Wofford’s Web Analytics OctoberSummary

It has been months since I posted one of these.  I honestly assumed that these things were similar enough every month that after the first what is the point in sharing every one?  Each report continues to increase in depth and measurements.  After the recent wave of analytic presentations it really seems like the community is as interested in analytics as I am!  Maybe I can just dream that I had some part in convincing them of it’s importance?  So I wondered if it wasn’t about time to post another so I simply asked the question of the twitter crowd.

analytics report talk on twitter Woffords Web Analytics OctoberSummary

So if you are not on Twitter here is just another example of the power of the community and reason to join.  Without two minutes I had six “tweets” of interest.  That was more than enough to convince me of the value of putting together this post.  I mean everything else is already compiled.  So here it is guys.

View October
Web Analytics Report for Wofford

Also below are some key takeaway and actionable steps for moving forward that I noticed and reported on in my monthly email.  Remember just because I care about all these numbers most people aren’t going to understand or care about the report so a summary brings you some takeaway points and also provides you with some actionable steps for the month going forward.

OctoberAnalytics Summary

Takeaway points

  • Wofford continues to trend positively against benchmark institutions across all three ranking services.  Recent trend downward (remember closer to 1 the better in rankings) are a direct relation to the start of school and increased site usage.
  • Analytizing some additional data this past month shows that we need to optimize lower pages around specific keywords as we have a lot of searches taking place on pages other than the homepages.  These visitors are looking for something specific and not finding it.
  • Off-Campus traffic continues strong.  Relatively speaking we care more about this traffic segment.
  • Our Email Marketing campaign has been recognized as a Benchmark for Email Marketing by other institutions and even our Bronto representative says that we set the bar for what higher education should be doing.  This effort continues to draw strong traffic to the Wofford website.
  • Our audience continues to not use embrace RSS to gather content from Wofford or our blog network.  Despite this they obviously read and consume content in the Blog network.  It is also an additional measure for Wofford to “get found” online bringing 1,144 visitors through search engines that might not have found Wofford otherwise.
  • Social Networking outlets continue to blossom.  Facebook and LinkedIn specifically.

Actionable Steps for November

  • Using Site Search data to analyze where searches are happening and what individuals are specifically looking for to make that easier for visitors to find.  With the purpose to lower searches on these sub pages.
  • Focusing on off-campus traffic looking for “low hanging fruit” pages that could be optimized to reduce bounce rates on pages greater than 70%
  • Digging into departmental specific reports looking for under performing pages and optimize based on factual data.
  • Attempt to increase email traffic to the site 10% to 2,600 visits in November through better calls to action and better tracking measures.
  • Setup a profile to track Blog traffic for off-campus visits only.  Is our blog reading audience strictly on campus visitors?  Doing some drill down digging looks like about 17% of traffic is on campus.
  • With Social Networking showing promise we are also planning on pushing forward with more video syndication across multiple sites with much of our video content.  It will be interesting to measure the success of this.


Remember I’ve been working and refining these monthly reports for over a year now.  You won’t have segmented data or year over year data out of the gate.  Just add those segments as they come along.  Also this shouldn’t take all your time.  One day a month compiling the report.  So if there are 20 work days in a month this is 5% of your time.  Give it one good day of focus and make sure that you come out with actionable steps from your research and reporting.

Here is the full list of previous Monthly Analytics Posts to help build a fuller strategy.

7 Responses to “Wofford’s Web Analytics OctoberSummary”

  1. Says:

    Top notch as always Kyle.

    You get really good data from your profiles and are really a pro when it comes to interpreting.

    In a couple months when we launch the new site, I’ll definitely take your advice and spend 1 solid day a month researching and creating some actionable steps.

  2. Says:

    Is this the only report you generate? (Do you give the same report to everyone?)

    We’ve started doing a few different reports, for select audiences, with data specific to their needs. (i.e. more detailed geodata for Admissions, general overview for admin, user technology data for I.T.)

  3. Says:

    @Justin - thanks for your kind words.

    @Anthony - you are correct that this is very much an overall report that I send to the president and cabinet along with my boss (VP of Marketing). I do have departmental reports that I’m still in the process of teaching departmental individuals how to pull meaningful data from. They don’t care about this overall data, but the top tier players like to see an overview.

    Also departmental data is simpler because you don’t have to look at all these different metrics, instead focusing on smaller buckets of data. Also video, rss, blogs, benchmarking, etc are more universal so they don’t have to been looked at departmentally.

  4. Says:

    Hey Kyle,

    I missed your Tweet the other day, but you know I would have voted yes! :)

    Great stuff.

    Like Anthony, we do small program-specific reports and analysis along with a broader overview for leadership.


  5. Says:

    Wow - just stumbled across this. Very enlightening. It will help me take my tiny GA reports to a whole new - and internally understandable - level. Thanks!

  6. Says:

    This is really useful for me Founder- I’m nicking a few of your ideas for my own reports!

    But one thing I’d like to know more about is how important people feel the ‘goals’ are in google analytics, and whether there is any benchmarking data on these so we can compare against other universities/colleges?

    I use goals a lot in my reports to see how valuable visits are from a marketing perspective. But is there any data out there on sector averages for this?

  7. Says:

    Lucy - Goals are VERY important. I admit I don’t do a good enough jobs with goals. If you check out my presentations on Analytics setting goals is one of the most important points I try and drive home. We are working in that direction of setting up better conversion goals in GA but aren’t quite there yet. As far as from a business standpoint it is goals that make the most sense to people and how you can best measure ROI.

    As far as benchmarking you have Alexa, Compete, Quantcast but you have to decide on your own benchmarks. There really isn’t anything out there of major sharing honestly I can only tell you of one or two other institutions that share as much as I’ve got here.