DU's Google Web Analytics account

Since September 1, 2007 DU has tracked statistics on www.du.edu pages hosted on DU's primary web server using Google Analytics. All sites managed through DU's web content management system, OmniUpdate OU Campus, are tracked.

To request access to Google Analytics for your www.du.edu site, please fill out the Analytics Request Form. For more information regarding Google Analytics for DU websites, please contact googleanalytics@du.edu.

Google Analytics can be a helpful tool for improving a site's search engine optimization (SEO). Read more on DU's Search Guidelines and Optimizing Search Results for more information on DU search.

About Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics?

What do "Visits," "Pageviews," "Bounce," etc. mean?

Interpreting Analytics Data

Compare the same numbers over time. This is the apples-to-apples theory of statistics. While it may be misleading to say there are exactly X number of visitors entering the DU Web on your home page, it is realistic to say there are X more this month than last month. The caveat here is that the numbers must originate from the same software.

Trends in data over time can provide useful feedback. But they can still be misleading if you don’t apply some critical thinking of your own. Look for hidden variables, like changes made on another site linking to yours.

Test hypothesis. Let’s say you have a hunch that the wording on a menu item might be sending visitors down the wrong path. Look at the metrics for the page behind that link. Are the exit numbers significantly larger than other pages? If so, your next step might be usability research with test subjects. Or you might try rewording the item and checking the numbers after another week.

Interpret sizeable differences. Did this month’s news story draw more traffic than last month’s? Is the entry number only slightly smaller than the viewed total for a particular page? That could indicate that visitors bookmark this URL, or it could mean significant links from other servers. If you are reorganizing your site, these are critical considerations for usability.

Look for unforeseen issues. When you browse the statistics for your site think about the numbers you see. Are there any glaring differences? If the average size of a page stands out among the others, you might want to explore the reasons and/or take actions to reduce the load time.

Historical statistics for www.du.edu

For historical data from 1995-June 2008 for www.du.edu sites, you can visit DU's archived web statistics.