clean up your navigation through analytics

Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in analytics, copywriting, marketing, messaging, web design

Most things are more complicated than they need to be. Navigation is no exception.

You can fairly easily see what links people use on your website using traffic evaluation tools such as Google Analytics. More importantly, these tools can show you which links people don’t visit.

This can help you make informed decisions about revising your navigation, ideally creating the fewest possible meaningful choices for your audience. Making the right choices shows your audience you respect their time; making the wrong ones communicates the reverse. This is another case of “less is more.”

Here’s a fairly simple process that can help you make more informed decisions.

  • If you haven’t already, install Google Analytics or another traffic evaluation tool.
  • Wait at least a ¬†few weeks to gather data about your site.
  • From Analytics, pull up the Content menu and select In-Page Analytics. The page that appears lets you see how people interact with the site either as color (with hotter colors indicating more activity) or as a percentage of total clicks.

Our website makeover process begins with evaluating site traffic in this way. It is not uncommon to see that some links appearing on every single page of a website have been used only a handful of times in a year. A site revision begins with asking why this is the case and then correcting the problem. Let your audience show you the way!