How to track your web analytics

Website design and development reporting allows you to monitor the analytics of the web traffic that visit your site. I.e. demographics, location, pages visited, etc.

Why do you need to know these details you ask?

Understanding and analysing such elements gives you the opportunity to identify the good/bad and assess whether you are reaching your goals or not. From here, you can make improvements.

For example; if your reporting results show that one (or more) of your web pages have a quick bounce rate (people quickly clicking away from your website), then this would indicate that there is a problem with this page that needs to be identified and updated.

In this article, we’ll break down the six main elements of reporting:

1. Who is visiting your website?
2. Where is your audience from?
3. How are people searching?
4. What are they looking for?
5. When are they visiting?
6. Why are they interested?

1. Who is visiting your website?

A useful tool for website design and development reporting is understanding who visits your website – Google Web Analytics, and other reporting tools take note of the demographics of your site visitors – such as age, and gender for example.

Know your target audience

First off, before you even begin your website design, the first thing you need to do is define your target audience. There is no use in designing without knowing who you’re designing for.

Once your site is up and running and you reach the reporting stage, you’ll be able to use reporting tools like Google Analytics to measure whether you are reaching this target audience or not. And from there, you can make improvements where necessary.

When analysing your reporting results, ask yourself:

  • Is my website attracting my target audience? If not, why?
  • Do people seem to like my website? Or are they exiting out quickly?

Keeping questions like these in mind will help you to understand which elements of your website design are effective and which are not.

Further, if you identify that the demographic you are attracting does not align with your target audience, you will be able to then take action and adjust your content or marketing to better fit your target customer.

Create an awesome user experience

In the end, the purpose of your website design is to attract and impress your target audience; so you should be constantly updating and refining your website to suit them.

During reporting, if you notice that your site visitors are uninterested in certain pages, then you should be improving this. Think about adding more engaging content such as videos, a blog or more capturing imagery.

But remember; whatever you add has to meet the expectations and personality of your target audience. There's no use in adding something if it isn’t something they’ll be interested in.

2. Where is your audience from?

As we’re sure you know, the internet is ever-so powerful, and therefore can track and take note of your web traffic’s location. Google does this by using the visitors IP address on their internet server.

Finding out where your web traffic are based – which country, or even city – is not only useful to your website design reporting process, but is also quite interesting.

Tracking the location of your web traffic will also align with the “who” factor, as you will be able to see if that location fits into your target audience or not.

Location is specifically important for ecommerce websites. For example, if your web traffic falls into the locations where you don’t ship to, then you will be providing an unhelpful user experience which will result in a negative bounce rate and an unimpressed Google.

All in all, the “where” element of web design and development reporting will be helpful in measuring if your content engagement techniques and other marketing efforts are working or not.

When analysing this element, keep these questions in mind:

  • Who (as in which country or city) am I reaching?
  • Does this location fit within my target audience?
  • Do I want to reach different, more, or less locations?

3. How are people searching?

Identify and improve the traffic source(s).

Using web analytics, you can also learn how people landed on your site. This is one of the most valuable and constructive elements that you will find when reporting for website design.

Why? Because this is “how” your web traffic is reaching you. And if you can track and measure the “how” you can strategise to improve this.

Ultimately the purpose of your website is to attract your target audience, correct? And since web analytics tools can help you track this, you can help yourself consistently refine your ‘driving’ efforts – ensuring you attract the web traffic you want.

While reporting, take note of how people arrived at your site:

  • Did they arrive through Google? Another search engine?
  • Were people driven through backlinks? E.g. Social media or an industry partner?
  • Or did they arrive through an advertisement for instance?

Optomise every opportunity. 

When analysing the “how” element, compare and contrast which traffic source seems to be the most popular. Then ask yourself; why?

Figure out if you’re happy with this source, and improve the others – having as many sources to drive traffic to your site as possible is valuable.

Something else that is vital is fitting your “how” with your “who”.

For instance, if your target audience are retirees, it is highly unlikely that Instagram will be a very efficient driver will it? Remember; know your audience.

Continuously improve SEO. 

Another useful web analytics tool for reporting is seeing which phrases are most popularly Googled by your target customer, and which keywords you are ranking the best for.

This is valuable information, as you will be able to analyse which keywords are ranking well, and which are barely searched – and from there you can make improvements to your content to align this with your target audience.

Everything always links back to the “who”!

Triumph for every device. 

When it comes to website design and development, whatever kind of website you have – whether it be a blog or an ecommerce website – you should always optimise your design for every device. Especially mobiles.

As well as showing you which traffic source your visitors are being directed from, Google Analytics will also show you “how” your visitors found you – as in which device they used.

So if you take note that most people are using their mobile, but many of these visitors have a quick bounce rate, then perhaps your website design is failing at mobile-friendliness?

4. What are they looking for?

Progress reporting helps you to determine the most productive and profitable marketing channels and elements of your website design.

Website stats and analytics allow you to see how many people visit each page of your website, how long they spend on each page and the paths they take between each.

So for example if the results show that most (or all) of your web traffic visit certain pages for a long period of time, but click out of others almost instantly – then what does this tell you?

It tells you that some those pages need revised:

  • Is the navigation poor on those pages? (Think mobile and desktop)
  • Does the page lack engagement? Maybe you need more visuals or a video?

“What” web analytics can also help you measure which pages are more influential on conversions:

  • What pages moved on to others? Was there a pattern?
  • Did a certain page influence people to sign up to a newsletter?
  • Did they make contact or make a purchase?

If your reporting shows a high bounce rate for certain pages – i.e. how quick someone moves on – then don’t just ponder this information, use it! Take action and make enhancements to your website design.

5. When are they visiting?

Did you know that Google Analytics can even track the hour of the day and the day of the week that people visit your site?

Having this knowledge is very useful as it will enable you to create marketing and website design tactics for those time periods.

For example, if you know which times your website is visited the most you could:

  • Post blogs at this time
  • Add extra features to your website design at this time
  • Advertise specials or sales at this time

Basically, anything that you feel will both improve the user experience and influence conversion and sales, will be beneficial to add during peak periods, as more people will see them!

This information will also be useful to strategise how to increase web traffic during off-peak times.

Something you will probably find is that there will often be spikes in the morning and the evening – i.e. before and after school or work.

While reviewing the “when” element of your website design, consider this:

  • What time/day does your website get the most web traffic?
  • What time/day does it perform the best for sales or goals?

Something else you’ll probably pick up on is that because many people do their research in the morning and evening, they probably do a lot of this on their commute to and from work or school.

And what device will they be using? Their mobile (or tablet).

This links back to the significance of a mobile-friendly website design – especially for ecommerce websites – as, research and online shopping is often a “time killer” that people do while sitting on the bus, or grabbing a coffee on their way to work.

6. Why are they interested?

The last element of progress reporting to be aware of is the “why” – i.e. the reason people visit your website.

Tying everything together, the “why” element considers whether your web traffic has landed on your site for the right reason or not.

As an example, if you have used generic keywords for your industry you may have issues with web traffic landing on your site and being disappointed because you don’t offer the product or service they were researching.

So, when you’re doing your reporting, make sure that you take note of the bounce rate. It could prove to be a valuable indication that your visitors aren’t interested in your content.

How do you fix this? Updating content and SEO keywords to fit more specifically to your products and services will be beneficial, as it will help eliminate disappointed visitors.

Remember, your aim is to impress:

1. Google: if they notice a negative bounce rate they may penalise you for this
2. Target customer: having happy and interested web traffic is what you want

It comes back to this goal of an awesome user experience – this is Google’s main goal – and it should be yours too.

Use Google Analytics to your advantage and continuously enhance your website design and development. Meet user expectations!

Beneficial outcomes of regular reporting

Success comes to those who take action

If you take away one point from this article, it should be this: take action!

It’s true; Google Analytics and progress reporting is highly beneficial to your business, but it is only true if you take action based on the results you gain.

Remember; an effective and engaging website design is one that is constantly refined and updated.

By reporting on a regular basis – once a month is a good goal to go for – and taking action, you will see business results:

  • Improved strategy
  • Awesome user experience
  • A happy Google
  • Higher conversion rate and sales

And once you have made changes and you see positive growth in your website results, ensure you don’t settle and leave it at that.

Consumer expectations, Google growth and technology development will be ever-changing – so even if things are going well now, this may change.

So, you still wondering why progress reporting is important?

 

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