Better Design Through Analytics - #eduiconf 2010


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It’s been said that “good designers redesign, great designers realign“. Design is a continual process of refinement, realignment and improvement. But how do you decide what needs refining? Do you make informed decisions or are you grasping at straws in the dark?

Web site statistics hold the key to making informed decisions, but throwing a little Google Analytics code on your site isn’t really enough.

In this half-day workshop you will learn how to use web statistics to better refine your designs. Get the basics of what all those analytics numbers mean, learn how to set measurable goals, and define conversions. Then take it to the next level with the Google Website Optimizer, A/B and multivariate testing.

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  • I’m not going to stand up here and talk for 3 hours.
    Name, Responsibility, Background and What you hope to get out of this
  • Should be ~130
  • 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 your site
    • Showcase student life & the authencity of the University 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 Specific
    Apply to College
    Schedule a Campus Visit
    Request Info
    Download the Viewbook
    Take a Virtual Tour

    General Goals
    Sign up for eConnect updates
    Watch Videos
    Subscribe to RSS
    Become Facebook Fan, Member of a Group
    Join Linked In
    Read Blogs
  • Anything you can think of that I have missed?
  • Things that you can do from your homepage (or should be able to do)
    You have 15 minutes
    Volunteer a few peeps to share their thoughts
  • Should be ~2:10
    A visitor is already on your site, aim low, just one click
  • Analytics is only one small piece in of the Realign Process
    It’s Cheap.
    It’s the only thing to defeat the Highest paid person in the room
    It also builds trust

  • Higher pageviews is not always better
    More could mean harder to find what a user wants?
    Low pageviews could be excellent navigation
    Not 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

  • Bounces are not necessarily a bad thing
  • Traffic Types (Source/Medium)
    Direct (none)
    Referral – from another site
    Search Traffic
    Organic – generic search
    Custom – set by variables
  • Should be at ~220
    Make sure you know everything in YOUR context.

  • One account for all your domains. If it’s not setup now do it tomorrow or today!
    Try to stay here till 230
  • Should go in the head
    Always use multi domain

  • Up to 100 Unique profiles can be saved
    Decide with our without www will come back more to this later
    Setup 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 purposes
    Site Search is valuable for if you have an internal search on your site that uses a certain variable to track.

  • Combining pages to remove bloat
  • Internal vs. External visitors have completely different motivations
  • Filter to just a certain directory
  • Knowing there people are coming from, the exact page is mega important
  • Campaigns! Be sure to use this for EVERYTHING!
  • Keep track in a Google Doc so it can be shared

  • Make sure to setup filters so these don’t skew your central account
  • Should be 3

  • Goto your homepage and figure out a goal
    How would someone get to that site?
    15 minutes to do this
    Get a volunteer to show theirs
  • Should be ~330
  • Understand Behavior
    Small Changes Make Big Differences
    Defeat People
    It is fun and addicting
  • Develop two versions of a page
    Randomly show different versions to users
    Track how users perform
    Evaluate (that's where statistics comes in)
    Use the better version
  • Casual Decisions
    Important Decisions (tougher)
    Points of Concern / Issues
    Lots of traffic

  • Complicated Changes
    Things that don’t result in a conversion
    Low traffic pages - around 100 conversions per page variation

  • Should be ~340
  • Who can tell me the difference between these two pages?

  • Think the fold matters?
    We decided to test it..

  • Three variations..

  • Should be ~400
  • Give them 15 minutes
    Try to show one from a volunteer
  • Using Google Website Optimizer

  • Be sure to redirect any URL’s you create back to the original when done

  • Try to combine them..
  • Should be ~410

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