Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

How Web Analytics Influence Content Production: Web Site Metrics Can Be Integrated with a CMS for Tighter Control and Analysis

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

How Web Analytics Influence Content Production: Web Site Metrics Can Be Integrated with a CMS for Tighter Control and Analysis

Article excerpt

In the print world, reader surveys reveal to editors what subscribers want from their magazine content. Now, Web analytics offer real-time feedback on user Web site behavior and content preferences. These metrics help guide editors in producing digital content that keeps visitors on the site longer and coming back for more. The analytics can also be integrated into a Web CMS to more closely fuse data to production.

At b-to-b publisher Questex, a Drupal CMS supports and feeds the company's network of Web sites. Due to the economic pinch all publishers are feeling, Questex has migrated from a WebTrends site analytics package to Omniture and, finally, to the free but robust Google Analytics service.

Google Analytics, says Alison McPartland, Questex's manager of search and discovery strategies, has a module that integrates directly into Drupal. Economics aside, McPartland says the back-end integration has freed up her staff to make changes on the fly. "The challenge before was we were constantly tied to our Web producer to handle these things. But with Google Analytics, someone can make changes right through the module. We can make sure things are being tracked, or if there are pages we don't want tracked we can make that happen."

From there, the Web analytics inform McPartland's team on its SEO efforts, visitor behavior, direct traffic and referral patterns and visitor engagement levels.

Of particular interest are keywords that are pulling and/or driving visitors to the site. …

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