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Web Analytics, a Marketer's Guide


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Review of key web analytics elements most important for college and university marketers based on use of Google Anaytics.

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Web Analytics, a Marketer's Guide

  1. 1. Web Analytics: A Guide for Higher Education Marketers ©Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. 2008 Adult Students: You Best Option for Enrollment Growth The Aslanian Group Boston, MA November 29-30, 2008
  2. 2. Two approaches to web analytics… <ul><li>(1) The “beat reporter” approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow everything happening, all the time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(2) The “investigative reporter” approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s important to know? Why is that the case? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The marketing director assigns the story. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Melissa Burdon, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Select “most important” or “need to know” items from everything that’s possible. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Thanks for sharing experiences… <ul><li>Notes and experiences shared by… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Juniata College </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gabe Welsch, Assistant Vice President of Marketing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rick Stutz, Coordinator of E-Communications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>St. Edward’s University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carmella Manges, Director of E-marketing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Missouri </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lori Croy, Director of Web Communications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Richmond </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eric Palmer, Director of Web Services </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why use Google Analytics? <ul><li>“ Google's products are free, well-maintained, have a great support base, and in this case specifically, way more robust and easy to use than the other options out there.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Google is easy to implement, easy to understand and easy to get others to use because of the name recognition factor. Because the name Google was attached to the analytics, people who received the data also had an immediate ‘trust’ factor that what was provided was valid.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Problems with Google Analytics… <ul><li>Concern over Google’s access to your data. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The service could go away at any point. Save your log files for in-house analysis.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key metrics recommended… <ul><li>Page views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We buck the myth that page views are a dead metric” for key pages that “feed our conversion funnel.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Average time on a page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If you have a 3 minute video on a page, and users are spending only 15 seconds on it, you might consider improving it.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New visitors vs. repeat visitors </li></ul>
  7. 7. Google is determining key pages… <ul><li>Graduate </li></ul><ul><li>Undergraduate </li></ul><ul><li>Admissions </li></ul><ul><li>Schools & Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Athletics </li></ul><ul><li>Departments </li></ul><ul><li>Human Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Degree Programs </li></ul>
  8. 8. Track interest in degree programs…
  9. 9. Key metrics recommended… <ul><li>Response to a marketing activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ An email is sent out to admitted students encouraging them to join a forum to talk to other admitted students. Did it generate sign-ups? If so, what other pages did those users visit? Where did they come from? How long did they spend on the forum, and more importantly, what percentage of them posted?” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Key metrics recommended… <ul><li>Browser compatibility every 6 months </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We are starting to notice more mobile browsers (iPhone, blackberry, etc) so this is a trend to watch. It will require a mobile web strategy eventually.” </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Major challenge to success… <ul><li>Separating internal web traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Learning curve to translate stats to practical recommendations for admissions, alumni </li></ul><ul><li>Getting departments across campus to adopt an analytics program </li></ul><ul><li>Good working relationship with IT staff </li></ul>
  12. 12. What does a marketer need to know? Google Analytics has 80+ programmed reports about website data… More data than you need to know
  13. 13. Do you need to know 47 screen resolutions?
  14. 14. Or 30 browser variations?
  15. 15. Marketing information from this page?
  16. 16. Let’s make a list… <ul><li>Where did visitors come from? </li></ul><ul><li>How many were new? </li></ul><ul><li>What did they do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch the video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print the page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email to someone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow a link? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MBA curriculum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FAQs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take an action? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Apply for admission </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Check points to start…set goals <ul><li>Your web marketing goals might include… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watching a video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading a blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking an online campus tour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completing an inquiry form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registering for a campus program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribing to a newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applying for admission </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Check point to start… filter out internal use <ul><li>Data on internal use is always there. </li></ul><ul><li>After you set the filter, you’ll never see it. </li></ul><ul><li>Essential to get internal use out of your marketing information. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
  20. 20. Percent visits by media type… <ul><li>What’s making people visit your website? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic search? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid advertising? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email marketing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print advertising? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does this match with your marketing efforts? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Percent visits by source… <ul><li>Results for “Organic Search” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google dominates, more than among use in the general population </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How important are other activities to bring people to your website? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Percent of new vs. returning visitors <ul><li>Are your marketing efforts bringing new visitors to your website? </li></ul><ul><li>Where did the new visitors live? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regions (states)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Countries? </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Average time on your site… <ul><li>Average time on site is 1.38 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Is this good or bad? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on why they visited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These visits were to see Link of the Week page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bounce rate: 72.9% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Looked at one page and left </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Average time by segments… By source of the traffic… By search keywords
  25. 25. Popularity of individual web pages… <ul><li>What pages are visited most often? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How long do people stay on them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they exit from these pages or move to other pages? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify pages you’d like people to visit that are being ignored </li></ul>
  26. 26. Entry pages where people start… Bounce rate is a key metric here
  27. 27. Keyword marketing information… <ul><li>If you advertise online, segment keywords to show the “non-paid” results. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare these to words you use in advertising. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide if you should change your paid search terms </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. What happens with your own search? <ul><li>Marketing research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are people looking for on your site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What words do they use to find it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does your “search” give the right answer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are your “Quick Links” accurate? </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Advice on starting an analytics program… “ Get started - set up a site and start to learn how to read the stats - stats are being wasted for every day you don't try this out.”
  30. 30. Getting up to speed and staying there…
  31. 31. A good place to start…
  32. 32. A book and a blog to continue…
  33. 33. Keeping up to date… ClickZ MarketingProfs
  34. 34. Glossary for reference…
  35. 35. Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President and Senior Consultant Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 226 Chauncey Court Marshall, MI 49068 248.766.6425 [email_address] Customer Carewords Research for Online Marketing Success: