University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6119-6127
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Purpose: The aim of this article is to develop a new user-friendly in-house tracking methodology for academics to analyse the effectiveness of visits (return visit behaviour and length of sessions) depending on their traffic source: direct visits, referring site entries and search engine visits. In other words, how deep do visitors (students) navigate into the website? Which is their internal performance depending on their traffic source?

Methodology: This paper addresses these questions by cross sectional analysis of Google Analytics data. Some basic rules with regard to the use of Google Analytics data in combination with cross sectional data are fine-tuned.

Findings: The performed analysis with Google Analytics shows that:

• Rule #1: Return visits navigate deeper into the website and stay longer (that is, there is more time spent at the site and/or a greater number of pages viewed per visit)

• Rule #2: The less the bounce rate (that is, the number of error visits), the longer the visit length (with regard to the time spent at the site and/or the number of pages viewed per visit)

• Rule #3: The less the bounce rate (that is, the number of error visits), the greater the return visit rate.

Research implications – This methodology is critical for an effective website traffic source monitoring and benchmarking, that may lead to better academic website strategies.

Value of the paper– The importance of this article is not the particular website but the new methodology tested to arrive at these results, an experiment that could be repeated with different websites.

Plaza, Beatriz. (2009) 'Monitoring web traffic source effectiveness with Google Analytics. An experiment with time series'. ASLIB PROCEEDINGS 61, No. 5, pp. 474-482.
Plaza, Beatriz (2010) 'Google Analytics for Information Professionals'. ONLINE 34, No. 5, pp. 33-37.
Plaza, Beatriz. (2011) 'Google Analytics for measuring website performance'. TOURISM MANAGEMENT. Forthcoming.
Website evaluation, web analytics, SEO, knowledge management, e-learning.