Photo by Kevin Dooley on Flickr.
It’s January and the time to brag about absolute numbers. Thing is, absolute numbers (visits, followers, fans) say almost nothing about online success. You need to be pretty good at numbers and statistics to really understand the regular Google Analytics reports. Read Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos to get an idea of normal people’s inability to understand numbers. It’s shocking.
Fortunately, Google Analytics has Custom Reports and Advanced Segments. And, also fortunately, there are some bright helpful minds that have made useful custom reports and segments available for free. A post on Marketingfacts pointed me to Avinash Kaushik’s blog where in posts and comments you can find useful reports and segments. After playing around with them during the weekend I found these useful for museums:
- Content and source diagnosis provides a detailed custom report of your top-content and drills it down first to the medium and then to the source. If shows what content draws people and where you might improve this.
- Daily analysis is a simple custom report that outputs a website’s main statistics sorted by day. Exporting this to Excel and mapping it with your calendar (openings of expositions, press releases) can give a quick insight in conversion rates.
- Non Flirts, Potential Lovers is an advanced segment that throws away all the accidental visitors to your website and shows you the stats for those who really visited your website (>3 pages).
- Long tail search is an advanced segment that shows the visits that came in through the back door: your long tail search results. Especially useful for collection websites and when you have lots of articles on your website.
- Page Efficiency Analysis quickly gives you the basic stats of each page on your website so you can see which ones work and which ones don’t (Who’s the best blogger? Which exposition subsite draws valuable traffic?). After the click it shows the new versus returning visitor stats of the page.
- Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis is a custom report that gives a quick overview of main statistics (including cost and revenue) of traffic sources. It’s standard, but quicker that the 3 clicks you need to gather this info without the report.
Installing the custom reports and segments is easy. Click the link (make sure you’re signed on to Google Analytics) and the thing will be added to your first Analytics account. To get it in another account, simply select it before you continue, or add the custom segment or report from the other account. Don’t delete the segments from your first account, but hide them instead. Deleting will delete them from all your accounts. Blah.
Do you use custom reports or advanced segments to analyse your museum’s data? I’d love to check your custom reports to see if we can come up with the ultimate museum web analytics kit. Thanks in advance!