This post came from the Aestiva Solutions quarterly newsletter, the Campfire. To subscribe, click here.
Congratulations! You’ve survived another academic year. While summer brings outdoor grilling and trips to the beach, let’s face it: as academic librarians this is also project time in dimly lit, over air-conditioned libraries. One of the projects that Eric tackles every summer is reviewing various usage metrics, such as from instruction and reference, COUNTER, LibGuides, and Google Analytics.
Many of us are familiar with Google Analytics and some of the data that can be pulled using it. For several years Google has been transitioning toward a new version of Analytics, called Google Analytics 4, and on July 1st, they are forcing everyone to move over. Why the big change, Google?
Google is making the change, among other things, for two reasons. One, website data is often manipulated by various bad actors like hackers and Google’s new tools provide more accurate results. Two, website data is more than simply how many people came to your site, but what they actually do on your site. Google Analytics 4 provides more options to track how users actually use your site so that you can make adjustments to best serve your patrons. For example, how many of your users click on the “article” tab of your library search box to search? How many of your users ever scroll down a page? Google Analytics 4’s Event tracking allows you to follow, in conjunction with Google Tag Manager, user behavior specific to your website. You can determine what goals you have for your users on your website, like renewing an interlibrary loan book, then configure Google Analytics 4 to track whether users successfully complete the task.
While Google provides robust documentation on how to use Google Analytics 4 and various other products like Google Tag Manager, and while there are a variety of great YouTube instructional videos on getting this set up, you and your staff might find yourself overwhelmed with the technicalities. Fortunately, Aestiva Solutions is here to help! We can consult with you about your specific needs, and then configure Google Analytics 4 to provide the exact data that you and your institution need. Check out our pricing or contact us today!
Ruth and Eric