The second component of quantitative research, digital analytics, also takes place (mainly) in Google Analytics. There are two goals:
- Identify the most important parts of the site
- Ignore the metrics that don’t matter
Before you dive into the data, make sure your tracking is set up properly. Is the tracking code on every page? Are there multiple tracking codes? Is Goal Tracking recording conversions correctly? Analyzing bad data is a waste of time.
(So is analyzing data that doesn’t matter. Metrics like 'Time on Page' are generally useless because they require a second interaction to record the time—the last page every user visits will likely record a Time on Page of 0 seconds.)
What is the most important action someone can take on your site? For B2B companies, it may be filling out a lead form. For e-commerce companies, it’s almost certainly completing a purchase. A review of your analytics can show you which pages are valuable and which ones ‘leak’ money.
For example, does a sticky bar on the homepage generate tons of leads? It may be worth testing on other pages. Does a particular product line have a high cart abandonment rate? You need to find out what’s causing uncertainty for buyers.
Ultimately, digital analytics should give you a good idea of what people do on your site, and how that compares to what you’d like them to do.