Landscape brings web analytics into focus at Pensions Age Spring Conference

At this year’s Pensions Age Spring Conference, our creative director Ryan talked about how utilising website analytics can help improve the member experience. Ryan’s talk spanned the entire analytics spectrum, from website page views, journeys, and search terms to expectations and habits of interaction, citing numerous examples where we’ve put these learnings into practice. 

Ryan kicked things off with a brief look at how effective websites can be in communicating the benefits of a pension, and how they can help members understand it and better plan for later life. Analysis of which can lead to a range of insights around member behaviours. 

But it’s not just analysing what we see, but also what the members see. Ryan reminded the audience about the new code of practice, focusing on a section titled ‘General Principles of Communication’. It states that when preparing member comms, the governing body should regularly review communications, taking member feedback into account (among other things). 

In essence, the regulator wants schemes to do more than just send out the minimum number of communications. Instead, wanting them to show how they’re measuring their activity, whilst actively seeking feedback. 

The importance of member engagement 

Engagement is critical to ensuring members understand their pensions and make the best decisions. Ryan cited the following stats that were uncovered during research we did for XPS: 

  • 64% would go to a website first for information
  • 61% would use a website to view and manage their pension

As expected, communicating through digital channels is increasingly becoming the preferred medium of communication for members, with these percentages bound to increase as Gen Z and Alpha move through their careers.

Focus on digital

Ryan also outlined the benefits of measuring digital activity over offline communications. These include: 

  • Providing information how and when a member wants. Members use their phone all the time for web browsing and information is therefore available when it’s needed.
  • Tailoring messages for different member types. We can create pages dedicated to different groups – whether they are active, deferred, or about to take their benefits.
  • Helping members to help themselves. Websites can include tools, calculators and content that will help members become more engaged.
  • Understanding member behaviours. We can begin to understand how members want to manage their pension.
  • Enhancing efficiencies. Providing resources online will help members to self-serve and this reduces the administration burden.
  • Monitoring member activity. We can watch in real time how members are using the website.
  • Measure return on investment. Pension managers and trustees can measure engagement and then act upon that data to improve the member experience.

One of the reasons we test, measure and review is that users don’t always behave like we expect. Ryan said that despite our best design intentions, users will find their own way to solve their problem. This is often the most direct and fastest way. By measuring traffic and behaviours, we can spot trends and adapt accordingly.

Ryan then delved into the key metrics we measure, which are: 

  • The when and what
  • Interaction
  • How they feel about the website
  • Accessibility
  • Website needs 

The when and what

Figuring out when members are visiting the website is quite straightforward. We can find out the most popular days of the week and time of visit. 

In an example Ryan showed, Monday and Wednesday at 10am are peak traffic times, which drop off over the week, with significantly less traffic on the weekend. To make the most of these peaks, we decided that the pension team could send out their email comms on these days and times, which led to excellent open and engagement rates. 

We can also see what pages garner the most views. In an example Ryan showed, the library appeared regularly in the top 3 or 4 most viewed pages, suggesting that useful information should be more easily accessible. 

To help make the library work as hard as possible, we loaded it with booklets, links, and scheme documents. We also simplified the forms (used for AVC, report a death, etc.), which can be completed and submitted through the website, removing the need to download and email a separate pdf. 


Ryan spoke about one of the interesting techniques we use, which is to anonymously record visits to websites that are over 30 seconds long. This allows us to watch how members actually use the website, seeing their journey from one page to another. We watch a sample of these videos to see if there are any challenges members face when completing and submitting their applications. 

In an example Ryan showed, a user informed the scheme about a member’s death. The sample clip brought up a number of problems, which we solved by doing the following:

  1. Updated the form design. The forms were too long and not consistent in their design and language.
  2. Added a progress bar. It helped make the process more manageable. 
  3. Added an address finder. Rather than a free entry, members choose an address from a dropdown. This drastically reduced the effort by the admin team to clarify and chase submissions that are incorrectly completed. 

How they feel about the website

Ryan also spoke about the need to provide members with the opportunity to give feedback. Ryan showed an example where we added a banner to the side of a page, which takes you to a five-step feedback process, where members can rate why they came to the website, if they were able to achieve what they wanted to do and how easy it was to do. Members have the option to submit their feedback with contact details or anonymously. The latter would be sent to the comms team to action if necessary, whilst the former would result in a personal response, reassuring the member that their feedback is being heard. 


It’s a legal requirement for all public sector websites to achieve a level of accessibility known as W3C AA compliance. Ryan emphasised our continuous aim to reach this for all our pension scheme websites. 

But it’s not so simple in practice, with a number of challenges needing to be met. One of which being colour. Whilst we do our best to incorporate employers brands’ colours, they don’t always meet the required standard. 

Ryan showed an example of this in practice, placing two sets of text side by side against white backgrounds. One mid-green and the other a slightly darker green, with the latter passing the AA test. The AAA standards are even more stringent (Ryan cited the website as an example that meets these standards).

Are you looking to make improvements to your member website? Get in touch with us today.