When redesigning a website, it’s a good idea to make sure that you understand how people are using the site.
Often, data will help you prioritize problems that you suspect exist. But sometimes, the numbers yield unexpected results, highlighting challenges or opportunities that you didn’t know were there.
Combined with results of the survey, our website analytics data will help us prioritize and design a better Coop website for members, prospective members and the general public.
What do people use the website for today?
The basic unit of measurement used to evaluate website traffic is the page view: a single page on a website loaded once at a point in time.
In general, the more views a page has, the more important it is to visitors to your site.
Over half (51.8 percent) of the Coop’s web traffic goes to the home page, produce price list and shift swap pages.
Another 7.9 percent of traffic is related to squads (times, rotation calendar, etc). It makes sense that the pages that visitors reference most frequently often involve the workings of the Coop, and it’s a reminder that these pages are crucial to the success of our new site.
How do people arrive at foodcoop.com?
Another important metric: which pages are the first that visitors arrive at (called a landing page).
Examining the top landing pages on the site reveals something unexpected: while it’s no surprise that the home page is the most common landing page, the produce price list has almost as many landing page visits as the home page!
While it’s tempting to conclude that many people have bookmarked the price list and refer back to it often, only 9.3 percent of visitors come to the page directly – the rest are coming through search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Digging further and looking at the keywords that searchers use to arrive at the page, many of the terms were generic, including “price of lettuce” and “cost of carrots.”
If you search for these terms in a fresh browser (Google personalizes your results based on your history, so it’s not representative unless you sign out and clear your browser’s cookies), the Coop’s price list is the first result for many of these terms.
This partly explains why the page gets so much traffic: people looking for a reference point on produce pricing (most likely not even Coop members) are visiting our site via the produce price list.
They’re sadly most likely going to be sorely disappointed to not find the Coop’s amazing prices when they go out to shop, but this page could be an opportunity to engage with the broader public in the future.
How does foodcoop.com analytics data compare to survey data?
By and large, the results of the survey align with the analytics data:
As with the website data, survey respondents cited shift-related info and the produce price list among the top reasons that members go to foodcoop.com.
Yet one difference stands out: the No. 1 reason that members indicated they visit the site is for hours and contact information, but those two pages account for just 3.2 percent of page views.
One possible explanation for this is that visitors have to hunt around for these pages to get to them, and sometimes just give up.
This theory is supported by the improvements that survey respondents said would be most valuable to them: 20 percent said the site needs to be easier to navigate and 10 percent suggested making Coop hours more prominent.
However, part of this discrepancy is purely because of the mismatch between a reason for visiting the site and the number of page views required to accomplish the task: swapping your shift, for example will likely take many page views as you search for classified listings and maybe make a post, whereas reading the information about hours only takes one (once you find it).
We’ll be looking more at our usage data as we move forward with the design phase, so stay tuned for more posts about how data are informing the redesign process.