Assuming your site has an Analytics tool in place (e.g. Google Analytics amongst the popular ones), qualitative tools such as Hotjar, Full Story, and the data is accurate, the first step is to analyse the current site data. We need to understand where the friction points are in the user journey and the conversion funnel. To do so, we need to understand users, their behaviour, and what they are looking for on the site.
1.1 Understand the friction points on the site:
First, it is crucial to identify the pages that represent the "weak links" on the website. Most likely, these pages are an open floodgate of lost conversion.
The “Behavior Flow” on Google Analytics report is a good source of information for this step.
Behaviour flow visualises the path a user follows from one page to the next or from one event to another. The reports help you identify the most engaging content on your website but, more importantly, identify problem areas and potential issues (drop-offs).
1.2 Identify the problem(s) with “weak” pages
Next, we need to identify the friction points on the problematic pages. What disturbs the user journey? To be able to answer that, qualitative research comes to help:
Heatmaps provide a visual representation of the distribution of clicks on a specific page. By locating the clicks, we can understand how people interact with the pages and which part of the page they pay the most attention to. Red colour (hot) indicates the areas clicked the most. On the other hand, the blue (cold) areas receive few or no clicks.
Scroll maps are a form of a heatmap that visualise how far visitors scroll on a page. Colour is used on the same principle to represent the most viewed sections of the page (red) vs. the least viewed (blue).
By analysing the heatmaps and scroll maps, we can identify issues in the user journey on our pages and likely find quick wins that will optimise the journey for our consumers.
Session recording is an excellent complementary instrument to have. This tool gives us granular detail on how the users engage with the site by recording their activity. The information can help us understand what goes wrong on the “weak” pages.
Once we analyse all the data available, we can then start creating hypotheses to test!