Who are these people that visit our site? How many are there? Where do they come from? What are they looking for? There are lots of questions - some easier to answer then others. By looking at our internal traffic statistics, we hope to better understand our visitor and figure out how to serve them better.
It is important to know that we do not track any uniquely identifiable information, just trends over time. Your secret identity is safe from us.
Everyone loves data! And for the web team, server logs are the purest form or raw data. Every time a a request is made for a file, our servers are nice enough to log a record of it. Since 2000, we have been compiling monthly queries of the server logs. Dive in and grab some server log data.
We are currently testing a more advanced analytics tool provided by google. Along with raw data it lays out charts and graphs on visitor segmentation, location, browser types, navigational routes and many other important areas. Goals can also be set up to track specific funnel navigation. If you are a content manager for a site within the pcc.edu domain, you can contact the web team to request access to the analytics.
Starting in 2006, we switched from a hosted search to an in-house supported google mini server. It is used to provide search over the public site and can someday be expanded to search our other domains. It also provides us with detailed logs and reports about how users are searching the website. This information is vital in evaluating site architecture and labeling terminology.
Our site-wide analytics can tell us where people go - but on a page level, how do users respond to certain elements? Are click areas obvious? Which elements are working? Click mapping can give us an indication.
Are we popular? It may seem like a shallow question, but when it comes to the internet popularity is very important. We need to ensure that our users can find us and search engine rank position ensures that this is possible. There are many tools available to evaluate popularity and rank position, but none are perfect. They should be only be use to indicate trend.
- Since 1996 Alexa has built a database of information about sites that includes statistics, related links and more. See how we ranked against some other local colleges.
- A good place to see how we stack up against other community college sites. View the summary page for college and university / community and technical.
- Google Trends
- Rather then looking at hit statistics, google trends evaluates search terms over time. For instance, are people searching for the word "college" or "university"? See the trends when "portland community college" was placed along side the names of some other local colleges.
Google also offers a webmaster tools service that shows how they crawl and index our site. It provides information on who is linking to our site, how people search for the site and how we are ranked over specific search terms. Although it is google specific, the results give a good indication of how search engines rank our pages.