How to Make Informed Decisions on Website Development Using Google Analytics in Web Design
February 13, 2021

Today, I’m gonna talk about the importance of using and leveraging analytics to make informed decisions on website design. So, right now, I just have a startup website up. I just wanna show you quickly how to find this out. 

So if you have a prospect or a client that you’re looking to collaborate with, a great way to add upfront value is to do a quick Google Analytics audit to find out some information of what they can do in the future with their website to convert more leads. So, let’s do this.

Download Wappalyzer

So, one: a quick way to do this is to download an extension called Wappalyzer. This will let you find out quickly if a website has Google Analytics installed. So Wappalyzer is a Chrome extension, as you can see here—you can download it free, it’s easy to use.

Once you have Wappalyzer installed, you can go into any website and quickly find out the running Google Analytics. So what I’ll do is, I’ll visit the site, I’ll click the Wappalyzer extension, it will tell me all the technology based on code that’s on that website. As you can see here, I scroll down, I see Google Analytics, then now I know.

So if you have a lead, or you’re talking to a client or prospects, and you wanna find out a little more of their website—and do a bit of due diligence. Again, you can automate and delegate this, and I’ll show you how you can find out they have Google Analytics to make some decisions in the future.

Website Analysis Guide

So I found out they have Google Analytics, great. What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna show you a quick version of our site analysis guide. This is a template, in Google Presentation, that we created, and that gives us a quick bird’s-eye-view that we can send over to the client. And, I’m telling you, they love it because they’re able to see quickly and efficiently what changes they can make on their website.

So I wanna start out with a quick intro: “We took a look at your website analytics... We always like to take a look at your site to create a benchmark.” And then there’s a few Google Analytics metrics that we have to look at.

Client Name

Of course, the client name is here. I’ve taken out some information ‘cause we didn’t want to divulge any specific details regarding clients. But, again, I wanna still be able to show you this and provide some value.

1. Audience

So we’re looking at the Audience, and we try to get a large spread of analytics. They started analytics in 2020, so we don’t have a ton of calculable data, but still gives us a good sense of where we can go from. 

So I’m able to look at overall audience: I can so how many users, how many new users, how many sessions they’ve been on the site. And then my observation here is, “Demographics and interest reports should be turned on to view more specifics…”

So I can see the detailed data, but they have to turn on demographics and interest reports in Google Analytics to get more detailed data. I’m talking about where they’re from, what they like, what they enjoy to do. So that’s a quick thing that they can turn on pretty easily.

2. Location

Next, we have Audience > Geo > Location. I always like to look at the main locations of where the users are coming from and give them those details. That tells me that maybe they can do a specific marketing strategy or content based around that area.

3. Behavior

Next, I always look at Behavior. New visitors versus returning visitors, how many people are coming back to the website, how much time they’re spending—in most cases, they’re spending less time than when they return because they’re coming back for reasons, they have intent behind the reason they’re there, so that gives you a quick tip in that sense.

4. Mobile & Desktop

And then we’ve got Audience > Mobile. Now this is crucial to every website designer, this is one that you should always look at. Look at the audience on desktop versus in mobile.

If they’re spending their majority time on desktop, we want to make sure that you put a lot of emphasis on the design and wireframing when it comes to desktop. Because that’s the experience that most people use. 

Now, again, we all know that there’s a split, right? Mobile is more prominent in this day and age. However there are specific websites that still get a massive amount of desktop traffic, so you want to make sure that you cater to both device types.

So here, we see the desktop is at 2000 hits, while the mobile got 558—and this is crazy, because I don’t see these numbers often. Usually, you see about a 70-30 split on mobile—which is wild to me—but anyway, this is a great metric that you can use. Because now, we’re not just guessing: we’re taking data—we’re using that as people are actually visiting the site—and getting that information back in detail.

5. Channels

Now, another thing I also look at is the referral channels, right? Where is most of this traffic coming from?

So in the case of this client, most of their traffic is actually coming from their sister site. So this is the smaller site, most of their traffic is coming from their other site. That tells me that there’s a great call-to-action for people to initiate to visit that new site.

6. Pages

And then, last thing here is I always look at all pages. I like to look at the top performing 20-30 pages.

Anytime you see a foreslash, that’s the homepage. You know that’s the most likely to bring the most traffic as opposed to, like, resource and blog-based websites that bring massive traffic from internal pages. But ultimately, I like to let the clients know that, “Hey, these are the top performing pages right now, these are the things that we can kinda do to optimize and then clean them up.”

So here are I have the things, metrics, cause this website gets a lot more visits. So with that being said, these all give us more information to make informed decisions moving forward with the client’s site.

Recap

So just to recap, make sure that you look at these specific metrics in Google Analytics: you wanna look at the overall audience data, you wanna look at their location or where they’re coming from.

You also wanna look at their behavior: what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with the site. Also, look at mobile versus desktop, this is crucial, as we know, and does a great job of telling you of where a lot of that traffic is coming from.

And, of course, Acquisition: the channels they’re coming from. Organic search means someone’s typing in Google and finding them. Most likely, it’s a business thing.

Oh, here’s another side note: make sure that—if they don’t have it—you install Google Search Console. Because that will give you more data on a specific keyword that are bringing people into the site. I’ll do another video on that in a few, but it’s a good tie-in for web designers.

And I say this because I think having an understanding of Google Analytics is super important because it will help you make the right decisions in your website design. And not only will you have a beautiful, dope design, but the developments of the site will revolve around information that you’ve taken from this Google Analytics data.

And then, lastly: All Pages. Look at the top performing pages on your site. You want to make sure that you transfer all that content and information over to the new site.

Again, y’all, that was a wrap! I hope you got some value from that, and I’ll look forward to seeing you all in a few.

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