Below are some of the common types of research completed for website projects. Background research helps determine how visitors are using your current site and what you will need to consider for your website strategy and content plan.

Google Analytics

Reviewing Google Analytics helps determine how people are accessing your site currently.

The Google Analytics dashboard will automatically pull some of the standard analytics including:

  • Visitors
  • New vs. returning visitor
  • Visits
  • Top landing pages
  • Most visited pages
  • Average time on site

Google Analytics dashboard

Competitive analysis

If you know of similar sites to your own or have seen ones that you like, make a list of them and summarise your findings. The competitive analysis template provides a brief outline for structuring your review of other sites.

This analysis could help determine naming conventions for pages, content selection or how to organize information.


Think about the feedback you have received on your site from users or those who help manage the site.

  • Are there common questions your team receives because information is hard to find online (or is not available at all)?
  • Do you hear that content is out of date?
  • Do you have any positive or negative comments about your online content?

Collecting this type of feedback will help you understand what you're doing well and where the gaps are.

Website audit

If you have an existing website it is important to take a thorough look at the current content.

The website audit template will help you think about:

  • What are all the pages we have on our site?
  • When was the content last updated? By whom?
  • Do you need to keep, edit or delete any pages?
  • How many visits did the page have in the last year?

A complete website audit will help inform the project's scope.