Google Analytics Reporting for Higher Education

 

Basic Reports include month-over-month (March 2016 vs April 2016), year-over-year (Mar 2015 vs Mar 2016, or 2015 vs 2016) reports that look at traffic (visitors, sessions) and events (video, download, etc.) by audience (prospective students, current students, faculty, parents, alumni), device (mobile, tablet, desktop), marketing mediums (organic, paid, social, email, etc.) and marketing sources (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc.),  and geography (state, region, country) with respect to conversions (tour request, information request, registration for event, application download, etc.).  We recommend using these base variables to also look at popular pages and key phrases, overall and within specific sections of the website (academics, campus life, etc.).

 

Audience Reporting:  Utilize advanced segments within new dimension values to track students, alumni, faculty, then include them as secondary dimensions to provide more depth to your reports.  It’s also a good idea to create separate reporting views for, say “Current Students”, “Prospective Students”, “Alumni”, etc.

 

Dashboard:  GA allows you to create a Report Dashboard where you can setup frequently needed reports to ensure continuity each time you review/analyze your data.  These can be automated for regular delivery to key stakeholders.

 

Rollups:  Use dual tracking to allow custom reporting for departments that roll-up to the university level. 

 

Notations:  Google Analytics allows you to insert notations, or comments, into the various reports.  It’s a good to provide these notes to explain certain blips or changes as they happen so you can refer to them in the future (and understand why). 

 

Dynamic Phone tracking:  If a prospective student comes to your website and decides to call your Admissions office, rather than send an email or submit a form, you can track these in Google Analytics as well, to make your GA reporting even more complete.  Take it a step further by using different dynamic phone numbers in key areas of your website to tie phone calls to specific content areas.

 

Complex Reports:  At Beacon, we have developed what we call utilization maps.  Their purpose is to show the flow by key combinations of variables. 

  
    • Device Utilization Map:  Shows 12 months of traffic and engagement metrics (sessions, page views, time on site, bounce rate, pages/visit, conversions, conversion rate) by device metrics for the primary content groups on the site (Admissions, Academics, Alumni, Faculty).  It also includes the top 10 pages by device as the destination pages may vary by device.
    • Channel Utilization Map:  Shows 12 months of traffic and engagement metrics (sessions, page views, time on site, bounce rate, pages/visit, conversions, conversion rate) by marketing channel metrics (organic, referral, social, email, direct, paid) for the primary content groups on the site (Admissions, Academics, Alumni, Faculty).  It also includes the top 10 pages by Channel as the destination pages may vary by channel.
    • Season Utilization Map:  Shows traffic metrics and engagement metrics (sessions, time-on-site, bounce rate, page views, conversion data) for each month over a 12 month period for the primary content groups on the site (Admissions, Academics, Alumni, Faculty), along with a line chart with sessions and “unified engagement, conversions by month. 
    • Geographical Utilization Map:  Shows 12 months of traffic and engagement metrics (time on site, bounce rate, pages/visit, conversions, conversion rate) for the top 9 U.S. States in terms of engagement and traffic, further subdivided by the primary content groups on the site (Admissions, Academics, Alumni, Faculty).  It also includes the top 10 pages by U.S. State as the destination pages may vary by State.
 

Custom Reports:  The use of custom variables and dimensions, coupled with the sheer volume of standard variables brings endless reporting possibilities.  The key is to define what you want to learn (or know) from the data, then work backward.  A good example of custom reporting is to cross reference non-pageview events with conversions.  For instance, identify activities that typically occur during the student recruiting process, then utilize event tracking to cross-reference those events to the admission submission conversion.

 
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High Ed GA Info about Beacon
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