Over the past several weeks, we have written a three-part series on better understanding and analyzing your Google Analytics data. Today, we’re wrapping up that series with a bonus fourth part (surprise!) focused on comparing your expectations to actual results.
While Google Analytics doesn't allow you look over your visitors' shoulders to see exactly what they like and dislike about your site, you can monitor quite a bit of the visitor experience. One of the most effective ways to use the Google Analytics data is to monitor what your visitors' traffic patterns look like and if they seem to indicate success or frustration.
How Can Small Businesses Analyze Visitor Experience?
- Before you even open a report, map out what you think visitors should be doing on your site. Should they be going from a Google search to a content page on your site, to your subscription window, and then onwards to a download page for a free e-book? Or should the end result be checking out via a shopping cart, or picking up the phone to call you? While you're brainstorming, also create a few situations you don't want to see: traffic arriving at a page with no further clicks or people searching for a string of similar queries and leaving without clicking on any pages. These actions can indicate frustration or that your content doesn't match your visitors' demand.
- Once you map out a few best-case and worst-case scenarios, use Google Analytics’ Behavior Flow section. These pages will show you a variety of popular paths taken by your visitors. Filter them by sources so you can see what behavior your campaigns are driving. You can also sort them by age, location, or other demographics to see what your target markets are doing on your site.
The best way to improve the navigability of your site is to carefully sort out what you expect to happen versus what is actually happening. Using Google Analytics to fill in those unknowns will help you fine-tune your content, define new calls-to-action, and make your site more attractive to visitors.
If you’re curious about other ways to analyze Google Analytics data, read through our previous blogs on Google Analytics for your small business. If you want to know what to do once you have that data, contact us for more information on our web design and search engine optimization services.