I was at the gym this week and my mind wandered to Google Analytics. Come on, hasn't that happened to you?
One of those PA announcements came on for their membership drive espousing the benefits of regular workouts.
"What gets measured improves" is what it said. The same applies to Google Analytics, right? The challenge comes in deciding what to measure.
The strategy is the key. Google Analytics offers you a plethora of information. We lead a number of GA workshops and webinars regularly. What we hear over and over is that there is so much data, a lot of people don't know where to begin.
Has the following scenario happened to you? Your boss walks into your office on a Monday morning and says; "I need a Google Analytics report!" They might as well say to you, "I need an X-Ray report."
So how do we narrow down the request and layer in a bit more specificity? Much like the PA announcement in my gym, a good place to start is with the end in mind. What are you looking to improve? It helps to have a framework to work through your business objectives. A simple five step exercise may help you.
- Business Objectives
What is the purpose of your web site? Why are people coming through your doors? For most institutions the focus of their web presence includes the four A's, Admissions (recruitment), Alumni (fundraising), Academics and Athletics.
- Web Site Goals
What actions do you want people to take once they get there? When a prospect comes to your web site is it clear if you want them to inquire, apply, visit, and how they can do this? Is it easy to donate online, update your contact information, and sign up for events?
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI's)
What are the relevant metrics you want to measure? What numbers truly matter? What are you reporting on and how often?
- How do you measure success?
This is key to know before you begin combing through reports. How are you measuring success? What does true ROI look like? Is your web site helping you to build engagement, community, matriculated students, donated dollars and recruit the best faculty members?
What visitor attributes will provide you with meaningful insights? What are your key audience segments, internal/external traffic, geography.
The key to effective use of Google Analytics is to define what your goals are, and to develop a framework around them.
For additional information on the framework, view our recorded webinar on Google Analytics:
Jay Kelly is the President of Converge Consulting. Converge Consulting is a next generation marketing firm that uses research, Google Analytics, inbound marketing, digital and strategic communications practices to impact student recruitment and alumni engagement for College's around the world. email@example.com