Laughing Samurai - How to Improve UX With Google Analytics

Focusing on UX creates amazing functionality throughout your website and delights user engagement, but success should always be measured alongside your business objectives. Ensuring smooth UX provides a valuable customer experience that will help reduce churn. Effective UX designers should have some knowledge of Google Analytics and be aware of your business’s marketing objectives. A capable UX designer will measure the impact of their experiments and improvements not only in terms of usability but also on event and goal conversions.

Successful UX isn’t just excellent usability; it’s the practice of continually improving conversion rates through that usability to increase revenue and keep stakeholders happy. E-commerce is an essential part of businesses’ revenue in 2020, and it will only become more important and competitive moving forward. Having the proper e-commerce tracking in place will allow you to attribute value, in dollar amounts, to pages on your website and demonstrate an increase in value with improved UX.

If you want to start assessing your design, begin by understanding the usability metrics you can use to measure UX. There is also a free tool that is often overlooked in its capacity to provide insight on how to improve your website’s usability: Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Metrics to Measure UX Success

Analytics reports are versatile and noisy, and you should work with a professional to set up your analytics account to trust that it is pulling and filtering data in the correct way so you know your data is accurate. As a UX designer, there are some metrics to familiarize yourself with; you should know how to find them, what they mean, and how they can inform your UX design changes.

Event Tracking

Event tracking gathers data on the on-page actions users take on your webpage such as clicks on external links, scrolling, or playing videos. A UX designer can use event tracking to test whether a button is working towards your business goals or if an update in the UX copywriting improves event changes. A UX and UI designer should work closely together to make sure that not only the intention of your buttons, forms, and downloads are being met, but that the interactions are technically frictionless and operating correctly.

Goal Conversion Rates

Events that are important to the success of your business should be tracked as conversions. Goal conversions will track the success of a user through the intended flow. Whether they downloaded the pdf on your landing page or signed up for a trial are examples of goal conversions. Our favorite case use is the “success” page, which can measure how many people made it to a success page from a sequence of other pages.

Audience

Knowing more information about your intended target audience (and your actual audience) will help you find the right demographics for usability testing. Analytics can provide you with demographic data including age and gender. You can also segment your audiences to identify where subsets of your audience are struggling with or leaving your website. These audiences can also act as the basis for designing future experiments.

Language and Location

Google Analytics will tell you where your customers are located and what language their browsers are set to. If you run a global e-commerce store, you might notice differences in the way people in different countries pay for your products. You can use this information to improve customer service and make the preferred checkout process responsive depending on user location. Google Analytics also provides data on your user’s preferred languages, which can help inform design and typography.

Devices

You can see which devices your website visitors are using as well as which operating systems they use. As a UX designer, you can use this information to study the drop-offs in traffic or conversions from different devices and operating systems, which might reveal bugs or glitches in the design or functionality. You might realize that improvements to your desktop designs aren’t as urgent because more than 90% of your converting traffic engages with your website on their mobile devices.

Session Duration

Session duration is worked out as the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) divided by the total number of sessions. If a page has low session duration, you can experiment with more engaging copy, layouts, or elements that push the user towards your end goal.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate measures how many people entered your site and then left without engaging with any content. Bounce rate might indicate whether or not the page is valuable and relevant to the end user. We recommend looking at this number alongside other dimensions, such as session duration. A high bounce rate and low session duration means that the content was deemed not valuable enough to the user or load times/layout were off-putting, so they left. Improve the page experience to improve those metrics.

Pathways

Pathways show what pages users landed on and how they went on to flow through your content. You can also see a report for exit pages, where users left your site. If you don’t have access to a usability lab, this can be a glimpse into how users move through your website. Google Analytics allows you to highlight a page and look at the pathways that brought users there; we recommend looking at a page with high conversions and looking at what pathways brought your users to that end.

Secondary Dimensions Tell a More Complete Story

These metrics can be looked at against the primary dimensions in your reports, but you can also include secondary dimensions to get richer data to work from.

For example, you could pull a channels report and select organic as your primary dimension, then include a secondary dimension of landing page to determine which organic landing pages have the best metrics in terms of bounce rate, session duration, and goal conversion rates.

Measuring User Interactions

As a UX designer, you should also be aware of technical page metrics that impact how a user engages with your content. By monitoring page experience with Google’s Core Web Vitals, you can see how Google rates your website on its usability terms, focusing on loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

Knowing how Google rates load times gives you a basis on which to improve your website, not just for the betterment of user experience but also to improve search engine rankings so that more people can find your content to begin with.

Optimizing Your Website

UX design is the ongoing process of optimizing your website to meet your users’ expectations and needs. UX designers monitor and manage the interactions users have with your website through testing and thoughtful design. Google Analytics can be used to provide high-level site-wide insights gleaned from website data, but there are many more tools and skills UX designers will use to measure and improve usability.

If usability is important to your business, understand what goes into creating an awesome website, and keep your business competitive online by partnering with a UX agency.

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