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While most web marketers would get a rash if they did not log into Google Analytics at least once a day, we hear from a lot of clients and business owners that have no idea how their web site is doing.  Is anyone visiting?  What are they looking at?  Are more people coming? or less?  Well, we listened and we created a simple weekly highlights email that will go out to SiteCM administrators and answer these questions.

We know that our clients are busy and Google Analytics is just one more thing to look at in an already busy day.  There is so much that a business owner or marketer can learn from Google Analytics if they know where to find it and we always recommend our customers get setup with Google, but for a large number of users, they never look.  To solve this we created a highlights email brings a few Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) to your inbox weekly so you can see what the trends are.  You can always login to Google to learn more, but in the meantime a quick glance at your email will give you a few insights.

The current version of Highlights uses simple web logs and is not connected to Google Analytics, so if you are familiar with GA you might see a few differences.

User Sessions:  A session is a group of interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame by a user.  For SiteCM we chose 20 minutes as the cutoff for a single session.  If a user goes away and returns within 20 minutes, they are treated as a single session.  If they come back after 45 minutes, they get a new session.  Hopefully you will see your sessions stable or increasing week to week.

Page Views:  This is the total number of pages loaded into web browsers. Hopefully this number will be stable or increasing week to week.

Page Views/Session:  This will tell you how many pages were viewed in each session.  The higher the number, the more your audience was engaged with your content and the more they learned about your organization in their visit.  You would like to see this number maintain or increase.  We included this because it is possible to have both your Sessions, and Page Views increase, but have your page views/session decrease. 

Bounce Rate:  This is the number of site visitors who look at a single page and then leave your site.  Either they found what they were looking for and didn't look further (Phone number, address, hours), got to the wrong site, or were not excited enough by what they saw and left.  Different sites have different bounce rates so get to learn yours and watch for big swings.

Avg. Session Length:  This tells you how long people are sticking around to learn about your organization.  Again, different sites have different session lengths. 

Top 3 Pages:  Likely your homepage, contact, and something else. If you don't see what you think is important showing up in your list, maybe update your content.  Google can reveal much more.

Last User Login & Last Content Updated:  Pretty self explanatory.  Search engines like to see changes to web sites.  They use it as a signal that your site is still active and the content is most likely correct and relevant. 

What is "good"?

Each site has their own traffic patterns.  500 sessions a week is fine if you are a local business in a small town.  Not so good if you are a regional business or in a large urban centre.  Rather than focusing on the numbers, pay attention to the trends.  Are things improving or getting worse?  If your traffic is lower than you want, how do you go about increasing it? You have lots of options from Social Media and PPC advertising to blogging and SEO.

Why do my Highlights not match Google Analytics?

We are looking at web logs and Google Analytics tracks data with a script. The script might not load or might be blocked by the users browser settings.  Generally our Sessions and PV numbers are higher.  Like Google we do block robots and other automated visits but there are also several other things that can prevent a user from being tracked.

  1. I have opted out of Google tracking
  2. I moved off the page before the Google script fully loads
  3. I have "ad blocking" protection
  4. I am using my browsers incognito mode
  5. there was a script error on the page
  6. Google detects me as not a valid sessions [there detection would obviously be better than ours]
  7. Google can actually decide to only report a subset of your data

While our numbers might be different, the trends are similar.

How do I get my Highlights?

We are in the process of testing the highlights with a few of our licensees and expect to be rolling it out for all SiteCM CMS customers over the next few weeks.  If you want to get your hands on it now, contact

If you are not using SiteCM as your CMS & Blog platform we cannot send you your Highlights but we would be happy to build your next website.

If you want help increasing your users or engagement, get in touch .



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