Website analytics are a powerful data-collecting tool you can use to collect valuable information about your website’s users and the effectiveness of your website content, digital marketing and social media. With this information, you can tailor your communication strategies across all of your channels to better serve your users and meet your marketing goals.
All GW Drupal sites come installed with Google Analytics, the industry standard for tracking website data, such as:
- Sessions: a visit to your site.
- Pageviews: recorded every time a page is viewed.
- Unique Pageviews: the number of individual visitors who have looked at a page. Repeat viewers are counted once.
- Pages/Session: Pageviews divided by sessions, showing the average number of pages viewed per visit.
- Average Time on Page: the amount of time visitors spend on a particular page.
- Bounce Rate: percentage of sessions that last only one page before exiting a site.
You can also track advanced metrics, such as:
- user demographic and location;
- the browser and device types most frequently used to access your website;
- Google search data;
- how users are getting to your content from other websites and social media.
Think Like a Digital Detective
With Google Analytics’ straightforward interface and an inquisitive mindset, you can investigate a wide array of data. Paired with context and insight specific to your site’s content, you can uncover answers to your questions while also discovering new information you may not have thought of before.
The key is to look for statistical trends and aberrations and always ask what the reason may be. Remember: Your data is only as good as the insights you collect and analyze from it.
While browsing Google Analytics, you notice that traffic to a specific program page jumped considerably over a two-day period last March. Why might that be? After examining referrals for that specific page, you see much of that traffic came from Twitter and Facebook, and you remember partnering with other university departments’ social media accounts in March to promote your program launch. Analytics has revealed that social media can be quite an effective marketing tool in reaching a larger potential user base. This should impact your web and social media strategies.
You'll need a GMail account to access analytics and your @gwu.edu address won't work. We recommend you use a shared, office-wide GMail account. Once you have that, email [email protected] to get access to your site's analytics.
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