The Phantom Pollbooth: Tracking & Managing Web Content | npENGAGE

The Phantom Pollbooth

By on Oct 9, 2012


What are your constituents voting for?

Nope, I’m not talking about politics, I’m talking about website content.

People are voting on your website every day. Maybe not with polls and surveys, but they are voting with their actions. You can track this to give them more of what they want on your website and cut down the clutter of things they don’t need.

How? If you’ve read any of my other blog posts (like this one on understanding your audience with Google Analytics) or seen my session at bbcon, you can guess my answer is “with Google Analytics!”

First, let’s look at what people are voting against. Go to the Content reports and see what pages have only gotten a few visits over the past year. If you see pages with one visit that have a visitor ID or session ID, (this sometimes happens with thank-you pages) skip to the pages with 2-5 visits. If the page is new, or designed for a specific, small audience (like meeting information for your next board meeting), then the page could still be important. If not, then your visitors are basically voting against that content by avoiding it.

Google Analytics Content

Secondly, use the In-Page Analytics (also under the content section of Google Analytics) to look at the traffic patterns for all of the prominent links on your homepage. Sometimes you’ll see pages that are featured, but still only get a few visits a month. They might get enough traffic to keep the content, but don’t waste valuable real estate on your website homepage promoting them.

Google Analytics in-page analytics

Finally, look at your site search. (Don’t have that set up? Check out this post on setting up internal site search) What are people searching for? That is content they’re voting for, that they can’t find. If you see more than a few visitors searching for something on your website, add more content around that subject or make existing content more prominent.

Google Analytics Search


Alissa Ruehl has been using Google Analytics since the first weeks it came out as a Google product. Through consulting, webinars, and conferences, she has helped hundreds of people at a variety of organizations and companies navigate Google Analytics and use it to refine their online marketing and website effectiveness. She currently uses her analysis skills as a senior user researcher on the Blackbaud products side, but she loves re-immersing herself the world of website analytics for her monthly Google Analytics blog posts. The only thing Alissa likes talking about more than data is food, but that’s a whole other blog.

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