Article originally published on May 4, 2017
When redesigning a website, you’ll find yourself asking many questions: What kinds of changes should I make to the site’s design, content and the technology used? What should I keep, and what should I get rid of? While your website’s main objectives should help you answer those questions, it is also crucial to factor in certain key performance indicators. These 8 KPIs will enable you to plan your site redesign process, and then verify and compare performance after launch.
Track the bounce rate on your entry pages – the first page a visitor lands on when accessing your site. Analysing the bounce rate on these pages will tell you which pages tend to generate disinterest, prompting visitors to leave your site immediately. A high bounce rate should not be ignored. Your redesign process is a great opportunity to improve visitor engagement, and encourage them to browse from one section to another. Read these tips on how to analyse your bounce rate.
By analysing different browsing sequences, you can understand the main navigation pathways that your site visitors take. Repeatedly leaving and coming back to a single page, reloads, and repeated page sequences are all important behaviours that highlight browsing issues your visitors might be experiencing. These sequences reflect potential flaws in your site’s usability: unclear information, poorly positioned buttons, mobile-unfriendly layouts, missing content, etc. Analysing browsing sequences can reveal many areas to explore in order to enhance user experience.
Where are the exit points? Which pages do potential customers go to after abandoning a purchase just a few steps away from conversion? This information speaks volumes about the shortcomings of your conversion process. If the purpose of your site is to generate sales, sign-ups, contact requests or bookings, you must strengthen each step of conversion funnel, all the way up to the ultimate goal. Read this comprehensive article on conversion funnels.
Visits with the greatest conversions
Your redesign process should be built around the top-performing aspects of your site. Through segmentation, you can identify visits that led to a conversion, identifying which key pages should be retained. Make note of the most compelling entry pages, the most common browsing sequences, and the features and services that are most persuasive. In order to achieve your goal, it is just as important to identify these strong points as it is to flag the weaker points.
These are the users who visit your site multiple times throughout the day. If this number increases after the redesign, this may mean that your new site is more appealing. Repeat visitors should be analysed against your new visitors. The comparative analysis of these two types of users (new vs. repeat) will tell you if your website is generating new visits, and if it keeps your current visitors coming back for more.
When redesigning a website, draw inspiration from the pages that are best indexed – those that attract the largest share of traffic from search engines. It is wise to retain the content and structure of these pages in order to improve the positioning of new pages. The rest of your site should also benefit from the quality of these pages. You should create links from these pages to the new ones, in order to make the most of the trust that your existing pages have earned from search engines. Generally speaking, analysing your traffic sources (both organic and paid) will allow you to adjust your SEO and SEM strategies when preparing for the redesign process.
Devices and technical settings
Analyse the technology used by your visitors to get an idea of the ratio of visitors using desktop, tablet or smartphone. Go even deeper by looking at device models, manufacturers, and even screen sizes. Before initiating the redesign process, you should also make note of your visitors’ browser settings in order to test your new pages or new services under the same conditions.
AT Internet’s Analytics Suite allows you to measure and analyse your website’s key elements before starting a site redesign process. Consider creating a customised dashboard to manage your project. Our digital analytics consultants are experienced in performing pre- and post-redesign performance audits. These audits help shed light onto your site’s strengths and weaknesses, and provide valuable recommendations to guide your upcoming redesign process. They also aim to ensure that your new site adequately fulfils its purpose, and that changes made actually improve results.