There is a lot of common website design mistakes made by web designers, I will dedicate a post to each mistake that I’d like to address.
The first ‘sin’ for this series is the most simple to implement but quite an often overlooked feature, especially by ‘newbie’ web designers. This is web analytics, or rather a lack of such a feature.
Web analytics is the study of the behavior of website visitors, in order to improve it. An analysis of the usage patters of a company’s website with the goal of better understanding customer behavior as well as identifying strengths and weakness of the company’s current online offerings.
This may include understanding how many people are visiting a web site, what are the most popular pages, what are the most popular paths, where are people coming from, where do they drop off, how long do they stay, etc.
In a commercial context, web analytics especially refers to the use of data collected from a web site to determine which aspects of the website work towards the business objectives; for example, which landing pages encourage people to make a purchase.
Although this isn’t really design related but it’s a very crucial feature that makes or break a website. No matter how well a website might be designed, it’s a recipe for failure if one cannot measure the website’s performance and effectiveness.
Web analytics is one of the most important features as it allows a web designers to make any necessary changes to a website to adopt to needs and take advantage of visitors’ browsing patterns.
There are many reliable web analytics providers, and most are free of charge. The two that I use are reinvigorate and Google Analytics. It only takes two steps to add the feature to a website, register with a web analytics service provide of your choice, and simply copy+paste the code that they provide you with to all web pages that you’d like to monitor, preferably all pages.
“You can’t control what you can’t measure” – Tom DeMarco
Reports of the website usage must be compiled on regular basis, to measure marketing efforts effectiveness and to highlight areas to amend to improve user experience.