The Content Analysis in Depth

  • What’s in the Report

    The content analysis gives you a page-by-page analysis of each page in your website that received visitors during the month reported. (Pages that receive no visits are not included in the report.)

    Remember, you’ll get two content analyses: one that shows all visits, and one that shows only external visits.

    Measure What It Is What It Means
    Page Your pages are listed by URL, with the portion removed. So if you see /page.aspx=id&ItemID=24443, that means Listing pages by URL makes sure you can identify the exact page for which you are seeing statistics.
    Pageviews Total number of times this page was viewed. A single pageview is the loading this page into a browser. Each time a visitor reloads the page, it counts as an additional pageview. This is a measure of the popularity and findability of this page.
    Unique Pageviews The same as pageviews, except that reloads by the same user during the same visit are not counted. Perhaps the best measure of the popularity and findability of this page because it does not count reloads by the same user.
    Avg. Time on Page The average amount of time, in minutes and seconds, that visitors spent on this page. If you are providing content: how engaging is your content? Or, if you are providing a service, how difficult is your content?
    Bounces How many one-page visits occurred on this page. This statistic shows you how many times visitors entered the website on this page then left without visiting any other pages. This can be a measure of your content quality, although there are some circumstances in which a bounce is desirable.
    % New Visits Percentage of visits to this page that were from visitors coming to the site for the first time. Are new visitors finding this content? Is it of more interest to repeat visitors or new visitors?
    Total Goal Completions The number of visits to this page by visitors who also completed one of our analytics goals on the same visit. How much are your pages contributing to our admissions efforts? Do visitors take any action to attend IUP after viewing your pages?
    Per Visit Value Average amount of “revenue” generated by visits that included this page. See above, and see the note about analytics goals below.
    Goal Conversion Rate Percentage of visitors to this page who complete one of our analytics goals. See above, and see the note about analytics goals below.

    About Analytics Goals

    The last three items above refer to our site-wide analytics goals. Currently, all of these goals are admissions-oriented: we count goal completions when visitors sign up for visits, download applications, request more information about a program, etc.

    Each of these analytics goals is assigned a (mostly) arbitrary monetary value: $1 for an information request, $2 for a campus visit sign-up, and $3 for an application download. Those are the values used to calculate the per-visit value for each page.

    Obviously, this whole system was designed for e-commerce, but assigning the monetary values to each goal allows you to more easily see which of your pages are contributing to admissions and which are not.

    Actions to Take

    The content analysis report can suggest more specific actions than the site report:

    • Pageviews too low? Take a look at the page:

      1. Assess the page’s content: Are you offering content that is of interest to your audience?

      2. Assess the page’s findability: Can you tell what the content is from the title of the page? Remember that when visitors find your page on a search engine, the title of the page may be their only clue as to the content of the page. Is the page findable by browsing the site? Is it on the menu? (Every page should be on a menu.)

    • Average time on page low? Take a look at the page’s content:

      1. Can you reasonably view all the content on the page within the average time? If not, visitors are leaving your page before they read it. You may want to update your content to make it more useful for your visitors.

      2. Is the page more service oriented? Perhaps a lower time on the page is better. For instance, a low average time on page is just want we want for the A to Z Index. A high average time would indicate that visitors are having trouble finding what they want.

    • Lots of bounces? Try calculating the bounce rate for that page (bounces divided by pageviews). If it comes out to over 30 percent, take a look at the page and figure out why.

      1. A bounce often means that someone came to your page, didn’t like it, and left. Take a look at the page in question: why would someone come here? How would the title of the page look in a search engine? What might a visitor be expecting that he or she would not find here?

      2. A high bounce rate can sometimes mean that someone is using this page as their browser’s home page. So every time they surf the web, they load this page first, then go off somewhere else—and get counted as a bounce. Compare the bounce rate for the page in question on your “All Visits” and “External Only” reports. If the bounce rate is high internally, but low externally, someone may have your page set as their home page.

    • Percentage of new visits low?

      1. For a recruitment page, this may indicate a problem. The advice above still applies: is your content of interest to your audience? Can they find it?

      2. For a non-recruitment page—for instance, one meant to communicate with faculty or students—a low percentage of new views might be a sign that things are going well.

    • Goal completions/per visit value/goal conversion rates low?

      1. For a recruitment page, this may indicate a problem. Check your content and its findability. Also take a look at whether there are pathways from your content to the correct admissions website. In other words, once you’ve interested a prospective student in your program, make sure they can easily figure out how to apply.