Let me say that I am not a web site developer but I do understand what it takes to build a good website. I did a lot of UAT testing and my mission was to break the site so the developers would get it right before the release. The other part of the testing was to make sure the analytics tracking was correct.
Over the last three years, I have analyzed and reported on over 100 websites. With my expertise being in Google Analytics I have a good foundation in terms of what needs to be done from the development side to ensure that the analytics tracking is comprehensive and capturing the vital data metrics for any website.
What I am finding is that more web developers are coming to me because their clients are not happy with the metrics coming out of Google Analytics. It becomes a two-part engagement for me. Part 1 is to find out why the developer’s clients are not happy. Part 2 is educating the developer to have a simple understanding of the metrics. Then show them what else they can do in terms of improving the analytic tracking. What they appreciate is the fact that with the Google Analytics development side, once they understand that some small enhancements to the site can increases their billable hours. It is a win win for everyone.
My latest client came to me because he is the developer and his client is upset because the website bounce rate percentage is high. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who view one page on a site and then leave. I call it the one and done metric. Additionally the metric is a good indicator of how engaging the content is on the site. Now when I looked at the site, it is only one page and it is a lead generating site. A one-page website is going to have a high bounce rate because it is only one page because the interactions are limited with the end user.
The site overall has a great professional look at it is designed well. People can find the information they are looking for quickly. Once I pulled the last 12 months worth of data, I was able to give him a simple explanation. Granted the bounce rate is high but the average time on site was over 1 minute. A person is reading the content, and is either picking up the phone to contact the office, going to social media, or going down the page to the contact me form and filling it out.
What I told the developer he needs to ask his client since the site has been live how many inquiries have come is via the contact me form. I suggested to him that he could offer to add event tracking to the site so that every time a person submits the form that click is tracked, and it can be looked at in Google Analytics. I gave him the link to see he could see how to add the code.
Then the developer asked me about the keywords. I suggested that he should offer to add Google Web Master tools to the site so that client can see the organic search queries people are using to find the site. Again, I gave him link to that information.
You want to be sure that at the end of the day your website is tracking the key points of your business. In a lead generation website, it is all about the contact me form and using Event Tracking in Google Analytics to track that click. For keywords have your developer setup Google Webmaster Tools. These small enhancements are not that difficult to implement and they are beneficial. The information is out there and it is provided by Google at no cost.