When you improve website UX, you have peace of mind that your website visitors will find it easy to navigate the site.
Excellent user experience is beneficial to you and your traffic. For the users, it means that they can get what they want quickly. On the other hand, the website owner benefits from a better rank on search results, which means more organic traffic and potentially more conversions.
The secret to designing an impressive UX is research. You need to obtain the opinions of your audience so that you design your website to suit their preferences.
Why You Should Use Google Analytics to Improve Website UX
Google Analytics is known for its powerful insights. Although it is mostly used for marketing, you can leverage its inbuilt features to research how to improve site UX.
Here are the top reasons why you should use Google Analytics for UX research.
- Unlike other analytics tools, Google Analytics is free to use.
- It has unlimited flexibility. You can use it to monitor trends, user actions, errors on the website, and many other metrics.
- It has excellent data visualisation tools. After generating a report, you can display it using different types of charts and graphs.
That said, you will need to use Google Analytics along with other tools since it cannot do tasks such as usability testing.
Basics on Google Analytics Tracking Structure
It is essential to have an understanding of the necessary levels of Google Analytics tracking. These are Account, Properties, and Views.
The account is the topmost level of tracking in Google Analytics. It is useful in separating the projects and websites that you are monitoring.
Properties are useful in separating different sections of a single project. For instance, you could separate public pages of a website from private pages.
The view is a lower level of data separation. For instance, you could filter the incoming traffic data to see how it would behave in various contexts.
What You Should Track Using Google Analytics
If you want to improve site UX using Google Analytics, you should know what you want to discover. Here are the tracking features that are critical for UX analysis.
Standard Pageview Tracking
Google Analytics has a standard tracking code that monitors the actions taken by users on your website. It also indicates the technology they are using (browser and device), as well as how they arrived on your website.
The only problem with standard tracking is that it is marketing-oriented. This means that you get superficial insights from it, as it does not focus on user interactions that are your primary concern.
However, you can get useful insights by adding virtual page hits to the standard tracking code. Virtual page hits means that you configure Google Analytics manually by calling a tracking function each time a user performs actions that you want to monitor.
Once you set up your pages, you will get access to a new report called Behaviour Flow. The primary function of this report is to analyse how users behave at specific points of your flow.
The behaviour flow also enables you to see what happens immediately before and after a user perform an action or visit a specific page on your website. This way, you can easily create a sequence of steps that the majority of your traffic conduct while browsing your site.
Another benefit of the behaviour flow report is that it shows you which areas of your website are performing poorly.
Funnels and Goals
Funnels and goals are crucial indicators that monitor the most sensitive data on your site. A funnel refers to the path or series of steps that users take before completing the desired action. A goal is an objective that is attained when the user completes the desired action. In most cases, it is a conversion.
Each view has its goal, meaning that you can have several goals for one website. For example, you can have different goals for your mailing list and checkout page. You should set multiple goals so that Google Analytics delivers detailed reports.
Funnels are more important than goals, in that they have more detail. You can set up to 20 steps for each goal and analyse the performance of each step afterwards. It is advisable to create a funnel step at every instance that users are likely to abandon your website.
After setting goals, you will access additional reports in the conversions section, namely goal flow and funnel visualisation.
Goal flow is mostly similar to behaviour flow, with the difference being that it focuses on the completion of goals. You will see how users are moving through the funnel steps.
Funnel visualisation shows the performance of each step in the funnel. You can easily tell what is working and what is not.
If you want to improve website UX, you have to focus on micro-interactions and other fine details. However, you cannot track them as page views because it would interfere with behaviour flow reports. This is where Google Analytics event tracking comes in handy.
Events in Google Analytics refer to a standalone action taken by users on your website, meaning that you can easily track them without interrupting other processes on your website.
Each event has four properties, namely, category, action, label, and value. The category is used for grouping events, while action gives a specific description of the event. Label and value are optional, and they are useful in tracking text data and numeric data, respectively.
All event reports are accessible under the behaviour section. The most frequent events are listed under the top events subsection.
Timing is Crucial
Although it is usually overlooked, timing is crucial if you want to improve site UX. When you measure timing, you know of users are experiencing problems in your funnel.
You also get to know how long it takes for users to attain their goals, how long an action takes and the slowest pages of your website. Google Analytics has a feature known as user timings that is specially designed to measure how long things take on your website.
You need to specify four parameters when measuring time, namely category, name, time in milliseconds, and a label, which is optional. All timings are accessible under the site speed subsection which is below the behaviour section. If you to see all timings in a single view, you need to set the timing variable as the secondary section.
The five features of Google Analytics mentioned above are useful in conducting UX research. However, you need to analyse the information you collect correctly if you want to improve website UX.
You do not have to implement all these features at once. It is advisable to start with one and continually add the others as you become proficient in using the platform. Get in touch with us for more tips on how to improve website UX and website design services in Singapore.