Google Analytics health checklist
Most museums use Google Analytics (GA) to generate detailed statistics about website traffic and traffic sources. However, there is a lot that you can learn about online audiences and website usages. We have compiled in a single document information that can be passed to an IT department with instructions on how to properly setup GA. The instructions can be accomplished within 1 to 2 hours. Bellow you can find a non-techincal explanation about the proposed improvements.
1. 'New' Google Analytics code
As you probably know, in order to use GA, a small piece of code needs to be installed in every page of your website. In December 2009, Google has launched a new tracking code that offers an improved way to track website visitors. The document includes instructions on how to upgrade to the latest GA tracking code.
2. Monitor file downloads, clicks in external links and clicks in e-mail address
The default GA installation does not track the number of people that download files from your website, such as, PDFs or images. Also, it is often useful to know when online visitors click in links to external websites and e-mail addresses. The instructions are included in the document and the new information is available at GA/Content/Events/Overview.
3. Monitor shares with social media buttons
Modern websites include buttons that allow visitors to share content on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Recently Google included the possibility to track the sharing of your content, both on your website and on external social sites. The new reports can be found on GA/Traffic Sources/Social/Plugins.
4. Improve visitor interaction in your website
Most likely your website includes multiple paths to reach the same content. For example, the opening hours of your museum might be accessible on the top menu as well as in a link in the footer. Do you know which of those two links is most used? With the default GA installation is not possible to collect information. The new information is available at GA/Content/In-Page Analytics.
5. Monitor multiple websites in a single report
Many organisations have multiple websites, often accessible at different domain names. A common question is how many visits all these websites attract per week or month. It is possible to unify multiple websites in a single GA report. The document includes information on when it is advisable to do it and how to properly setup the multiple websites.
Do you have a different Google Analytics installations that monitors useful metrics and online behaviours? Please feel free to share it with us on the comments bellow.