Website navigation analysis if done correctly, is great for SEO performance, better conversions and enhanced search visibility.
Google provides you with a chunk of cluttered and undecipherable analytical data on your website, but does that data really provide you with the insights to steer the website to your advantage? The primary purpose of exploring the website analytics matrix is to simplify the customer journey analysis as well as the user behaviour analysis with GA implementation for better results. Effective website navigation analysis makes it very simple for your visitors to find what they are looking for and set the search engines crawling with greater search visibility, leading to increased conversions.
How do you actually do it?
You require the following skills:
- Understanding and the ability to infer data from GA, Regex, its segments, sequence and basic web analytics metrics.
- And the use of the below mentioned website navigation analysis best practices.
- Categorize your website
Page level navigation custom reports in GA throw a cluttered list of pages on your site, hindering insights. A product section with millions of sessions may often be overseen by a homepage with just fewer visits, so to overcome these delusive conclusions, segmentation of the website pages into buckets is vital. It’s all about getting the website navigation right for your users to capture their interest and engage them till the end.
Choose the best criteria for segmentation on your site for fewer buckets based on the page type, URL or into any category that suits your business. If you are still sceptical about the criteria, then bucketizing your site based on its classification under the header navigation can be an easy approach. A simple regex would do the trick of classifying the pages into various chunks but make sure that your buckets are mutually exclusive, and no two buckets have same set of webpages.
- Identify the top landing section
Post site segmentation, you need to identify the top landing section on your site. This is simply accomplished by applying page regex on the landing page of the custom reports in GA or use conditions under GA implementation segments to accomplish this. You may need to apply all regex that you formed during the site segmentation phase to know the top landing section. The section with the highest number of landings is your top landing section.
- Identify popular section 2
Here you may need to utilize Conditions and segmentation in GA implementation. First filter out the sessions landing on the top landing page. Then in sequence apply Page Dimension and pass the Page Value that you identified as the top landing page. Make sure that you maintain the dimension as ‘page’ and not as ‘Landing page’ in sequence as GA might misinterpret this but have the value passed as landing page in Conditions.
Under sequence, substitute the regex values that you have noted. Make sure the ‘Immediately followed by’ is selected under sequence. You may need to vomit the landing page value on the second page dimension as GA returns inaccurate numbers for every page value followed by the same.
- Identifying popular Section 3
Post identifying the second most accessed section after the Landing section, in the website analytics matrix, it’s time to identify the third. Substitute the second section value into Conditions and continue substituting the value of the regex. You also should never miss including the value of the first most accessed page i.e. Landing page as users have a choice of revisiting pages. Same as the preceding steps, the page with highest number of sessions in the sequence is your third most accessed on site.
Continue repeating the steps until you cover the average page depth number on your site.
Easy navigation of your website should be of utmost importance for effective customer journey analysis and user behaviour analysis using GA. A creative website that confuses your users, fails to engage them for desired results and causes fall-outs is a wasted effort. Don’t let insufficient exploration of your website analytics matrix, make your website appear unstructured and complicated to the users. Keep it simple and let them keep coming back for more.