How to analyze your website like a pro? What are the best tools on the internet to boost your traffic, conversion, performance? Website analysis: the user-centered approach.
Almost all web analytics guides will tell you that you can evaluate a site’s performance by performing one or more of these actions:
- Test the speed of the website
- Perform an SEO audit
- Perform a competitor analysis
- Analyze website traffic
They are not wrong and we cover the same practices further down the page. But we believe that site speed, SEO, competitive and traffic analysis only reveal part of your site’s performance.The missing piece in the analysis of your website is to understand your visitors, users/customers, and give them what they came to your pages for so that they don’t just access your perfectly optimized site, but stay there, use it and come back again and again. And that’s where our guide begins.
What is website analysis?
Website analytics is the practice of testing and analyzing the performance of a website in relation to SEO, speed, competition, and traffic.
Any site can benefit from some form of website analysis if the results are then used to improve it, for example by increasing page size to increase overall speed or by optimizing a high traffic homepage for more conversions.
A user-centered approach to website analysis
We all agree that it is important to have a site that ranks well on Google, which is fast and that does not present major problems. We can also agree that it is equally important for your business to understand your competitors and maximize the traffic that comes to your website.
Standard website analysis helps you achieve all of these goals, with one exception: it won’t give you an obvious competitive advantage because your competitors do too. They all have access to the same SEO, performance, and traffic tools that you also use. But here’s another form of information that you can exploit and that is 100% unique to your website: the point of view of your users.
By finding out how they came to your site, what they expect from it, how they experience it, what works and what doesn’t work for them, you’ll get the big picture view you need to create an enjoyable experience for the people who visit your website day after day.
Behavioral analysis for efficient website analysis (heatmaps & replays)
Your users are the extra source of knowledge you need to develop your website and your business: they have all the information you need about what works and what doesn’t work on your website. Behavioral analysis software (such as Madurel) helps you gather this knowledge and answer important business questions, such as :
- Where on a page are people stuck and feel lost before they leave?
- How do people interact (or fail) with different elements and sections of the page?
- What are they interested in or unaware of on the site?
- What do they really expect from the website or product?
Heatmap: a behavior analysis tool
Behavioral analysis tools, such as Madurel heatmaps and session replays, help you understand how people behave and interact with your website. Heatmaps aggregate behavior on a page, highlighting buttons, CTAs (call to action), and other clickable elements that your visitors interact with. Session recordings show you how people navigate between pages and help you discover any bugs, problems, or pain points they encounter while browsing.
Replay: record your users’ sessions
Imagine being able to replay from A to Z the user experience of each of your visitors? It is now possible thanks to the Madurel software, test Madurel for free here. With the replays, each user session is saved in video format. It’s as if you were behind your user’s shoulder when he interacts on your website.
It’s simply the best way to see a visitor’s journey through your website. What they click, where they go and what they like and don’t understand. You can easily replay their sessions and see exactly what they use.
According to Google: 4 other types of traditional website analysis
Traditional website analysis is divided into four categories:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- The competition
1. Website speed and performance tools
There are two main problems with slowing down websites: users don’t like them and, as a result, search engines don’t like them either. This is why speed testing is a second key area of website analysis.
A good rule of thumb is to collect some data about the speed of web pages (for example, which elements are too slow, too large, etc.) and then use this information as a starting point to make the website faster.
There are many free tools that you can use to analyze the speed of a website:
PageSpeed Insights from Google is a good place to start and will show you key speed metrics such as First Contentful Paint (FCP), which is the time it takes for a browser to start displaying content.
Website performance analysis helps you determine whether your site is slow, fast, or average, but it also allows you to diagnose why. You can also test the mobile and desktop separately, getting an overall performance score and a color-coded breakdown of key areas and severity of reported problems.
By analyzing key parameters such as page size, load time, HTTP requests, image compression, and browser caching, you can get the data you need to speed up your site and give your users a faster experience.
2. SEO analysis and audit tools
- SEO analysis takes many forms, and the most common actions include :
- SEO audits on the page
- Analysis of the ranking of websites in search engines
- Linkage Analysis
- Audit SEO ON-Site
The SEO on-page audit helps you check your website for common technical issues that could affect search engine performance, such as missing tags or non-functional redirects. This type of analysis is usually performed using specialized tools, some of which are automated to provide useful suggestions (such as Google’s Search Console), while others are highly customizable and help you perform advanced analysis (such as Screaming Frog).
Analysis of the ranking of websites in search engines
Search engine ranking analysis shows you where your website appears for specific keywords on search engines such as Google or Bing.
Some ranking analyzers will calculate the performance of your website based on a keyword of your choice (such as Serpbook), while others will also show you all the keywords found for which you are ranked (for example, Ahrefs). In general, these tools also show how your website performs in different locations (for example, in the US and France) and on different devices (desktop and mobile phone).
Backlink analysis of your website allows you to know which pages link to your site and with which anchor text, and to compare your backlink profile to that of your competitors. Most SEO tools have an integrated backlink analysis function (Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, MajesticSEO, etc.), but you can also find a list of your backlinks in the Google search console.
3. Competitive analysis tools
Almost all online businesses have competitors that offer a similar product, service or experience to the same target audience. The competitive analysis involves identifying and analyzing competing businesses, quantifying the threats they pose and identifying opportunities and benefits that can be uniquely exploited in your business.
Competitor research is an essential part of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. For e-commerce and online businesses, competitor analysis can be divided into two key questions:
- How do our products/services compare to others in space?
- What are our competitors doing in terms of messaging?
Manual research is an effective way to collect and analyze data about a competitor’s website. You can start very simply by recording some key information and SWOT points on a spreadsheet for easy comparison.
Competitive analysis tools such as SEMRush or SimilarWeb can also help you discover information about the popularity of competitors’ websites (volume of traffic) and how customers find them (source of traffic).
4. Traffic analysis tools
Traffic analysis helps you monitor the volume and activity of your website visitors, and determine the most successful pages and traffic generation techniques.
Knowing where the traffic on your website is coming from, how popular your pages are, which traffic sources are converting best and where you are losing potential customers to the website, allows you to double your marketing campaigns and invest resources accordingly.
Most websites use traditional analytics tools such as Google Analytics to measure site traffic, but there are many popular alternatives, such as Matomo and Open Web Analytics (OWA). However, if you ever feel like you have too much information in front of you and don’t understand what it means? At Madurel, we offer you a clear and simple interface with easy-to-understand analyses.
Discover the hidden activity of your users now with Madurel.