Website analytics can be a very powerful tool. Measuring things like page views, bounce rates, site searches, etc. can paint an incredible picture of user behavior on your website. This kind of information can really empower you to make changes to your site for the better, and help you to create the best and most streamlined experience for your users.
Sometimes, though, it can be way too easy to get caught up in the data gathering and analysis part of web analytics, and forget about the part where this data is supposed to be a useful catalyst toward making your site better.
With that in mind, here are actionable, useful changes you can make to your site based on those nifty data points you are gathering.
It should come as no surprise to anybody that how fast a site loads is directly related to how much a user enjoys the experience of being on that site, how much they are likely to do there, and how quickly they are inclined to leave. Anybody who has had the experience of sitting there and waiting and waiting and waiting for a page to load knows why this is incredibly frustrating. I, for one, get palpable anxiety which only increases the longer the site load takes, and can only be cured by my hurling my laptop across the room like a Frisbee. Te-he, not really, but who like slow speed internet experience?!
What you might not know, is that Google is also aware of your site’s speed, and they’ve got the users’ back. If your site is slow to load, Google will knock it down in the rankings since they know that users aren’t going to want to mess around with that.
So, as you add content and pages to your site, and it expands and grows over time, make sure you keep track of your page load times. Google Analytics will tell you what your site speed is (there are also several other free sites which can give you this info).
If you find that your site speed is slow, or has increased from what you are comfortable with, talk to a developer about helping to optimize.
(Or, if you feel like slogging through it yourself, check out this blog post with some helpful suggestions.)
Form Field Tracking
Filling out forms is nobody’s favorite task. Which is why it is truly baffling how many websites request or require that their visitors fill out long and/or confusing forms. Frequently though, there is crucial information that you really do need from your site’s visitors, and the last thing you want them doing is getting frustrated and ditching out on your site because of a form they can’t or don’t feel like getting through.
Google Analytics can help you track how users are interacting with your forms and figure out which fields are causing trouble. Here’s a guide on Google’s Tag Manager tool, which is the tool you want for this job. And here’s a more detailed walkthrough.
Conversion rate can mean a variety of different things depending on what it is that you are trying to convert. Maybe it’s sales if you are an ecommerce site. Maybe it’s newsletter subscriptions. Whatever your conversion rate is measuring, this is going to be one of your most important and valuable metrics.
But here’s the thing. You can’t just measure general conversion rates. I mean, you can, but there isn’t a lot you’ll be able to do with that information. In order to be able to take action to improve that conversion rate, you need to be tracking segment conversion rates. By looking at conversion based on keyword, location, traffic source, etc., you can put more or less attention toward those segments in order to improve conversion.
Product Page Views
If your website has an ecommerce element, you want to keep track of not just sales, but of how many page views each and every one of your product pages is getting. This is important, not only so that you can track the conversion rate of page view to sale, but so that you can ensure people are finding the product pages at all. If sales for a product are low and you don’t know how many page views that product page has, you can’t rule out the possibility that people aren’t just failing to find the page at all.
If product page views are low, you may want to take a look at changing your navigation menus or the way your products are organized or tagged. If you have an internal site search (and if you have more than a few products you should), you may want to also see if there is any way you can improve the search experience.
Search and Bounce
As mentioned above, having internal site search on an ecommerce site is crucial. Especially if you have a broad range of products in your catalog, you want to make sure that your visitors who are interested in a particular product are able to find that product as quickly and easily as possible.
Many sites that have an internal site search end up delivering poor or incomplete results. If your users are coming to your site, searching for something, and then leaving without making a purchase, you have to wonder if the reason is that the search didn’t lead them to whatever they were looking for.
Test your site search and make sure that it works the way it is supposed to and delivers the desired results. Also, see if there is any way that you can improve the search experience with images or discounts and promotions, or additional relevant product info.
Need help with a strategy for your business website or other marketing efforts? Contact the team at 10twelve today!