Tips & Tricks No. 4 Google Analytics
Anyone that has studied a Master of Business Administration will know the mantra of the MBA is “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” We encourage you to take a similar approach using Google Analytics and review anything and everything you’ve always wanted to know about your school website. To be a more efficient and effective publisher, you need data.
We’re capturing Google Analytics data for every school and emailing a monthly summary to a designated web administrator. If you’re not receiving the report and would like to, or if you wish to add other administrators, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re somewhat more curios about what’s happening on your site then it’s live access to Google Analytics you’re after. The report is very forensic, and for those 'number' people, it’s a lot of fun to trawl through. You can see which days of the week get the most traffic along with all your pages ranked in order of popularity. You can see how long people are staying on pages and where they’re entering and exiting. And you can see if people from other countries are viewing your site; important information for schools recruiting internationally. Then there’s data on the mix of devices accessing your site.
45% of all visits to sponsor-ed school sites now coming from mobiles
We live in a mobile phone world and it’s become the star in optimising your communications. Research indicates that up to 80% of all visits to websites (non-schools) are coming from mobiles. Tinkering with your website making it look good on a wide screen desktop is now a marginal activity. Are you checking how your site comes up on a mobile? If we go back 2 years prior to our launch of the mobile friendly websites, visits from mobiles were virtually zero. The world’s moved on.
We’ve seen one school virtually double their web visits and move the proportion of mobile visits from around 30% to 55% in a little over a month since the introduction of the sponsor-ed app Updat-ed. If you optimise for mobiles, you’re optimising your overall communications. We’ll write more on this in future articles.
Please click here to view a copy of data captured in live Google Analytics mode. Instructions for accessing live data are contained in the document.
Would you bother maintaining a web page if you learned it received only a modest number of visits?
Well, yes and no.
If a web page receives next to zero visits you have 2 decisions to make and with analytics they’ll be informed decisions.
Low visits; the public has voted and hasn’t shown an interest in the content. If you think the page is of marginal value anyway, it’s ‘off to the farm’. Dump it.
Low visits and you think it’s an important page. The answer is to give it a dose of publicity. Here’s a range of things you can do to make your page a star.
1. Change it’s position in the navigation of the website so it can be more easily found.
2. When you update the page, tag it to your newsletter email by using the @@pages@@ code and you’ll see the page’s first 200 characters automatically embedded in the email with a ‘read more’ inserted linking back to the page. Confused? View our CommunicationSmarts video here
3. Add your page to our new app called Updat-ed – example below. A great example of giving the sponsors page some publicity.