We’ve Got Google Analytics (and I Have a Treadmill in My Basement)
The majority of colleges and universities in the United States have Google Analytics installed. Similarly, $870 million dollars of treadmills were sold in 2008. But, as we all know, just because you have a treadmill in your basement doesn’t make you marathon-ready. You actually have to use it! In the same way that the treadmill won't automatically whip you into shape, Google Analytics can't help drive your marketing decisions without your intervention.
At a conference last week, I spoke to over 150 people who had Google Analytics installed on their web site. A good first step. Unfortunately,
- No one on campus was an Evangelist for Google Analytics in terms of what it could do, what it could provide, or how it could help them.
- No one knew what reports and metrics were relevant to their marketing goals.
- No one knew who owned and was responsible for utilizing Google Analytics - marketing, web services, IT?
We are on a mission to serve as Analytics evangelists in Higher Education and believe that Google Analytics is the “Institution-wide solution that gives you insights into the effectiveness of your website traffic and marketing, communications, and engagement.”
One of the most important things that you should do after installing Google Analytics on your site is to set up goals. Reflecting on our work with dozens of colleges across the U.S., very few have goals set up in Google Analytics when we first start to work with them.
What is a goal in Google Analytics?
A goal is a website page that serve as conversions for your site (with some extra code, they can even be file downloads or on-page actions).
Why are goals important?
In order for Google Analytics to calculate goal conversion metrics, you must create one or more goals.
What are the four ways to track goals in Google Analytics?
- Time on site/page
What can we learn from goals?
- How many people are completing our online donation form, event attendance form, and update contact information form?
- How many inquiries lead to applicants?
- What pages of our site are successful in leading visitors to complete desired actions?
- What social media sources are generating engagement?
- What sources of paid lead generation are creating conversions?
If you have Google Analytics installed on your web site, congratulations! If you are an analytics ninja, your institution is in great hands! If you want to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to gauge the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts, please send us a note.
For more information on the state of analytics in higher education, please visit Karine Joly at HighEdExperts to learn more about her annual survey.
Do you have Google Analytics installed?
How are you using Google Analytics to inform your marketing strategy?