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Who is visiting my website?

When I am talking to marketers and business owners about their website ambitions, one of the most common questions – of course – is ‘who is visiting my website?’

By that, they don’t mean the IP address that Google Analytics gives them, but the actual name of the person visiting the site.

Now, as we all know, there are plenty of people who say they can find out the person’s name from the IP address. Most appear to be overseas companies funnily enough. The answer is that you might be able to – but you are searching for a needle in a haystack and why use up a mega-computers worth of power to find out it was a student on a research project?

Point One: Have you asked them for their name?

So when asked how to find out who is visiting my website, my first question back to the website owner is ‘do you ask them?’ And 9 out of 10 times the answer is ‘no, but I have a contact form’. Aha – the contact form! …that least-used part of any website.

I then ask if they personally fill out a contact form themselves and the answer is usually no, because:

  • I then get junk email forever, or
  • A sales rep rings who wants an instant sale, or
  • It is pointless because no-one replies anyway.

So the contact form on the contact page is not the answer then!

Point Two: Allow them to contact you from somewhere relevant on the website

Our suggestion is to move (and hugely shrink) the traditional website form to the place on the site where the real content is. So, if a visitor goes to a page describing your key service or product, put a small “contact us” form on that page in a prominent position. That way the reader doesn’t have to navigate away from the page to find out how to get in touch.

There are two advantages to this approach:

  1. The forms get a much higher conversion rate as they are so easy to access
  2. You can track which page the contact form is completed on so you know what information the person was looking at when they responded. Then you can follow-up with appropriate questions or information.

Point Three: Collect information about your visitor incrementally

The final part of the ‘who is visiting my website’ question relates to the ‘who’ i.e. tell me something about them and their interests. The answer is to go slowly!

At Toast Design we’ve been trialling contact forms with just an email address and no more – simply so we can acknowledge their interest and guide them to more information. Then, when they engage with us again we ask for another piece of information – name; company name; business size; the industry sector; age – whatever is relevant to us in terms of profiling that person.  Once they give you one piece of information it is amazing how much more they will give – as long as it is not an interrogation! But, for this approach to work properly, you really need somewhere to keep the information.

Point Four: Use a marketing application that puts the jigsaw together for you

Toast are both HubSpot* users and certified resellers, so that is what we use to identify prospects and then build up a profile of exactly who they are. People we show HubSpot to tend to freak out a bit when we even show them a picture of their prospect –  never mind their name, organization, social media memberships etc.  It also shows what forms they have completed, downloads they have made, emails they have opened, search terms used, etc.


Can you tell who is visiting your site?

Yes, you can! Simply ask where and when it is relevant, collect the profile data gradually, and use a tool like HubSpot* to automate the gathering of the data and then nurture the contact through the sales funnel until they are ready to act.

If you want to find out more about how your website can attract, identify and convert visitors, then book a website appraisal with Toast Design. 

Book an appraisal

 *HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing technology platform that is designed to help build traffic to your website, identify and convert visitors and then reports on ROI for all your online marketing campaigns. Toast Inbound is a Certified Partner of HubSpot.