Web analytics… notes from an updated presentation

Web Analytics: Bounce Rate and Mobile Access

Yesterday and today I’ve been updating a fall 2008 presentation on web analytics for higher education for a new webinar with Magna Communications in April.

The presentation is based on Google Analytics and uses examples from that system. Much of what’s available from GA is of course available from other analytics programs as well.

Two different elements that stand out from the updating process:

  • The “bounce” rate. In checking to possible update the source for an analytics glossary recommendation, I noticed that some glossary pages don’t even include a definition of the bounce rate. For the record, the bounce rate is the percent of visitors to a website page who leave that page without continuing on to another.
    • It is especially important for higher education marketers to track the bounce rate for new visitors from whatever entry page they start at.
    • The entry page will most often be the home page, but it might also be the admissions page or the page for a favorite academic program. If more than 35 percent of new visitors are leaving their first page without continuing, you likely have a problem.
    • You can also use the bounce rate to compare what happens at the entry pages for various academic programs. Note the highest and lowest and compare the strong points of the best performing pages with those that don’t do as well. (We are assuming, as you probably are, that potential students who start at the MBA or Nursing or Political Science entry page should continue to other pages in the same area rather than flee the site.)
  • Mobile access. Pay attention to the percent of new visitors who access the website from a mobile device. If that figure gets near 10 percent, check and see how your website works for people who enter that way. Since 2008, Google has made that report stand out under on the dashboard with a new “mobile devices” heading under “Visitors.”
    • Expect access from mobile devices to increase. The real question is how quickly that will happen (some say rapidly, others say slowly) and how much time web developers on your campus should spend in creating a mobile-friendly version of your website.
    • Use the “mobile” report in GA and you’ll be able to see just how quickly a change is taking place and you’ll know whether access is from an iPhone, an Android or a Blackberry.

Register for “Web Analytics for Recruitment Success”

Check the webinar outline and register at Magna Communications.

That’s all for now 


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