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Website Analysis: Our 4-Step Process Plus the Tools and Examples You Need to Get Started

Website Analysis: Our 4-Step Process Plus the Tools and Examples You Need to Get Started

The problem with a lot of the content that covers website analysis is that the term “website analysis” can refer to a lot of different things—and many of the articles and guides out there really only tackle one type of analysis and one way of doing it.

They might show you how to do an in-depth page speed analysis, for example, or conduct an SEO audit of your website. But to really gauge your website’s standing, you need to know how to conduct a full website audit—including search engine optimization (SEO), website speed, competitive analysis, user experience, and more.

To that end, we’ll walk you through our universal four-step website analysis process, explaining the steps needed to conduct every kind of sound website analysis. Then, we share the website analysis software we recommend for the top three types of website analysis reports.

Note: Want to better understand your website visitors and their behavior on your site? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to a website analysis tool that offers more context and qualitative data.

How to Do Website Analysis

Many of the guides to website analysis we’ve seen focus on the tactical data collection part of the process—but that’s really only one part of conducting a website analysis. It helps you access data and information about your website performance, but it doesn’t explain how to:

  • Set and understand your goal for the analysis
  • Make sense of the data
  • Hypothesize how to improve your website
  • Make changes and continuously optimize your website

Below, we break down the four-step process we recommend to help marketers and UX pros run a valuable and actionable website analysis.

Website Analysis Checklist

To sum things up, here’s your 4-step checklist for every website analysis you take on:

  • Set your intention and goal
  • Map out your ideal journey
  • Measure what’s actually happening
  • Brainstorm causes and solutions

Then, just test and iterate until you’ve dialed in the results you’re looking for.

Step 1: Start by Setting Your Intention or Goal

While we often recommend conducting website analyses regularly, that doesn’t mean you should be analyzing your website just for the fun of it. The reality is that every web analysis should have a purpose.

Maybe you’re seeing higher bounce rates than normal across the site, and you want to get to the bottom of it, for instance. Or you may have launched a new landing page that isn’t converting like you expected, or maybe you’ve seen your SEO website traffic drop across several key web pages.

Whatever the catalyst, it’s important to get a clear understanding of why you’re running an analysis of your website—in part because that underlying intention will determine the lens through which you approach your analysis, as well as the software you’ll need to get it done.

Step 2: Map Out Your Ideal Website Journey

No matter what aspect of your website you’re looking at, have a baseline or ideal scenario to compare your results to. That’s why the next step is to map out the ideal website journey you want users to follow—all the way from the first step (Google search results, for example) to the last (filling out a demo request form on a landing page, for example).

That includes every page in between that you want users to visit, every micro-conversion that leads them further through your sales funnel, and it puts numbers to those conversions. Here’s an example of what that journey might look like:

Google Ad -> Landing page -> Demo Request Form

Once you know what your ideal journey looks like, and you know the intention for your analysis, you can start to hypothesize about what’s causing the disconnect. This hypothesis will determine what type of website analysis you do.

For instance, using our simplified sample journey above, if the breakdown occurs between a Google ad and its landing page, you might hypothesize that the page isn’t loading quickly enough. In that case, you’d want to conduct a page speed analysis.

Step 3: Test to See What’s Actually Happening

In the first 2 steps, we talked about setting down the things you already know about your website—such as the ideal conversion journey and any problem metrics. Now it’s time to dig deeper into what’s actually happening on your website.

This is the one step most website analysis content talks about. It’s also the step where the process varies a lot based on the type of website analysis you’re doing—be it a competitive analysis, SEO analysis, UX analysis, or something else.

If you want to analyze the user experience of your website, you can use heatmaps, session recordings, and other tools that help you see how real users behave across your site. Information on click behavior, scrolling, and more adds context and qualitative feedback to the numerical data you may be seeing in Google Analytics and other web analytics and analysis tools.

Step 4: Compare the Reality to Your Ideal and Brainstorm Causes and Solutions

At this point, you have two sets of data:

  1. Your ideal situation and conversion path
  2. What’s really happening right now on your site

The final step is to figure out why there are discrepancies between these two (assuming there are) and how you can fix them to bring the real situation closer to your ideal.

(If you’re conducting a website UX analysis, you can reference our guide on website usability testing for help diagnosing where problems lie on your website.)

Once you’ve brainstormed potential causes and solutions, it’s time to implement those changes and continue monitoring your website to see how those changes affect your SEO, UX, page speed, etc. This is where regular website analysis comes into play by helping you keep track of improvements, catch any new problems that arise, and further optimize your website.

The Website Analysis Tools You Need

Our four-step process is universal—it enables you better understand and fix your website’s performance no matter which lens you look through. However, you’ll need different website analysis software depending on the type of analysis you do.

Below, we share our recommendations for:

  • Website UX analysis software
  • SEO tools for on-page and technical SEO analysis
  • Competitor website analysis

For Website UX Analysis: Crazy Egg

Website Analysis: Crazy Egg's homepage

As we mentioned briefly above, our own tool is one of the best ways to get a sense of how real users behave on your website—and that’s why it’s our (totally unbiased) pick for conducting website UX audits.

With Crazy Egg, you can view user click behavior across 5 different reports called Snapshots:

  • Heatmaps
  • Scrollmap Reports
  • Confetti Snapshots
  • Overlay Reports
  • List Reports
Crazy Egg's confetti report
Here’s an example of our Confetti Report, filtered by referring source.

In a nutshell, each of these Snapshots shows you where on a given web page users click. Then, Confetti, Overlay, and List Reports enable you to dig deeper into how 22 different user segments behave, making it easier to decipher:

  • Whether or not they follow your ideal customer journey
  • The elements on a page that your ideal customers engage with most often
  • The quality of website traffic to a page

With that knowledge, you can more effectively diagnose (and fix) points of friction where users get stuck or otherwise fall off the path to conversion.

Note: Want to better understand your website visitors and their behavior on your site? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to a website analysis tool that offers more context and qualitative data.

For SEO Analysis: Ubersuggest

Website analysis: Ubersuggest

For SEO reports and analysis, you can’t beat Ubersuggest’s SEO checker. Their domain and keyword analysis software automatically analyzes any domain or keyword you enter. The tool makes quick work of visualizing your (or your competitors’) entire SEO architecture.

With Ubersuggest you can:

  • Get a high-level overview of the entire domain
  • Identify top SEO pages and content (by backlinks and social media shares)
  • See keyword suggestions and link-building opportunities

Then, you can quickly and easily fix SEO problems and proactively target new keywords and backlinks.

For Competitive Website Analysis: SimilarWeb

Web analysis: SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is our top pick for when you need to analyze your competitors’ websites to see how yours stacks up. With the SimilarWeb platform, you can uncover your competitors’ analytics and digital marketing strategy, including:

  • Total visits
  • Website traffic share
  • Key engagement metrics

You can also set intelligent, informed benchmarks for your own website based on the performance of your competitors.

Effective Website Analysis

Conducting an analysis that actually helps improve your website performance isn’t a one-step process. You need more than just website data—you need a framework for how to understand that data and a process for making changes based on it.

With the tools above and the universal 4-step process we outlined, you’re ready to do website analysis the right way—so you can really understand the current state of your website and chart a path forward.

Note: Want to better understand your website visitors and their behavior on your site? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to a website analysis tool that offers more context and qualitative data.


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