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Google Analytics: Session Summary

October 17, 2011

Session by SuHui Ho and Jeff Wisniewski on “Improving your website with Google Analytics’ statistics.” Let’s get into the fun stuff.

Many great features in Google Analytics.

Two reports SuHui covered:

Top Content Report
Most popular pages on website. Can filter and manipulate the results. Most useful for content life cycle management and deciding priorities for updating pages. Also helpful for deciding information architecture of site by figuring out what tasks people are completing the most on your website. Very helpful for designing homepages.

Traffic Sources Report
Can learn how people come to the webpages and where they go on your website. Goes beyond total hit count, which can be deceiving. Can use reports to determine keywords being used in search engines to find your site. You can also find out the referring sites that send people to your website.

Slide presentation availabe on Slideshare

Goals and Funnels (talk by Jeff Wisniewski)

Goals: page a vistor reaches once they have completed a desired action, such as completing a form, getting to a subject guide page.

Funnels: the optimized steps along the way to get to the goal.

You can set up goals and funnels to check how people are getting to certain pages and use the results for figuring out where people are getting lost. [Sounds great for usability testing]

99% of the time the “goal type” is a URL destination for libraries, based on Jeff’s experience.

Jeff did a nice, detailed overview of creating a goal and funnel. Instead of describing how to create it, I’m going to let you go try it for yourself. I think setting up things like this make more sense if you just go do it yourself and “tinker” with it as our keynote speaker, John Seely Brown, would say.

The reports are quite powerful and useful for redesigning your processes to complete tasks on your website.

Takeaway
Google Analytics is extremely powerful. I’m definitely going to be talking with our library’s web team when I get back to see what we are using and what we could be doing better to leverage the power of these reports and goals/funnels to improve our website.

Now time for lunch before the marathon of afternoon sessions. Allons-y!

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