Within the evolution of the internet comes the progression of how we use it. Constant changes to how, why and what we search. This creates a continuous battle of how/why search engines prefer to represent information. One thing you can always count on in this ever changing landscape is that search engines will continue to adapt to users. User signals like bounce rate, ATOS (average time on site), ATOP (average time on page), conversion rate, click throughs……. are ever growing signals you should be using to guide your strategies.
With that belief in mind, we as analysts, SEOs, need to evolve. This starts with a better understanding of how users use our pages. “But Dave, my site has 70,000 pages, how on earth can I monitor that?” Great question. I conquer this task on large sites by grouping. A good way to group your pages is by structure:
- All Categories (mywebsite.com/category1)
- All Subcategories (mywebsite.com/category/subcategory1)
- Product pages (mywebsite.com/category/subcategory1/product1).
Once you have these built-in you can start laying out stats by week, month, year. Don’t be fooled –the stats can be misleading. Just like every product is different, so is every page. So make sure to compare pineapples to pineapples: product page to product page, category to category…..
Now for some of what you want – stats!
I have compiled these based on 15 ecommerce enterprise size websites (20,000+ pages). Every site varies in vertical but these are goals I aim to achieve.
How to Achieve Better User Stats
A/B Testing. Don’t be intimidated by the name. People have turned this into an overly complex exercise over the last two years, when really you should simplify it by testing any modifications you can think of to see what users like best. Go crazy – bullets, rewording, scroll over pop-ups, more statistics, simplified message, repeated message…….
Adobe users can do this through Test and Target. This is a power tool that allows you to easily test different layouts to best fit your user. Everyone else, the world is your oyster, shuck it. Goodui.org is a great place to start.
Five things I commonly change:
- paragraphs to bullets
- adjust text within buttons
- adding an additional call to action
- reduce steps to convert
- increase font size
Putting a bow on it, users are the future. The better you understand your user and how they want their information the better. Achieving improved user stats is not rocket science, so don’t treat it as such. Tweak, test, repeat.