Ask not what your website can do for you but what it can do for the customer: the role of website metrics in determining website user experience

User experience

“Get closer than ever to your customer. So close in fact that you tell them what they need well before they realise it.” – Steve Jobs

By Elaine Dodge

A customer votes with his feet. Every time. You may have the best looking store on the planet, but if your customer’s experience in your store is unpleasant he won’t come back. The same thing applies to your website user experience UX. It takes no more than 20 seconds for a user to realise nothing on your site makes sense or he can’t find what he’s looking for. There’s only so much patience a user can muster for a site that’s hard to navigate. Website metrics can help you understand your customer’s attitudes, behavioural patterns, constraints, expectations and motivations. They will also give you the information you need to manage these expectations.

What are Metrics?

Here’s the thing though – if you ensure that your website looks good and works brilliantly to provide your customers with a great user experience (UX) – then you can’t go wrong. Because the greatest thing about owning a website is how well it can help you to get to know your customers and ultimately give them exactly what they want.

What is User Experience (UX)?

Whether it’s a department store or an online shopping environment, customers behave the same no matter where they shop. People just love to shop. The whole ‘retail therapy’ experience is what they’re looking for. They want to be entertained, stimulated and of course buy the item they want. If all these needs are met, you’ll have both good conversion rates and brand-loyal customers. On the other hand, if the user experience on your site is a bad one, they’ll look for another site. And they won’t return.

How often a user turns into a paying customer is the most important marketing information that analytics measure. But with analytics, unfortunately, only end results are measured. They aren’t used to evaluate design decisions that have been previously taken, nor to encourage future design solutions. They play no part in the experience the user has while visiting your site. You need both analytics and metrics to understand your customer’s initial and recurring journeys through your brand.

The 7 Things the Marketing Team Looks For

The analytics the marketing team will be looking for:
  • Data on clicks
  • Bounce rates
  • Page views
  • The site’s NP score
  • Visits to purchase
  • Conversion rates
  • The cost of conversion

If this is the only information you rely on you will have half the facts you need. Products or services may not be selling but you may not understand why. It may not be the products that are the problem. It could be the website itself.

The 8 Things Website Metrics Measure

Your problem may be that the site is just too difficult or annoying to navigate. In no particular order here are what metrics measure:

  • Back button usage
  • Data entry
  • Ease of use rating
  • Error rate
  • Perceived success
  • Task success rate
  • Time on task
  • Use of search or navigation

Rather than developing a broad and detailed understanding of how their site is working, most companies capture metrics data very randomly, dipping in and out, sampling when they should rather be feasting on facts.

How can UX (User Experience) Metrics give you the Bigger Picture?

There are three types of website UX metrics you should be paying attention to:
  • Descriptive metrics – these tell us what happened
  • Perception metrics – highlight the customer’s perception of what happened
  • Outcome metrics – what did the customer expect to do as a result of those perceptions vs what the customer actually did

Combining both analytics and metrics gives you meaningful data. Analytics reveal customers’ actions – clicking, scrolling, completing a form. Metrics tells you what they thought and felt about navigating your site.

The bottom line is if you want brand-loyal customers, you need to collect as much data as possible and begin to put that data to good use on your website by creating a great user eperience UX.

Here are some of the tools you can use to analyse your website’s usability:

Now if you still don’t get it right, book a free consultation with 10 Plus Media




Author colleen_l

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