Paul Wackell – Imagine Web Designs
Principal Designer – Marketing Consultant
This is a continuation of the web analytics 101 series. As mentioned in part one, there are lots of ways to configure Google Analytics so for clarity I am using a report we configured to meet the needs of one of our clients, an Interior Renovations company that specializes in Kitchens, Baths and Basements – the report shows traffic data for March of 2010. This series is a high level overview essentially to explain the different parts of the report and what the individual terms mean.
Below is the technical profile portion of the traffic report.
At first glance you may think “why does any of this matter to me?” While this may not provide any insight into the minds of your visitors, or help you delve into new markets, it touches upon the topic of web usability. This information can be quite valuable to your web designer or marketing consultant and as a result by default to you. These professionals can use this information to make sure your site meets usability standards and provides a pleasant experience for your site visitors.
Browser – this is self explanatory – it shows the type of browser that a visitor used to access your site. Why does this matter? Each browser has its own unique little quirks and idiosyncrasies, that result in web pages being displayed slightly differently. Your site should be tested in a wide variety of browsers to make sure it looks the way you intended it to look.
Often, when redesigning a site for a new client, I find that their old site looks fine in Internet Explorer, but it looks quite different in Firefox. The entire layout could be different, text may not be wrapping correctly or images may be in the wrong places, line or paragraph spacing is off or any number of other issues that make the site appear unprofessional. This could mean lost business. For the report we are viewing 22% of visitors used Firefox. Would you risk loosing 22% of potential business because the site wasn’t designed, built or tested for browsers other than Internet Explorer? I sure wouldn’t.
Connection Speed – how does this matter? This plays a key role in what type of media you deliver to your customers and prospects. Nothing upsets web users more than sites that take forever to download. Most people won’t wait, they’re quickly off to the next site on the list! If you have a site (or want one) with a variety of multimedia tools such as video, webinars, audio downloads and more, you best be certain your clients and prospects have the bandwidth to handle it. So this statistic does have some use after all!