University of Bristol is among the most popular and successful universities in the UK. But despite attracting 8 applicants per place, their website had a Google Analytics setup that lacked structure and made it difficult to derive insight.

"SearchStar helped us separate signal from noise by rationalising our overly complex and unwieldy Google Analytics setup. Their responsive support demystified GA's complexities into clearer, actionable insights and reports more closely aligned to our institutional objectives"

UX Manager, University of Bristol

University of Bristol

University of Bristol is among the most popular and successful universities in the UK, consistently ranking in the world's top 100 and the UK's top ten universities. Their website is an essential resource for candidates, students, graduates, research and more besides.

For other work we've been doing with universities, please see our University of Bath case study >>>

The Objectives

Despite attracting, on average, eight applicants per place University of Bristol's website had a Google Analytics and Tag Manager setup that lacked structure and made it difficult to derive insight.

We were asked to rebuild the account, and agreed to provide a simplified setup and upgraded infrastructure enabling their UX team to monitor performance and better identify opportunities for improvement.

Unpicking and improving a large-scale account that a third party has spent time setting up is incredibly challenging, but we were determined to demonstrate our credentials as a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

Our Approach

In order to deliver simplified reporting that delivered the level of insight required, we first had to understand the complex series of user journeys made on a university website.

Beginning with an in-depth scoping session, we were able to implement everything required and strip out confusing event tracking that had previously been hindering analysis.

All work was done within the Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager interface, using existing setup where possible to minimise development cost.

Their Results

The creation of simple website views for multiple departments within the University of Bristol has made it easier to decipher reporting - the starting point of uncovering insight.

While extensive tidying up of event tracking has meant that we removed the unnecessary, added what was needed and implemented an easy to understand naming convention.

The complete rebuild of custom dimensions has enabled segmentation of reports, such as: Full time or part time course, duration, school, department, faculty, EU/non EU session, Postgrad or Undergrad.

Clarity of data was key for the university and we set up all reporting in Data Studio to ensure all of the information was at their fingertips.

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As one of an increasing number of SearchStar HE clients, UoB continues to benefit from our understanding of this competitive and rapidly evolving sector.

For other work we've been doing with universities, please see our University of Bath case study >>>

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