Note: The university has historically used Google Analytics’ Universal Analytics product. Google is retiring Universal Analytics properties on July 1, 2023 in favor of the next-generation Google Analytics product: Google Analytics 4.
The Web Strategy Team is working on this transition with the goal of minimizing impact on your analytics data. More information will be posted as this migration progresses. Official documentation for GA4 can be found on Google’s Support site.
Boise State utilizes Google Analytics to collect data about the performance of our web content and how our website audience interacts with our content. We can use this data to improve the user experience on our site and better communicate our message.
Boise State Web Analytics Reports
Boise State staff and faculty can access the Web Analytics Report Gallery. The gallery includes links to Google Data Studio reports that utilize our Google Analytics data and can help you manage and improve your content.
(Access requires your Boise State credentials)
If you would like to go beyond the data included in the Data Studio reports, Boise State staff and faculty can request access to university Google Analytics data by submitting a request to the OIT Help Desk.
Getting Started with Google Analytics
If you are just starting out with web analytics, it is important to familiarize yourself with the data available in Google Analytics. Check out the following videos from the Google Analytics YouTube channel for an overview of three commonly used reports.
For more in-depth training and information, Google also offers free online training through the Google Analytics Academy.
Google Analytics Data
By default, Google Analytics collects the following types of data:
- Information about your website audience like where they are located, how many new and returning visitors you have, how often they visit your website and what devices they use to view your web content.
- If people are finding your site through search, a campaign URL or by following a link from another site.
- What users do once they find your site, including pages with the most pageviews and the top entry and exit pages for your site.
In addition to the default tracking provided by Google Analytics, Boise State has implemented additional tracking tags to provide more information about how our web audience interacts with boisestate.edu. All web analytics tracking tags on Boise State WordPress sites are managed through Google Tag Manager. Tag Manager allows Boise State to manage analytics, marketing and other tags in one centralized account for all Boise State WordPress sites.
The following tags have been added to all Boise State WordPress sites using the panels Boise State WordPress theme.
|Tracking Type||Tracking Description||Data Collection|
|Button Clicks||Creates a Google Analytics event each time a user clicks on a call-to-action, text format button or Tabs Panel tab.||Button click events will be captured in the category "Button Clicks" with the text of the clicked button as the event action and the target URL of the button as the event label.|
|Contact||Creates a Google Analytics event for direct contact actions including click-to-call on phone numbers and clicks on email addresses.||Contact events will be captured in the category "Contact" with an event action of "Email" or "Phone". The event label will be the address or phone number that was clicked.|
|External Link||Creates Google Analytics events for clicks on links that leave boisestate.edu.||External link events will be created in the category "External Link" . The event action will be the destination (Facebook, YouTube, etc. or Other) and the event label will be the URL of the clicked link.|
|Scroll Depth||Creates a Google Analytics event when a user scrolls 25, 50, 75 or 100 percent of the way down a page.||Review scroll depth data by accessing the Behavior / Events / Pages report and selecting a page. Choose the event category "Page Scroll" and review the event label values.|
|Global Nav||Creates Google Analytics events for any clicks on the site global navigation.||All of the global nav tracking is contained in the category "Global Nav". Event actions and labels are specific to each section of the global navigation (Primary, Footer, etc.).|
|Cludo Search||Creates a Google Analytics event when a user utilizes the Boise State site search.||The event category is "Cludo Search" with event actions of "Search with results" and "Search without results".|
Universal Analytics and GA4
Universal Analytics (UA) is Google’s primary analytics offering and is what Boise State currently uses for most of our web metrics. Universal Analytics is being replaced with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in the summer of 2023, after which historical data in Universal Analytics will be purged.
To prepare for this transition, the Office of Communications and Marketing and the Office of Information Technology has partnered with MetricsEdge to audit and build GA4 historical data in advance. GA4 is already being used to capture web analytics on boisestate.edu, and most custom events have been captured and re-created in GA4.
When GA4 replaces Universal Analytics in 2023, we will already have one year’s worth of recent analytics that can be used for comparisons and reference. If you wish to save historical data from Universal Analytics for archive purposes, please download your UA data to local storage before Fall 2023. The industry standard is to have two years of historical web data available for reference.
GA4 is a brand new tool, and it provides a very different and unintuitive user interface compared to the Universal Analytics we are all used to using. The new GA4 provides all Google Analytics data in one big pool, so if you are looking for data specific to your department or college, you will need to know how to use GA4 proficiently and manually filter down to it.
To ease this transition and make web analytics more accessible to less technical users, Metrics Edge has created a dashboard in Google Data Studio that is populated with GA4 data and easily allows you to view metrics for your specific college or department. The GA4 dashboard will be the primary tool for departments and colleges that need to review web analytics. The GA4 dashboard is also adaptable, and we can work with Metrics Edge to improve it and provide info that may be important to your department.
To request access to the GA4 Dashboard, access to the raw GA4 data, or to ask any questions regarding web analytics, please create a ticket with the Help Desk.
For training on how to use the new GA4 product, please visit the Google Analytics 4 Skillshop.