ATLAS Web Framework - Five Ways to Use Analytics
Strategies you can use today to improve your website and increase the audience reading your message.
Your website’s analytics can help you understand who is visiting your page, what they’re looking for, and how you can better deliver it to them. Here are five ways to use them:
1. Look for changes during specific times
Whether it’s a full admissions cycle or peak advising season, adjusting the time frame on your analytics will help you understand who is visiting, what kind of search terms they used to find you, and what content is the most popular.
Use this information to highlight specific content during particular times of the year in order to make your website more useful to the people who are visiting. For example, you might promote specific course listings when students are picking classes, and highlight employment placement information during yield season, when admitted students are deciding whether to choose Illinois.
2. See how visitors get to your site
The audience section, especially the acquisition channel graph, shows how people come to your website. This section will reflect on whether many people get to your site via search or by typing in your web address or using a bookmark (known as direct link). You might be able to increase your site traffic by adding specific keywords that match search terms. You could measure your efforts using this chart. It can also show you if any specific efforts to drive traffic through email or social media are working.
3. Understand what search terms draw visitors to your site
The top search terms feature can help you understand the topics, classes, or even faculty members driving your traffic. If it’s something you didn’t expect or don’t have ready-made content for, you might consider adding information in order to make your website more useful. If you expect to see certain terms in this list, but don’t, perhaps you need to rename or refine some of your content so visitors can find it.
4. Learn about what kinds of content your visitors want to read
Take note of the types of stories doing well in your most viewed news stories section. This can help you understand what visitors are interested in reading, and might help you understand what kinds of stories to watch for and post. In addition, if you’ve promoted a specific story in a certain way, like on a social media channel or in an email, you might be able to tell how well it’s done.
5. Compare how those on- and off-campus use your content
The on- and off-campus traffic sections are a glimpse into how different audiences interact with your content. Local traffic likely comes from students, faculty members, and staff members – seeing what pages and site sections they’re using can help you understand who they are and what they need. The same is true for the off-campus traffic section. Plus, the top five countries, states, and cities can help you understand where members of your off-campus audience live. You might be able to make some informed assumptions about who they are (possibly prospective students or alumni) based on their locations.