What You Need to Know About Web Design And Analytics

There are certain websites that will work well with Google Analytics while others don’t. During the process of web designs, many decisions need to be made. Some decisions will affect marketing well into the months to come. Even small decisions on web design can have a significant impact on the way in which you use Analytics.

“What gets measured, gets managed.” — Peter Drucker

Are your conversions and goals simple to track?

Is the performance of your content easily measurable?

Can you add in newer tracking tools with ease?

Below is a checklist in regards to ways that decisions you make for your web design can hurt or help your Analytics.

• The Thank You

What will happen after a person has completed a form and become a lead? How will your website thank this person?

Analytics Impact- Goal Tracking

Certain websites do not take their visitors to thank-you pages. Instead they will display a thank-you message that will appear on the page. This can make tracking your goals a lot more difficult. Destination goals are a form of conversion when it comes to Analytics. This is a measure of when visitors reach the URL goal, which is in most cases the thank-you page. These are very simple to create and make conversion tracking a lot easier.

If the website you own does not have any thank-you pages, you can use “event tracking” that will necessitate a degree of programming which is not recommended.

Expert Tip:

A thank-you page is the opportunity to provide other actions or messages to visitors. Avoid making this a type of “dead end” in regards to your website. You should strive to keep your visitors moving in the way of offering another conversion or more content.

• Email Signup Integration

What will happen when visitors subscribe to your newsletter? Will they remain on your site? Or will they land on different pages or domains?

Analytics Impact- Goal Tracking

This is the type of decision that will also affect how simple it will be to track your conversions. It will save time in regards to connecting your site to your email-provider, which will mean each new subscriber is directed into your existing list. This can result in issues.

The first issue is that you cannot make use of destination goals. The visitor has already left your website, which means there is no URL goal. Tracking of these conversions is more complex. According to the Analytics, the visitor left which appears to be a failure and will not be seen as a success.

Web design considerations go beyond Analytics into marketing and messaging, according to a developer that works in a web development agency in Toronto.

You do not have complete control over your thank-you page when it comes to the website on your email-service provider. The email-subscriber “thank-you page” is an opportunity to provide more as well as obtain more. However, if they are sent away then all these bets will be off.

Here are a few questions that you can use to guide the decisions you make on if or how to integrate.

  1. How frequently will you send any emails?
  2. What amount of effort is involved in importing lists of subscribers to your email-system in regards to sending each of these emails?
  3. What amount of control will you require over your Analytics and the experiences that your visitors have?

• Location Of Your Blog

Where will your blog be positioned? Will it feature on a sub-domain, directory or only a completely separate site?

Analytics Impact- Tracking Content Performance

Your URL in regards to your blog content is able to make it an easier task to track the performances of your posts or even more difficult. This decision on your web design has to do with both search optimization and measurement impacts.

Separate Websites like company.blogspot.com or www.companyblog.com

Analytics in regards to blog content can be on a separate account that can skew your traffic sources, the time spent on the website, etc. In addition, this can be bad in association to search-engine rankings, because the domain authority will be diluted in regards to the two separate sites.

Sub-domain like blog.company.com

Even though everything will still be under the very same account, filtering in regards to just blog content in the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages is not easy because the “relative URL” which will be everything after the .com will not be able to indicate what is not and what is blog content. “blog” the word is not the “relative URL” for each post.

Directory, like www.company.com/blog

Using Analytics is now easy. This is because the URL for each post will be inclusive of the word “blog.” Now if you are looking for blog-posts in regards to the All Pages report, you will just have to type in “blog” in your filter box and all of your posts will be displayed. This is also a better practice for SEO, because the links to the blog posts will share additional value with other pages in the domain.

• Everyone On Separate Pages Or On One Page

When you should use sections, long pages and lightboxes.

Will you have a page dedicated for every topic? Or will the website combine various things onto one page?

Analytics Impact: Search Friendliness And Tracking

Designers are always looking for ways to make things pretty and easier. This can sometimes include tucking away certain things into tabs, or having these things pop-up in “lightboxes” or the use of rollovers. In other cases it can mean combining a variety of things into a single page.

Google Analytics works with JavaScript that is generally triggered only once for each page when the page loads. This means that when visitors view a page which combines a number of topics, your Analytics won’t be able to tell you what the visitor was looking at.

Example 1: The website features a services-page that lists 5 services that the company offers. Each of these icons has a beautiful testimonial and written paragraph.

The Problem: Due to the fact that all these services feature on one page, Analytics is not able to tell which service the visitor happened to be interested in.

The Fix: You should have separate pages for each of your services. This means that the Site Content > All Pages report will now show you what services happen to be the most visited.

Avoiding making things complex. Work with web developers and designers that understand the use of Analytics and are able to make the best marketing decisions.

If you are going the route of a redesign, and you are unsure if your designers build the sites that will make the future measurements easier, we suggest that you let them read this article.