Why do we communicate?
• Why do you have a website?
• What’s your message?
• What will you measure?
• Is it SMART?
Specific, Measurable, Achievable (or actionable),
Relevant, Time-bound (timely)
• Will you be able to act upon your findings?
Before you measure:
Is content student/client-focused?
• Inform, persuade
• Increase registrations, purchases,
• Increase brand awareness
• Increase status, build a following,
start a movement
• Customer retention
• Change behavior
• Generate qualified leads
• Answer my question quickly and
• Get me past a pain point
• Simplify my decision-making, my life
• Increase my status
• Affirm my beliefs, ideas, decisions
• Be entertained
• Collaborate, share, socialize
Data sources in addition to Google Analytics
• Email analytics
• Customer relationship management (CRM) data
• Customer surveys
• Informal conversations
• Call Center data (front desk, receptionist, or adviser)
• Industry data (Lipman Hearne, Stamats, Councils of Graduate Schools)
• Data from across business/university silos
• Tracking codes
General health measures (trend lines)
• Number of unique visitors (Is the site still performing?)
• Time on site (Are people hanging around?)
• Avg. number of pages views (Do they look around?)
• Frequency and recency (Do they maintain interest?)
• Bounce rate (Do they run away?)
• Page load times (Do they have to wait?)
What do communicators care about?
• Are people reading my stuff?
• How do they find it?
• Do they take the time to read it?
• Do they engage with my site?
• What pages are getting shared?
• Did my new headline make a difference?
• Did my new meta description make a difference?
• What else should I write about?
What can we learn from analytics?
New or legacy web page(s)
• Is it seen? Views, page ranking in search
• Is it accepted? Time on site/page
• Is it relevant? Times shared, inbound links, trackbacks
• What’s the best way to amplify this type of message? Review of
where it’s shared, or clicked on. Which sources return best
• You’re not just reporting. You’re also LISTENING.
You’re looking for signals about what interests your
• SHARE what you learn
• Use your own community
• Other metrics:
Is level of interest in a site reflected in applications,
subscriptions, attendance, inquiries?
Does interest in your site rise and fall with other
What does “/” mean?
• / is usually your home page.
• If it doubt, you can usually change your view to show page
A few terms
• Pageviews – Includes repeated views of a single page during a session.
• Unique pageviews – Number of visits during which the page was viewed
at least once.
• Entrances - # of times visitors entered your site through this page
• Bounce rate – Percentage of single-page visits.
• Avg. time on page – Time spent on this page by visitors who decided to
visit another page on your
• NOTE: Someone could come, read one page thoroughly and count as
both a bounce and a zero second visit. (The last page a visitor views on
your site doesn’t produce a time because there’s no end count event.)
Comparing trend lines over time
Spikes and dips
• Interest is related to seasons, events, holidays
• New inbound link | lost inbound link
• Your changes paid off | you broke the page
• News story
• Social media campaign worked
• Google search algorithm change
• You got called out in social media
Polar vortex, Panda, home page changes, new inbound links, new navigation or design
where the visit (and judgement) begins
• Not always the home page
• Pages that are shared and linked to
• Usually pages with the useful, fun, or
What we want to proofread again, review
regularly, write more of
Behaviors > Site Content > Landing Pages
Home page is 2nd.
Unique pageviews, time on page, bounce
Short stays are not always bad
• Navigation pages – Great. They found their next link
• Shopping carts/registration confirmations – Yay! They’re
eager to complete.
• Pages with a major call to action (as long as they take the
What are we looking for?
• Trends over time
• Unexpected spikes and dips in trend lines
• Comparisons to other pages
• 5% increase in traffic from Google over the prior quarter
• 8% increase in time on page over prior version of page
• 10% decrease in exits on a page compared to last year
• 6% increase in visits from social media over last quarter
• 3% increase in goal conversions (you set these)
•These are the sites and people willing to give
you an endorsement
•Or they might be using you as a negative
Don’t freak out about these.
Just ask your developer(s) to take a look.
You can ask for your search logs
• Scan the search queries
• Look for the
• Unexpected (need new content, different words?)
• Repeated (problem with navigation?)
• Outdated (need a page just for these queries?)
• Consider KeyMatches
Ask for a screen shot instead of this
Lots of searches for
“director school of
What analytics doesn’t measure well
• Upcoming trends, interests, needs
• True satisfaction (Are people just taking the best
they can find?)
• Why a page fails (jargon, not of interest, too
wordy, poor choice of image, etc.)
• Visitor intent
• Visitor intent to return
• Follower count
• Likes, +1s
• Unsolicited shares (created their own posts linking to
• Engagement (comments)
• Clicks on landing pages or target pages from social
• Which social channel performs best
• Open rate
• Clicks (on which content?)
• Subscription rate
• Unsubscribe rate
• Leads generated / goals achieved
• Time to publish
• Content throughput (volume)
• Content backlog
• Production cost
• Distribution cost
• Who writes your best performing content?
Learn much more
• Identifying and Filtering Internal Traffic
from Google Analytics
• 7 Essential Intelligence Events for Your
Google Analytics Account
• 18 useful Google Analytics custom reports,
segments and dashboards for SEO
• YouTube Tracking In Google Analytics &
Google Tag Manager
• Understanding Bot and Spider Filtering
from Google Analytics
• Where Should The Google Analytics
Tracking Code Be Placed?