Analytics tools such as Google Analytics are beloved by marketers the world over. But how many web designers and developers overlook this useful software?
Because, when it comes to ecommerce website design, analytics can help developers create much more effective websites. Here are just a few ways that it can improve your design:
Site Overlay in Google Analytics allows you to see the most-clicked links on your site. As a designer, this helps you understand what on-page elements users are attracted to and how they navigate the website.
For example, if you have a right-hand navigation bar, yet analytics shows that these links are rarely clicked, you might want to consider repositioning.
Most pages have a goal in mind - whether it's buying a product or subscribing to a mailing list. However, it may be that users aren't being directed to fulfil that specific goal. For example, you may have a button that you want people to click (such as "add to cart").
Yet, looking at your stats, you find most people are either clicking something else, or leaving the page. You might want to experiment with different colours or positions for the button, checking your reports until you find the optimum layout.
Bounce rate is the amount of people who arrive at a web page then leave immediately. It's a good indicator of the relevance and usefulness of a page. If your bounce rate is high, you may have badly focused web pages. Try adding content relevant to the title, or moving your most compelling offers higher up the page.
Next time you're faced with an argument about whether the red or green button is more effective, you can check your analytics (or set up a split test) to reach a final decision.
This is a side-benefit for any designer that's had to battle with a client's opinion about the look of a site. All website design is somewhat subjective, but when it comes to eCommerce design, it helps to be able to get concrete answers via your analytics reports.