Here are a list of commonly questions about our higher education benchmarking initiative.
I see lots of neat charts, but what does all of this mean?
Every quarter, we highlight important findings and try to break everything down into layman’s terms. Still, it’s helpful to know some of the terminology. Here’s a list of important web terms for continuing education departments:
- Users: A user (formerly called a visitor) is a person (really a computer) that visits your website in a specific timeframe. The user is the person that looks at the pages on your website.
- Sessions: A session (formerly called a visit) occurs when a user looks at one or more pages on your website. The same user can visit multiple times which is counted as multiple sessions.
- Pageviews: A pageview occurs any time a user looks at a specific page on your website. If a user looks at the same page multiple times during a session, they’ll create a pageview for each time they look at that particular page.
- % New Users: It’s important to count how many sessions come from brand new users. The % new users is the proportion of sessions that come from users who have never before visited.
- Bounce Rate: A bounce is a session that results in only a single pageview. That is, if a user finds your website and doesn’t view any other pages than the first one they landed on, it counts as a bounce. The bounce rate is the proportion of sessions that resulted in bounces.
- Pages per Visit: This metric is related to the bounce rate because it tells you how engaged the users to your site are. The pages per visit metric is the average number of pages that were viewed by the users of your site.
- Traffic Sources: In web analytics, it’s good to know where your users come from. In other words, how did they find your site? There are three groups of traffic sources in Google Analytics: search traffic, direct traffic, and referral traffic.
- Search Traffic: Search traffic is any session that originated from a search engine, whether via a paid ad or through an organic search.
- Direct Traffic: Direct traffic results from someone typing in your URL to their browser’s address bar. These users didn’t run a search or click over from another site. Instead, they either memorized your web address, saw it in an ad, or heard it in an ad.
- Referral Traffic: Referrals are other websites that have a link to a page on your website. So referral traffic is any user that come from another website. They may come from Facebook, from your local newspaper’s website, or any other website on the web. (It’s always interesting to see these!)
Will my school’s individual data be published?
Nope, never. All reporting of any benchmarks will only include aggregated data, so the name of your school won’t ever show up next to any metric that we publish. Your school’s privacy will be protected.
How does JMH access to our data?
It’s very easy. Just ask whoever manages your Google Analytics account to grant read-only access to your primary Google Analytics profile to our account for this project: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help walk you through this process.
What if we don’t use Google Analytics?
At this point, we are only including websites using Google Analytics in this study. However, if you do not currently use Google Analytics, JMH will help install the tool at no cost for participants.
What kind of guarantees are there that my data won’t be used for anything else?
By providing your school’s data for us to include in this research, you’re helping to make this endeavor possible. This information will help us and your peers make better decisions on how to improve CE operations. Therefore, it’s in our interest to keep your data private as well. We will never use your data for any other purposes without your permission.
What if I still have questions?
Just get in touch with us! We’re always happy to answer any questions that you might have.