Using Google Analytics I’ve been able to gain insight into who clicks on the ‘apply now’ button on our website. You can see the button here (the text is Swedish, but don’t be scared). ‘Anmäl Dig’ means ‘apply now’ – I haven’t a screen shot of the English version.
What this means is during an application period I can track both page views of pages with an apply now button and clicks of the button itself. I can see the results in the content report from Google Analytics but I also set up the ‘applied’ value as a goal, so I see the data directly on the dashboard. In the master’s application period, the button was clicked about 10 000 times. Given that Lund received over 27 000 applications, this number seems a little low. But you need to consider:
– Not everyone goes to studera.nu via the apply now button. I track the links to studera.nu from the central pages and there were over 16 000 exits to studera from these links.
– Not everyone goes to studera.nu from the central pages; the joy of a decentralised website means I have no idea what’s happening on the faculty sites.
– Students may be applying directly from studera.nu, rather than leaving our site to go there
– The usual caveats of using a cookie based analytics tool i.e. we’re certainly underestimating traffic
Clicking on the button does not indicate an application in the bag either, at best it’s an indication of intent. The value of this data is twofold; first, by segmenting it we can get some great insights into who is on our site, and which other parts of the site are important to them and two, we have some amazingly valuable benchmarking data. Finally, what I really like is I can calculate the % conversion of pages viewed versus apply button clicked on; in the last application period it was around 15%, which is another great benchmarking figure.