Google Analytics

About Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free service provided by Google which collects information about a website’s usage trends. Google Analytics shows you how people find your site, how they explore it, and how you can enhance their visitor experience. With this information, you can improve your website!

How does Google Analytics work?

Google Analytics uses a first-party cookie and JavaScript code embedded in web pages to collect information about visitors and to track website usage trends. Google Analytics anonymously tracks how visitors interact with a website, including where they come from, what they do on the site, and also whether or not they completed any of the site's conversion goals.

How can Google Analytics help Middlebury?

Google Analytics can help us track who is visiting Middlebury’s site and how they are getting there. It shows us what keywords people are using to find us, what percentage of visitors are new or returning, what geographical location they are coming from, what page they are entering our site on and what page they exit from, how many pages they view, what the bounce rate is for different pages, and so much more!

Basic Terminology

  • Visits & Pageviews
    • Visit or Session: A visit is a period of interaction between a visitor's browser and a website, ending when the browser is closed or shut down, or when the user has been inactive on that site for a specified period of time. For the purpose of Google Analytics reports, a session is considered to have ended if the user has been inactive on the site for 30 minutes.
    • Pageview: A pageview is any instance of a page being loaded by a web browser.
  • Uniques (visits/pageviews/visitors)
    • Unique Pageviews/Unique Views: A unique pageview, as seen in the Top Content report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique view represents the number of sessions during which a particular page was viewed one or more times.
    • Unique Visitors (or Absolute Unique Visitors): The term Unique Visitors represents the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of the specified time period. Google Analytics determines Unique Visitors by using cookies.
  • Sources & Referrers
    • Source: The source is the origin of a referral visit. Examples of sources are the Google search engine, the name of a newsletter, or the name of a referring website. A Referring Source is the exact URL of an HTML page that sends visitors to a site by means of a hyperlink.
    • Referrer: A referrer is the exact URL of a web page that refers visitors to a website.
  • Bounce Rate
    • Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.
  • Keywords & Search Terms
    • Keywords: A keyword is a word searched for using an external search engine.
    • Search Terms: A search term is a word searched for using our internal site search.
  • Goals & Funnels
    • Goals: A goal is a website page that represents a conversion for your site. Examples could be the nav link on the Admissions site to request information or the nav link to apply to Middlebury.
    • Funnels: A funnel represents the path that you expect visitors to take on their way to converting to the goal. Defining these pages allows you to see how frequently visitors abandon goals, and where they go.

Getting an automatic report set up

  • Who to ask, how often can I get a report, etc.


Login for Google Analytics

  • Dashboard description and overview; options to customize
  • Example report (embed image here)

Examples of uses

Q. What’s the most-clicked link on the LIS homepage? The least-clicked link?
Goal: determine whether or not our links are being located and used as expected

A. Enter answer here

Q. What could GA tell me about my LIS Wiki documentation page about WordPress MU, especially relating to the videos I have embedded there?
Goal: determine if people are watching the videos, see how long people are staying on the page, where they’re clicking and whether or not we could reorganize it.

A. Enter answer here

Q. On the library site, are people clicking on the Quick links to drop-down menus? Do they do this with any greater frequency than how often they click on navigation links or breadcrumb links?
Goal: Are the Quick links to menus working as intended or could we find a better use for the space?

A. Enter answer here

Q. On the library site, how often are page visitors using the Quick search search box for the various resource types listed there (MICAT, Articles, Journals, Reserves, Videos)?
Goal: determine if the resources listed there are appropriate, if we should make the tabs on the search box larger or change it in other ways to make sure it is being noticed, etc.

A. Enter answer here


Q. Can I schedule a training workshop? How can I get help with this, etc.?

A. Enter answers here

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