How to Use Google Analytics to Jumpstart Your Website Redesign
Your customers are already telling you what they want and how they want to view it, if only you know how to listen. Prior to any successful redesign, it is always a good idea to perform an analysis of what works on your site and what doesn’t. Read on to discover how Google Analytics can help you get in tune with your users needs.
How are users interacting with your website? By using data gleaned from Google Analytics, you can discover areas in which the user experience can be improved. From adding or removing a button and adjusting your Calls-to-Action to changing a main navigation item, you might be surprised at how little things can make a big difference.
To view these kinds of helpful stats, you’ll want to access “In-Page Analytics,” which can be found in the Standard Reporting tab under the Content section. You can use this tool to see the site from the customer’s point of view while making note of how they are interacting with the various elements on the page.
Make sure you note the following:
- Which links are getting clicked (which aren’t?)
- Are your Calls-to-Action getting any traction? Is there room for improvement (verbiage or design).
- Are your users finding the information they seek?
- Is the hierarchy of information correct? In other words, is the important content and messaging placed in a prominent position?
- Is the conversion path you implemented being used? Are users finding a different path more easily?
To Access In-Page Analytics, you must first sign into your Google Analytics Account. Go to your View. Hit the Reporting tab. Then select Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. From there you can drill down into a page and select the “In-Page” tab.
You will also want to check out the User Flow reports, which you can access from Behavior > Flow. This will allow you to see the path that users take through your site. If you notice that it take more than four steps to access an important page, you should revise that area to make it simpler.
One thing you’ll definitely want to know if what kinds of technology your users are viewing the site on. Chances are if you haven’t performed a redesign in quite a while, the website will not be friendly to viewing on mobile devices. Google Analytics gives you the opportunity to see which device the user is utilizing and also which operating system.
To find this information, simply click on Audience > Technology > Browser & OS
There, you can get a clear picture of how your customers see the website. A great majority of online users are viewing the web on their mobile devices. That is why at Lform, we always recommend that you choose a responsive layout when doing a website redesign. These will be easily viewed on every screen without the inconvenience of pinching and pulling to resize the various elements.
However, should you decide against responsiveness, you could use this data to make sure the site is compatible with the technology that your audience is utilizing most.
Some of your most important Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) can guide you as to where to place the focus of your efforts on. Vital stats include:
- Page Views
- Number of pages per visit
- Average Visit Duration
- Bounce Rate
- Exit Pages
Bounce Rate and Exit Pages are also good to look at on a page-by-page basis as these can lead to an examination of the viability of underachieving content. Thus, you may be able to reorganize, rewrite, or even remove completely content which just isn’t working in its present for.
Another component that can drive content revision or restructuring is New Visitors VS Returning Visitors. Armed with the knowledge of which pages are most popular for each type of visitor, you can make decisions on how best to present information.
Knowing your website’s traffic sources is invaluable digital intelligence.
You can easily find out which door your visitors walked through to get to your site by going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.
This is an especially important area if your company does any advertising or social media. For instance, if you spent the last two months on a Twitter campaign designed to push users to your site, you’ll be able to see the increase (or lack thereof) in traffic easily by adjusting the dates to see what the difference in Social traffic was before, during, and after the push.
Sources are grouped into Organic Search (They found you through a search engine such as Google or Yahoo), Direct (They typed the URL in or clicked a bookmark), Referral (a link from another website), and Social (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc..).
You can drill down further by clicking on any of those titles. For instance, if you click Social on Lform’s Google Analytics account, you’ll see a breakdown of numbers form Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WordPress.