How Did You Hear About Us? -I For One Scroll Straight To “Other”

Is it really important to know if the visitor filling out your contact form came from the Yellow Pages or the search engines? Trick question –I know. But really, if you’re still using:

How did you hear about us? Preceded by 20 different selections.

It may be time to catch up to 2013.

Granted, this move is far less complicated for small businesses than it is for a large corporation. But, to have “search engines” as an option won’t tell you a lot even if you are dialed into your chosen analytic’s program. Perhaps, circa 2008, giving the visitor (potential new customer) 24 different options to choose from made sense. However now it’s useless. In some instances it simply drives away potential customers at their ZMOT (Zero Moment Of Truth).

The general public has and is becoming more sophisticated in how they seek out information on products. However, do you think people remember what channel led them to your website? Was it a paid or organic search? I’ve seen “paid advertising” before on a fortune 5000 company contact form as a selection. Good luck using that data to your benefit as a Technical Marketer.

There have been numerous tests performed to show how the number of options directly correlates to conversions. But consider this; could Nike ask this question and expect to get accurate data? Of course not.

In contrast, the local hardware store on the corner may find this type of information useful. Still, just a few options would accurately show how the potential buyers are arriving to the website. For the large (not Nike large), but big companies that spend advertising dollars online and need to accurately track their ROI there are several things you can do.

Get familiar with multiple touchpoint marketing, social interaction, and brand reputation. These components make up the different stages of converting a buyer, but we should have a plan in place to track the visitor through the entire journey. Whether traffic arrives via Facebook or a re-tweet of an article, we as SEO Professionals have to drive home the fact that there is no need to have more than a few “How did you hear about us” options. I for one scroll straight to “other” when I see a list of choices that wastes my time so don’t forget about the user. They probably would be more inclined to pause and think about what action brought them to your contact form, resulting in better data for you and higher ROI for your company.

About Brad Roark

I am a Digital Marketing Manager. Connect with me on Twitter | Google+ | Linkedin