Using Google Analytics to define key markets

Maria Drummond
Friday 16 December 2016

Recently,  Admissions got in touch asking for some data on international markets and how they use the study section of the site. Having access to this data will be useful going forward as it will allow Admissions to analyse and track individual countries and easily compare them with others. This post looks at what the initial data showed, and what the outcomes of having this data are for admissions.

What the data showed

The data we collected referenced external users to the Study section of the website only. This meant that anybody who was accessing those pages from the university was excluded from the data. Below is a list of countries in order of number of pageviews, it shows that the UK is the biggest user of the website.

  1. United Kingdom
  2. United States
  3. China
  4. Germany
  5. Italy
  6. India
  7. Canada
  8. France
  9. Spain
  10. Greece

Having access to data like this ensures that marketing efforts are focused and tailored to specific audiences, which should in turn increase engagement.

The next step is to analyse the data relating to a specific country, such as India, to see:

  • if there are any unusual ways Indian users interact with webpages
  • how India compares to the top market (the UK) ¬†
  • If India is a growing market that needs to be targeted more through marketing
  • if any areas need to be refined in order to improve engagement with Indian users.

This process can be simplified after creating a country-specific dashboard. Segmenting specific user data through dashboards allows for at-a-glance readings of key markets and so makes analysis and comparison much faster. For example, after creating a dashboard for users from India, it was easier to see the percentage of new users year on year. The number of new Indian users increased by 15% since 2015, whereas new UK users only increased by 3.6%.

Outcome for Admissions

Monitoring markets going forward will show if user interest in these areas remains steady or begins to increase. Comparing data to previous years will also highlight to whether there is any potential in certain markets, allowing Admissions to jump in and secure more admissions through marketing efforts.

Analysing leading markets more closely going forward will also be beneficial as they can be monitored against certain standards or towards certain goals. Such segmentation will also allow to see if certain countries possess any nuances such as most popular times to view the Study pages, or how they prefer to view the pages (such as through mobile or desktop).

If you would like more information on creating a dashboard in Google Analytics, I’ve wrote in the past about why and how to do this. If you’re a member of staff at the University of St Andrews and would like access to Google Analytics, please email [email protected].

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