Re: Website Redesign Analytics best pratice
- I'm a mind reader only in the sense that I have some experience, and so
will you as you keep working in the field. I understand that being new to
an organization you want it to work out and do your best, so you have my
empathy. And an analytical role can be overwhelming in general and
especially when confronted with a redesign. Look on the bright side though,
at least you have a chance - and in the worst case, you are only going to
get smarter from trying to do your best.
The first thing I'm noticing is that you are very concerned with tools and
pages and tactics. I'd suggest reorienting your mindset and concentrating
first on business drivers and goals for the site redesign and how the
existing site has previously fulfilled those goals. Then analyze the
existing data to determine what behaviors, interactions, events, and so on
influence those goals. By doing actual analysis, you can help guide the
redesign with the data.
The next thing is you should include your technology partners in helping
you. You sound like you are going at it all alone. Putting up and taking
down pages or the sequence thereof is a type of recommendation an analyst
might make based on data analysis, but it seems a bit odd to me that the
analyst would be identifying this work. Same thing with "update pages
on...." Ultimately these decisions should be made in collaboration with
various business functions and coordinated with technology, not only the
ideation of an analyst (but you are a voice in the decisions). Thinking
about setting up mappings and server redirects from old pages to new? What
about the risk of duplicate content? Your organic search is likely going
get killed based on my understanding of what you describe if I understand
correctly. What does your search team or agency say?
As for the tool choice, it's all based on your business goals and what you
need to do with the data, types of analysis and so on. That said, I think
GA can be really useful for what it does - and it has some powerful stuff
in it, especially the Beta stuff, the multichannel funnels, the assisted
conversion, and the attribution modeling that if implemented and used
properly is quite Googley and smart. On the counterpoint, GA has it's
limitations, some extremely severe for certain business cases, but so does
every other tool. Nevertheless, the innovation in GA and the mainstreaming
of it- especially since Avinash's excellent time and now during Justin's
excellent time at Google is just plain awesome compared to some of the
innovations by other commercial vendors during the same time period. So,
yes, deploying Universal Analytics instead of spending a lot more for a lot
less can be a good idea. But just collect data on every page now - and if
it gets cross-domain for whatever reason, then read Justin Cutroni's book
"Google Analytics," which you should have anyway if you use GA.
Well, good luck, hope that helps however generalized it was. If you'd like
to learn more about my viewpoint on analytics, please consider pre-ordering
my forthcoming business book on digital analytics:
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
As mentioned in most replies, I am also concerned that you will run into severe Google ranking issues by duplicating the content of your site on a separate domain or subdomain. I am not sure what exactly you guys want to change on your site, but since you talk about a "redesign" I assume that you will mostly be changing your frontend template.
Assuming that this is correct, the approach I would go for is setting up a second template (e.g. separate CSS files) and applying the new template on your existing domain by using a URL parameter, e.g. yourdomain.com?template=new
That way you could easily set up a content experiment by telling GA that ?template=new is your variant which you want to test against your original site.
Using this method you could even set up two additional profiles in GA and apply filters so that you'd have one profile for your original site and one for your redesigned site. (For running your experiment, you would still need one profile which includes both templates.)
I am not 100% sure if this scenario will work technically in GA or for your IT, but from my point of view it would be worth giving it a try.
--- In email@example.com, "force_10x" <force_10x@...> wrote:
> I am new to Google Analytics and need your help with a particular scenario.
> We are in the process of redesigning our corporate website.
> Instead of a "Big Bang" release, the business will be doing a soft launch and releasing the new design in phases.
> The idea is to keep the old website online as parts of the new one is made live.
> 1. Initially have www.website.com with (old design) and www.new.website.com. The idea here is to soft launch and gradually add the new pages/content to this.
> 2. There will be a link on the old website that will say "check out our new website" which will direct users to www.new.website.com. The idea here is to gather feedback from users and make tweaks to the new design/content as we roll out the new design.
> 3. Eventually, the old design and content from www.website.com will be removed and the new design and content from www.new.website.com will transition to www.website.com content.
> Is this a good approach?
> In this scenario will I need multiple tracking codes? one for the old site and one for the new one? (To compare metrics on before and after designs) Will there be issues in reporting when we transition from the www.new.website.com to www.website.com?
> Thank you for your time and help.