Web design is both an art and a science. Unfortunately, the two never meet. Usually, the graphics is done in one place and the coding in another and the result is obviously lopsided. And this is not an isolated instance. No doubt you need to do a lot to optimize them. Using Google Analytics to create effective web interfaces is a neat solution.
Analyzing visitor behavior
Assuming that you have many visitors to your website, how do you know what they do while on your site? This would probably remain a mystery unless you use an analytic tool to find an answer. Google Analytics is probably the best tool available today. But understanding user behavior is not an end by itself. You must be able to influence, control, manipulate visitors and ultimately force them to do what you want them to do. This seems a bit too autocratic and you might call me a control freak but to be effective you must exert yourself to the limit. Never let a visitor leave your site without making a purchase is my motto.
The pull of large buttons
I have always believed in the pull of large buttons. While working in a web design company, I experimented with the size of buttons. But before this, I used Google Analytics to understand the pattern of visitor behavior. I found that 80% of visitors left our website after looking at the product descriptions. Obviously there was something missing on this page. I created a lovely big button Click here for an instant discountnext to each product and there were no surprises. 10% of visitors did click on this button. Mind you, 10% was huge considering that we had a big inventory. Of course you can argue that one does not need Google Analytics to understand user behavior. Let me say that nothing is obvious where a website is concerned. User behavior can be quite complex and can have different dimensions. Geographical trends can have a huge impact on your traffic. If you are selling plus size lingerie (made famous by Oprah Winfrey) you can’t target an Asian audience. You need big gals and they come from country of big Mac. With Google Analytics you know exactly where your traffic is coming from. Sometimes you may not be able to do anything but watch the traffic march by, but that’s something you have to live with.
The bounce rate puzzle
I had a strange case where my Google AdWords campaign worked like magic. We had thousands of visitors and out payout to Google bulged beyond our budget. We should have uncorked a champagne bottle but didn’t. Actually we had to stop the campaign because very few visitors bought anything from our website. Once again Google Analytics came to my rescue. I discovered that our bounce rate (visitors leaving from the landing page without visiting another page) was abnormally high. The reason we soon found was faulty web interface. The AdWords ad and the content on the link were not the same. The visitors could not find what they were looking for. We had to redo the entire website and I am sorry to say that things never looked up.
Case for changing and chopping user interface
There is a section of web designers who believe that a website interface should not be changed often since visitors want a familiar environment to feel comfortable. I hold a contrarian view. People get used to certain features of a website and they never explore other areas. This is an opportunity loss for website owners. Once you have a loyal customer, you must ensure that you get the maximum out of him. Customers must be exposed to all your offerings. Google Analytics will reveal which pages of your website are more popular and which don’t get any traffic. You must modify your web interface in such a way that traffic becomes more democratic. This insight can only be gleaned with a tool like Google analytics.
The funnel effect
Ideally, every customer or visitor must be led to the payment gateway ultimate gratification. This is called the funnel effect. The Buy now’ button must be strategically placed so that a visitor finds easy access to it at all times. I have often seen that buyers are frustrated because they can’t find the buy button. Even a small quantity of drop off may be disastrous.
It is simple. Gather visitor behavior using Google Analytics and modify your web interface to make it more effective. Never rest on your laurels. You can do much more than what you have already achieved. There is always scope for improvement always scope for a few more visitors to reach the payment gateway page.
==== About the Author ====
Nitin Aggarwal is the owner of the company Offshore Ally, which is a one-stop source for quality virtual assistant and link building services. He has been blogging for a long time and is no less than an expert on SEO, SEM, technology and social media. Connect with him via Twitter.