The rise of Google Analytics as the leader in free web analytics services created new possibilities for administrators of non-profit websites, especially those in higher education. This new addition to the webmaster’s toolkit allows tremendous insight into nearly all aspects of web traffic: the location of site visitors, the technologies used to view the site, time-on-page, bounces, exits, and other statistics. As an early adopter of Google Analytics, I thought it would be nice to share some of what I learned with others in careers like mine around the state. Information such as how to properly install the code, understanding how the data is sampled, and finally, what to make of the reports.
There is a rhetorical connection to Google Analytics and online documents as well. Understanding audience is a key rhetorical principle and Google Analytics can supply a demographic breakdown of visitors by country and language. Also the information about how much time visitors are spending on web pages is valuable when compared to how much time an author expects is necessary—too little time on a given page might suggest that the content is dull and visitors are not reading it fully, too much time and perhaps the content is difficult to understand.
I won the best-in-conference “red stapler” award for this presentation at HEWEBAR 10 and I continue to utilize Google Analytics in my daily work as a web administrator.
For more information visit this wrap-up summary on the National HighEdWeb website.