One of the first tasks I was given post graduation was to make an events page more discoverable on a marketing website. I was given complete and utter free reign of the website and let loose. Honestly, I had never done something like this before so I did what any other sane person would do and Googled.
How I went about it
I read a lot of articles on my commutes and came to the conclusion that a competitor analysis, analytic’s and card sorting would do the trick. So off I set about learning how to use Google Analytics. Thankfully they have an extensive support area and many a people have written lovely blogs on how to retrieve the information I needed. Now I had some data to make some informed decisions.
What I found out during research
Analytic’s revealed that the events page attracted around 700 page visits per week.
I also discovered that there were lots of pages that were only linked to within paragraph copy and suffered poor page views. Bounce rates were high and the user flows weren’t what we expected at all.
I started to track the analytic’s weekly for 10 key pages in a spreadsheet and plotted them on graphs which became my dashboard. Then I set about tweaking the navigation and watched the effect it had on the numbers.
What I did next
Using Microsoft Visio I mapped out the current navigational flow and reviewed the ease of getting to pages.
Then I conducted a card sorting exercise with various team members and displayed this on the wall so it would become a conversational piece for the company.
Now we had a solution for the navigation which made the events page more accessible as it was included in the global navigation and improved access to other pages. However, tweaking the navigation alone wouldn’t solve all the event page issues so I took another look at the customers journey on that page.
The events page itself did not make it clear which audience each event was aimed at. There was several child pages all with completely different branding and the copy across them all varied wildly.
I created some wire frames using Balsamiq and shared these with the team. I asked marketing to review the copy, front end to remove unnecessary pages and design to give the page a fresh look.
Proof is in the pudding – the event page climbed to 980 page views per week and we saw a dramatic increase in other key pages such as small businesses and customer happiness.
What I learnt
Analytics’s is key. Don’t start making decisions without consulting the numbers, but also remember that they are not gospel. Take a look at other influencing factors for example, the blog attracted around 1500 extra page views when the CEO posted.
My tip would be, know your numbers inside out and when there is a dip or increase, investigate. Find out why, what caused it, should we do more or less of this?
til next time