Most web designers will have come across Google Analytics, but not all will be aware of its full potential in helping their design work and profit margins to flourish. While, traditionally, feedback from website use has been delivered in terms of hits and sales, Analytics offers designers greater insight into how their sites are used and navigated by consumers.

A Beginner's Guide To Google Analytics

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Precisely how long does a site hold a customer’s attention? Which links receive the most clicks? How many people per day pay a visit and leave without seeing what the rest of the site has to offer? Once you start to receive more detailed reports on user responses triggered by your design, you can establish key areas for improvement, begin to create a more productive user experience, and keep people browsing for longer.

Here are five reasons why Google Analytics can take your web designs to the next level. And once when you think you’re ready to get started, take a look at this step-by-step analytics guide for more information.

1. Check Your Bounce Rate:

Check Your Bounce Rate

A site’s bounce rate measures the number of times visitors to a particular site leave without clicking on a single link.

There are a number of reasons why this can happen:

a) The site simply wasn’t what the viewer was looking for. Making sure that your clients find what they need when they need it is key to pushing the right kind of traffic in your direction.

b) The content did not hold their attention. Look for ways to improve layout and visual cues in order to make content accessible or easier to navigate. Make sure the most important information gets across quickly.

c) They reached the end of a daily blog post. Some pages simply aren’t designed to encourage further clicking. Make sure the site is easily navigable from whichever page it is entered through.

Google Analytics allows designers to check the bounce rate for different pages on the same site. You can track your statistics over time to monitor improvements as you make changes.

2. Encourage Smooth Landings:

Encourage Smooth Landings

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It’s a common misconception that a site’s homepage is always the landing page. The reality is that only around 40% of landings take web users straight to the homepage. This means that every page needs to provide an easy way in and around your site. Google Analytics will allow you to see which pages receive the most landings and organize your priorities accordingly.

3. Reset Your Targets:

Reset Your Targets

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Analytics also offers a comprehensive facility by which to evaluate ‘Goals’ and ‘E-commerce’ results. ‘Goals’ for your site might not be directly related to revenue. For example: getting someone to fill out a customer survey, submit an enquiry or add themselves to your mailing list could count as achieving a ‘goal’ – something that represents fuller use of a site’s capabilities. ‘E-commerce,’ on the other hand, measures sales, how they are made and which routes most frequently lead to a customer purchasing an item. This information then provides you with a toolkit to see how other routes can be promoted and sales increased.

4. Optimize Performance with Content Experiments:

Optimize Performance with Content Experiments

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As well as providing detailed feedback on how your site is used, Google Analytics also includes ‘Contents Experiments,’ once known as ‘Google Optimizer.’ Google Analytics’ Content Experiments allows you to try out different versions of a page in order to see which one performs the best. It’s a great way to try out several versions of a new design or various reworkings of an old one. And along the way you’ll learn a great deal about which kinds of designs work best under which contexts – an invaluable educational tool as well as a performance enhancer.

5. Device Data:

Device Data

Curious to know how many visits to your site came via mobile or iPad?

Analytics can provide comprehensive data regarding the kinds of devices used to access your site. This can be useful in a number of ways. Firstly, you can look more closely at the bounce rates, which could be related to poor performance on phones. Secondly, those looking to build site-related apps, will garner invaluable insight into the demands of their device-based customers. Be sure to give your users equal access to your site, whatever device they choose.