Improve your UX with Google Analytics


Discover how you can use analytics to boost traffic and increase user retention.

Web associatealytics is an implausibly helpful internet style tool once it involves rising your user expertise. The tools have matured and there is most data out there concerning a way to use them, therefore now’s a good time to induce started operating with them.
With web analytics, user researchers will cross-check abundant larger sample sizes than is feasible with a lot of resource-intensive strategies, like usability testing. this will be helpful if you wish to determine a high degree of certainty that a specific style modification are effective before you implement it. Analytics conjointly offers researchers a chance to return up with answers abundant faster than is feasible once victimization in-person activities.

On the opposite hand, analytics information cannot tell you why individuals acted the manner they did. you’ll be able to solely infer people’s intent and you’ll be able to describe what their behaviour really was. Analytics information works best once used because the place to begin for a hypothesis, and is combined with different kinds of analysis information.

When it involves web analytics, the precise tools you utilize ar decreased than understanding what varieties of information they collect and the way to use that information. this text can specialise in Google Analytics, however the data is applicable to just about any analytics tool. We’ll specialise in 2 areas that may be helpful for user research: characterising user behaviour, and inferring users’ intent.

Characterising user behaviour

What ar individuals really doing on your website? looking for this data will assist you during a range of various ways in which. you’ll be able to use it to get potential downside areas, prioritize the areas of your web site you wish to speculate style effort in, construct realistic tasks for usability testing, flesh out personas, add proof to analysis findings and usefulness inspections, or assess the effectiveness of a style modification.

This kind of research generally arises once a business neutral gets interested by however individuals move with the organisation’s web site and needs the wife team to appear into it. It can even be helpful once you are redesigning a part of an internet site and need to assemble data concerning what could also be wrong with the initial version of the look.

Behavior Flow

Behavior Flow
The Behavior Flow report describes the paths that users take across multiple pages of a website

The Behavior Flow report (pictured above) shows however folks move from page to page. it is a pretty sensible answer to a troublesome data mental image drawback. beginning on the left, you follow the ways folks take across pages, wherever they branch off into completely different directions, and wherever they leave the location.

This report focuses on the foremost common ways that individuals take – otherwise, there would be an excessive amount of knowledge to indicate. for many websites, even the foremost common ways still represent a minority of users.

The value of this report is in selecting specific pages and looking out at subsequent few pages that individuals move to. you must explore for people:

  • Going to a page you would not expect: this means probably dishonorable navigation. It suggests it’s arduous for your users to seek out what they are when, or that you just do not perceive what they really wish to try to to
  • Exiting the location in massive numbers: this may indicate unhappiness or frustration, or it may indicate happy users World Health Organization have completed their task.
  • Going back and forth between pages: this may additionally indicate probably dishonorable or confusing navigation, wherever individuals click on a link, decide they do not wish that page, and return to undertake once more

Navigation Summary

Navigation Summary
Navigation Summary shows you what pages people came from to get to a page, and where they go next

Behavior Flow does not show you heaps of detail, and it does not show you ways folks need to your page. the flexibility to envision that pages folks came from to succeed in your web site is effective for uncovering relationships between pages. after you want associate degree thoroughgoing list of pages folks navigate to and from, you employ the Navigation outline report.

For any specific page, the report presents 2 columns listing users’ previous and next pages, and also the portion of pageviews coming back from every page. rather than simply a couple of examples, you’ll see each link folks clicked on to urge to a page on your web site.

Events Flow

Events Flow
Navigation Summary shows you what pages people came from to get to a page, and where they go next

It’s value noting that not each action on a web site takes the user to a brand new page – this is often notably the case with extremely interactive websites. that is why Google Analytics offers event pursuit. Events may be any quite user action you would like to trace with analytics, however they are usually actions that will somewhat be invisible to analytics, like clicking a button that does not take the user to a different page. during this case, you may have to be compelled to do some extra configuration to trace what folks do, and should would like the assistance of a technically minded person.

In Google Analytics, the reports you’d examine area unit union beneath Events. These will tell you ways over and over folks take the actions you are activity, and wherever on the location they are doing therefore. there is even associate degree Events Flow report that works like Behavior Flow.

Inferring intent

Inferring intent
Navigate to Events, then Pages to see the pages users performed the actions that got measured as events

One of the items you will need to find out concerning your users is what they came to the web site to try and do, or what they are attempting to accomplish on a specific page or a part of the positioning. Of course, net analytics alone will ne’er tell you needless to say what users need. What it will do is provide you with proof to make or support a theory.

Tools like Google Analytics give you with multiple ways in which to find out what individuals might wear their minds. observing what pages individuals read will assist you perceive their overall goal in returning to the positioning or what they are attempting to try and do on a specific page.

Looking at the items individuals explore for will be notably helpful, as this provides you with insights into users’ goals victimisation their own words. you’ll conjointly inspect wherever individuals came from to induce to your web site for clues concerning why they set to go to.
Inferring intent from navigation

One way of forming theories concerning what individuals try to accomplish is by observing what they really click on. This approach is not good, after all – you ne’er grasp if individuals navigate to a page as a result of they require to scan what is there or as a result of they assume they require to scan what is there. that is one in every of the explanations why analytics information goes best with different kinds of user analysis.

All Pages

All Pages

Let’s begin by obtaining an summary of what content folks realize fascinating. The All Pages report in Google Analytics shows all the pages folks read, and by default it kinds them from most-viewed to least-viewed. simply viewing the foremost normally viewed pages will assist you perceive what content folks need to check.

However, confine mind that there could also be pages that individuals need to visit, just like the homepage or search results. Instead, specialise in pages that contain info or that allow users do things.

Besides providing proof of the relative level of interest in numerous pages, you’ll be able to additionally see that each one Pages shows you a collection of metrics that offer you an summary of however folks use the pages. Let’s probe them.

Pageviews tells you each time anyone checked out a page, and distinctive pageviews tells you the way several individual folks checked out a page a minimum of once. thus if one person views a page 5 times, that may be 5 pageviews and one distinctive pageview. By comparison the quantity of pageviews for a given page with the quantity of distinctive pageviews, you get a way of whether or not folks square measure viewing pages multiple times in an exceedingly single session or if they have a tendency to look at pages one time.

You can additionally get a way of engagement with the pages on your web site through average time on page and bounce rate.

  • Average time on page: tells you the common quantity of your time that individuals spent viewing a given page
  • Bounce rate: tells you the way many of us entered your web site thereon page, then left while not doing something or planning to another page

Look for pages that have engagement metrics that square measure a lot of higher or not up to different pages or the general average, and think about why that may be the case.

Navigation outline

As well as viewing what content your users have an interest usually, you’ll be able to additionally take a selected page and resolve however folks got there. that is wherever the Navigation outline report comes in. check up on the previous pages and take a look at to grasp why folks could have moved from one page to succeeding.

Inferring intent from search

Another great way of obtaining clues concerning what folks need is to appear at what they hunt for in search engines and on your web site. For program information confirm Google Webmaster Tools is put in properly and connected to Google Analytics. What you will get from this integration is access to what searches brought folks to your web site (Search Engine improvement > Queries report).

Site search information is within the Search Terms report. Feeding information into this report needs a touch of setup in Google Analytics thus it receives the information properly. This report offers you a wealth of knowledge – way more than we’ve house to debate here – concerning not simply what folks looked for, however however they behaved once doing their searches.

In each cases, you’ll be able to get an summary of the particular words folks use to explain their info wants, and also the range of individuals that hunt for every phrase. square measure folks trying to find things that your web site does not have? will the language on your web site match the language folks use? once you perform these searches, will the page you get match what users appear to be wanting for?

Look at the relative proportions of what percentage folks hunt for every phrase. will the proportion of searches mirror however necessary you’re thinking that these topics square measure to users?

Inferring intent from wherever folks came from

Inferring intent from where people came from
You can get an overview of the ways people get to your site in one place with the Channels report

In Google Analytics, the key to inferring people’s intent from wherever they came from is that the Acquisition reports. Google contains a style of fascinating reports during this section similar to the various ways that folks get to your website. every has its own nuances, however with the exception of the Social reports, they add similar ways that. As an example, we’ll take a glance at the way to interpret the Referrals report.


Referrals is an example of the kind of drilling-down you get with any of the channels people use to get to your site

The Referrals report takes solely the traffic that comes from websites that link to yours and shows you what websites they came from. gazing this list of referrers will provide you with clues concerning why folks come back to your website.

The conclusions you draw can vary supported what you see during this list – does one see informational sites wherever folks could also be researching an inspiration, like Wikipedia? or even product review sites, indicating they will be buying something? area unit they coming back from a news website, or a private site?

Look at the proportion of individuals coming back from every of those referrers. however will this match your expectations concerning however users get to your site? This report additionally has high-level metrics that characterise the folks coming back from these totally different channels.

Bounce rate, pages/session and average session length provide you with an summary of however engaged folks are:

  • Bounce rate: tells you what portion of your users come back to your website and leave while not clicking on something, which might indicate a scarcity of engagement
  • Pages/session: this describes however engaged folks area unit on your website, showing you the common quantity of pages they give the impression of being at throughout their visit
  • Average session duration: this shows however long users pay on your website

As before, hunt for metrics for individual referrers that area unit abundant lower or abundant above the general average, and check out to think about a proof supported the context of the referrer. Is it a web log post that links to your website, inflicting folks to checking it out briefly? Or is it a partner company’s web site causation folks over to try and do some business?

Then there area unit goals and conversions. A goal measures whether or not or not users took AN action on your website that is necessary to your business, like finishing a buying deal or language up for AN account. in an exceedingly good world, goals mirror things that area unit each necessary to the business and necessary to users. Conversion rate is that the portion of your users that complete one in all these goals.

What these metrics tell you is what number of your users (divided by channel) either had a decent enough expertise to accomplish some necessary action, or were actuated enough to do. By gazing conversion rate metameric by referrers, you’ll be able to get a way of which websites area unit causation those that area unit in an exceedingly state wherever they are doubtless to require the action you are aiming for (e.g. they could be ready to shop for something).

Part of your analysis could also be to travel to the positioning that is inform folks to your page and realize the link thus you’ll be able to see the context. you’ll be able to verify what specific page the link is on by clicking the ‘Secondary dimension’ button, gap ‘Acquisition’ and choosing ‘Referral Path’. this may break down the list of referrers thus you’ll be able to see what pages folks were on after they clicked on a link to your website.


We’ve solely damaged the surface of what net analytics will tell you concerning your users. there’s an enormous quantity of knowledge looking ahead to you, and therefore the best thanks to learn is by doing.

Make sure you have got access to analytics for your web site, and after you have questions about users, you ought to raise yourself if it’s one thing that analytics will assist you discover. With apply, you will get more well-off and realize that analytics fits in well with alternative user analysis approaches.

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