3 Hidden Behaviors that Indicate Your Visitor is About to Leave

Jonathan Friedman
June 28, 2016 ·
3 Hidden Behaviors that Indicate Your Visitor is About to Leave

Doesn’t matter if you’re a newcomer marketer or conversion rate expert, you probably know that when a user leaves your site without taking the desired action – it’s bad.

But how can you reduce the percentage of people who leave your site without taking action? There are many well known CRO techniques out there, but most of them concentrate on analyzing the user’s behavior after the session is over.

Meaning you’re focusing on the outcome of their decision making rather than the process that leads them to it. Only if you could read their mind in mid-session and direct them to what you want them to do,  right?

While mind-reading technology is not quite there, there is another approach you can take: You can read your visitor’s Digital Body Language (DBL).

You can read your visitor’s Digital Body Language (DBL)

Your visitor’s DBL can be seen by the way they behave on your website. The way they scroll up and down over and over again, look at one section for too long, slow down when filling a form etc.

What makes it different from the regular “tracking”? It is that it can be attached to a specific emotion or state they are in at the moment. That’s what you want to react to by getting them what you really want them to do most – Convert!

While Google Analytics lets you know many key behavioral metrics, understanding their meaning is what gives DBL an upper hand.

I want to share with you three common digital body language signs, almost hidden behaviors, that Analytics won’t tell you:

Behavior 1: Multiple up and down page scrolls

If you’re using Google Tag Manager, you’ve probably seen some of your visitors going to your page, scrolling all the way down and then go up again. And then down again. And up again… Well you get what I’m trying to say.

What does that mean? It probably means that they’re going to exit your page soon.

Why? Because they are scrolling over and over again trying to find something that they need but can’t find.

Even worse – they might not even understand what you want them to do and they’re looking for direction or a better explanation.

By reading their digital body language and understanding their confusion you can offer automatic help.

You can do it using Intercom and pop-up chat window offering support but you can also simply pop-up a CTA offering them what they are looking for, or directing them to the next logical step.

The end result is a boost in conversion and decrease in page bounces, because you answered your visitors stressful situation.

Behavior 2: User Slows Down While Filling Out a Form

Most conversion rate experts fear the moment their visitor stops filling out the form. But it’s not the real problem.

What they should really dread, is the moment their user slows down while filling the form.

A user stopping filling the form can mean multiple things. Maybe they are looking for their credit card, asking someone a question regarding the form etc. Acting when someone stops, might actually cause a distraction and will end with them exiting the form.

But if a user slows down, it means that they are not sure if they want to proceed. Nothing is stopping them physically, but they might be re-thinking.

What does it mean? It means you could be asking for too many details and it is discouraging and demotivating them to continue.

It can also mean that the visitor is suddenly aware of more uncertainties and is slowing down because they are focused on re-evaluating the fact that they want to sign up and they need reassurance about the product, or your reason for filling out a form isn’t compelling enough.

By understanding that they are re-thinking the sign up you can encouraging your users to continue with visual cues to the CTA or remind them of the value they’re getting.

The ways you can do that vary from arrows pointing to the value propositions, a shaking CTA button, or using white space around the form to make it stand out more.

What we’ve seen to perform best and increase conversions is reminding visitors about the benefits or reaffirming why they should complete it.

So shake buttons, add a roll in bar reminding them of the eBook they will get or how it will solve some of the major pain points they have.

Behavior 3: Visitor Stays on one Section of a Page for Too Long

“Wow, we have an amazing time on site rate!” Google Analytics fans will tell you. And they might be right, sometimes.

But the conversion rate expert will look further and segment those users coming to a conclusion that it’s great that they are spending a lot of time on the page, but those who do, actually convert pretty badly

What does it really mean when visitors stay on your page for too long without engaging?

When they don’t get what they expected on your page, lost attention, don’t clearly understand what to do, or feel that they are bombarded with unrelated content- these are all signs that they will take a break from your page.

This will be a good time to re-engage with them to keep them from bouncing by using visual cues.

For example shaking the CTA button drawing their attention back to the screen. You might want to do a full-screen popup with your value proposition and a CTA button to not only get their attention but to re-focus them on their initial intent.

shaking the CTA button drawing their attention back to the screen

Don’t lose conversions over unrelated distraction. Re-engage and convert.

Now to you

Understanding how your visitors experience your page and what goes through their mind (consciously  or unconsciously) is the key to increase conversions.

In the past year of analyzing people’s body language at Reactful, I’ve seen certain triggers that show frustration, confusion, or interest by different metrics and parameters of their digital behavior.

This is where using Analytics and analyzing the result from a new perspective can uncover a much deeper understanding of your visitors mind.

But while we can’t really read minds, we can try and understand their intent through unconscious behaviours. Understanding DBL and reacting in real time,  just means you’re doing it before it’s too late and you’ve lost the conversion.

Originally published June 28, 2016 - Updated December 21, 2021
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Jonathan Friedman
Jonathan Friedman CEO & Co-Founder at Reactful. Passionate internet entrepreneur working on projects on the bleeding edge of digital marketing

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