Analytics, SEO and how we are growing traffic on equipment.data

Analytics and search engine optimisation are now the food of every manager, almost cliché, but already business as usual. However, it remains a means to an end. And our end with equipment.data is to build the site so that it is useful for the sector, allows universities to comply, funders to verify and researchers to collaborate and use equipment outside their own lab if they require.

In an attempt to understand better how we could improve the site, we continued using the Google Analytics that Adrian Cox and University of Southampton have set up, the twitter account and at the end of April, we have also set up a Google Search Console account for equipment data. Although more information is always useful, I looked at the first two months of data.

As always, we welcome thoughts and suggestions and thank everyone who has been in touch and spent some time with us letting us know of their experience with the various metrics (especially Tim and Sigourney at UCL).

The Data

The data below covers the period 20/4/2017 to 15/6/2017 and is collected from three sources: Google Analytics, Google SEO and Twitter Analytics Dashboard.

1.      Google Analytics:

Over almost two months the equipment.data site had more than 2 thousand users visiting the site more than 3 thousand times.

Analytics 20 April to 15 June 2017

Most users are interested in consortium searches, their own institutional status pages and searching equipment of course. Below is a list of the top viewed pages:

Page Sessions % New Sessions New Users Bounce Rate Pages / Session Avg. Session Duration
Landing page 859 71.25% 612 49.71% 1.67 189.56
GW4 consortium search 95 75.79% 72 44.21% 1.32 157.92
Sysmex SP-10 Slide Maker Stainer from University of Cambridge 47 97.87% 46 85.11% 1.17 89.62
University of Cambridge equipment page 33 93.94% 31 93.94% 1.24 35.82
Status page for all institutions 31 22.58% 7 48.39% 7.65 318.48
SES consortium search 30 83.33% 25 63.33% 1.33 30.83
Mettler Toledo TGA/DSC1 Star System from University of Bristol 28 100.00% 28 96.43% 1.04 2.46
FAQ page 23 8.70% 2 69.57% 5.52 222.78
5 Axis Milling Machine (Hermle C20U) from University of Nottingham 20 90.00% 18 90.00% 1.10 9.05
UNIQUIP standard page 20 35.00% 7 85.00% 4.15 86.80
University of Manchester equipment page 17 100.00% 17 94.12% 1.24 1.88
Accent RMP 2000 Photoluminescence Mapper from University of Cambridge 16 100.00% 16 93.75% 1.06 1.31
Instron 1185 Universal Testing Frame from University of Surrey 16 93.75% 15 93.75% 1.06 10.31
Instron 4505 Universal testing frame from University of Surrey 14 85.71% 12 78.57% 1.14 110.79

2.      Google Search Console:

The Google Search Console is a beast. I’m not going to lie, it took me a few videos before I figured out exactly what to do. This is the first time we ran equipment.data through the search console, and here are the results. In two months we had 1802 clicks from 65 thousand times equipment.data came up in the search.

SEO 20 April to 15 June 2017

Furthermore, there are 92,438 links to equipment.data or its subpages. Amongst the top 20 domains with most links to equipment.data are the University of Southampton, Wrexham Glyndwr University and our Jisc website:

Domains Links Linked pages
data.ac.uk 74,994 37
glyndwr.ac.uk 15,224 1
jisc.ac.uk 1,650 5
soton.ac.uk 44 3
odcamp.org.uk 34 2
wordpress.com 34 1
st-andrews.ac.uk 32 3
efficiencyexchange.ac.uk 24 1
jiscinvolve.org 20 1
jiscmail.ac.uk 19 3
ouseful.info 18 1
rmaco.com 18 2
cam.ac.uk 16 1
webeaver.com 12 1
lse.ac.uk 9 1
bournemouth.ac.uk 8 1
frontmatter.com 7 1
linkedup-project.eu 6 1
helpmeinvestigate.com 6 1
mdpi.com 6 2

The Google Search Console also indicated some basic UX issues, such as small text, wider than screen content and too many clickable elements. Hopefully our new version of the interface will take care of some of these.

3.      Social media analytics, mostly Twitter:

On Twitter, @equipmentacuk has 144 followers. We tweeted just over 20 times and gained more than 3 thousand impressions over the last 2 months. From more than 200 profile visits, about 15 users clicked to http://equipment.data.ac.uk.

twitter impressions

Our most popular tweets are from Martin and Adrian’s attendance at the Technicians Summit at the University of Warwick.

Top tweets till June 2017

Our 144 followers are quite the bunch, mainly from the UK and a few from around the world:

twitter users

Next steps

We are making improvements to the user interface and navigation of equipment.data, and you can already find the staging site here: http://staging.equipment-data.data.alpha.jisc.ac.uk/. Please send me any feedback and suggestions.

We are working with a company specialised in SEO. They will review both equipment.data.ac.uk and the staging site and will recommend technical and content solutions for improving the site. Watch this space for their findings.

We encourage everyone to take a look at equipment.data, link to it from your web pages, tell your researchers about it – we would like to know what they think and what will make this site better and more useful for them.

Finally, we will aim to share our analytics and related data about the site every couple of months.

 

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