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P.I., Private Eye

Being able to track anonymous visitors to your website can greatly improve your use of marketing automation. Think of it as a way to play detective with potential leads. Prospect Insight (PI) has an anonymous visitor tracking feature (under the “Visitors” tab of the Marketing module) that helps you find out all kinds of things about the folks that visit your site. With a click of your mouse, you can learn where the search originated, how many page views it consisted of, and how much time was spent on your site. You can see what sort of search term(s) brought this particular person to your site. PI even tells you the browser and operating system (OS) of each visitor!

The most informative field within this feature is the Hostname/Referrer, which tells you the origin of a search, including the IP address and the name under which it’s registered. This will give you a pretty good idea of who was doing the searching. From a marketing standpoint, tracking patterns of anonymous visitors can help you identify trends in particular industry verticals and potential new audiences for your product or service. From a sales perspective, this information has several uses. If you’re in the middle of the sales cycle, knowing that there have been numerous visits originating at a company that’s evaluating your product gives a good indication as to just how serious they are. Anonymous visitor tracking might also be useful in helping salespeople locate appropriate contacts at a prospective client company. But use this feature wisely — just as an effective detective has to lay low so as not to arouse suspicion, a careful PI user should be cautious and prudent in acting on any pertinent information they are able to collect with the anonymous visitor tracking feature.

Anonymous visitor tracking can also tell you what sort of search terms bring visitors to your site. The nature of a search — that is, which search term(s) brought the searcher to your site — can tell you a lot about how serious that visitor might be. If they are searching for a general question (e.g., “What is marketing automation?”), they might or might not be worth pursuing. However, if they are searching for your product by name, you can bet that they’re interested in your product and didn’t just happen upon your site by chance. When people visit your site, it may not result in conversions, but simply knowing they were there and checked you out can provide important insights.

Pardot partner Todd Miechiels discusses the benefits of having access to such information in a recent article. Knowing the specific search phrases people use to find your site can provide a wealth of information that quantitative examinations of conversion rates just can’t convey.

So the next time you want to do a little detective work and find out some interesting things about what would otherwise be faceless visitors and uncaptured search data, check out the anonymous visitor tracking feature and let PI be your private eye.