Part Four of our Deep Dive on Discovery is how to go about Using Data and Insights to Inform Your Website Redesign. The key is staying focused on the end user. We’ll show you how to use Google Analytics and an exercise we call the A-U-D-I-E-N-C-E Analysis to get a full understanding of your user groups for and their specific needs.
Just joining us? Get caught up:
“If you build it, they will come” is not just an iconic quote from Kevin Costner’s film Field of Dreams. It is also an all-too-common philosophy and problem in the website redesign world. The root is often an organization focusing on what works best for their own needs, rather than taking the time to identify and understand the end user.
Designing a website with a user-first mindset can often be an overwhelming shift compared to how things have been previously done. While stakeholders’ and decision-makers’ feedback is key to getting the project launched (see our tips for doing so), you must ensure your site does not deviate from what your user would want.
Google Analytics can help set some baseline knowledge, and conducting an Audience Analysis will truly put you in the mindset of the end user.
Let’s take a look at both.
Look at what your existing website data is telling you. This includes demographic information, behavior, and how users are reaching the site. Google Analytics is a great source of data.
Here’s what you might find.
Demographics: The age, gender, location, technology platform, and more of your users. This data helps validate what you believed to be true OR it can help undercover information about your audience that is less apparent.
Behavior: Understand what pages are getting the most views. See what pages have the highest Bounce Rate. You might uncover that important pages are not getting as many views as expected. It could be that content buried under a secondary or tertiary menu might be what your users are more interested in viewing.
Traffic Sources: Next, a channel breakdown can inform how users get to your site. Not only is it useful to get an understanding of how they got there, but you can also dig into the quality of the user from each source. You may even use a tool such as Google Search Console to understand queries being conducted to find you.
While it is important to have a read on the Google Analytics data, know that it is not the end-all directive for your future site. It’s time to think about your audience, what they understand and perceive about your company, what they are seeking, and more.
Enter the Audience Analysis.
An Audience Analysis is an essential part of the Discovery Phase for any website project. It dives deep into who you are building this website for and identifies their needs.
During the Jake Group’s Discovery Phase, we walk them through our A-U-D-I-E-N-C-E Analysis framework. This guide helps put the website redesign team in the shoes of your user and keeps your organization from adapting “website tunnel-vision.” Having a pulse on your Google Analytics data helps with this discussion.
After walking through your Google Analytics data and conducting an Audience Analysis, your organization will have a better indication of why users are interacting with your website in the first place. Using your new knowledge of “WHO” is visiting your site will help guide your decision of “WHAT” the website should look like.
The Google Analytics data can assist with restructuring your Sitemap to better guide your users to the content they most want to visit. The Audience Analysis tool will help your team make informed design decisions on your homepage and key landing pages, ensuring that your users can easily find action items and highlighted organization information. These steps can often be difficult to analyze, but they are the best way to stay out of your own organizational “weeds.”
Our team at the Jake Group is ready and willing to guide your team through a website redesign, ensuring we meet both your organizational and end-users’ needs. When we build your new website, your users will come!