Your website is a tool that your business should be using. Its purpose might be to collect more sign-ups to your newsletter or increase sales on a particular product. Regardless of its purpose, it is unlikely to be perfect for your target audience straight after going live. It isn’t until you install web tools such as Google Analytics, that you’ll understand how your visitors use your website. So this #websitewednesday I’m going to talk about some useful features of Google Analytics because it’s really important you know what it’s for and how you can adjust your website according to the data it records. So let’s do this!
Continue to monitor and adjust your website.
Google Analytics can do a lot of things, I won’t go into too much detail about every feature but I will explain what it does and how you can use the tools it provides to make adjustments to the website and ultimately improve its performance.
The most basic part of GA can be seen immediately upon logging in. You can see how many users you’ve had, how many sessions (users can have multiple sessions), your bounce rate (single page views and leave) and your average session duration. These stats are a great way of monitoring the overall performance of your website. How can we improve these and what changes should we make to the website?
Improve bounce rate
Users and sessions are really about getting more traffic to your website so that relies on your online marketing campaigns, social media presence and so on. Bounce rate and session duration is something we can definitely improve with making a few changes to the website. Bounce rate refers to how many users view a single page and leave, an average bounce rate is around 50%. To improve bounce rate we need to encourage our visitors to stay and move onto another page. Grabbing their attention and throwing a call-to-action in their face is a great way of moving them on. To optimise your CTAs you should experiment, move them around the page, play with font sizes etc and continue to monitor their performance using GA. There are of course other tricks that you can do to encourage your visitors to navigate your website, button position, limiting options, writing good content and use high-quality images.
Increase session duration
Let’s look at session duration. This refers to how long your visitors stay on your website. The longer someone stays, the more interested in your service they are likely to be. It’s difficult to say what a good session duration should be, it can vary across all websites. Amazon wants its customers to be able to buy quickly using their one-click “Buy Now” button to minimise time spent browsing, they want people to find what they want and buy it. You could also argue that they want customers to stay on their store for longer and to do this they use recommended items. However, if you’re a web designer like us, quick enquiries would be great but realistically you need visitors to look at your website, learn who you are, what you do and ultimately trust you.
How can we improve the session duration then? Well, one of the best things you can do is put video onto your website. Videos force visitors to stop and watch. If your visitors watch the entire video you’ve more than likely already increased your average session duration and also used another form of media, other than text, to inform them of your products and services. Other tricks to improve session duration include 360 photography, internal links (send users to other pages), improved UX/UI (use analytics data to improve this over time), engaging content across your website and blog, plus many more.
Behaviour Flow Tool
It looks as though we’ve covered a lot already but that was only really the start. One of my favourite tools with Google Analytics is the Behaviour Flow tool. This shows you the journey your users are taking, which pages they go to and when they drop off. This makes it a great visual representation of how well your UX/UI techniques are working.
Let’s use an example. Looking at the behaviour flow tool, you can see that 70% of people drop-off and 30% go onto your blog page. Use the above techniques on your homepage to keep users on your website and move them onto another page. We can continue to monitor the homepage and visually see the drop-off rate has improved but people are still going to your blog page as their first interaction. We really want them to contact you ideally. It turns out the second section on your homepage, after your hero image, is a CTA to your blog. BINGO! That’s where we can make the change. Change the CTA to encourage users to contact you, put a form in or send them to your contact page. Now continue to monitor the behaviour flow and watch as the 1st interaction changes from your blog to your contact page.
Now, this is a very basic idea. Ideally you probably want to send users over to a product page rather than straight to contact but hopefully, this gives you an idea of how you can read tools in GA and make adjustments to guide users across your website.
You should already have an idea of your target audience but are they coming to your website? Using Google Analytics’ Audience tool we can see lots of useful information about your visitors. Their age group, gender, interests, geographical location, what web browser or device they’re using and so much more. There’s a lot we can do with this information. For example, you might find that most users are using mobiles, this tells you that you should focus on optimising your mobile website. Don’t reject your desktop version of course, but make sure it’s perfect on mobile.
Perhaps your visitors are in a younger age group, why aren’t they converting? Maybe you need to look at your content, is it engaging for younger audiences. Let’s say last month you decided to push your service into a neighbouring county, you can check the data to see whether there’s been an increase in visitors from there.
Using this powerful information we can adjust our website’s layout and content to better suit our target audiences. Make sure your online marketing campaigns compliment your website and are sending relevant traffic to your website. No use targeting your fidget spinner business at an older audience!
This is only a very small summary of Google Analytics, there are some many tools it provides and it truly is the best way for you to learn about how your website is performing. If you need help setting up Google Analytics, let us know!
Your website should never be left alone after you’ve had it built. Using Google Analytics you can view a lot of powerful data that can help you improve upon your website and optimise it for your target audience. Improve the bounce rate and session duration by using strong call-to-actions and video. Improve your user journey using the data displayed by the behaviour tool. Look at the demographics of your users and use this information to adjust content accordingly, but also use it to improve your online marketing campaigns.
Feel free to get in touch for any help regarding what to do with your website after it’s launched.