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Evaluating User Behavior On Your Website

Our goal is to build effective websites for our clients that not only look pretty but can actually impact their overall marketing goals and KPIs. The only way to know if a site is effective is to set measurable goals and review the data.

If you’ve worked with our CEO Jesse, you’ll have heard him say ‘What gets measured, gets done!’. We couldn’t agree more and want to share some thoughts, tips and tricks with you to get the most out of your new website. 

First and foremost we start discussing goals for any new site with our clients as we’re outlining the scope of a website redesign project and we circle back to this often throughout the project to ensure we are creating a new website set up for success. If the site is not built to support customers and offer user journeys leading to the actions you’d like them to take, it won’t matter how much tracking you have in place, the results will never be really effective. 

When we finally launch a new website, there are a few items we almost always setup for  goal or event tracking. These include conversions, paid ads, user behavior and top keywords. Conversions typically include things like contact form submissions, downloads and webinar or demo signups geared toward lead generation. For paid ads, it’s important to ensure your ad tracking code is on your website so you can track individual channels and compare their performance in Google Analytics. Some performance metrics for paid ads to prioritize are bounce rates and conversion rates. It’s also important to evaluate user behavior like page views and time spent on pages to ensure site visitors are finding relevant and engaging information. Lastly, keeping track of your positioning for priority keywords is helpful when creating content. Using a tool like SEMRush can help you keep an eye on keywords ranking in the top 20. 

In order to track these items, we recommend using a few different tools. 

Google Analytics

When evaluating your data, Google Analytics is best for comparing your digital channels, identifying top landing pages, and keeping track of page views. It also gives insight into aggregate data such as user device and geography. It’s a powerful tool, it’s free, and it’s easy to set up. 

When comparing data across different marketing channels, you can see where you are doing well and what channels are underperforming. This allows you to take action and stop or fix what isn’t working as you continue to place your effort and resources and the channels that are having the greatest impact.

Google Analytics new report

Heat Mapping Tool

Why use a heat mapping tool? It’s the best visual allowing you to track what users are doing on a specific page of your website so you can hone in user experience over time. Are you wondering which sections of a page are getting the most clicks or holding your visitors attention?  A heat mapping tool like Hot Jar or Crazy Egg may provide the insight you’re looking for. 

Marketers are often surprised when they see how actual users navigate a website. Imagine looking over the shoulder of a potential customer scrolling through your brand’s homepage. This is the kind of experience you’ll get from a heat mapping tool. While you won’t get to hear why a user’s behavior is happening, you’ll be able to see clearly what is most engaging to website visitors and make updates accordingly. 

SolidDigital Blog Graphic Heatmap

Google Optimize

Have a hunch that this one change could make a big impact on your site but you’re not sure you’re ready to spend the time or money fully implementing it? A/B testing with Google Optimize allows you to get statistically significant data before making more permanent changes to the site. This is often helpful to refine small things, like which image resonates with site visitors more or for testing out an update to a small part of the site before making larger changes. 

For example, you may believe moving the location of the ‘Request a Demo’ button on a page will lead to more conversions. A/B testing allows you to test this out on one page to see what order performs better before making a permanent change to the whole site based on a hunch.

SEMrush

Having a solid keyword strategy in place along with creating new relevant content for a site can go a long way in increasing your ranking and visibility on search engines. We love SEMrush which specializes in keyword tracking, keyword ranking and competitor info, to find areas for opportunity and evaluate the effectiveness of the content and keyword strategies we work with our clients to implement.

SEO Dashboard SEMrush

If you don’t have the expertise using these tools, this is where an agency can help. When hiring an agency make sure they have experience with Google Analytics, heat mapping tools like Hot Jar or Crazy Egg, A/B testing tools like google optimize and SEMrush. These tools will provide you with the data and reporting you need, whether or not you do it yourself or hire an agency. These are the tools we use in our Digital Growth® program and find to be the most useful in helping our clients leverage their digital environments to support their strategic marketing goals and efforts. 

If you have a website that is underperforming and you’re not sure why, tracking goals and KPIs should be next on your list.

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