When first designing and optimizing your website you may have to make some assumptions about your audience and your site. But, with time and data collection, you'll be able to take real data to see everyone on your site, what they're doing, and how you can optimize your site to reach your goals.
The Website Design Process
When you decide to design your website, the first question you need to ask yourself is: What are my goals?
Decide early on what the intention of your website is because this will lead to a much more refined experience going forward for your visitors. Whether the end goal is generating leads or just driving in more traffic, there are small details and decisions that go into optimizing your site for what you need it to do.
No matter what your goals are, there will probably be a few assumptions you will have to make about the way you approach certain experiences on your site. Simply put, you just don’t have the information you need yet to make informed decisions. Don’t fret, this is all just part of the process. You have to make design and structural decisions based on assumptions at first because, after you go live, you’ll have the opportunity to see how people are using your site and make changes based on real data.
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Using Viewer Data to Improve Your Site
With your site now live, you can begin to accumulate user data and see how people are interacting with your site and adjust your strategy and structure based on what you see.
What actions are they taking?
How is the website behaving?
Are they getting stuck anywhere?
Are they using your CTAs (or even viewing them)?
You’ll be able to answer these questions with a little help from your software friends:
Lucky Orange: This terrific software allows you to check your site’s user experience by watching how people use the site and viewing helpful heat maps that show where people are directing their attention. This can show you that certain parts of your site are hard to find or uninteresting and learn how to direct people’s attention where you want it.
Google Search Console: Learn how your site is doing on the search engine side of things. Who is linking to your site? Is it performing well? Use this tool to optimize the performance of your site.
Google Analytics: This will tell you about the people visiting your site. Get demographic information like age, location, what devices they used to access your site (like browser, hardware, etc.), and even some of their likes and interests. You can also get a good look at how people are getting to your site (referrals, organic search, social media, etc.).
With these tools, you can take simple numbers and make it actionable data that you use to improve your website. You won’t have to guess anymore. You’ll know if you’re attracting the exact audience that you’re hoping for and if your website is running as well as it should and as you’d hoped.
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