How to develop and maintain a website - ESRC

Contents

Evaluating your website

You should monitor user statistics for your website so that you know:

  • how many people visit your site, from where and when
  • what devices they are using
  • what content your users are interested in
  • how users use your website, for example, do they arrive on a certain page and leave the site or do they open other pages
  • where your users come from – through search engines, social media or links from other websites
  • how users are finding your site – the keywords they use in search engines, which you can and should use in your own content
  • how effective your online communications for a particular event or campaign were.

You can use free tools such as Google Analytics to gather and analyse valuable user data. Lots of web analytics packages allow you to create customised reports that can be emailed to you on a regular basis. You can use these reports to get a summary of activity on your website.

Analysis can help you improve your website. For example, if web pages of a particular theme are popular you can promote them or consider producing other useful, related content for your users.

If web pages are not being viewed by many users, you may need to consider whether you still need them or whether you could remove them from your site. It’s also possible that some pages are not being widely viewed because your users cannot find them, in which case you might want to look at your website’s structure and navigation as well as the content itself.

You may need to talk to web experts at your organisation in order to access web analytics tools or to receive reports. If you are setting up a new website you should try to discuss and define your requirements with them in advance so that you can gather useful statistics from the start.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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