We have talked about it before, we have worked with it countless times… Google Analytics. It is a free web analytics tool that could be very beneficial to you and your school if used properly. That is why today we are going to talk about understanding the data from Google Analytics to better understand and engage with your website’s visitors.
Crunching the numbers
Google Analytics (GA) shows a lot of numbers. You just need to find the right ones and understand what they mean. So for example, with GA you can look at the precise number of visitors returning to your website. You can also see the number of users visiting it for the first time.
Now it goes without saying that if the content on your school’s website is interesting and optimized for SEO, visitors may come back for more after their first visit. Under ‘Frequency and Recency’ you can check to see precisely which visitors visited your site repeatedly over a certain period.
You can also determine which pages are being visited the most. From there you can see what visitors prefer to look at on your website. This allows you to remodel other less-visited content while giving people more of what they prefer.
Average pages per visit
Knowing how many pages your visitors click on to before leaving your website is another important data. If the number is low, you can put call-to-action buttons. Another thing to do is to embed links to other pages within a specific page’s content.
You can also monitor the amount of time visitors spend on your website and on each page. Pages with visitors who stay longer are obviously doing better than the ones whose visitors stay only seconds. Comparing one content to the other will help you determine what the common factor attracting visitors is.
If the number of pages your average visitor click to significantly increases, congratulations! You managed to increase the engagement value of your website.
Using this data from Google Analytics will help you in understanding exactly how long visitors are on your website. You will see what specific content is engaging them and holding their attention.
Looking at your engagement rate enables you to discover if your content is engaging enough or if you should focus on developing better content for your visitors. This is really good to know if you are looking to increase your student recruitment.
Your bounce rate refers to how often a visitor lands on your website and bounces back out without even looking around. This can be caused by many factors, some of which an unattractive homepage or poor website design.
To reduce your bounce rate, design your website to be more eye-catching or add more topical content with seductive titles. And do not forget about page load time. Nobody sticks around on a slow loading website.
GA lets you see how many of your visitors have subscribed to your website via email. You can also discover how many of your subscribers actually visit your site via email links.
This information is great because it lets you assess whether or not email marketing is an effective strategy for you. Based on this you will know if you should sink more effort and resources into it or not.
You can also learn which browsers, internet service providers and operating systems your visitors are using to access your website. This can help you keep your website as optimized as possible, reducing your bounce rate.
Language and location
This category is especially useful for schools and universities looking to do international student recruitment. It will allow you to better understand who is visiting your website. This, in turn, will help you better craft pages and content addressing their needs.
The ‘Language and Location’ category of GA uses standard charts to display the behaviour of your visitors and your website’s conversion rate. The ‘Location’ portion uses a map to display where your visitors are located. This is very useful for targeting social and search ads towards areas you are already popular in or towards areas you would like to become more popular in. Either way, the map will inform you of your success or failure.
There is a lot more data available in GA, but hopefully, this list is enough for you to start. There are many wonderful ways in which GA can help you provide better content and more value to your target audience and increase the all-round performance of your website.
Let me know in the comments how you prefer to benefit from Google Analytics.
Thank you for taking the time to read or blog post on understanding the data from Google Analytics. At faethe.marketing we have been helping schools to increase student enrollments since 2010. If you are looking to recruit the best matching students for your programmes with minimal cost and effort, feel free to reach out to us.