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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Web Design is not a conjecture. It is Science.

Web Design is not a conjecture. It is Science.

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainWebsite designs is a commoditized service today. Layouts, frameworks, designs, samples, and even color combinations, has been stereotyped. Almost typcasted are each design specifics for each business types: Ecommerce, Lead generating, Content and Blog site, Photographic sites, Hobby and personal site

Does anybody ever spare a thought on the voice of customers?

Aesthetics aside, everything from layout to font choice should be guided by user testing to ensure that the website is not only pretty but also functioning at its best

It is the result of extensive online tests that we today know:

1.    Serial Position Effect- put the important stuff at the beginning and end – mid page has least eyeball.

2.    Loss Aversion- to significantly impact your conversions focus on highlighting losses than on benefits- losses are more painful than gains are pleasurable

3.       Herd Behavior- People tend to do what other people are doing- Testimonials Rock!

4.       Language processing tests of brain- navigation labels and copy in pages must be easy for visitors to understand. Use common words local lingual. Your business is not what you think your business is but what your visitor – a great step towards right keywording.

5.       Von Restorff Effect- In the 1930’s, German scientist Hedwig von Restorff discovered that when given a list of ten items, people remember items if they are a color different from the others – visual differences, or “pattern interrupters.” can create repeat visitors

6.    Headlines aren’t just the first thing seen on a page, they’re looked at more than anything else. Be careful about headlines – words fonts , color and backgroundSMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public Domain

 

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainAlthough small each of these aspects are immensely insightful to help create a great online shopfront – one that converts.

Not published widely , but smart and forward looking business, does tons of these experiments every day, to know their customers , understand what they prefer and when and  why. 

And there are great tools. Irrespective of business size and conversion rate, every business that has an online presence should considering trying experiments like A/B tests, and Multi-variant testing or MVT.

And these series of experiments and insights form what is called the science behind a great website – very specifically yours, for your business and tuned into attract your target group.

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