Google analytics and website design

Analytics can provide enormous insights into what people are doing and looking at on your website, how they got there, what they’re searching for, the software and devices they’re using and a host of mind-boggling data.

Google analytics dashboard

Getting started with analytics

Sign up for analytics, add your own website and you will be issued a piece of code to add to the pages you want to track. Once added, within a day or so you’ll be able to look at all the pretty graphs. You will be surprised – about something, whether that’s because you realise you have no visitors or perhaps you discover that half your audience live in Canada who love using iPads.

If you’re using WordPress use a simple plugin like Yoast Analytics which does the fiddly bits for you and adds in extra tracking.

What has Google analytics got to do with design?

Data and design go very well together. Having decent data to refer to can remove much of the guesswork within design. But ‘what about our new website, we don’t have any data for that yet?’ Well, this is where your friendly local web designer steps in. An experienced web designer can go a long way towards getting it right in the first place, but you need to think of your new website as a work in progress.

It’s highly unlikely it’ll be perfect on the first run, especially if you are running a service where you’re expecting people to carry out sets of tasks.

Getting design right is a long game

Give yourself the best chance of success by playing a longer game and budget for the time and effort that will involve.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your new website is ‘the answer’ – it’s not – yet. If your budget is limited from the start – an who’s isn’t?, do less to begin with, make small changes, test your changes, is it better? Repeat…

Make smarter design decisions

If you are wondering why you’re not selling more of X or why people aren’t signing up for the newsletter, analytics can help you determine why.