Why We Advocate Adding Analytics To A Website Due For A Redesign

“Why do we need analytics? We already know that the Website is bad!”

That’s a question we’ve heard a few times in response to a recommendation that Google Analytics be added pronto to a Website due for a redesign. A design of any Website—no matter how dated or clunky—is going to be disruptive to your loyal visitors. Here’s what reknowned content guru Gerry McGovern wrote last year about redesigns:

A website redesign approach is usually embraced by organizations who are reacting to the fact that their websites have fallen into disrepair...[A website redesign] approach is papering over the cracks. The cracks are a lack of resources to professionally manage the website on a day-to-day basis. The cracks are a lack of genuine customer focus, and a lack of continuous testing and evolution.

But if you’re committed to a redesign and don’t yet have analytics in place, adding analytics is a step toward focusing on the customer. No doubt the goal of the redesign is to deliver a more valuable experience for your site visitor. What’s valued now? What do you know to be of value on your site but isn’t being found? These are two of countless questions that analytics can answer as a basis for organizing the information on the new, improved site.

While in search for something else the other day, I came across Data Driven Design: Using Web Analytics to Improve Information Architectures, a 10-page document written by Andrea Wiggins, a Ph.D. student. Wiggins presents the scholarly argument for why we need analytics when approaching a redesign.

If you’re not familiar with the wealth of site visitor information available through analytics, your eyes are about to be opened, and I can say unequivocally that your approach to marketing will change for good. Let's go, let's add the analytics and start learning from your Website user on-site behavior.