Posted on 21 Feb 2017
In our first Digital Insights post, we examined the overall benefits of using Google Analytics. So, with data about website visits and most popular pages firmly under our belt, we are now going to take a look at how to track and evaluate any changes to your website.
But, before you start chopping and changing things, it’s always a good idea to look at what your users are currently doing on your website and if there are any issues that they might encounter. If you have a call to action or a goal you would like users to reach this should be where you start your evaluation.
What is your website's goal?
Using ICG as an example, one of our key goals is to encourage people to download our company brochure. The call to action is featured on a number of pages and any downloads would indicate people with a good level of interest in our services which we can then follow up.
When someone fills out our form they are presented with a short thank you page with a unique URL.
We can then hop into Google Analytics and look for this unique URL to asses how many times people completed the form. From the Google Analytics reporting screen click on Behaviour -> Site Content -> All Pages.
You should notice that the table below the graph already lists pages by their URL and you can see Page Views as the metric.
If we use the search box we can quickly filter down to the page of interest, just type your URL into the box without your domain name e.g. www.icgonline.co.uk/brochure-download would become /brochure-download. Be aware that if you have lots of pages with similar URL’s you could get multiple results back.
Now we can see how many people are actually reaching our goal page and we can also use the secondary dimension option to see more detail about the people who visited the page such as their geographical location, how they came to the site or what sort of device they used when browsing the website. We can use this data to make informed decisions about how to increase the rate of downloads.
How do I find a page I want to improve?
If you have a page that you think is important to your business, it’s a good idea to first find it in Google Analytics and see how it is currently performing. This will help you make more informed choices when it comes to making changes.
To find the page you need to jump to the sidebar and select Acquisition->All Traffic->Channels and change the primary dimension to “landing page”. You then need to click on “other” just above the table of results.
You can then enter the URL of the page you want to look for into the search bar.
You won’t need all of your URL just the bit after the first forward slash – so if I wanted to find the page www.example.com/testpage I would just need to enter testpage into the search box.
This should give you a graph and a grid of results containing all the pages included in that search; if you are getting the wrong pages then you might need to tweak your search.
If you are happy with the selected pages compare a week or month's worth of data as visits can fluctuate by quite a lot just based on the day.
This will give you some idea of the number of people who are getting to that page directly. If the web page is not performing as well as you would like it to you can make decisions on how to improve engagement by making it more visible, improving the messaging or incentivising users.
This isn’t the only way to track if users complete a desired task; in the next Digital Insights, we will be looking at how we can track actions by using events and goals.
If you have any questions, send them to us via Twitter using #digitalinsights @icgbrandbuilder
About the Author
Richard is an SEO/PPC specialist at ICG who deals with all things data. A self professed analytics geek, he spends most of his time digging through data to help clients understand what they need to know about their online audience.