Web Analytics: Defining & Driving Key Performance Indicators for Your Higher Education Website’s Success


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Learn how using analytics can help you make better decisions and deliver higher ROI for your college’s website. Percussion Software will cover five easy ways to start using web analytics to increase your college’s student engagement and ultimately drive enrollment.

Learn more here: http://www.percussion.com/edu

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  • Good Morning Everyone, I’m so happy you were able to attend my session today on Web Analytics. I do want to start off by saying how much I love Austin and I’m so happy to be in Texas. And honesty the warm weather. It hasn’t really warmed up in Boston yet. But were getting there…
  • Before we dive in to today’s presentation I thought it would help set the stage for you by talking a little bit about my experience with websites.
    In 8th Grade I started coding my first websites and to be honest I was hooked. It was an incredible opportunity to get that experience. And since then I’ve lived slept and breathed web. Starting out as a back end developer for Ogilvy I was handed fresh comps and had to break them down into hard coded dreamweaver websites. Oh the good old days. What was great about that experience was that I was able to measure the success each website even before Google analytics got started. So I knew whether the layout of each page coded was working or wasn’t. From there I was hooked.

    I moved onto a litle known company called Forrester research where we worked with Omniture (which I think now is Sitecatalyst). As I my main role was to train the research associates on how to post research and content, the benefit in the long run was actually seeing what they were doing was being read or the effort.

    After getting tired of Fortune 500 companies I moved to a start up which recently was bought by Adobe. Called Neolane. At Neolane we had a variety of KPIs set in place for our Search Engine Optimization and our website also tied to our social media goals. I actually was goaled on these too. If the website wasn’t meeting it’s key performance indicators then I lost out on financial opportunities. When you have a tight tie between your KPIs and yourself you realy are driven to make sure they work.

    And now I’m at Percussion… And that’s why I’m standing here today. Because Percussion Software provides higher education institutions with a content management system that can help them content to the web faster, we not only use our own software. We practice what we preach. These KPIs were going to talk about today are very close to the same ones we have defined for ourselves at Percussion of course not geered towards higher education.

    All in all, I’m a data geek.
  • And of course I would be remiss as a marketer if I didn’t show you a slide about Percussion’s. Ok Tim (he’s our sales guy) you can leave now. 

    Let us marketers chat. 
  • One last thing. Each of you have a quick web analytics & marketing glossary that you can refer to throughout the presentation.
  • Ok now let’s really dive in. Today I’m going to cover. Why KPIs are important. What KPIs are. And how to go about putting them in place.
  • Instead of telling you why KPIs are important. Let’s do a few polls. Raise your hand each time you have done any of the following questions.
  • Who in this room uses any form of web analytics to measure your websites success?
    Now everyone look around. ;) I’m calling the few of you out. I’m sorry
  • Next question, how any of you can connect your web analytics to development and admissions. So if your website traffic goes up do you see an increase in enrollment or alumni donations?
  • And finally why KPIs are important.

    How many in this room have proposed a marketing project/change and were unable to get it approved due to lack of data?

    Okay now everyone look around. This is is why KPIs are important. To get what you want. You need to have the data.

  • Now that you guys have a full grasp on why KPIs are important. Let’s talk about what KPIs are. Don’t’ worry I’m not going to do anymore polls.
  • KPIs for better or for worse are Key Performance Indicators
  • Okay good. I bet you guys could have guessed what a KPI is but let’s talk about what they really are. KPIs are quantifiable measurements, agreed to by your team or department, that reflect the critical success factors of your institution. They are bases off your institutions main goals. Were going to talk about intuitional goals in the how part of this presentation. Don’t worry we will get there.
  • Let’s dive into the common KPIs you can set for your organization.
  • One common KPI is based around web traffic. For example. You can set a web traffic KPI to measure on a monthly or quarterly basis. For example, Increase web traffic by 20% in next 6 months.
  • With this KPI there are many different metrics you can use measure against this KPI. For example, overall number of visitors, unique visitors, daily visitation volume, or share of total site traffic. Common tools that can be used to find these metrics for your website are Google Analytics, Google Webmaster, KISS Metrics, and other 3rd party tools,
  • Another recommended KPI can be based around web engagement and how those visiting your website interact with your website.
  • For measuring web engagement. Metrics can include but are not limited to:
    Number of pages viewed
    Total time spent
    And time spent per page.

    You would measure within a single session because you would want to measure against how many Visitors are engaging with your website and as an aggregate.
  • Tying into web engagement, web relevancy is a good KPI to put in place. Measuring this KPI will give you a good understand whether or not your website content is working or not.
  • For example if you put a billboard on a highway you have no way of measuring the drivers engagement with the billboard. But with a website. Using the tools I talked about you are able to measure whether or not your website is achieving this KPI you have put in place. Because you can track this. Recommended metrics include:
    Bounce rate, page-on drop off rate, read through rate, and search engine ranking
  • And now my personal favorite KPI and honestly the most important in this day in age. Is social media. Why is social media important? Metric….
    Did you know that 96 percent of students with internet access report using social networking technologies, and that three in five (59 percent) use these tools to talk about educational topics online?

  • These metrics can include. Social media referrals which are visits from social media, trackable in google analytics. Social shares are the amount of shares by each type of content. And of course conversions from social which I’m going to talk about shortly.
  • And finally the most important KPI is conversions. An example of this would include increasing number of conversions from a certain sources mo/mo, semester over semester, or year over year.

    Funny story when I was reviewing this presentation with my co-workers. She pointed out that in a few years students aren’t even going to know what the use of a mouse is.
  • Other common metrics for this KPI include conversions from calls to action. To do this make sure you put tracking in place to ensure you are seeing where people are visiting your calls to actions from and what the completion rate is. Also form completion, overall enrollment rates (including not converted enrollment), and registrations to attend campus visits.
  • Now that you have a good understand of what the different KPIs are and what a KPI is. Let’s talk about how you go about putting them in place. Here’s the real fun part.
  • Always start with your overall goals of your institution. For example Do you want to?
  • Increase student enrollment.
  • Increase Alumni Donations
  • Gain better brand awareness. For example you might be a small school that no one knows about and there is a new program you need to draw attention to. Or you have gone through a current crisis, like Penn state for example that you need to spend time rectifying through awareness of the other good qualities of the School.
  • Or retention. Keeping the students that you currently do have.
  • When thinking of increasing student enrollment a few recommended KPIs you can put place are around:
    Web Traffic, the metric for this would be unique visitors. Engagement & relevancy by measuring page per visit. One quick metric to call out is that Google’s benchmark for pages per visit is 4.5. Keeping that mind if you could get visitors to see at least 4.5 pages per visit then you are on a good trend to help your student enrollment.
  • When it comes to alumni donations and setting an initiative in place to drive donations for your instuttion. You should measure on web traffic, relevancy, and conversions. One thing to note. Is that your average time on page benchmark according to Google should be at least 5 mins 23 secons
  • Web Analytics: Defining & Driving Key Performance Indicators for Your Higher Education Website’s Success

    1. 1. © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 1#TACCM14 Web Analytics: Defining & Driving Key Performance Indicators for Your Website’s Success Alexis Karlin Percussion Software, Inc.
    2. 2. #TACCM14 Getting to know you… © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 2 8+ Years Web Analytics Experience Web Developer Web Producer Digital Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing & Operations Manager
    3. 3. #TACCM14 Percussion Software Percussion Software makes it easy and affordable for higher education to create, publish, and share content that drives web traffic, engages visitors, and looks great on any device. www.percussion.com © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 3
    4. 4. #TACCM14 Web Analytics & Marketing Glossary © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 4
    5. 5. #TACCM14 Today’s Agenda… © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 5 Why Vision How Tactics What Strategy
    6. 6. #TACCM14 Today’s Agenda… © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 6 Why Vision How Tactics What Strategy
    7. 7. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 7 How Many of You Use Any Type of ANALYTICS to Measure Your Website’s Success?
    8. 8. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 8 How many of you can ACCURATELY connect your Website Analytics with Development and Admissions?
    9. 9. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 9 How Many of You Have Proposed a Marketing Project and Were Unsuccessful due to Lack of DATA?
    10. 10. #TACCM14 Today’s Agenda… © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 10 Why Vision How Tactics What Strategy
    11. 11. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 11
    12. 12. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 12 Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization.
    13. 13. #TACCM14 Common KPIs © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 13
    14. 14. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 14
    15. 15. #TACCM14 Common Web Traffic Metrics • Overall number of visits • Unique visitors • Daily visitation volume • Share of total site traffic © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 15
    16. 16. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 16
    17. 17. #TACCM14 Common Web Engagement Metrics • Within a single session – Number of pages viewed – Total time spent – Time spent per page © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 17
    18. 18. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 18
    19. 19. #TACCM14 Common Relevancy Metrics • Bounce rate • Page-one drop off rate • Read-through rate • Search engine ranking*** © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 19
    20. 20. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 20
    21. 21. #TACCM14 Common Social Media Metrics • Social media referrals • Social shares • Conversions from Social Media © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 21
    22. 22. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 22 Conversions
    23. 23. #TACCM14 Common Conversion Metrics • Conversions from Calls to Action • Form completion • Enrollment • Registrations to attend Campus Visits © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 23
    24. 24. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 24
    26. 26. #TACCM14 What’s Important to Your School? © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 26
    27. 27. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 27
    28. 28. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 28
    29. 29. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 29 Brand Awareness
    30. 30. #TACCM14© 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 30 Retention
    31. 31. #TACCM14 Student Enrollment Web Traffic – Unique visitors Engagement/Relevancy – Pages per visit •The Google Benchmark is 4.5 Social Media – Social Shares – Enrollment from social media Conversions – Completed forms from calls-to-action – Enrollment © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 31
    32. 32. #TACCM14 Alumni Donations Web Traffic – Return visitors – Share of total site traffic Relevancy – Time on page •The Google Benchmark is 5 mins 23 secs Conversions – Donations – Alumni event registration © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 32
    33. 33. #TACCM14 Brand Awareness Web Traffic – Bounce rate •Average bounce rate is 45%. The lowest bounce rate was 30%. – Overall number of visits Engagement – Number of pages viewed Social Media – Social media referrals Relevancy – Page-one drop off rate – Read-through rate © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 33
    34. 34. #TACCM14 Retention Engagement – In particular areas of your website – Bounce rate on mobile Social – Students communicating experiences – Returning referrals Offline – Are they calling with questions they could have found on the website © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 34
    35. 35. #TACCM14 Recommendations for Building a Case •Report Monthly •Measure Weekly – Canary in the coal mine •Remember to translate the data •Always tie your data back to your original goals © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 35
    36. 36. #TACCM14 Sample Reports © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 36 -9% 10% -8% -26% 39% 16% -2% -1 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 October November December January February March Absolute Unique Visitors 2,345 2,223 1,798 2,339 2,311 2,601 - 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 October November December January February March Visits from Search
    37. 37. #TACCM14 Additional Sample Reports © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 37 -5% -6% -57% 3% 23% 6% October November December January February March Direct Traffic
    38. 38. #TACCM14 Final Tips & Tricks •Don’t be afraid of data… •Embrace the data it will help you in the long run •Educate those in your institution about how the web always relates to what they do © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 38
    39. 39. #TACCM14 Web Analytics Workshop Working Session •Perfecting Your KPIs •Creating monthly reports •Tips for finding the “canary in the coal mine” Learn more: www.percussion.com/edu - Alexis_Karlin@percussion.com 781.835.1226 © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 39
    40. 40. #TACCM14 See you tonight! © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 40
    41. 41. #TACCM14 Any questions… © 2014 PERCUSSION SOFTWARE, INC 41