helpful analytics advice for web designers

Why Web Designers Should Know Google Analytics

January 24, 2013 Luke Klum 5 Comments

For web designers looking to evaluate the functionality of their sites, Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool. While many designers are familiar with the application, it is a common misconception that Google Analytics is first and foremost a resource for SEOs and marketers. The fact is that analytics can help designers see how visitors use their site, and where their design can be improved.

Once you know where traffic is coming from, which pages users are landing on and leaving from and which areas of the site receive the most hits, you can start to understand which aspects of the design are functioning well and which require some attention. Google Analytics can help designers to understand who is using their site and how, which user demands are being met and which are not.

The best part about Analytics is that it’s free and available to everyone. But if you’re having trouble finding your way around, this step-by-step analytics guide will soon help you find your feet—in the meantime, for a closer examination of the benefits of Google Analytics for designers, take a look at what you could learn.

Bounce Rates

The bounce rate is the number of visitors to your site who leave without clicking on a single link. There are a number of reasons for this: perhaps your site hasn’t done a good enough job of holding a viewer’s attention, being intuitive and easy-to-use or directing customers to the right place, or perhaps it simply wasn’t what this visitor was looking for. Either way, finding out more about your bounce rates with Google Analytics can be a great indication of the kind of first impression your website is making—and alert you as to which pages might need some work.

Landing Pads

Don’t assume that your home page is the one most users will land on. Less than half your online visitors will arrive by that route. Google Analytics can show you which pages are most likely to be landed on. This allows you to adjust navigation tools in order to ensure that wherever your users enter your site they will be able to find their way around.

Exit Pages

You can also learn where web users are most likely to say goodbye. If this tends to be the same couple of pages then ask yourself why. Keep in mind that blog pages will always have higher exit and bounce rates as your visitors will read the latest updates and leave. However, more strategically placed links, both within posts and around them, could help to hold attention a little longer.

Optimal Conversions

Your goal is to convert traffic into satisfied online consumers. Whether this means more visitors are purchasing products, submitting business enquiries or adding their details to a database depends on your website and the business it represents. Analytics allows you to track your progress with each adjustment you make. What’s more, you can try out different versions of a page using Content Experiments.

Create An Open Platform

Do you know which browsers are most frequently used to view your site? Or which devices are being used? Another great feature of Analytics is that it allows you to see how users are accessing your site. Many people find that this has a direct correlation to the bounce rate. If you can make your site more mobile-friendly, for example, you might see that users are sticking around for longer. Make sure you’re up to date on how to create a mobile friendly site.

Custom Made Data

Google Analytics is all about providing you with the information you need to make your website fly. With this in mind, there are a number of customized tools at your disposal. ‘Information’ is a new feature that allows you to receive notifications when your site is used in a particular way or certain data is gathered. And once you’ve got a grip on the basics, you can start to really play Google Analytics to your advantage by implementing some of these, more sophisticated, customization moves.

Luke Klum

Luke Clum is a Seattle based graphic designer and developer. He’s an outdoorsman, loves alpine climbing and is crazy about earl grey tea. Follow him on twitter @lukeclum

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Comments

  1. January 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm / Reply

    Great article a lot of good Google Analytic advise to follow if you are or web designer or in fact, helpful if you are not a designer and like to keep tabs on what your designer is doing for you to drive traffic to your site.

    I put a small post together that highlights what a site owner can do without the aid of the web developer. Take a peek it is just common sense stuff! here is the link,
    http://iconmatrix.com/how-can-the-website-owner-improve-seo-without-a-webmaster/
    Steve Aquila

    1. Michael Reimer
      January 25, 2013 at 8:33 am / Reply

      Great article as well! Email is very important to help grow your web presence.

  2. January 25, 2013 at 7:23 am / Reply

    I think the other reason to know GA is for it’s A/B testing capabilities. Content experiments, which used to be Google Website Optimizer is crucial for web designers to test different hypotheses.

    1. Michael Reimer
      January 25, 2013 at 8:39 am / Reply

      Good point. Testing out different content scenarios is huge when figuring out what works best.

  3. March 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm / Reply

    It turned out a very important role of analytics. Then if the higher bounce rate, meaning the user does not move to another page?
    Can i share your article on my web?

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