Google Analytics strategyWhat it is and why you need one                              Neil.Allison@ed.ac.uk        Univers...
“He uses statistics as adrunken man uses lamp posts  - for support rather than       for illumination.”                   ...
• Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?•   What Google Analytics can tell us•   What shouldn’t I do?•   OK, what s...
Website analytics• The measurement, collection, analysis and  reporting of internet data• For purposes of understanding an...
How Google Analytics works• A hidden snippet of code that is added to all  webpages• This code collects visitor informatio...
What Google Analytics collects• Information about a visit to our website,  including:  –   Whether the visitor has been to...
What Google Analytics doesn’t record• Document downloads• Clicks on links to destinations not tracked by  our code• Intera...
We collect tons of data• In 2011 the University Website had:  – Unique Visitors:   4,061,338  – Pageviews:         73,827,...
Segmentation• Few – if anyone - should be  interested in taking all this  data at once.• You will only be interested in  a...
• Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us•   What shouldn’t I do?•   OK, what sho...
Google Analytics can tell us• Things like…            • My question today:   –   Top content   –   Top search terms   –   ...
Google Analytics doesn’t tell ushow to build a better business         It’s just numbers…
• Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should ...
“We want more visitors”• Does this = success?    Probably not…   – Do you really want fewer unnecessary enquiries?   – Or ...
“We want to see how effective our        advertising has been”• But what are visitors doing on arrival?  – Think quality n...
“We want people to watch our video”• Or maybe download our brochure…• No – you want quality applications  – You want to ga...
“We want our users to…”• But who are your users? (we really mean target audience)   – Certainly not everyone who arrives a...
Beware of redesign based on         Google Analytics alone• Google Analytics can tell  you what, but not why   – Jumping t...
•   Why I’m here today•   What is Google Analytics?•   What Google Analytics can tell us•   What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what...
What constitutes a successful visit?• Identify what you want visitors to do:  – Spent x minutes on site  – Visited pages A...
Put a value on your content        creation & management• Is video content worth the investment?• Is it worth our while ge...
Identify things that         warrant further investigation• Back to the elephant   –   Usability testing   –   Surveys   –...
•   Why I’m here today•   What is Google Analytics?•   What Google Analytics can tell us•   What shouldn’t I do?•   OK, wh...
Set up your website           to identify audiences• If you bundle a range on content on a page,  you can’t identify what ...
Some potential audiences•   Within or outside the University network•   From a particular geographic location•   With brow...
For example…• What can we learn about people in China who  have demonstrated a strong interest in  programme x?• How does ...
•   Why I’m here today•   What is Google Analytics?•   What Google Analytics can tell us•   What shouldn’t I do?•   OK, wh...
Why do all this?• Justify the effort put into your website  – Make a case for more resource?• Measure the value added by b...
Thank youQuestions?                        Neil.Allison@ed.ac.uk  University of Edinburgh Website Programme            www...
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Developing a strategy for use of Google Analytics

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Presentation to the Web Publishers Community at the University of Edinburgh, April 2012.

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Developing a strategy for use of Google Analytics

  1. 1. Google Analytics strategyWhat it is and why you need one Neil.Allison@ed.ac.uk University of Edinburgh Website Programme www.ed.ac.uk/website-programme @usabilityed
  2. 2. “He uses statistics as adrunken man uses lamp posts - for support rather than for illumination.” Andrew Lang Scottish poet 1844 - 1912
  3. 3. • Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should I do?• Identifying your audiences• Why bother with all this?
  4. 4. Website analytics• The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data• For purposes of understanding and optimising web usage
  5. 5. How Google Analytics works• A hidden snippet of code that is added to all webpages• This code collects visitor information and sends it back to Google servers for processing – Requires JavaScript and cookies• Polopoly-generated pages include this automatically. – Everyone else needs to make sure it’s included.
  6. 6. What Google Analytics collects• Information about a visit to our website, including: – Whether the visitor has been to the site before – When the visit occurred – The referring site or campaign – What the visitor did during their visit – Where they are and the technology they used• All data is aggregated and anonymised
  7. 7. What Google Analytics doesn’t record• Document downloads• Clicks on links to destinations not tracked by our code• Interactions with in-page content – For example an embedded YouTube video There are ways around this…
  8. 8. We collect tons of data• In 2011 the University Website had: – Unique Visitors: 4,061,338 – Pageviews: 73,827,700• That’s a big pot of data – You need to be able to break this pot down• Doing this effectively needs a strategy
  9. 9. Segmentation• Few – if anyone - should be interested in taking all this data at once.• You will only be interested in a slice based on your visitors• This is where segmentation comes in…
  10. 10. • Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should I do?• Identifying your audiences• Why bother with all this?
  11. 11. Google Analytics can tell us• Things like… • My question today: – Top content – Top search terms – Visits – Unique visitors –“So what?” – Time on site – Pages per visit – Bounce rate Hopefully I’ll answer this too…
  12. 12. Google Analytics doesn’t tell ushow to build a better business It’s just numbers…
  13. 13. • Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should I do?• Identifying your audiences• Why bother with all this?
  14. 14. “We want more visitors”• Does this = success? Probably not… – Do you really want fewer unnecessary enquiries? – Or maybe more “valuable” enquiries?• Beware of measuring something just because it’s easy to do
  15. 15. “We want to see how effective our advertising has been”• But what are visitors doing on arrival? – Think quality not quantity• A referrer is a great way to identify a particular type of user – Compare their behaviour to others who didn’t visit via the advertising campaign
  16. 16. “We want people to watch our video”• Or maybe download our brochure…• No – you want quality applications – You want to gauge how watching the video is affecting user behaviour, compared to those that aren’t – Are they reading more content? Staying longer on site? Doing the things you want them to do?
  17. 17. “We want our users to…”• But who are your users? (we really mean target audience) – Certainly not everyone who arrives at your site • Potentially only a small proportion – How can we use Analytics to identify them? • Good site and content structure is essential
  18. 18. Beware of redesign based on Google Analytics alone• Google Analytics can tell you what, but not why – Jumping to conclusions is easy and dangerous• Analytics + User Research = Greater than the sum of • How many blind their parts men are there round your elephant?
  19. 19. • Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should I do?• Identifying your audiences• Why bother with all this?
  20. 20. What constitutes a successful visit?• Identify what you want visitors to do: – Spent x minutes on site – Visited pages A, B and C – Downloaded brochure x – Completed my enquiry form – Spent x minutes reading how to apply info – Rated or shared my content• Or possibly a combination of some of these?
  21. 21. Put a value on your content creation & management• Is video content worth the investment?• Is it worth our while generating x news articles per month?• If we cut y pages from our website, would it affect our ‘performance’?
  22. 22. Identify things that warrant further investigation• Back to the elephant – Usability testing – Surveys – Click analysis – etc
  23. 23. • Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should I do?• Identifying your audiences• Why bother with all this?
  24. 24. Set up your website to identify audiences• If you bundle a range on content on a page, you can’t identify what the visitor was there for• In the absence of video and download numbers, structure your site accordingly – If you want to compare prospective students who watched our video to those who didn’t…
  25. 25. Some potential audiences• Within or outside the University network• From a particular geographic location• With browsers set to not-English• Using mobile devices• Having visited a particular page – Especially form ‘thank you’ pages• Having spent x minutes on the site• Having viewed at least y pages Or more likely – a combination of these…
  26. 26. For example…• What can we learn about people in China who have demonstrated a strong interest in programme x?• How does their behaviour differ from similar people based in Europe?
  27. 27. • Why I’m here today• What is Google Analytics?• What Google Analytics can tell us• What shouldn’t I do?• OK, what should I do?• Identifying your audiences• Why bother with all this?
  28. 28. Why do all this?• Justify the effort put into your website – Make a case for more resource?• Measure the value added by bringing extra data into your calculations – X visitors = Y bums on seats = £Z,000
  29. 29. Thank youQuestions? Neil.Allison@ed.ac.uk University of Edinburgh Website Programme www.ed.ac.uk/website-programme @usabilityed
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