Why Google Analytics is the next thing you should be adding to your LMS

Your learning platform likely gives you insights into which courses are being engaged with most and other metrics such as course completions, but there’s a whole host of information you’re probably missing out on if you stop there. There are dozens, if not hundreds of analytical tools you can embed into your platform. And while we don’t recommend embedding every single one, adding a tool like Google Analytics tracking will let you see how learners are really using your site and could be a real game changer for your learning delivery.

Google Analytics can give your online learning the boost it needs  

Knowing how your learners interact with their online learning is vital to any successful L&D team. Sure, some take a stab into the dark and get lucky, but some people also get struck by lightning – twice. Being on either end of the spectrum has uncertainty, so it’s best to mitigate risks and create a foundation and strategy to continually improve your learning delivery. You need to strive to understand how your learners interact with your online learning and Google Analytics will help you do just that.

Adding just a short piece of code to your learning platform can shine a light on these 9 things:

  1. How often embedded videos are played or interactions clicked using event tags

These insights can really help improve how your users interact with your platform, enabling you to see what’s popular and what needs improvement. If very few learners are clicking on a resource, you can look into changing up the layout or removing it altogether in favour of a simpler UX. You can also set up Google Analytics to reveal how long a video has been played – giving you a clear indication that the video might need trimming if everyone drops off before the halfway mark.

  1. How long learners are spending on a page or section of the platform

If learners are spending significantly less time on the page than the content takes to absorb, chances are your message isn’t getting through. If Google Analytics identifies an area learners are struggling with, either with a high bounce rate or a low time on page, use heatmapping and session recordings. Review these, establish what isn’t engaging and make adjustments.

  1. How learners are journeying through the platform

Did you expect pretty much all your learners to go from the homepage to their learning dashboard using the main menu but very few are? If learners are taking a route through the site you didn’t expect, make the intended journey clearer with improved calls to action and navigation.

  1. How many learners are returning to the platform and how many times they’ve visited

Are learners coming back for more or are they just ensuring they’re compliant? If learners are not returning to your platform despite adding new content, a learning campaign might be in order.

  1. Which communication channels are best for raising awareness

From traditional tracked links in internal emails promoting your digital learning, to bit.ly shortened links, Google Analytics can help you determine which channels are best at raising awareness. Could budget spent on glossy posters promoting new content be better spent elsewhere if your learners prefer to come from emails?

  1. What your learners are searching for

Discovering the content your learners actually need is a big benefit. Totara LMS provides search data, but if you’re using another system which doesn’t, Google Analytics could help plug the gap. Using the site search reports, you can see exactly what your learners are looking for. If they’re searching for business critical learning, make it more visible from the homepage. Do the words they use match up with how you describe your learning content? Is some old content proving popular and perhaps due a revamp? Are you missing any potential learning topics?

  1. Peak times in which learners undertake learning

On a more practical level, it can also help to know when your platform is at its quietest so you know when to schedule downtimes for upgrades. Google Analytics has a handy report on the homepage with a clear overview of peak times and days to inform your development team.

  1. Which countries and cities your learners are accessing the content from

Knowing which regions are most engaged will help you identify where learning uptake is highest and where it’s struggling. Consider running a marketing campaign where it’s weak and survey other areas to discover what made it so successful.

  1. Which browsers and screen sizes are commonly used to access the content – is mobile learning as common as you’d expect?

If you know which devices and browsers your learners are using, you can identify and provide testing and support for these environments so that your learners are getting the best possible experience.

These insights can then lead to actions to maximise your team’s work. With additional data you’ll also be better equipped to report on the ROI of your learning programs. Set KPIs for your platform and track performance after changes are made. You can even set up dashboards and custom reports which you can schedule to be emailed regularly to key stakeholders. With Google Data Studio you can also combine your platform’s Google Analytics data with other sources to create an even bigger picture of your data.

These insights can in turn help with additional funding for new learning projects, or further investment in new technologies, and aid award submissions to get your L&D team’s hard work acknowledged.

Google Analytics only starts collecting data from the moment you add the code, so what are you waiting for?

 
 
Leave us your comments...

Caelan Huntress | 12th September, 2017

Google Analytics is a basic level of tracking that every website needs. Without Analytics, it's like you're flying blind; you have no way to take the pulse of your website, and no intelligence to make good decisions about it. All you can do is guess. Of course, that is how I see many people designing the content of their website; they're just guessing.