How to create a web design that will work with Google Analytics
Some websites work well with Google Analytics. Some don’t. Why does it happen? Sadly, designing a website that delivers focused results not the ‘norm’ when it comes to most web design today. We all often say about visitors, UX and the results these websites deliver for a business. But web tracking is playing a big role today. So, professional web designers need to understand how Analytics and websites can play nicely together.
Through-out this article, we list a few aspects regarding web design vs web tracking problems. Considering this knowledge will surely make the process easier to set up Google Analytics to drive accurate data.
Starting with the common issues.
Blog on a subdomain vs blog in a directory
Where do you host your website blog? Is it in a directory or on a subdomain? The reason behind it is to track the performance of the content. And according to the analytical impact, it will be easier to measure the account if you know the location of the blog. Otherwise, there will be some analytical work which you need to go through.
Blog in a directory
If you need to know the performance of a blog post, you must visit ‘Behavior’, after that check the ‘site content’, and then see ‘all pages report’. After this, select the ‘blog’ to clarify the filter option. The method will indeed work for a website blog in a directory. It is also helpful for you to track content performance, recipes, jobs, trends, news, products, etc.
Blog on a subdomain
It is helpful when it comes to third party plugins. You can host the website blog on any third-party platform, such as Hubspot. All you need is to get an active link form the primary navigation.
But how is it even related to a web analysis? If you use a blog on subdomain, you will face some issues while tracking those visitors. It will happen, because your users will visit two sites. If any visitor visits your website and then suddenly if the visitor clicks on a blog it seems like the visitor has left your website. A visitor who starts visiting your blog first and then clicks on your website homepage will look like they are two different visitors performing two different actions. And if a visitor clicks on a back button it will seem like he or she is a third separate visitor. It looks bad because you will collect inaccurate data.
To fix subdomain tracking issues you need to create a different view in Google Analytics. Then you need to set the filter so that all complete domains’ traffic on your website domain will be recorded in that particular view.
Of course you can move your blog from subdomain to directory. From our experience it is the best decision.
Also, don’t create your blog on a different domain.
Links vs Buttons
There are some interactions which are difficult to track via Google Analytics.
Off-site link clicks
Anchor link clicks.
It means that you should avoid using links for critical elements, for example, call to action. A button allows collecting data about clicks. So, a web designer has to use buttons for critical elements of interaction on a page.
Thank you pages vs Thank you messages
Your visitor has taken conversion on a page. For example your visitor has subscribed, contacted your sales team or sent a form. WhichProfessional web designers know that a thank you message is a bad idea for goal tracking. Why?
Google Analytics only tracks the page view and records the information while visitors visit one page to the. So it becomes very easy to identify the destination goal when a visitor visits the specific page. To set this you just need to tell Google Analytic about the destination page i.e. Thank you page.
Also, the Thank you page plays an important role as it welcomes a new lead. So, ask your web designer to create a good design for this page.
E-mail addresses vs Contact form
Most of the business sites use email links instead of contact forms. The truth is using contact form is better than using email links. Why?
Contact forms allow you to ask specific questions, to collect data, to filter spammers. But the main reason for using contact form is that Google Analytics can’t track clicks or copies URLs. On the other hand Google Analytics loves to track contact forms. You can set up tracking contact forms in different way
Of course you can put email links with phone numbers on header and footer of pages, but ask your web designer to create a contact form on a contact page.
Pages with URLs vs popups
Content performance tracking is one of web tracking challenges. If you use popups or expandable content areas, you exacerbate the challenge.
Let’s just imagine a common case. A web designer created a page with a list of your business services. Visitors are able to see more details about each service in the popup windows. But in Google Analytics reports you will see only page views. So you can’t identify which service attracts visitors. In other words there is no useful data that you would use to improve your business.
For critical content you should use web design decisions which are trackable via Google Analytics.
We recommend you to read more about tracking events to understand how your visitors interact with the content of your site.
In any case it would be better to create a site structure that will minimize a gap between analytics. Also, if you want to track events to collect the accurate data, your need to contact an expert of Google Analytics before layouts will be confirmed.
The multi-topic page vs a page for each topic
Sometimes web designers will design a website in such a way that all the topics will be added on a single page without creating separate pages for separate topics. Google also recommends to consolidate the content for SEO purposes. But this will harm your analytics.
As we mentioned above tracking content interaction via Google Analytics is a challenging task. So, your web designer should seek to strike a reasonable balance between SEO, content management and Google Analytics. If web tracking is your priority task, it makes sense to create a separate page for each topic.
So, what’s next?
How to create web site design that works together with Google Analytics
See our guide how to create a website design that allows Analytics and websites to play nicely together. This guide is based on F5 Studio’s UI/UX design process.
Set objectives you seek to accomplish in your web design process. You should start from the main goals of the website. It can be marketing goals, sales, customer support. In other words you should understand how a website will help you to achieve your business goals. Then you should understand how visitors will achieve these goals. Think about all scenarios. For example, a visitor starts from the home page, from a service page or from a blog.
Identify an area of focus.
The next step is to find elements of your website which visitors will use to interact with your site. These elements are the content (text, video, files), buttons, scroll, tabs and accordions, and forms.
What kind of action do you expect? Which elements will visitors use to achieve their goals? Are these elements critical for analysis? Will these elements be trackable via Google Analytics? Will it be easy to set up tracking of these elements?
Of course there is no sense to collect data from every element of a web page.
Define your measurements
The data should be measurable and directly relate your design hypothesis. For example, visitors can use two ways to get more detailed info. Visitors may click a button to redirect to another page or they may upload a PDF file. You suggest that users prefer a web page more, than uploading a PDF file. Data will help you understand if you were right.
But you have to be careful about drawing conclusions. Usually website owners use quantitative data (number of conversions). In this case you can use a number of clicks and a number of PDF file uploads. But what about product orders? You need to know, is it fact, that a PDF file converts visitors in customers worse than a web page? In this case you need to use qualitative data to understand why users take the actions they do.
Qualitative data is anything you can’t directly measure with numbers. It tells us what users are thinking, and why they feel a certain way while using your site. Here are some methods to obtain qualitative insights that give context to your results: surveys, heat maps, interviews.
How easy is your website to navigate? Usability is about the user experience when browsing your pages. Objective and straightforward language, besides a precise positioning of buttons and menus, are factors that make a website have good usability. Not to mention that considering the massive use of smartphones and other mobile devices, it is practically an obligation for every website to be optimized for these types of platforms. It is tough to understand analytics. It is why you are highly recommended to consult with professional web design services online at affordable prices.
On corporate and business websites, the conversion rate is an essential aspect of analyzing a website’s performance. It is a metric that can be measured as the number of specific actions per site visitor. For any company, having an attractive and functional website is an essential point. Often, it is necessary to correct errors and trim some edges, always with the objective of better positioning in search engines.