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Hello is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics to Understand your Audience - RED1 #heweb10
 

Hello is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics to Understand your Audience - RED1 #heweb10

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So you have just installed a JavaScript code on every one of your pages to track visitors on your site. Maybe you used Google Analytics or some other service and you’re collecting all this great ...

So you have just installed a JavaScript code on every one of your pages to track visitors on your site. Maybe you used Google Analytics or some other service and you’re collecting all this great information. Well what do these terms mean and what metrics should I care about? After a quick explanation of terms this presentation will dig into how to filter Google Analytics for more exact and effective data. From here we will explore reports that are actually valuable to higher education and actionable steps that can be taken from this data. Finally we will talk about best practice techniques and explore analytics beyond your website, monitoring your institutions identity across the Web.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/churl/196591735/
  • Same can be said for a website. You can have the greatest website in the world, but if nobody is visiting it is it making a difference? Of course you have to get people to visit, but knowing what they do when they visit is equally important.
  • Your visitors are telling you much more than you probably know. As we will cover there is a wealth of wonderful knowledge that they are leaving about their habits that can help us better serve them in their next visit.
  • What judgment do you use to make decisions? Do you just guess, is it on hunches, based on what a few people tell you? Because you say so?Key Objectives to Measure• Increase awareness and reach of Wofford online• Showcase student life & the authencity of the Wofford experience• Engage visitors with relevant content• Drive repeat visitors• Increase applications (online and off)• Increase campus visits
  • So what is important to me? What should I be tracking?Admission SpecificApply to CollegeSchedule a Campus VisitRequest InfoDownload the ViewbookTake a Virtual TourGeneral GoalsSign up for eConnect updatesWatch VideosSubscribe to RSSBecome Facebook Fan, Member of a GroupJoin Linked InRead Blogs
  • Goals that you want to measure on your website. It is important to figure out exactly what you are interested in tracking so that you aren’t just looking at a bunch of numbers.
  • So what are Key Performance Indicators? Let’s break them down a little bit into four categories as this makes it a little easier to understand how they relate to each other.
  • There are a lot of web analytics terms. Some everyone know and are easy to follow, but some aren’t quite so intuitive and downright confusing. Before we can go any farther we need to make sure that we have a grasp of the most commonly used terms.
  • There are a lot of terms that are pretty much self explanatory and everyone knows what they mean.
  • But then there are those other terms that we think we understand… but do we really? How exactly is average time on site computed? What is a Bounce?
  • Higher pageviews is not always betterMore could mean harder to find what a user wants?Low pageviews could be excellent navigationNot meaningful statistic
  • The average time on a site is the time on each page not including the time on the final page because we have no way of knowing this
  • Difference between a bounce an exit rate
  • Traffic Types (Source/Medium) Direct (none) Referral – from another site Custom Search TrafficOrganic – generic searchPPCCPCCustom – set by variables
  • Alexa & Compete are great for gaining some big picture knowledge about what is happening with your site. Also they both allow you to compare you website versus peer institutions and benchmarking.Quantcast also provides good comparison data, but what this service offers that is insightful is demographic data.Valuable to understand the trends, but don’t obsess over the data.
  • Alexa & Compete are great for gaining some big picture knowledge about what is happening with your site. Also they both allow you to compare you website versus peer institutions and benchmarking.Quantcast also provides good comparison data, but what this service offers that is insightful is demographic data.Valuable to understand the trends, but don’t obsess over the data.
  • Google Analytics also offers some Benchmarking data. This can be valuable for understanding areas that your site’s performance is weak at compared to the rest of the industry.
  • Although all these are Javascript options there are other types of analytics trackers. Javascript aren’t perfect but are 95-97% accurate.
  • Although all these are Javascript options there are other types of analytics trackers. Javascript aren’t perfect but are 95-97% accurate.
  • Code should go directly above the closing body tag Notice the setDomainNameattribute
  • SiteScan is a service that will scall your site to make sure that you have Google Analytics installed on all your pagesWASP is a Firefox extension that will tell you what analytics tracking code is on a page
  • Now that we have the code installed and we are bringing in data it can be quite overwhelming with the amount of data that is provided by Google Analytics. Because we have already decided what our goals and what is important to us it’s time to Segment and Filter
  • Notes to discuss:Up to 100 Unique profiles can be savedDecide with our without www will come back more to this laterSetup your default page based on your scripting language (index.html, index.php, etc)Excluding URL Query Parameters that might not mean anything. Maybe a return variable that means something to the page, but isn’t useful for tracking purposesSite Search is valuable for if you have an internal search on your site that uses a certain variable to track. Wofford uses keyword as the variable. We will look at this later.
  • You can have lots of Google Analytics Profiles and this is part of the Segmenting and Filtering Process.
  • What’s wrong with this picture?
  • This filter should be applied to every profile. It’s really one of those things that I’m surprised Google doesn’t do by default.
  • URL Canonicalization Bad for SEO Important for Branding/Marketing Keeps your Analytics clean
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tico_bassie/406265848/
  • This filter must be applied to your main traffic profile so that subdomain traffic is included.
  • If you want to exclude IP addresses so that you aren’t tracking your own or more specifically for a college so your not getting your oncampus traffic skewing with the off campus segment that is leading your marketing decisions.
  • School websites are very large monsters. Being able to segment profiles to specific departments can be vital to understanding what is going on.
  • You can also filter by the visitor country or even city. You pull the values for this from your analytics report. This could be used for all sorts of filtering. Maybe you want to setup a profile that looks at your effort it a specific city. Say if you’re a community college then maybe you only care about local traffic.
  • This is a good filter if you want more information about the exact URL that is sending traffic to your site instead of basic site information. The results are displayed in the User Defined Section under Visits.
  • This is vital for knowing more about your traffic. You can learn about source, medium, and Campaign Name are required. Really good for tracking other campaigns that you probably didn’t think you could track like offline and email campaigns.
  • There are three major types of campaigns that you will want to setup URL tracking.
  • This is vital for knowing more about your traffic. You can learn about source, medium, and Campaign Name are required. Really good for tracking other campaigns that you probably didn’t think you could track like offline and email campaigns.
  • Not only can you track PDF’s but you can track external links, videos, and pretty much anything that is handled through a link. It’s a best practice to place your links in a directory that will be easy for you to search and find results.
  • Another good tagging practice is to tag your audience segments using any of the above options. I have yet to use this so I’m not exactly sure where this information is stored in Google Analytics, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
  • Site Search can provide actionable data about what visitors of on your site are having difficulty finding. This can be great insight into what needs to be more obvious to find on your site.
  • The Keyword report is more valuable for profiles of subdirectories, but even looking at your whole dataset digging down deep enough you can find interesting pieces of knowledge about what is driving traffic to your site from the search engines.
  • Similar to the Keyword Report the Content By Title is most valuable when looking at subsets of data. I prefer it better to the Top Content Report because it’s easier to read and Page Titles are hold heavy value to SEO so this is one way to look for titles to optimize.
  • Referring sites can tell you where your visitors are coming from who’s linking to you and what these visitors are doing once they arrive on your site. It’s always good to know where your visitors are coming from. You can also tell additional data from this report like what types of visitors do what once they arrive on your site.
  • Using your 404 page to learn what people are looking for and not finding is an excellent tactic to increase site usability and resolve problems that future users will never have to worry about.
  • The most important reports have to be the goals and conversions. I have to admit this is on the plate and something that we currently aren’t doing, but after the intro hopefully you see now why this is where we need to end up.
  • There are multiple ways to track goals. This is extremely important because it helps you figure when and how your website is helping with the bottom line. The easiest way to do this is set a goal of someone visiting a specific page, like a thank you page after a conversion event. You can even go deeper and put dollar amounts to these events.
  • Besides tracking just your website there is still a whole lot that happens with your school online that isn’t specificially on your website. Now that we have a host of tools and segmented data let’s take a look at some of these other options.
  • Offline campaigns can be tracked. Send users through a shortened URL that does one or two things. It redirects them to a landing page while also applying tracking variables and/or segmenting your visitor
  • Examples of Wofford Mailshots
  • Email tracking provides lots of great information. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this, but you can visit the link to learn more about some of these metrics. There are also email benchmarking statistics online.
  • The link here takes you to the email marketing presentation notes I did for eduWEB. The data graph here shows how our homecoming email brought traffic to the website that we tagged.
  • Blogs are also something important to tag. Visit the link to learn more about Wofford’s Blogs. In my opinion the two standards for blog tracking, besides Google Analytics, is FeedBurner and ShareThis.
  • Feedburner grabs all sorts of data about a blog feed and subscriber count. Subscriber count is based on how many unique ID’s pinged a feed the previous day.
  • ShareThis providees a whole mess of tracking. Also because the resource is basically a collection of links to social media it gives you an idea of what sorts of social media individuals are posting your content too. Email is still far and away the preferred method to share content through ShareThis.
  • A term I call Web Analytics 2.0 which gets beyond the quantitative metrics and into qualitative data. Data that you can’t simply tell by web hits. This is the data that gives you user opinions and expressions.So how do you do this?
  • Customer surveys are a great way to ask your audience.4Q is a service that will allow you to ask just a few targeted questions to random visitors of a page.SurveyMonkey is a free service that allows you to ask surveys with meaningful data and collect results. It’s super easy to use.
  • There are so many social networks and social bookmarking sites out there it is very easy to get lost and confused.
  • Facebook Insights provides some data about your pages. Also you can setup tracking URL’s to links back to your site.
  • LinkedIn doesn’t currently provide any analytics so a spreadsheet and your regular monitoring is required.
  • YouTube provides a slew of video demographic and tracking data. I’m sure other Video services do also. What is important to look at is how much of your videos are individuals watching and what type of individuals are watching videos? It is idea to have calls to action after a video so you can track a conversion and videos are an excellent starting point.
  • Monitoring your online identity becomes more and more important because with the internet anyone can be saying anything about your brand online and you. This also goes with Web Analytics 2.0. People are talking so listening to the conversation is vital. You can also engage in these users to continue the conversation.
  • There are lots of sevices that provide RSS capabilities to track a keyword. Google also has Google Alerts if you prefer a daily email. Another service worth mentioning is tracking your brand name on twitter.
  • Our president spoke at TED back in March of 2007 and the first of 2008 they released the video online. This 20 minute video became quite popular and gained a lot of attention for Wofford. Monitoring, nurturing and informing people of this content was part of the strategy.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kanaka/112972434/
  • You can always be testing something. A/B testingTweaking a page to see if it leads to more trafficOptimizing for search engines
  • This rule leads into the next rule, but concentrate on trends. Remember the data isn’t 100% accurate.
  • Setup a schedule of when you will be checking your analytics. Weekly works well for some things but for most of your bigger campaigns you will want to let them stretch out a little more and monthly will work.
  • We have gone over A LOT of various analytics and it can be overwhelming. If you don’t set goals and look for specific things then you can easily get overwhelmed. Also write them down and remember your spreadsheets.
  • Alexa & Compete are great for gaining some big picture knowledge about what is happening with your site. Also they both allow you to compare you website versus peer institutions and benchmarking.Quantcast also provides good comparison data, but what this service offers that is insightful is demographic data.Valuable to understand the trends, but don’t obsess over the data.

Hello is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics to Understand your Audience - RED1 #heweb10 Hello is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics to Understand your Audience - RED1 #heweb10 Presentation Transcript

  • Hello Is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics To Understand Your Audience
    Kyle James
    kyle@nucloud.com
    twitter.com/kylejames
    linkedin.com/in/jameskm03
    kyle-james.com
    doteduguru.comnuCloud.com
    hubspot.com
  • No Need To Take Notes
    doteduguru.com
    doteduguru.com/web-analytics
  • Why Am I Talking to You?
    ?
  • Points to Cover
    Building the Argument
    Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
    Understanding Key Terminology
    All Things Google Analytics
    Additional Analytics
    4 Rules of Analytics
  • If a tree falls in a forest and noone is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
  • Are you listeningto what your visitors tell you?
  • ?
    How are you making web decisions?
  • What is Important?
  • Possible Important Items
    Admission Specific
    • Apply to College
    • Schedule a Campus Visit
    • Request Info
    • Download the Viewbook
    • Take a Virtual Tour
    General Goals
    • Sign up for email updates
    • Watch Videos
    • Subscribe to RSS
    • Become FacebookFan
    • Join LinkedIn Group
    • Read Blogs
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Understanding Analytics Terms
  • Understood Terms
    • Visits
    • Pages/Visit
    • Absolute Unique Visits
    • % New Visits
    • Traffic Source
    • Landing Page
  • Misunderstood Terms
    • Pageviews
    • Avg. Time on Site
    • Bounce Rate
    • Exit Rate
    • Traffic Types
  • Pageviews
    not a meaningful statistic
  • Avg. Time on Site
  • Bounce Rate / Exit Rate
    Bounce Rate
    Exit Rate
    * a Bounce is always an Exit, but an Exit is not always a Bounce
  • Traffic Types
  • Benchmarking
  • Benchmarking
    http://nucloud.com/edurank/
  • BenchmarkingGoogle AnalyticsLaw & Government -> Education -> Colleges & Universities
  • Choosing an Analytics Package
  • Choosing an Analytics Package
  • Why Google Analytics is Free
    98% of Google’s Revenue comes from advertising
    The more they know the better ads they can serve up and better user behavior
    Very tight integration with Google AdWords
  • Installing Google Analytics
  • Installing Google Analytics
    SiteScan
    http://www.sitescanga.com
    WASPhttp://webanalyticssolutionprofiler.com/
  • Data Overload?
    • Segment
    • Filter
  • Google Analytics Profile
    • Up to 100 Profiles
    • with www or without
    • Setup Default page
    • Exclude URL Query
    • Setup Site Search
  • Google Analytics Profile
  • Standardizing Data
    What’s wrong with this picture?
  • Standardizing Data
  • Standardizing Data
    www.doteduguru.com
    or
    doteduguru.com
  • Sub-domain Traffic Filter
  • FilterBecause you don’t always want everything
  • Including All Domains Traffic Filter
  • Exclude IP Traffic Filter
  • Directory Filter
  • Country Filter
  • Full Referral URL Filter
  • Tracking and Tagging
  • Destination URL Tagging
  • When to Tag URLs
    Email Marketing
    Paid Search (PPC, Banner Ads)
    Offline Event Tracking
  • Destination URL Builder Spreadsheet
    Email Marketing
    Paid Search (PPC, Banner Ads)
    Offline Event Tracking
    http://bit.ly/URL_Builder
  • Tracking Links
  • Tagging Audience Segments
  • Reports
  • Site Search Report
  • Keyword Report
  • Content by Title Report
  • Referring Sites Report
  • 404 Error Page Report
  • Goal Conversions
  • Wait…There’s more
  • Offline Campaigns
  • Blogs
  • RSS Statistics
  • ShareThis Tracking
  • Web Analytics 2.0
  • Ask Your Audience
  • Monitor Social Media Growth
  • Monitor Social Media Growth
  • Video Analytics
  • Monitoring Online Identity
  • RSS and Alerts
  • Viral Campaigns
  • Final Thoughts
  • Web Analytics Rule #1“Always Be Testing”
    #1
  • #2
    Web Analytics Rule #2“Don’t get caught up in the numbers. Look at the TRENDS”
  • #3
    Web Analytics Rule #3“Setup a reporting scheduleand track key metrics”
  • Web Analytics Rule #4“Set Goals”
    #4
  • Setting Goals
    • X campus visits scheduled a month
    • X number of viewbooks downloaded a month
    • Lower bounce rate on specific landing page X% over next month
    • Get donor email campaign to generate X amount over next month
    • Increase our video exposure X% for next month
    • Promote and increase presence on a social network by X%
  • Higher Ed Analytics Revolution
    http://higheredanalytics.com/analytics/
  • Additional Reading
    doteduguru.com/web-analytics
    Occam’s Razor - www.kaushik.net/avinash/
    Trending Upwards by Shelby Thayer - www.trendingupward.net/
    Google Analytics Bloganalytics.blogspot.com/
  • Hello Is Anyone Out There? Using Web Analytics To Understand Your Audience
    Questions?
    Kyle James
    jameskm03@gmail.com
    twitter.com/kylejames
    linkedin.com/in/jameskm03
    kyle-james.com
    doteduguru.com
    hubspot.com
    nuCloud.com