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How to Convert Visitors into Customers Through Anonymous User Tracking

For many people, anonymous user tracking sounds more like something that comes out of an espionage movie than something that applies to online marketing and analytics. The name itself leads to the suggestion that anybody with the tools can track anyone on the internet as they move through websites, even if they haven't signed up for an account on the site just yet. But if you're visualizing sophisticated hackers hammering away at keyboards, pinpointing locations, and other dramatic images, you might be surprised to find that it's simpler than how it appears.

Ordinarily, site-tracking analytics include the number of visitors that come into a website. Every time a site gets a "hit" or a visit, it gets noted by analytics software, even if the user is anonymous. User tracking numbers are essential for marketing strategies, as the site traffic helps guide marketers as to how to set their campaigns. Furthermore, these numbers are critical information that also leads to better strategies geared towards conversion. If you're running an eCommerce site, these numbers can become pillars of the marketing strategy that lead toward more conversions and profits.

Pulling Back the Curtain: Anonymous Users and How to Track Them

Why is anonymous user tracking so important?

An average website gets approximately 97-98% of anonymous visitors. These are all users who come to your website but have not signed up for anything on your sites, such as an account or an email address for a subscription. These anonymous visitors could also vary from first-time visitors to returning visitors who simply haven't decided to sign up for your services yet. This means that you know next to nothing about this site visitor except for which pages they visit on your website. For many companies, these anonymous visitors are troublesome as they can't truly define them as qualified leads or not, let alone convert them.

But companies look into anonymous user tracking due to the massive potential in anonymous users. Because so many of them come to a website, gleaning even a small amount of information about each of them could prove to be incredibly revealing. If they are correctly seen as individuals rather than a percentage of visitors, there's also tremendous potential to give them a more personalized experience. This, in turn, builds a better customer experience for them, fostering trust and creating an enjoyable experience. As this continues and is cultivated, their loyalty grows, and they believe that you continue to give them value. It's at this point that they become compelled to sign up and thus become more qualified leads.

One of the easiest anonymous user tracking methods out there is to check Google Analytics on a website. The analytics will provide insight into the users' activity, geographical locations, and other basic stats. Other websites could use non-essential tracking cookies (these are the cookies that prompt consent from users visiting the site, often done via a popup). Finally, there are many tracking tools available that could provide more detailed information for site owners.

A Person's A Person: Creating a "Persona" and Personalization

How does a company bring that all-important personalization for what is essentially a faceless visitor? The idea of defining and constructing "personas" among your target audience has been a pillar of the digital marketing strategy for years. Even with anonymous user tracking techniques, true personalization is not easy to achieve without a significant amount of capital due to all the tools required. But by creating personas, companies get an insight into what their target audience has been looking for.

Creating a persona gets significantly aided by the anonymous visitor data by giving companies a look into what interests them on the page. An eCommerce site may notice that anonymous users from a specific geographical location are more interested in a specific page or product than anyone else. Maybe a particular age group is more interested in several items. And with the analytics from anonymous user tracking, there may even be a hint about what products have sustained interest and sales by how many anonymous users keep coming back to a specific item.

From here, the company can build campaigns to target these individual "personas" and their preferences.

Big vs. Small: About Micro and Macro Conversions

An essential aspect of creation personalization for these anonymous personas are the micro and macro conversions. The macro conversion is the overarching goal of the site itself—whether selling a product, a service, or a subscription. The goal, essentially, is the sale, with a definitive, noticeable impact on profits.

Meanwhile, micro conversions are the stepping stones that ultimately lead to the macro conversion. This is where anonymous user tracking is most relevant. It's the journey through the sales funnel. And to guide the anonymous users through it, marketing has to be consistent with the analytics data. These small conversions include getting people to sign up, compelling them to comment, take them browsing through the site, and other small actions that push the sales funnel along.

A team must continue tracking micro conversions as even though they don't make as significant an impact as the macro conversions, they still can become those macros. By improving the campaign to create more sign-ups by micro-conversions, it's ultimately going to lead to profits in the long term.

Into the Spotlight: The Importance of Relevancy

Anonymous user tracking goes a long way into improving your website's relevance for an audience. The more relevant the site's content to the interest or the needs of the users visiting your site, the more likely they will get compelled towards micro conversions. Your content's relevancy is what makes all the difference: it's how they will decide if they want to trust you with more of their data or not. It also ensures that what should have been a one-time visitor would become a repeat, long-term patron of your site.

Beyond personalization, however, there are even more benefits to gleaning data off the anonymous user tracking. Once the visitor is converted (and therefore not very anonymous anymore), you're able to get a better grasp of their preferences, interests, likes, and dislikes—all by following their path throughout your website. And if their needs become apparent, you can bring in timely product announcements, adjustments, or promos to answer those needs.

To Track or Not to Track: The Pros and Cons

But is it worth all that trouble? For some companies, the significant number of anonymous users coming in on their site may not be seen as a potential asset; the chances are that these people wouldn't buy from you anyway, so what would be the point of anonymous user tracking? Is it not better to simply focus on the users who have proven themselves as valuable leads ready for conversion by offering up their information and details?

As with every strategy, there are pros and cons to the situation.


You get to answer their needs at the right time.

The tracking analytics offer real-time insight into what the customers are interested in right now. You will be able to quickly respond to trends and interests, with a better potential to do micro conversions.

It gives you more insight into your consumer base.

You can't give the customer what they want if you don't know what it is. Insight is precious to any company, and it's something that anonymous user tracking can provide. Knowing what the customers are like, what they want, and what will answer their needs allows you to satisfy them. Which leads to…

Customer experience is enhanced.

Having great CX is equivalent to running a successful site. If the customers like what they see and are satisfied with the service, they will come back. With anonymous user tracking, you get to fine-tune the little aspects of your site to provide that better experience.


The initial cost of the tools

While there are free analytics tools for companies to provide them with some data about the people coming to their site, many of the best anonymous user tracking tools are hidden behind premiums. For smaller companies, this initial cost may not be worth "taking a chance" that an anonymous user becomes converted as a lead.

Managing the data is critical.

When you have all that data in your hands, you are legally obligated to protect it. Privacy laws and regulations, as well as data compliance, protects consumers. Therefore, you have to make sure your site and the data it takes from the customers are all carefully encrypted. This opens up a new subsection of site security that you will need to install.

The campaign becomes dependent on technology.

Anonymous user tracking tools are not infallible. The security protecting the data is also not foolproof. But losing either one could throw a wrench in your carefully laid plans. You'll need plenty of contingencies and fail-safes for recovery in case problems arise.

Final words

Ultimately, anonymous users shouldn't just be seen as the unknown variable that a company can't do anything about. These hits and site visitors are, in reality, a vast pool of potential. Many companies have issues just getting people to their site, let alone having them stay for a while and browse. While these users are at your website, the time is ripe to get whatever information you can and grab the opportunity to convert them. It's a pool of potential leads that have just walked right in your door, and being ready to welcome them in only increases your chances to make significant profits.

Does your company use anonymous user tracking? Has it been successful for you? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below.

About the Author:

Manuel Fornillos is the Chief Content Officer of Startup Credo. His writing proficiency covers the topics about social media, digital marketing, technology, mobile applications and business.

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