11 Reports To Analyze When Redesigning Your Website

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Ryan Stewart
January 9 11 COMMENTS

Web design isn’t just colors and fonts – it’s form, function and usability.

Tools like Google Analytics hold hidden gems to inform us about what the proper form and function of your website should be.

By mining the right data, we can understand exactly how to improve a website’s architecture, layouts and design styles.

In this post, I’m going to run you through the 11 analytics reports our consultants analyze to begin the a website redesign for clients.

 

Want deeper insights? Watch the video👇

 

1. Age, Gender and Demographics

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Audience -> Demographics -> Overview
Segments: Mobile, Paid, Organic
Insights: Learn WHO is coming to your website by age and sex. This data can help inform decisions about website imagery, messaging, tone, copy and architecture. If you skew young vs old (or male vs female), it should dictate how your website communicates. The additional segmentation for device and traffic type helps to drive more understanding for how those groups are accessing your website.

Who is coming to your website?

 

2. Country and City

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Audience -> Geo -> Location
Segments: City
Insights: Make a decision about adding an additional language, translation or geo targeted content to your site. If you are a local business, this can also help you determine if you need to create geo fenced landing pages for each of your physical locations.

location reporting

 

3. Device Breakdown

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Audience -> Mobile -> Overview
Segments: Traffic Source
Insights: Helps to inform how to begin your design process, whether you begin with “mobile first” layouts or traditional desktop. While the industry may have you believe everything is mobile first, there are plenty of industries (marketing for one) that do significantly more traffic on desktop. ALWAYS consult your data before making decisions.

mobile reporting

 

4. Traffic Source Overview

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Acquisition -> Overview
Segments: Mobile
Insights: Understand how people are accessing your website. At a high level, this begins the conversation of the type of content we want to build the site around.

traffic source reporting

 

5. Landing Page Analysis

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages
Segments: Secondary Dimension -> Source / Medium
Insights: Helps you to understand the most popular entry pages on site cross-walked by engagement metrics. There’s a TON of insight you can get from this report alone:

  • % New Sessions – by understanding which page types attract new traffic vs returning, we can better dictate the TYPE of content on that page. For example, a blog post generally has a higher % of NEW sessions. This means we’d need to design that page template to clearly communicate what the brand is / does for people with no context.
  • Bounce Rate – measures the% of people who arrive to your site and leave without visiting another page. This can help you understand (at a high level) the quality of that landing page and if you need to revisit content, messaging and layouts.

landing page breakdown

 

6. Content Drilldown

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Behavior -> Site Content -> Content Drilldown
Segments: None
Insights: This report is different than the previous as it shows pageviews as opposed to page entries. This is important because we can truly dig into the quality of a page through looking at 3 metrics:

  1. Bounce Rate – mentioned above what this metric is and why it’s important.
  2. Exit Rate – the % of times visitors leave the site through that page. This is different than bounce rate because this metric only measures sessions with multiple page visits. This helps us understand if key landing pages (i.e. a service page, ecommerce page) is delivering on what the visitor needs. A high Exit Rate on key pages would point to issues with page quality, as conversions should be taking place here.
  3. Avg Time on Page – tells you how long visitors spend on that page on average. It’s important to look at bounce rate in conjunction with this metric, as a visitor could “bounce” but spend 20 minutes on that page consuming all the content.

page dwell time

 

7. Key Landing Page Performance

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages
Segments: Download the data and use Excel to segment pages
Insights: By pulling out the URLs of key landing pages (i.e. service pages, ecommerce pages) we can compare the performance against the rest of the pages on the site. Key landing pages should have higher metrics than the rest (generally speaking).

landing page data breakdown

 

8. Conversion Analysis

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Conversions -> Goals -> Overview OR Conversions -> eCommerce -> Overview
Segments: Age, Gender, Mobile
Insights: The breakdown of who the most valuable visitors to the website are. This can help inform decisions about key conversion elements like forms and sales copy.

conversion reports

 

9. Internal Site Search

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Behavior -> Site Search -> Overview
Segments: None
Insights: If visitors are using internal searches to find what they are looking for, this can inform aspects like content mapping and website architecture to put key pages in more visible places.

internal site search

 

10. Pathing Report

Tool: Google Analytics
Report: Behavior -> Behavior Flow
Segments: Mobile
Insights: Use this report to see how visitors are pathing through the site. This should help to inform elements like navigation to create a flow towards conversions and goals.

pathing reports

 

11. Heat Mapping

Tool: Google Analytics Chrome Plugin
Report: N/A
Segments: N/A
Insights: Since most websites aren’t using heat mapping tools, this free plugin gives you a crude idea of how visitors are behaving on a given page. I like to use this information to dig out what visitors are really looking for on certain pages. This helps to inform in page elements to add or remove (i.e. internal links, accordions, tiles, etc).

click behavior reporting

 

Putting Insights Into Action

I want to run you through a recent client example to show you how we can translate data into concrete design practices.

While I can’t give you the client name, I can give you context on their business:

  • The client: A large national loan provider with hundreds of store locations.
  • The problemA poor performing website with decreasing engagement, stickiness, conversions and organic search performance (mainly due to their poor UX and messaging).
  • The solution: A full website redesign.

Slides 20 through 37 in the presentation deck below are the exact insights and design patterns we created for the client based on the same data analysis outlined above.

Just to drive it home, I want to show you how we take these insights at a granular level and turn them into custom elements.

Navigation

Data insight:

  • Key service pages are not getting pageviews because they are hidden in the footer. The current top level navigation only displays 2 service pages, we should create a mega menu design to facilitate all services into the top level.

Design Element:

  • Mega menu top level navigation

To view more of the insights in action, check out the full before and after designs of the home page (CLICK to view entire image).

Before

before small design

After

home after

 

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Ryan Stewart

Partner at FTF. I have an unhealthy obsession with being considered the world's BEST internet marketer. I'm highly active on social media and love a good debate.

COMMENTS (11)

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  • Avatar Maik Bodden says:

    Really a great summary of some of the most essential things to consider when managing a website. I’m a little surprised about the statement that most sites do not use heat mapping tools, as my experience is that also this tool reached the masses. Maybe the difference by location, I’m Europe based.
    I like the Google tool idea from point 11, is it also available within Analytics itself or only via the extension?

  • Avatar Danilo says:

    Thank you! This was comforting to read as I was implementing something similar for a client. Always good to know I was in a similar page with the best in class 😉

  • Avatar Haris says:

    Hey Ryan, you are my go to guy for anything SEO and Analytics – I’m doing a redesign for a client and created the reports after reading the article – this has given me so much value to help create and redesign my clients website. Wishing you a happy 2019 and keep them gems coming.

  • Avatar Nick deve says:

    It’s pleasure to read Ryan, Pro 11 tip for a designer as well a digital marketer. THANK YOU!!!

  • Avatar Paul says:

    Very nice article Ryan, this goes into the swipe file!

    Small note about the Chrome heatmap plugin you mentioned, it has been deprecated and no longer receive updates (you still can use it now though it seems).

  • Avatar Jandre says:

    Hi Ryan, could you not have published this a year ago LOL. We really could have used this when we redesigned our website.

    Super valuable info, thanks so much!

    Will definitely be sharing it with the team.

    All the best for the new year, I’m planning on keeping a closer eye on the blog this year, that’s for sure.

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