Are you tracking your website traffic?
More and more often we take on a website redesign & as such we always look for historical data on search traffic to the original site but unfortunately and this happens a lot, the previous web designers did not apply any form of tracking code to monitor this data.
Analysing this data helps to best understand how the current (pre-build) website is performing, how well it does in searches and how the users interacts with the site and its pages. it give us lots of useful data to help us improve how we present the individual clients services for search engines on the new site.
Google Analytics Traffic Monitoring
There are many many analytic services for websites available but for the purposes of this post I will concentrate on the free to use version of Google Analytic’s for now.
Once set up it will give you information on all traffic to your site, even if you don’t plan on using this data just yet you will still require the historical data for when you do plan on using it to improve your site.
How to set up Google Analytics
Google analytics is not difficult to set up, this is another reason why every web developer should apply it as a standard practice instead of waiting for the client to suggest it.
Go here and create a Google Analytics account, you can use an existing Google account or set up a new account and my advice here is to use or set up an account with a company email, this is useful for keeping all your Google services under one account such as Google + or Google Myplaces for your business.
Account Name – Your business name
Website Name – Use your website url or name
Website URL – Your website address
Industry category – Not many options, choose the option closest to your industry
Reporting Timezone – Choose your timezone
Data Sharing Settings – Read through these options, all are find to choose but you must tick ‘With other Google products only’ as this option is helpful for linking your Adwords PPC account or your webmaster tools account (I will cover webmaster tools in another post soon).
Once complete you can click the blue Get Tracking ID button, agree to the Terms of Service and thats it.
Finding tracking code after account set up?
Sign in to your Analytics account.
Select the Admin tab.
Select your account from the drop-down menu in the ACCOUNT column.
Select a property from the drop-down menu in the PROPERTY column.
Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code.
Adding the tracking code
There is a number of ways of applying this code, you can copy the website tracking code (<script> tags) into the code of each webpage you want to track.
Alternatively if you are using a CMS such as Joomla or WordPress then you may be using a framework which allows you to just simply drop in the ‘Tracking ID’ which looks something like this UA-45678910-1. There are also various plugins to help with this such as the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin.
Hope this helps but you can contact me any time if you run into difficulty and require further help in this area.
If you’re in the process of building your new website or re-designing an existing website, then this post should be helpful to you. I will mostly be sticking to user experience and website speed in this post as both factor highly in achieving good quality search traffic to your website.
There are many companies offering web design but not everybody has an actual web designer, this would be a person(s) that understands the user experience, knows how to design and apply graphical and ux elements and understands how to design a layout centered around the user and how they interact with your site on both desktop and mobile.
With the overall push by search engines (google etc..) for websites to provide the best user experience this area has really become quite important.
More and more recently we have taken over projects started by a ‘web design’ company that cannot or did not deliver the expected results. Mostly this has been down to a badly designed site with virtually no decent graphical elements, poor performance is also an issue but this would usually not be noticed until the site is live.
So how do you know if your new web design company will deliver? One simple way is to look at their current portfolio, how much design has been put into their most recent websites and what is the overall user experience like when browsing through these websites? Do they reflect the industry correctly, do they do enough to push the individual company branding?
Be specific in what you want, you want a high design site that provides a ‘great’ user experience, you want a site that performs at its best and has an advanced suite of SEO practices applied to it before going live so it is performing straight out of the box, you want design elements applied throughout the site that enhance and draw in the user, you want good design choices made in every respect because the site also has to reflect your brand correctly in your relevant industry.