Julie Reiff on Google Analytics

Julie works at Taft School. Total newbie at Google Analytics, but has learned some powerful techniques.  Even if you do nothing else with Google Analytics, please start collecting data on your website right away.  Sign up when you get home!  Taft’s web designer signed up this information, but Julie works the information…

Hi.  Welcome.  When you get home, please sign your school up for Google Analytics right away.  Get this information on your page immediately, so you begin collecting the passive data you need so that you can make it active data eventually.

Visitors: get info about visits to your website.  Unique visitors is useful. Pageviews gives you a sense of what information is going to be useful.  Julie worries mostly about content and the content overview.  “Top Content” indicates taht top page is getting the most traction, but the sports page is the second most used. Admissions is third… the peak season for admissions made the page briefly the most-viewed, but the average tends to flatten out – showing more alumni use site than other.  Some sports, like lacrosse, get 13,000 views.  Others, not so much.

Question: What is the bounce rate? “number of single page visits. They went to a link, read an article, and then departed.”

Question: What do you do, and what’s the porfolio, and supervision on this tool?  “Great question.  This is a way to test Return on Investment (ROI) for communications.  Development can test time spent with alum based on pages donated.  How do communication directors manage this?  From this survey, I know that I have 3.5 minutes to catch their attention, read the article, see the photos.  Then they’re gone.

TRAFFIC SOURCES — This part of Google Analytics tells Taft that they’re getting hits from facebook, Google, and the keywords that people are using on Google to find the site.  Our top visitors come from the US, followed by Canada, followed by South Korea, then China, followed by Hong Kong.  Why is Finland checking us out?  No idea, but I can find out what they’re paying attention.

THERE IS A LOT OF DATA.  You can drown in the data unless you have a story to tell, and you find the supporting information.  Have a question in mind, and look for the data that answers that question.  “In God We Trust, all others bring data.”  Have a story or a narrative that you want to tell, and look for information that supports that story.  Use Custom Reporting to create special reports that answer board questions, admission questions, sports and academic questions.    You grab the criteria you care about and then manage the data accordingly.

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