See How Customers Use Your Website and See Where You Can Improve It
We recently ran a free seminar in London for small and startup companies, one of the key points that we discussed was “How do customers use your website, and how can you improve it based on your findings”. Since running the seminar we have heard back from quite a few guests, saying they have put into practice what we have discussed and have already seen some positive results.
I’ll use this post to explain what we covered, and hopefully you will be able to take something away and use it on your own business website.
Firstly, you will need to have Google analytic’s setup and working, I’m sure there’s other tracking software out there but I know Google analytics shows you this data and its free. Its important to know what your visitors do when they visit your site, what pages they view, what items they download and how they generally flow throughout your website, Google shows us this. Although we cant see what each individual visitor does, Google does provide us with enough information to see what the bulk of our visitors do and from that we can work out how we can improve.
Some people I spoke with thought they didn’t need to know this information, that it had no value and they weren’t going to waste their time. With these people we had to show them a live website and how the information is actually useful.
In the example I used a website which had 7 main pages, Home, Service 1, Service 2, Contact Us, Testimonials, About Us, and Blog which had tons of pages but we’ll ignore that section for now. We then logged into Google Analytics and selected a section called “users flow”, this section will show us how our visitors land on our website and which pages they visit before leaving. In this particular example our client had traffic going to their homepage, then going to their contact us page, and then back to their homepage before dropping off. Other visitors would navigate to the blog section, or testimonials before going back to the homepage and dropping off. What was surprising to our client was the majority of their visitors weren’t touching their actual sales/products pages, so this is when you ask yourself why? and how can I change this?
So we know the Homepage is getting a lot of the landing traffic, we then took a closer look into their homepage. Excluding the menu bar they didn’t have many links on their page, infact all they had was a link to their contact us page. They had a lot of text with a few images explaining what they did, and then wrote, “if you have any questions please feel free to contact us”. We then advised the client if they add a few nice banners and buttons which if clicked would take them to their Services/Sales pages it would help convert traffic from their homepage into potential customers. We prefer images, banners and buttons when it comes to attracting visitors into clicking a link, however, from an SEO point of view its still important to use plain text links.
Within a matter of hours they could see that the majority of traffic was now flowing to their service pages, although they still had traffic going to their contact us and blog section, either way they could see a noticeable change. Not everyone knows this section in Google analytics is there, some people have never seen it or even clicked on it. If you already have Google analytics setup on your website then you should have a decent amount of data to look through, so go check it out. If you’re just setting up Google analytics then its worth waiting a day or two for the data to be collected and presented in a useful manner, otherwise you’ll just see the data for a handful of visitors instead of the majority which might lead to your making a bad change/decision.
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