7 Ways Google Analytics Can Help Inform Design Decisions
Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher
Paul wrote about ClickTale a couple months back, noting that the heatmaps that ClickTale offers can often provide insight into what content and elements visitors are paying attention vs. what needs improvement. However, if you don't have time or money to get ClickTale up and running but you do already have Google Analytics installed on your current, there are several reports that you can use to glean information that could help inform future UX and visual design direction. Below you'll find seven reports that you may want to take a peek at before starting your redesign process.
- Top Content - identifies where users are going the most and what pages are being ignored.
- Average Time on Site - allows you to view how engaged users are on each page of your site.
- Goal Conversion Data - tells you what actions users are taking and what may need to be made more (or less) prominent.
- Site Search - shows you what users are looking for to help determine whether you might need to make certain content more visible. This could also help you determine if you're even providing the right content in the first place.
- Referring Sources - presents information on how some of your users are finding your site, which might influence their navigation, and what they're looking for. This may even cause you to reevaluate the referring sites and decide that you don't want to be on some of them.
- Map Overlay - illustrates where your users are coming from, geographically, which might influence the decision to include deals, languages, or features for a specific location.
- In-Page Analytics - superimposes data sets on your website as you browse to give you a visualization of how visitors navigate the website. It's not as robust as ClickTale, and still in beta (so a bit buggy), but still worth a try.
Depending on the complexity of your site and GA setup, it could take you anywhere from 1 to 10+ hours to run through each of these reports. But it would be in your best interest to do at least a quick run through of each of these reports before a redesign - you might be surprised at what you find. :)