Web Analytics

Web Analytics are the quantitative data gathered about a product’s use, which is accessible through software applications to support business decisions about the value of current and existing functionality. While Web Analytics are an excellent method for finding problems with digital products, they are less useful for explaining why users are having the problems. To understand the problem well enough to create solutions, requires the use of qualitative techniques included in the Practical UX Methods website. That being said, quantitative data, such as bounce rates and traffic sources, should be examined as part of any research effort for an existing product, particularly optimization projects.

Some analytics are tied to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a measure of the company’s overall performance, and are typically a focus for business stakeholders. Favorably impacting a KPI, such as the conversion rate, can be powerful demonstration of the efficacy of user experience.

  • Time for the Investigation of a Single Problem: 4 – 8 Hours

  • Web analytics reporting application
  • Collaboration with an analyst with access or reports


Because you may not have direct access to web analytics reporting software, your work may be reduced to asking questions. Here are some good initial questions:
  1. From what other sources — websites, apps, mobile sites, blogs — are users linking to your site? (This will give you insight into users’ goals: a link from a mobile phone app could be an intent to perform a specific task. You might consider creating a different experience for users linking from mobile apps.)
  2. On what pages do users initially land? (This will force you to consider how much information needs to be included on this page to orient a user who has not entered the site through the Home page.)
  3. On what pages do users exit? (This could suggest a problem with the page that requires qualitative analysis to understand why they are exiting.)
  4. What are the most used search terms? (This could suggest changes to element labels or additions to the Search engine’s Controlled Vocabulary.)
  5. What are the pages with the highest error rates? (This could suggest problems that need to be discussed with the technology group.)
  6. What are the relevant device technologies — screen resolution, for example? (Device trends may suggest changes in design emphasis.)
  7. What is the conversion rate? (It’s important to know the trend, and how the business uses conversion rate to measure success.)
From here, you are only limited by your imagination and the willingness of the business to support your investigations.

  • Ask for access to the Web Analytics application. If denied, request available reports. You may be able to request custom reports to support your research efforts.
  • To test options, you will want to become familiar with how the web analytics software can be used for A/B Testing.
  • Voice of Customer is another source of quantitative data.