How to Analyse Your Website Data
If you want to continue to improve your website after creation and/or you’re a novice in the digital analytics sphere, we’re here to help. We’ll take a look at conducting the right kinds of analysis by going over Google Analytics, Moz, Hotjar and Optimizely.
Collect the data and iterate
There are many excellent analytical tools that are available to help you understand how your site is performing. We’ve collected a few of our favourites that you may want to consider using and how you can begin using these tools to get the most out of them.
Firstly, are some definitions that might be useful:
This is the process of converting someone who does not know about your product to someone who is interested in becoming a customer.
A characteristic that can be analysed.
This is the ratio of people who leave your site, without interacting with the site, in relation to the total number of visitors, represented as a percentage.
A lot of marketing is experimenting to find out what works and what doesn’t. A/B testing allows you to simultaneously run different user interfaces at the same time, giving you opportunity to analyse why one approach might convert more than another.
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool that will offer you amazing insights into who your users are, how exactly you are acquiring them, how they are behaving on your site and how well your site is converting users into customers.
The purpose of the audience tab is to reveal insights into who you are exactly targeting with your site. Google Analytics supplies you with several categories of customer demographics including age, locations, and interests which can help you cater your content towards these audiences. These insights are also a great resource for general customer segmentation, assisting in other marketing efforts.
In addition, you can also track how many return visitors you’re receiving, through the dimension of ‘Active Users’. From this data, you can derive:
- How much of an impression your site has made
- How strong brand recognition and engagement is
- How successful remarketing efforts are
The acquisition tab allows you to analyse what channels are bringing you the most traffic to your site, the general breakdown is:
- Organic Search: Search engine results (non-paid)
- Direct: Directly from typing your URL or accessing the site through bookmarks
- Social: Social media platforms
- Paid Search: Adword clickthroughs
- Referrals: Links on other websites
- Affiliate: Paid affiliation efforts
- Email: Email newsletters
Using this data, you can take a look at the channels you should focus on optimising, so that there is even more growth in the number of visitors from particular channels.
The overview reports allow you to see the breakdown of:
- Volume of people visiting your site pages
- Unique visitors to the site page
- Bounce rate (with no interaction with the page)
- Exit rate (includes no interaction and interaction with the page)
Additional valuable insights can be derived from this data. For example:
- Pages with more users visiting may indicate that this is the information that people are looking for.
- Pages with high bounce rates may indicate that information users were looking for was not available immediately or perhaps that the site did not give a good impression.
- Pages with high exit rates don’t necessarily mean problematic areas, it may mean that users have achieved the goal they desired and have left the site.
Behaviour also includes the dimension of page speeds. Average load times overall and per browser are collated. Google Analytics also offers some suggestions to speed optimisations that can be made to improve.
Google Analytics allows you to track the goals that you are trying to achieve through the Conversion tab. You are able to create custom activities your users should fulfill while visiting your site.
This is where you can begin to value the cost of acquisition and return on acquisition by analysing how much your conversions are bringing for your business. This may be more abstract for non-ecommerce stores, but you may evaluate it in terms of other measures, for example – for every 1 000 visitors, I receive $100 in client work after the converted users contact me.
Google Analytics also allows you to drill down on the conversions by acquisition channels, so you also see the conversion rate by source.
Google Analytics is a comprehensive tool which gives an all-encompassing overview of your website performance. Best of all, Google Analytics is free (unless you are looking for an enterprise solution), so it is definitely a missed opportunity if you’re not taking advantage of this great tool. Additional details about Google Analytics can be found here: https://www.google.com/analytics/.
Moz will allow you to track how well your website is faring when it comes to search engine optimisation. The Moz platform offers you insight into the performance of your rankings based on your specific keywords. In addition, Moz will also let you analyse your website to see if you have any onsite issues that may be hampering your SEO, so you can catch any problem points immediately.
Search engine rankings
Moz will allow you to add and track various keywords that you may be targeting through search. You will be able to see your search visibility, which is the estimated number of clicks depending on your ranking position. There is also the opportunity to see how your ranking has improved over time and to analyse data based on device and location. Competitors and how they are performing is also available for your perusal. Needless to say, these are very valuable insights you can use to your advantage for analysis and benchmarking purposes.
Optimise your website for search
Moz also allows you to conduct a scan of your website and lets you know if there are any problems on the site that may inhibit your ability to rank higher on search engines. By rectifying the issues you have found, you can drive more organic traffic to your site.
Moz is considered the must-have tool for SEO management and with the data it makes available for you, this is no surprise. You can find more information about Moz at their website: https://moz.com/.
Hotjar takes analytics to the next level with accurate visualisations of how users really navigate your site, through the use of heatmaps and recordings. In addition, you will also have access to cumulative reports about your site’s conversion overall. Let’s take a look at some of the primary features of Hotjar and how they can help you:
Hotjar offers three different types of heatmaps, each allowing you to understand user behaviour and goals on different devices. Thus, you are able to figure out if your site structure needs to be reshuffled to ensure the best experience for your users.
Click Heatmap – Highlights areas your users are clicking on the most, so you can determine:
- What content are users most interested in?
- What call-to-action phrasings are the most effective?
Scroll Heatmap – Highlights where users scroll to and past, so you can determine:
- Are users missing the most important information? (i.e. Should content be pushed further up in the page?)
- Is your page too long/too short?
- What information is the user looking for (i.e. where people stop may indicate they have found the information they are after clicking away to that page)
Move Heatmap – Indicates where users are moving their mouse for navigation, so you can determine:
- Whether to reduce the amount of movement the user needs to do to get to information?
- What content is the user looking for?
Hotjar also provides video recordings of how users navigating your site. Although heatmaps are excellent indicators of overall behaviours of users, your recordings will provide you some individual case studies you can examine.
Assessing this real life data can allow you to identify trends in user behaviour, revealing strong aspects of your site which convert well and which may need to be improved. Hotjar provides the ability to tag recordings, allowing you to cluster similar experiences together and the ability to record your notes as you’re viewing the recording. These additional tools are sure to help you enormously when it comes to your analysis of the recordings.
Hotjar is also able to collect data related to both page and form conversions. You can dictate a certain path you want to analyse (similar to Google Analytics). By looking at page conversions, you can identify the pages within the ‘funnel’ that you may want to optimise in terms of engagement via content or layout.
Hotjar also offer analysis for the forms of your site. It will present data about fields that may have been confusing, by recording average time and percentages of fields left empty and fields that had to be refilled. You can also track the conversion rate of form completion, with statistics detailing how much of a form users complete before leaving.
Nothing is more valuable than real customer feedback and Hotjar gives you access to tools you can use to collect feedback from users, while they use the site. Hotjar can prompt and ask users to answer polls, surveys, or participate in user studies. Access to this data provides real life accounts and the ability to obtain customised feedback. However, these prompts may distract users from your site, so our advice is to use them sparingly.
Hotjar is a fantastic tool if you are after an easy way to digest website data. Even for the simpleton website administrator, Hotjar is a very visual platform allowing you to easily digest and analyse your website’s performance.
For more information about Hotjar, you can take a look at https://www.hotjar.com/
Optimizely will allow you to conduct effective A/B testing for your website. Its product, Optimizely X, can offer you the opportunity to conduct usability experiments and personalisations, so that you can, as the name suggest, optimise the user’s experience.
Optimizely allows you to change certain elements of your web pages, releasing the variations to randomised users, with some users landing on the original site (Group A) and others landing on your new experiment (Group B). You are able to then compare website performance to the original webpage so that you can assess if the alternative experiment you are running will engage and convert more users.
Optimizely is perfect for website administrators, since it does not require you to know any coding with its simple drag and drop visual editor. In addition, you’ll have the flexibility to choose different options like device, location, etc. to serve your experiments to your needs.
Optimizely X also offers the ability to personalise website content based on different characteristics, like location, behaviour and past purchases. This means you will be able to deliver the right information to the customer, increasing the chances of successful conversion. Like the experimentation platform on Optimizely, you are also offered additional analysis about the targeting efforts. This allows you to assess their effectiveness and modify if necessary.
Using a tool like Optimizely offers a world of potential, you are able to test out your ideas for perfecting your site’s user experience, with data to justify any changes you might want to make.
To find out more about Optimizely, you can visit https://www.optimizely.com/.
Businesses as well as user needs and goals are always evolving, do not fall backwards by not keeping up. Conducting the right kinds of analysis regularly, and evolving the dynamics of your website to meet user needs is extremely important. In order to maintain optimisation for your business you must stay informed and alter your website accordingly to changes.