Good web analysis begins by asking great questions

What is the purpose of your website?

Is it to sell goods, collect sales leads, attract people to join your organisation, attract donations?

How successful is it? What goods have you sold online? How many sales leads have been generated? How many people have signed up to your email list or become members of your organisation? What donations have you collected?

What makes your customers click?

Where did these visitors come from? Which sources of visitors created the best response? Which pages were most effective at attracting their interest?

How many of them saw the key messages on the home page of your website? What path through your website did the people who bought goods / became sales leads / joined your organisation follow?

Do you use Google AdWords? Which keywords drive the most traffic? Which keywords created the most business?

How many times did they visit your website before converting?

Are visitors on mobile devices as successful at using your website as those with desktops or tablets?

Are there sources of visitors to your website that never or rarely become leads? Did you pay for these? Is it worth continuing?

Do your visitors keep coming back? How much of your website do they explore?

Get better results from your website

Sign into Google Analytics and ask a great question.

Google Analytics and a real-life example of how one website drastically reduced its bounce rate

Web analytics takes the guesswork out of improving your website. Right?

WRONG

Web analytics will tell you where to target your guesses, along with your knowledge, experience, creativity and skill, and it will also tell you if they have worked. However, it cannot tell you what to do. But that does not mean it isn’t vitally important to the success of your website.

Here is a real life example of how a bounce rate was reduced from 70% to less than 20% that shows how important using a system like Google Analytics is.

You can see the results, in a graph taken from Google Analytics, below.

 Save Our Savers Bounce Rate

I used to run a campaign called Save Our Savers. Our website consisted mainly of blogs, each blog had its own web page. We used to publish a blog and then tweet and Facebook a direct link to it.

Because we used Google Analytics we knew we had a problem. We could see that most people simply looked at the blog page and left. People were not exploring the site and much of the content was being ignored.

In technical terms we had a very high bounce rate. Often between 60% and 70% of visitors only visited a single page.

I felt that there was more on the web site that they would like if only it was drawn to their attention. There were already big colourful icons below each blog linking to a related blog that might be of interest to the visitor, but hardly anyone was clicking on these.

Having identified the problem, I now had to find a solution.

The most obvious thing I could think of was to give people even more choice about where to go next. So I added some tags at the bottom of the post. Unlike the existing links these would take people to groups of articles on particular subjects.

You can see them in the image below: simple grey boxes which group the blogs into subject matter like “Interest Rates” and “The Economy”.

Adding tags to posts

Because we used Google Analytics, we saw the result immediately. The bounce rate dropped down to under 20% and for most of the next month it stayed below 5%.

Its amazing how much difference a simple change can sometimes make to how visitors behave on a website.

But without Google Analytics you wouldn’t have known you had a problem and neither would you have known when you had found a solution.