The web presence we currently have in place was launched in Fall of 2006 (www.niu.edu
) , and has continued to grow as more and more colleges, departments, and other offices migrate into our template system. Soon we will be implementing a new content management system, and at that time, we are looking to make more improvements to usability and user experience. Of course we plan to do some user testing with our main audiences (students, faculty & staff, alumni, parents, community) to get a better understanding of how they use our site. But we are also hoping the information we can get fro the analytics data will help support or confirm our findings.
We've used Google Analytics to track our marketing efforts in a few specific programs areas in the past, but recently we've added analytics to the main university website. I was hoping this would give me some indication as too where our users were going to if they came in from the university site's home page. As is expected, the most frequently hit link was to the Students page, which is a listing of resources related to student needs (college links, our internal student information system, financial aid, etc.). This somewhat confirms our notion that our users self-identify and will pursue a path that speaks to them (following the scent of information). We are still in the early stages of gathering and analyzing this data, so I am anxious to see what else it will reveal.
Has anyone else out there been employing Google Analytics as a tracking tool, and do you have any anecdotes or caveats to share?
By the way, I'm not going to trouble you for feedback or assessment of our site, but if you have constructive criticism to share, I will gladly take it ; )