Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide valuable, quantitative information for online businesses, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The story it doesn’t tell — is that of the full user experience. You can see, for example, how many people visited your site, how they got there and what pages they visited. But you can’t see what attracted them to those pages and if they had any frustrations with the usability of your site.
Fortunately, there are services called remote user testing that allow you to get this kind of information. TryMyUI is one example. Tim Rotolo, UX Architect for TryMyUI said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends:
“User tests allow you to actually understand the user interaction with your site. Google Analytics tells you how long people stay on your site but it doesn’t tell you if they stayed because they were reading customer testimonials on your home page or because they couldn’t figure out how to set up an account.”
To use the service, you pay a fee for each person you want to have test your website. You can then select the demographics of your target audience and choose a set of tasks you want each visitor to complete on your site. For instance, you might have people set up an account, find the customer testimonials section, and visit your contact page.
Once they’ve completed each task, they complete a short survey that asks about their experience using the site. Your business then has access to written, video and audio feedback about the true usability of your website. So, if a lot of users were confused about how to set up an account or find a certain type of information, you can take action to fix the issue and make the site more user friendly.
If you use Google Analytics or a similar service, you would only know that someone stayed on your website for a long time or visited a lot of pages. There’s a big difference between an interested customer and a frustrated or confused customer.
Since your website is the online face of your business, it’s important for customers to like it. That means it needs to work properly and be easy to navigate. Rotolo said:
“For online businesses, the user experience of your website is critical to your brand. A negative experience changes the user’s attitude toward you and then they’re less likely to stay, come back, or tell people about you.”
The information provided by services like Google Analytics can still be incredibly valuable for your business. It can be a tool for measuring traffic to your website and for determining your most popular content. But once that traffic is there, it’s equally as important to make sure that your customers have a good experience while visiting your site.
Google Analytics gives you the “what” information — what gets people to your site, what is your most popular content. But services like TryMyUI aim to give you the “why.”