Welcome back to part 2 of our Usability Testing series. Hopefully you’ve spent some time identifying your website’s goals, collecting data, and recording user interactions with your website. If you actually have been looking at the user data you’ve been collecting (and not binge-watching Season 3 of Narcos) you may actually find it a little bit daunting. Google Analytics is a powerhouse full of numbers and graphs which are difficult to translate into user actions, while HotJar just feels like you’re watching a bunch of small children wiggle the cursor around clicking on random things on your website seemingly with the only goal to confuse you.

Here’s a few tips on what to look for when you analyze the data from Google Analytics:

Site Search – this was mentioned in Part 1 and worth mentioning again. Hopefully this is properly configured in GA because it tells you exactly what people typed into your website’s internal search. You can use this as a gauge to see what users are either trying to find or trying to get to quickly. If you find your eCommerce site has a large number of people are searching for a specific item, it could mean that you may have a problem with your site’s navigation or it’s just plain too difficult to find. This is where Hotjar comes in handy and can back up your theories.

Behavior Flow – this was another aspect mentioned in part 1. This is a visual and interactive representation of your user’s interaction paths while browsing your site. It shows you where users first landed on your website and where they dropped off. Look for pages where there is a large drop off of users. Collaborate with your recordings to see if you can identify why.

Site Content > All Pages – take a look at Bounce Rate, Entrances, and % Exits in this view. Single out which pages have high bounce rates and high percentages of Exits. Ask yourself why people may be bouncing and exiting from these pages.

In HotJar, watch as many recordings as you can stomach. It can be tough watching so many back to back to back so take notes and be sure to write down anything interesting that happens. What you’re keeping your eye out for are patterns.

Are you noticing a lot of users “hunting” for something specific? Do they seem like they’re lost?

This is a telltale sign of issues with your navigation and possibly they layout of your site. Nowadays, most websites are developed, designed, and built with the Buyer’s Journey in mind. It’s picked up a lot popularity the past few years with most sites incorporating this InBound marketing technique. If your site is older than a few years or was built without your customer’s buyer journey in mind, then your navigation may need some work.

Are they exiting the site after reaching a particular page/s?

If the pages you found that your Analytics data collaborates with your HotJar recordings, pay close attention to what those users were doing about could have possibly been looking for.

Are users they abandoning carts during checkout or not filling out forms on your site after partially filling them out? Are users abandoning the cart/form at a certain step?

You want the customer checkout process to go as quickly and be as short as possible. You don’t want to give them time to second guess their purchase. Offer customer to checkout as a guest rather than forcing them to make an account if it’s their first time. For mobile users make sure the numerical keyboard pops up when entering number only fields (credit card numbers, zip codes, phone numbers). Give the users a progress bar so they can see how far in the checkout process they are. Give them the option to save their cart to continue shopping/checking out later. They’ll appreciate all these small optimizations.

Are users leaving your site due to slow load times?

If you’ve noticed that people are leaving your site after waiting a long time for pages to load, then it may be time to speak to your hosting company or your developers to optimize the speed of your site. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to leverage here. It scans your site and finds optimizations which you can forward to your developers. Just remember, the longer a page takes to load, the chance of users giving up and going elsewhere goes up exponentially. Google judges their mobile speeds based on 3G standards, not LTE. Keep that in mind when testing mobile speeds.

These are ideas just to get your critical thinking juices flowing. Every website is going to be unique and have different needs, goals, products, and customers.

What Part 2 boils down to is actually very simple: Take all your raw data and translate it into actionable items. Keep asking yourself, “How can I make this experience easier for my customers?” A lot of times it’s as simple as getting out of your own way.

Many websites utilize Google Analytics to capture, process, configure, and report on their website traffic and metrics. In 2012, Google launched Tag Manager- “a free tool that consolidates your website tags with a single snippet of code and lets you manage everything from a web interface.” This versatile tagging tool enables you to easily add and update your own tags, without major website development work or manual code changes. Integrating both Google Analytics and Tag Manager across your website allows you to manage and optimize your website traffic more efficiently.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be “tagging” along:

1) Your Wallet Will Thank You

Money

The best part about Google Tag Manager (similarly with Google Analytics) is it’s FREE! Google Tag Manager offers many features such as Tag Technology, Usability, User Permissions and Accounts, Tag Firing Rules, and Supported Tags, all at no cost and ready to use. Implementing Google Tag Manager across your website reduces the hassle of tedious and manual code editing. It allows your marketing team members to add and update tags on the website- JavaScript code snippets, web analytics, remarketing, third party integrations, to name a few. Before Google Tag Manager, webmasters had to pay for these types of services and features, the best things in life are free!

2) The Need for Speed

speed

Before Google Tag Manager, you would have to update your website tracking and tagging through hard-coding, which is time consuming. Now, marketers can maintain and manage all the tags, and increase their website tracking efficiency. There are many websites that need various tags implemented in the code to deliver key data insights, these tags may clutter the website- which can affect the page speed and likely cause user experience issues. Google Tag manager replaces all of your tracking and marketing tags with a single, asynchronously loading tag (code snippet placed on your web page’s HTML), this tag will help your page speed because it fires faster without disrupting your site.

3) Easy Peasy

It's easy

Google Tag Manager works as a central hub to easily add and manage tags, set when and where they should fire, and optimize (based on specific rules you set). This user-friendly web interface tool allows you make changes to your tags whenever you want, without rewriting or editing the code on your website. You can control who has access and user permissions to ensure no one will publish a tag that could break the site. Google Tag Manager also has a feature called workspaces, which allows you to create “multiple and differing sets of changes to your container. Different users and teams can work on these sets of changes in separate workspaces to independently develop and test tag configurations.”

4) Sneak Peek Before You Publish

Sneak peek

To verify that your tags and triggers are firing properly, Google Tag Manager has a feature called Preview and Debug. This allows you to view your website and inspect what tags are fired, as if your drafted tags were deployed. Once you enable the preview mode and load your website, a debugger pane will be displayed to show you which tags are fired, and the order in which it was fired. In addition, you can also view the event tags you’ve fired within the Real-Time reports in your Google Analytics account, to validate that the tags are firing properly. But don’t worry, since you have not published the tags, it will not skew your data.

5) Migrate Without the Migraines

Migraine

If your website only has Google Analytics implemented, and you want to board the Google Tag Manager train, you can migrate with little work. Here are steps you would need to follow:

Google Tag Manager is a powerful tool that should be implemented across your website. This free tool reduces manual development work, increases tagging efficiency, and maximizes your time to optimize your website. So get tagging!