What gets measured gets improved.
Two Extension technology tools allow all staff to gain critical information about the reach and audience on every page of the Illinois Extension website. Two dashboards are available:
- Current Website Data Dashboard shows the current Extension website stats for the new site initiated in 2019.
- Classic sites data dashboard shows stats for the many classic Extension subject-matter websites.
- Listen to the webinar from October 2022 to learn more on using the dashboards. This handy chart explains key terms to evaluating web statistics.
What can you do today to expand your reach?
- Since much of our traffic is dependent on Google finding us, you can also review Liz Smith's recent training video on creating keyword-rich content.
- Create website events as early as possible to allow Google time to find the page.
- Find the high-performing pages on your site.
- Be intentional about adding links to other relevant content (blogs, videos, tip sheets) on these super pages that drive users deeper into other Extension webpages.
- Find pages with short “time on page” results.
- Add more robust, problem-solving content to those pages. Resist the urge to write everything you know on the topic. Instead, focus on One Problem | Our Solution. Be a helper, not an encyclopedia.
- Include keywords that people use when searching for answers.
- Make your webpage more scannable. See how we converted this legacy blog by adding links to additional blogs, embedding a short video, and improving the page layout with headlines, bolds, and bullets.
- Create content around topics that people are searching for.
- Answer the Public has an easy tool that collects the questions people are asking on specific topics.
- Be sure to choose United States (under the orange search bar near the bottom of the page).
- Enter a topic (such as native plants) and the site returns dozens of popular search queries that people are making on that topic.
- Pick one of the questions and answer it on a webpage, blog, or release.
Here's how to use the Extension Analytics Dashboard
- View data about any page of the Extension family of websites by going to go.illinois.edu/Extensionwebstats.
- Log on to the Dashboard with your net ID and password.
- Begin on the “Usage Analysis" tab and enter the portion of the page URL that comes AFTER edu.
For example, if you wanted to look at all Extension blogs https://extension.illinois.edu/blogs, you would only enter /blogs in the space labeled “page.” This will show you data about every page on the website that includes /blogs in its web address.
- Be sure to adjust the date slider to the time frame you want to collect data on. You will need to enter the page and adjust the date slider for each of the four tabs you visit.
What data is included in each of the four tabs?
- Usage Analysis shows an overview of the pageviews and the number of users during a time period.
- Page Analysis shows the number of times users entered the site on a specific page, the number of minutes users stayed on the page, and the percentage of users who left the site after visiting that single page (bounce rate).
- Source Analysis shows how users found your webpage: from a Google or Bing search, from a direct link (such as from a newsletter link or email), or from social media.
- Geographic Analysis shows where users live, including cities, states, and countries.
What the terms mean:
- Pageviews: The number of times a page is viewed and may include multiple visits from the same person.
- Unique Pageviews: The number of times a page is viewed, excluding multiple visits from the same person during the same session.
- So, what do you mean by session? A session includes all the pages a user visits in one setting. After 30 minutes of inactivity on your site, the session ends. If the user returns to the site later, it’s a new session.
- Entrance Page: The first page a user lands on during a session. People often do not start on the home page of your site, so it’s important that each page is engaging and offers a easy way for users to explore other pages.
- Time on Page: Exactly what it means; it’s how long, on average, people stayed on a page. If you see that a user leaves your page in under 15 seconds, it’s likely they didn’t find what they were looking for easily. Be sure to design your pages for easy scanning!
- Bounce Rate: This reflects the percentage of users who came to a specific page and left your site without visiting another page. A high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad; it could be that they came to your site looking for specific information, found it, and left happy. Our goal, though, is to encourage them to browse related content.