Google Analytics

Revision as of 15:20, 23 March 2015 by Cynthia Slater (talk | contribs) (For ITS: Setting up Acconts)

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

  • Pageviews: An instance of a page being loaded by a browser. The Pageviews metric is the total number of pages viewed; repeated views of a single page are also counted.
  • Visits: A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example a single visit can contain multiple pageviews. Visits end after 30 minutes of inactivity or at midnight.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of visits that go to only one page before exiting a site.
  • Exit Rate: The percentage of pageviews for which this was the last page in the visit.
  • Direct Traffic: Visits to your page that originate from someone typing the URL into their browser directly, a bookmark, or a GO shortcut.
  • Referral Traffic: Visitors to your page that originate from someone clicking a link on another domain.

Middlebury's GA Configuration


  • UA-993303-1 is the tracking code used for .middlebury.edu
  • UA-1271601-8 is the tracking code used for .miis.edu

Internal vs. External

The Middlebury tracking code has three profiles:

  • middlebury.edu (all)
  • middlebury.edu (internal)
  • middlebury.edu (external)

Internal traffic is defined as follows:

  • Anyone connected to a wall jack on the Middlebury campus, including Bread Loaf and the Snow Bowl.
  • Anyone connected to an authenticated wireless network on the Middlebury campus, such as MiddleburyCollege or midd_secure.
  • Anyone connected using the Middlebury VPN service.

This excludes traffic from the MIIS campus and unauthenticated wireless traffic on the Middlebury campus, which are considered "external" for the purposes of our web analytics.

Custom Segments

The Middlebury and MIIS tracking codes include all web services on those domains. This means that a request to "/academics" in your Middlebury report may be "www.middlebury.edu/academics", but might also be "sites.middlebury.edu/academics". To distinguish this in your reporting, you should set up a custom segment to scope your report to the particular host and page group you're interested in.

  1. Click on + Add Segment, the gray box to the right of the All Sessions box.
  2. Click on the + NEW SEGMENT red button.
  3. Give it a name like "[Name of your office/department]".
  4. Click on Conditions under Advanced on the left.
  5. Choose Hostname from the green drop-down box.
  6. Choose matches regex from the next drop-down box.
  7. In the text field enter ^www\.middlebury\.edu$, replacing www with the name of your service's subdomain if you're interested in something other than the main site (e.g. mediawiki).
  8. Click Add and then select Page from the drop-down box.
  9. Choose starts with from the next drop-down box.
  10. Enter the path to the main page of your site in the text field. The path is the part of your site URL following "edu". For example, the path to the library site is "/academics/lib".
  11. Click the blue Save button.



Anyone at Middlebury who wants to have access to our Google Analytics reports may request access through the Helpdesk. Our support for this platform is limited and consists only of creating your account and maintaining this documentation that describes the small amount Middlebury-specific changes we've made. If you require assistance with other aspects of the tool, you will need to search for solutions yourself.

For ITS: Setting up Accounts

To grant someone access to our Google Analytics reports:

  1. Log in to http://www.google.com/analytics
  2. Click on Admin in the gray bar at the top of the page.
  3. In the Account column on the left, click User Management
  4. Enter the person's middlebury.edu email address in the Add permissions for' box, select Read & Analyze as the permission level, check the Notify this user by email checkbox and click Add.
  5. If the person does not have a Google account associated with their middlebury.edu email, you will get an error message here. In this case, change the ticket type in Web Helpdesk to Software and Web Tools >> GoogleApps Account Administration and add a note requesting that an account be set up for this person. When that's complete, repeat step 4.
  6. Search of the person's middlebury.edu email in the box with the magnifying glass at the top right.
  7. In the Account Permissions dropdown, uncheck all the options so that it says None.
  8. Click on the person's middlebury.edu email address.
  9. Scroll down the list of hosts to http://www.middlebury.edu and click the + on the gray folder to expand this option.
  10. In the middlebury.edu (all), middlebury.edu (external), and middlebury.edu (internal) sections, select Collaborate from the drop-down menu.
  11. Click Save
  12. Notify the person by adding a note to their ticket in Web Helpdesk and link them to this page in MediaWiki. Here is a template that can be used in the ticket response:

You now have access to Google Analytics reports for Middlebury and should have received an email from that service. You can log in using the username and password that you use to access other Google Apps services at Middlebury, like Google Drive.

More information about setting up Google Analytics at Middlebury is available here: