Google Analytics and User Experience

54ca4222a7048Google Analytics as a tool is known for many good things – it has  many cool features, tracks websites, mobile app , can also describe audience, traffic source etc etc, but one  area  where  it really fails its  users is its usability. It really creates a daunting task, to go past  the 90 odd reports and  numerous metrics to identify one  that should be improved or looked into for issues. That’s where data within Google Analytics and the 95 different  reports can potentially paralyze any analytical mind, not to speak of  first  timers.

For  me too, there is  not been a single day when I sit analyzing  with data and wish has  navigation been any easier. However what drives to go past all this and try to decipher  some sort of insight from a number is really the varied ways Google Analytics measures website performance.  If properly set up it can talk a lot  about audience, demography, , sources of traffic  , onsite  behavior, navigation, landing and  exit page effectiveness and  finally what this all means  to business.

google-analytics-metrics1    And all this together give can give a pretty solid idea about experience visitors take away from websites and  mobile apps. Not to forget, a great user experience is often step on to having a  satisfied visitors who also convert .

As a  heavy user of Google Analytics I have  often found several starting point for  further analysis. At several point data poses this question why ? and leads to further analysis. An example would  make thing clearer

Speaking quantitatively one website I had a chance to work with,  proudly displayed a media coverage video in the area above the fold on home page. Often marked as an important landing page the  home page had  numerous visitors. However only 10 percent of traffic actually scrolled below the video or viewed any of the important business information that waited there. Approx. 90% dropped off the website after watching the video. Illustrations above the fold is a great idea but not if it actually ends up driving traffic away. With this clue we  initiated  two modifications. 1. Replaced the video with a  sliding  image and added calls to actions , business info , one liners on the images . Result was not surprising – we helped visiting traffic navigate easily .But more interestingly these raised enquiry, conversions and utilize the most populous area of the website without fiddling much with the  aesthetics.

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