Blog Post

How to use Google Analytics to increase your course bookings #1


Coursedate is integrated with Google Analytics - potentially a big benefit for course providers and training companies that want to find out more about visitor behaviour and course catalog performance.

Google Analytics is a goldmine of useful data about how people interact with your website. It can tell you where your visitors come from, what pages they look at and how much time they spend on each page.

If you're a training provider with an online course catalog then you should look at Google Analytics - the data inside it is easy to understand and you will almost certainly discover some actionable insights that you can turn into more effective course pages and increased course bookings.

The first step - if you’re not already using Google Analytics - is to embed the Analytics tracking in your website. That’s a job for the people who look after your website. The good news is that it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Important tip - if you use a third party to look after your training company/course catalog website - you create the Google Analytics account and then give the tracking code (copy and paste) to your website provider.

What can you get from Google Analytics that will give you insights into the way visitors engage with the courses in your course catalog? Here are five things - these are obvious quick wins that don’t require any Google Analytics expertise.

  1. Find out how many people look at each course each day.

    What are your most popular course pages? Is demand for your courses skewed towards a particular topic?

    Why is this useful? Because you can work out your conversion rate for each course. How many bookings/enrolments do you get in a day for each course? What % of the visitors to your site convert into paying customers?

    It could be that you discover some course pages get visits but not that many bookings - perhaps there’s something you can do to the course description that will increase the conversion rate?

  2. Understand the relative importance of mobile vs. desktop.

    Why should you care about mobile vs. desktop?

    You might be surprised if you see a breakdown of visitors to your site by desktop vs. mobile. Mobile could be more than you think, particularly if you bulk email new course announcements to individual learners. Many of those learners will open the email and then look at the course on a mobile device.

    Does your course catalog look good in a mobile browser? Look for ways to optimise visitor experience on mobile devices.

  3. Find out where your visitors are.

    Google Analytics will tell you where your visitors are. That can be useful because you might get visits from outside your target geographic area than you realise.

    Do you run face-to-face evening classes? A strong local brand and a good website could mean that you’re getting enough visits from outside your target market to make an online course offer worthwhile. There could be an opportunity to run online (Zoom maybe?) versions of your popular face-to-face courses.

  4. Find out how long people spend on each course page.

    Google Analytics will actually tell you how long people spend on a particular course page in your course catalog. You get a time in minutes and seconds. You also get the Bounce Rate - the % of visitors who arrive on a page and then leave again without visiting another page on your site.

    You want to minimise the bounce rate - keep people browsing on your course catalog. Again, look at the data in Google Analytics and identify poorly performing course pages. Look for ways to reduce the bounce rate and keep visitors browsing your course catalog.

  5. Social vs. referral vs. direct - how do people find your courses?

    This is another useful insight. How do people find your online course catalog? Referrals are links from other sites. Social is social media and direct is mostly traffic from search engines or visitors typing your web address into the browser.

    I think the value in this for a lot of course providers is that it gets you thinking in a more strategic way about where visitors come from. For example, it’s easy to dismiss social as a channel if you’re selling corporate training. The data in Google Analytics might tell a different story. Are you getting some traffic from LinkedIn? What about Facebook, plenty of organisations that sell business to business use Facebook.

    Google Analytics data about how people reach your course catalog could get you thinking about other ways to increase visits.

Google Analytics is a great way to track the performance of your online course catalog and find genuinely useful insights into visitor behaviour. It gets you thinking about data and how you can use it to make better decisions. We’ll have another look in a later post at some other things you can do with Google Analytics.

Coursedate is already integrated with Google Analytics. If you use Coursedate, you can get access through your own Google Analytics account to your view of your Google Analytics course data.