Why analytics is an essential consideration for your new website


April 11, 2024

Why analytics is an essential consideration for your new website

You've built a new website but you've no idea if people are visiting or if and how they're interacting with it. So how do you know if you're getting a return on your investment? You don't. But you can discover all this and more with analytics when built-in from the very start.

We just built a new website for a client, and already we can see:

  • where traffic is coming from

  • what people are looking at

  • how long they dwell on key pages

These insights are available thanks to our use of Google Analytics on the site, but it's not just about putting cookies on there and hoping for the best.

Consider analytics when structuring your website

The new site has been structured very simply around the client's core services. The homepage basically consists of four sections, each introducing a service and guiding visitors to further information about it. This is replicated in the main navigation. So, regardless of entry point, visitors can get to what they're looking for quickly and easily.

There are quote request forms on the homepage (which is a generic enquiry form) and each service page (where they are tailored to that specific service).

The structure also lends itself to traffic generation from paid and organic sources at every stage of the marketing funnel (Awareness, Consideration and Conversion).

But it's all been done with analytics in mind too.

Every button click is tracked, and every link click between core content pages too. Scroll depth is monitored, and, of course, conversions (based on the display of 'thank you' pages that are only shown to people who have submitted a valid lead form).

The website structure was deliberately conceived in a way that would make it possible to do this detailed monitoring of how visitors interact with it and, in particular, how effectively it generates leads.

We can tell, for instance, which 'Ask for a quote' button on any given service page elicits the most lead form submissions (top, middle or bottom).

Next, we'll be introducing a set of gated and ungated downloads, and we'll be able to track those as well.

Don't leave it to chance, analytics is a must-have not a nice-to-have

These insights are invaluable when it comes to guiding your strategy for acquiring visitors and converting them into leads.

Take scroll depth as a good example. On the majority of websites we've built and/or manage for clients, we know that, on average, most visitors (about 80%) scroll the first 10 to 25% of the pages they look at. Only around 15% scroll to 90% (this tends to be on detailed, high-value content pages and blogs). Armed with this knowledge, it's obvious that you need to lead with benefits and make sure these are stated right near the top of any pages where you're promoting a product or service so that you answer the "What's In It For Me?" question straight away. 

Engagement time on key pages is another good indicator. If people are spending less than 5 seconds looking at your content, they're not finding what they were looking for or your messaging isn't resonating. If they're lingering for 30 seconds or more, then that suggests they are interested enough to stick around for longer and you can use this to inform your copy and content authoring, making tweaks that grab and hold attention.

When you can see people are engaging with your content based on both scroll depth and dwell time, you know you're on the right track. But now you also want to maximise conversions, and when you build your website with analytics in mind, you can finesse this too by examining which buttons and call-to-action text works best. Going back to the example of our recently built new website, we have some pages with three CTA buttons on, one at the top (within the 10% scroll depth threshold), half way down the page, and again at the bottom. To help us monitor which is most effective, we use different button text on them all. So, the top button says 'Get a quote', the middle button says 'Ask for prices' and the final button says 'Submit pricing enquiry'. This text variation allows us to track button clicks and subsequent form submissions with pinpoint accuracy on any given page, so when leads come through, we can evaluate which button placement and CTA text worked best. Once we've got sufficient data from this, we'll think about maybe ditching button placements that never get traction or shuffling the CTA text around (maybe the text on the bottom button will work better at the top etc). 

All this was considered at the design stage of the website, and informed its structure and the way information and buttons are presented.

It probably all sounds obvious, but you'd be really surprised by the extent to which the analytics is an afterthought when new websites are being built.

If you don't get the tracking right, you're flying blind when it comes to understanding what works and what doesn't.

So, getting a new website built? Make sure that analytics tracking is baked-in from the outset 👍

<All Posts