Beyond Analytics: How To Find Out WHO Visits My Website


Being able to see who visits your website is often talked about by business owners. For years, they have been able to see who comes into their shops, who enters their office and who is showing an interest in their product or services.

However, things aren’t what they used to be. The Internet has changed all of that, so much so now that businesses are seeing their customers less and less, sometimes not at all. I spoke to an accountant recently who reckons he has never met nearly 30% of his clients. This would have been impossible 15 or 20 years ago. 

Why is this happening?

The growth of the Internet has changed the way we buy products and services. We take matters into our own hands now, and do as much research as possible on our own, because that information is freely available. 

For years if we were interested in something, we needed to speak to salespeople to find out more about it. Now your customers are a lot more educated about what you do, than they ever were a few years ago. Studies show that the average buyer now conducts 57% of a sales process without ever contacting a company (Source: 2012 study by CEB)

You may have experienced sales situations recently where you are a lot more educated about the product than the person selling it to you!

Why is it important?

So now your customers are researching your business, your products and your services. They will be making judgement calls on whether they see what you do as a good fit for their needs. They will be doing most of this research online, scouring your website for information, and your website will be a major point of scrutiny for potential clients.

This of course isn’t a challenge if your website has a conversion rate from visitors to enquiries or sales of 100%. The trouble is most website barely convert at 5%. This means the majority of people or businesses that are visiting your website never call you, never email you or get in touch at that moment. 

Being able to monitor who these people are will make a huge difference to your business, and shifting the power back towards you, rather than with your customers. You can then cherry pick the businesses you want to target, and provides a great source of leads for sales teams.

More than just analytics

One of the benefits of a website in the past was that you could see how many people visited your website. This was viewed as a great advancement as it was incredibly difficult to know exact numbers with traditional forms of media advertising, it often felt that things like “readership values” were being plucked out of the sky.

This was a great tool - being able to see the numbers was a great way of analysing things like how many people were visiting your website, when they were visiting your website or what they were typing in to find your website.

However, as great as this information was, it often left a big question, how do I find out WHO visits my website?

With software developments, this information is now available, in lots of different forms. Firstly, there was a very simple reverse IP lookup, which essentially told you the owner of the IP address who was visiting your website. This information was great if you worked with big companies who own their own IP addresses, however the majority of people that I have spoken to have often been left underwhelmed by it all. The main reason for this is that if you work with small to medium sized businesses or the general public, it will just give the name of their Internet service provider like “Sky” or “Virgin Media”. This essentially made the service redundant as even if you did work with large organisations, you never knew the person that looked at your website. This often left business owners feeling exasperating and asking the big question, will I ever be able to know WHO has visited my website?

Well the answer is yes. Technology advancements have made this information readily available if it is done in the right way. There are no quick fixes, and it will take time, but it will be worth it. It isn’t going to be a line of code inserted into your website that will spark a stream of emails identifying individual visitors.

* NOTE * Lead Forensics is one such technology program. You can read more about it, and also compare 7 Alternatives to Lead Forensics here.

There are now systems that integrate with a business’s database (CRM), and expands on the previous software. The software allows you to drill down from the company to individual visitors if the visitor is already registered as a lead in your system.

In order to do this, your website needs to convert them from a visitor into a lead. There are numerous articles on our blog that you can read that will give advice on how to do this, and you can download a free guide here

If the visitor is not a lead yet, the software will still record all of this information for when it becomes one – how great is that?

* NOTE * The software we (JDR) use for this is Hubspot - find out more here UK Hubspot Partners plus read Lead Forensics vs Hubspot - which is better for B2b Marketing?

How to use the information

This topic often sparks a debate, particularly when Internet security is heightened significantly in the media. Would you want the owners of all of the websites you’ve ever visited to know that you’ve been on them? 

The reality is, most service based businesses that use this software, do it to profile their leads, research them, but would never use it as a direct sales tactic. If they have seen that a particular service page has been viewed a few times, you can save a lot of time and talk to the customer about that particular service.

In the product world however, this simply, increases sales. If you got 10 people in a room and asked them all to log into their Amazon account, each of their home pages would be different, as Amazon knows what products you’ve looked at, what you’ve considered buying, saved for the future, bought in the past. 

With The fast moving world of the Internet, business owners can now get access to much more detailed information about their prospects, so they can nurture them in the right way so they become a client. This software, if used correctly, will fundamentally improve most UK businesses sales systems.

To find out more about how this could work for your business, you can reach me on 01332 343281, or download your free guide below:

Our Free Guide To "Get Customers Coming To You"

Article by Andy Gibbins