Creating a great user experience (UX) for people who visit your site is important because it enhances accessibility and increases engagement. A good UX also helps you to get visitors invested in what they see, which means that these individuals are more likely to engage deeply with the content on offer – making any purchase decisions easier too! The importance has grown alongside modern technologies such as smartphones, where there’s less space needed per page.
Understanding UX on an existing website will serve to guide web design and layout decisions for a further site redesign or upgrade, and this is where we as digital marketers shift from our creative right to our analytical left brain thinking. By analysing, interpreting, and developing a deeper understanding of user behaviour on our clients’ websites, we facilitate informed design decisions that will serve website customers better.
Using Google Analytics to improve UX
Google Analytics is a snippet of code that web designers and developers insert into the HTML coding of a website. This code is owned by Google and fires each time a visitor enters the website. This code assimilates data about that visiting user so that web owners can better understand their customer (and so that SEO teams can better target SEO and paid media efforts). From demographic to location information, Google has the supreme ability understand your customer through the information compiled on their Analytics platform.
Taking the customer journey
Measuring the user experience by tracking how many pages visitors open and in which order they do so, can help identify what pages these individuals are most likely to go back to, as well as where on the website a visitor might have started their journey. This data provides a sense for whether there’s anything special happening during certain parts of users’ visits that would lead them away from converting into customers.
The Google Analytics Behaviour Flow is a great way to measure user experience. It shows how many pages visitors open and in what order they do so, allowing for an accurate determination on where best suited resources should go next.
Finding the exit point
Google Analytics can help identify which pages people are leaving a site from via the Exit Pages view. If most visitors go to a checkout or signup page, then it’s likely that these are sufficiently engaging for users and do not require any changes in design.
However, if website visitors remain on pages of a website that are strategically less important at transaction level, the takeout is that these pages are failing to achieve their visual objectives. The layouts of such pages should be reworked to achieve a visually less repetitive message in favour of providing critical information upon entry to the page(s) with a clear call to action.
Recognize progress barriers
Measuring the time visitors spend on a website can help identify what they find valuable so that they may be encouraged to stay longer.
Google Analytics tracks the average time spent on every page of a website. By reviewing the time spent, a web designer can identify what’s working and not working, so that all areas can be improved. It is especially insightful to analyse the time difference spent by visitors from mobile versus desktop devices – this will convey whether the current website design is suitable for mobile visitors, particularly for businesses with higher volumes of mobile versus desktop visitors.
The Google Analytics event tracking tool can be used to measure the user-friendliness of website links. For example, if a button isn’t being clicked it might not be noticeable enough for visitors who are using mobile devices or computers with smaller screens; while clicking near an active link by accident may mean that they were looking at something else instead and missed out altogether! By activating events in this way, it is possible to see how many visitors act by visiting certain pages within the site—and then adjust accordingly so all customers get what they want from their visit.
Data-based user testing
User testing provides information that data doesn’t provide, such as which pages users struggle with and why they are having trouble. When performing user tests in person or using heat map tools, it’s helpful to note where users appear to find difficultly in navigating a website so that one can find ways of making these areas less difficult.
The focus of UX is not just design, as many believe. To improve a site’s user experience, the design team should measure what visitors are doing on each page to assess whether they’re finding it easy enough to engage with the content for long periods of time – this will help identify any possible issues that need attention or improvements before users exit a website.
Tools such as Google Analytics are invaluable in developing an understanding of the web customer and in supporting freedom in web design decisions that are mindful towards the audience.