How Google Analytics Helps
Eastern University uses Google Analytics for web analytics. Google Analytics is a snippet of code that is placed on all of the pages on our website. This code relays data to a portal that we can log into and access in the form of various reports and graphs. This is very helpful data for marketing to interact with. It helps us to evaluate how the www.eastern.edu website is performing along with data on our advertising. Below is an example of data for the month of March, 2012:
Google Analytics and Website Performance
So, how is this helpful? Well, it’s hard to describe the sheer volume of data that is available. Listed in the overview report above are a small portion of some of the basics in determining how your website is doing. If you compare this data year over year (see chart below) you can get a sense for what is going well and what isn’t. By comparing this data year over year we see that while we had fewer visits to the website this March, we had a greater percentage of new visitors and they were likely to spend more time on the website than in years previous.
|March 2012||March 2011||March 2010|
|Avg. Visit Dur.:||3:30||2:55||2:49|
|% New Visits:||29%||21%||25%|
We can also use Google Analytics to dig a little deeper into these “new visitors” to the website. For example, after running a couple of simple reports we are able to see that the top four states that are sending new visitors to the website are PA, NJ, NY and MD. Nothing too surprising there. But the state that ranks 5th is California. Since Jan. 1st, 2012 there have 3,921 first time visitors to the website from California. And nearly 60% of all visitors to the website from California are new visitors. Digging in a step further we can see that a majority of those visit are coming from the San Francisco area. Passing this kind of information along to our undergraduate admissions team has allowed them to target California in a more significant way since we know there is more interest there relative to other states.
Google Analytics and Advertising Performance
Here is one other brief example on how Google Analytics helps here in the Eastern University Marketing department. Like many other institutions of higher education we create advertising to drive interest in Eastern. We always want feedback in how that advertising is performing. With every online ad that we create, we can attach a snippet of code that allows us to receive tracking data in Google Analytics. This helps us understand if the money that we are spending on a particular campaign is worth the investment.
Here is an example of an ad for the Ph.D. program at Eastern that was placed on Facebook. The tracking code allowed us to know that this ad, that ran from Feb. to March 2012, sent 1,346 visits to the website and to date of those visitors 11 of them filled out a form requesting more information and 5 of them have submitted applications. That is a huge return for about an $1,800 advertising investment. All of this is literally just scratching the surface of the ways in which Google Analytics helps in our day-to-day activities at Eastern University.