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Top areas of school websites

The digital communications team have reviewed the University’s academic Schools website traffic to determine what the most popular parts of the websites are.

Using data captured by Google Analytics, we reviewed one years worth of data from the following School websites:

  • English
  • Modern Languages
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Art History.

We aggregated all the visited web addresses into a consolidated list, grouping the list into areas using specific parts of the web address.

For example, traffic to the following web addresses was all counted as traffic to the newsletter:

By viewing the total number of user sessions for each area we were able to determine what parts of the sites generate the most interest.

We found that on average the most popular areas of School websites are:

  1. People – 55.2%
  2. Current undergraduates – 17.8%
  3. Research – 8.4%
  4. Current postgraduates – 7.0%
  5. Prospective students – 2.7%
  6. News – 6.5%
  7. Resources – 2.5%

These areas provide us with an indication as to the type of tasks our users are trying to complete on academic Schools websites. The data shows us that all the School sites have a small number of extremely popular areas as well as a large number of pages that generate very little traffic.

The results show that one task in-particular features heavily across all the schools.

Users are overwhelmingly interested in finding contact information about staff.

From the School sites that we reviewed users searching for contact details makes up 55% of the overall combined traffic.

The data does not inform us as to what content users are looking for, it only shows what is the most popular content from what’s currently available.

The knowledge that we have gained from this review is being applied to the redevelopment of the Schools homepages.

Each School’s homepage will feature prominent links to the tasks that really matter, whilst ensuring that the collection of minor tasks remain accessible without clouding the main user journeys.

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