Google Analytics Help

Google Analytics is a great way to monitor your page's content and popularity. There are a great number of reasons to stay up-to-date with your statistics, the main being the ability to cater to your audience. With modern technology, such as Google Analytics, Web Services can track the number of views a page gets, from what country they came from, and for how long, to name a few.

Interested parties should contact the Webmaster to set up their Google Analytics report in order to keep track of what's going on with their page. For instance, say you have an event on campus and created a page specific to this event. You get in contact with Communications and Marketing to make a slide for the front page and an notification on SMSU Today. What's next? Find out how the impact of your page by digging into Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Sample

Terminology

Page

Denotes which page the stats are in reference to. For instance, if Page is listed as "/today" we know that the stats are looking at www.smsu.edu/today

Pageviews

The number of times a page gets viewed is called a Pageview. If I log onto www.smsu.edu/email and you log onto www.smsu.edu/library, we've contributed two Pageviews to the SMSU website. However, drilling further into the stats, I contributed one Pageview to the email page and you contributed one to the library.

Significance: Analyzing why Pageviews increase or decrease is an important part of Google Analytics. Perhaps a major announcement is made, we can look to Pageviews to see how well the announcement was viewed.

However, what if there's a page titled Email which has questions about how to write emails and it's getting more Pageviews than www.smsu.edu/email (the real Email page) that must mean users are going to the wrong page expecting to find their webmail and a change should be made to correct the confusion.

Unique Pageviews

These values are calculated based on an individual user's activity on the site. If a user browses the website and ends up visiting www.smsu.edu/email five different times, they have contributed five Pageviews but only one Unique Pageview.

Significance: While it is nice to see high numbers of Pageviews, Unique Pageviews somewhat resemble the thought of a returning customer. If our Pageviews stay the same but we see a decrease in Unique Pageviews, that could mean that we are losing our user base.

Avg. Time on Page

The moment a user enters a page, a hidden timer starts. When the user clicks to a different page, the amount of time they were on the first page is submitted to Google Analytics. The stats then average out the time spent on particular pages.

Significance: Certain pages demand longer time spent when the page is a news article or a page like this, where the user is expected to spend time reading. However, if a page contains a list of links and the Avg. Time on Page is high, that could mean that the user is having a hard time finding the link they need.

Entrances

This number identifies the number of times a person visits the SMSU domain (www.smsu.edu). What makes it different than a Pageview is that it allows us to see which page a person went to first. For example, if I have a bookmark for www.smsu.edu/email and I click on it, I have given SMSU one Pageview and one Entrance at the email page.

Significance: It is important to know which pages get users into the SMSU domain. If we see that most users enter the site through www.smsu.edu/email then we know they most likely have it bookmarked or found it from a search. If a page like www.smsu.edu/campuslife is bringing in the most Pageviews, we can look at the stats to see what about that page is so special and cater to our audience or learn from what made it successful to make other pages as successful.

Bounce Rate

If a user enters the site on www.smsu.edu/email and clicks on the Webmail link, they will be taken to a different website. This will then be counted as a Bounce since the user entered and exited on the same page. In other words, they only viewed one SMSU webpage during their session.

Significance: If the users start taking one path and leave because they couldn't find what they are looking for, we could look to the Bounce Rate to determine some possible weak link pages. However, in the example above, it is common for a user to Bounce out of a page if they found exactly what they were looking for. Close analysis is needed to make use of the Bounce Rate.

% Exit

The Percentage of Exits that occur on the SMSU Website. An Exit is very similar to an Entrance, except that an Exit signifies the last page a user was on before leaving the SMSU website.

Significance: Useful for determining weak ares of the website. For example, If the content is poor on a particular page and a prospective student is looking at two different universities and they Exit our page, that may tell us that we need to update our content to keep the user engaged.

Page Value

This is not applicable to our website since it is related to the monetary value of a page based on it's popularity, usage and the ad generated income.

Last Modified: 1/27/17 11:53 AM