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Website Analytics

A resource for Dartmouth College Library web managers.

Top Analytics to Track

Dimensions

Dimensions are descriptors and classifiers of data.

Visitor Type — Split between new visitors and returning visitors.

Landing Page — The page at which users entered your site.

Source — The source that referred traffic to your site.

Metrics

Metrics are measurements of data.

Pageviews — A view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code.

Visits — The number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site.

Visitors — The number of users who accessed your site.

Help and User Forums

For more detailed information about a wide variety of topics.

Why Web Analytics?

"Are your website visitors doing what you expect them to do or what you want them to do? Are they following the path you thought they would follow when you designed your menu system? Are visitors to your digital library page finding the link to historical photos of your city or the university's archival images? These are some of the questions you should be able to answer by using a web analytics program.

An analytics program can be used as a tool to help you get to know your users — who they are, where they are coming from, and how they use your site. Having access to information about your users helps you to make appropriate decisions about your site — whether those decisions apply to major redesigns or to ongoing tweaks and minor changes reflecting shifts in customer usage or in your own current programs and services."

Excerpted from "Using Web Analytics Well" by Kate Marek, American Libraries, 2011.

Resources on Web Analytics in the Library

Check out these documents for more information on using web analytics within a library context.

Introduction to Google Analytics

The Library's webpages include tracking code from Google Analytics (GA), a service provided by Google. This service allows for the collection of data about visits to the library site, and can help us answer questions such as:

How many people are visiting my department's pages?
Where are these visitors located?
How did they find our pages?
Which pages on my site are not being heavily used?

All data collected by Google Analytics can be viewed through an authorized Gmail account. Data for the Library webpages must be viewed using an account associated with your department.

Questions?

Questions? The Library's Web Management Group can help you get started.
(Support provided for Dartmouth College Library web managers only)

Guide compiled by Shaun Akhtar, Eric Bivona, and Ann Perbohner.