Web Analytics for Technical Content
by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool
Many technical communicators could use summative data on how their content is doing daily. Technical writers discover which of their content is popular, how long users read their content, and where their customers live. But how do they measure whether a reader accomplished their goal?
The first that comes to mind is applying web analytics. An SEO and marketing tool designed to track user experiences that are goal-oriented and happen entirely on the website. It shows technical writers how users access your intranet or support websites.
Such analytics is important for several reasons:
- You get insights into how your users behave (how users find your site, how they explore). Web analytics helps you discover the number of people reviewing your content for a given period and which documents are popular or ignored.
- Some organizations need to see the productiveness of your documentation. With web analytics, it’s possible to monitor your writing.
- The analytics is effectively used for evaluating and planning doc updates. With that, you will see which content or section to improve to better meet the readers’ expectations. It is possible to test the pages with specific groups of users for UX research. Based on the statistics and feedback results, you can examine some specific pages in greater detail and see where and what to improve.
With Google Analytics you can discover:
- Overall traffic volumes are vital since they give you a sense of how many people read the content you write and support. You can start performing comparisons of this month’s traffic versus the previous month’s traffic. To see if the numbers are going up or down.
- Visit duration. The longer a person spends on your site, the more likely they will return. In contrast, if a person stays only a few seconds, you may deduce that there is nothing of value to the user and try to change that.
- Bounce rates. A bounce occurs when a visitor looks at just one page of your help or website and then leaves the site quickly. For example, if a visitor comes to your intranet or support site and immediately clicks the Back button, it’s considered a bounce. If your bounce rate is high, you can conclude that you may be drawing the wrong type of person to your site.
- Search keywords. You can track the most common keywords that users search for while using your website, providing insight into the content that customers want. With this, you will understand what customers are looking for or struggling with.
- Top pages and content. Knowing what visitors are seeking can help you revise the content accordingly. You can focus your efforts where needed and find the best way to spend your time.
If you want to know about the experience of your site’s readers, their experiences are what you should track. The technical content writers shall know the customer’s needs before composing a technical article. Understanding customer needs can be very tricky. However, it is easier to understand the customer's needs using web analytic tools.
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors