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Transformative Website Style Guide: Google Analytics

This guide offers practical advice on creating a transformative library website.

Which Google Analytics?

This page discusses Universal Analytics, which includes all Google Analytics properties created before October 2020. Newer Google Analytics properties use Google Analytics 4, discussed on the Google Analytics 4 page.

Setting up Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides important quantitative data to identify users and their behavior on your website. Knowing who your users are and what they are doing on your site is not an ending point, but instead is the first step in developing user personas (see below) and conducting ethnographic research to discover why users behave the way they do.

Audience

Provides information about who your users are, where they are coming from and what technology they are using.

Audience information as seen from left navigation bar in Google Analytics

Key elements:

  • Geo: Location of website users. Great for asking if users are using the library website on or off campus.
  • Technology: Device and browser of website users. Great for asking if users are on laptops, tablets, or phones to find materials.

Behavior

Along with Events, provides information about what your users are doing on your website.

Behavior information as seen from left navigation bar in Google Analytics

Key Elements:

  • Events: See details below
  • Site Content: List of web pages viewed with detailed interaction information.
  • Average Time of Page
  • Bounce Rate: As Google describes, "The percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds."

Events

Provides the most in-depth information of how users are using your website. Is customizable for any situation. but also requires some setup in conjunction with Google Tag Manager.

Events information as seen from left navigation bar in Google Analytics

Examples include:

  • Outbound links: How many users are using your website to access subscription resources? By setting up outbound links you can track what databases users are clicking to.
  • Search box usage: How many users use your search box(es)? Do users use search box tabs? If so which ones?

Google Tag Manager expert Julius Fedorovicius of Analytics Mania provides frequently updated YouTube videos documenting how to implement Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics.