Your Website Metrics Have Something to Say

metricsrulers_headerYour website metrics are more than numbers, they are telling you a story about your website. Part of that story is about your information architecture (IA) – what’s working and what’s not. Here are three metrics that suggest a problem with your IA.

Low Traffic

The volume of traffic to pages and sections within your website is the most obvious indicator of how useful or interesting the information is to your audience. Traffic can be measured as the number of unique views of a given page or by aggregating views of all the pages within a section.

Consider this metric in relation to the strategic importance of the content or section to your business and/or website goals. If your site goal is to sell widgets and your widget pages get low traffic, you have a problem.

To dig deeper, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the traffic comparable with traffic to other portions of the website?
  • Are there other factors (such navigation and page layout) that explain traffic disparities? 
  • Does it make sense for users to access the information often?  Sometimes the nature of a page is that it be used only once, or rarely.

If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, then consider reworking your IA to put more emphasis on this important information or section.

High Bounce Rates on Landing Pages

The whole point of a landing page is to drive traffic to the content listed on the page. If users arrive at a landing page and leave without clicking any of the options, something is wrong.

Make sure that the label of links and buttons that take users to the page is accurate. A high bounce rate can be due to the content of the page not being in line with expectations. Also make sure that the page offers content that makes sense for the needs of the user.  Understand what your users want and deliver that on the page (not what you want.)

High Volume of Search Queries

Search queries indicate what people want and also suggest that they could not find it in your current IA. Take note of commonly searched terms from your search engine or and from within your analytics tool. The terms that users search for most frequently might be worth adding or prioritizing within your navigation and information structure.