to see that page which got fixed (or if you want to take advantage of the Brain Audit Special then you’ll need to go here).

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  1. says

    Even though marketers all over the world are rolling their eyes as I’m typing this, a single grammar or spelling error is enough for me to cancel a buying decision. If the site doesn’t care about getting the details right, I worry. (And if you really want to make me flee, use an apostrophe before an S incorrectly.)

    I’ve had customers alert me to small errors on my ecommerce site. Less elegant than the bug, I’ve got a feedback form on every page.

  2. says

    This easily the best blog post I’ve read all year. Outstanding straight forward advice which will scare the life out of most marketers, who’ve never met a customer let alone asked one a question.

  3. says

    Sean. The Bug is a great idea and I have noticed it on your site but, because a lot of people do not scroll right down to the bottom, it will be missed by (probably) most visitors.

    Especially on Blogs, by the time someone reaches the ‘comments’ they ‘assume’ they are at the end of the page – no need to go any further – so it is unlikely they’ll find the little bug.

  4. says

    Yes, it used to be pretty prominent, but then the columns started getting pretty clogged. So we moved it to the bottom of the page. Of course loads of readers still find it, and once they do, they know where to go. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be prominent. And maybe I need to re-think it anyway and make it part of the post.

  5. Naomi says

    Bug – I never noticed your bug until you pointed it out in your last blog post!

    (And I read your blog fairly regularly.)

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