Tag Archives: Government websites

Government websites – are they still relevant?

Last week I attended my first eMetrics conference in Sydney. It was the first time eMetrics had come to Australia. Jim Sterne gave the opening keynote address. He was fantastic to listen to – both informative and entertaining!

His opening gambit was to ask the participants what were the three reasons for them being there in the room?

My three reasons were:

1. How to determine the return on investment (ROI) for government websites;

2. How government websites can better meet the needs of their customers;

3. How government websites can reach the people they are missing.

His keynote then went on to talk about how the market place is a conversation, its not about cost its about value. Its about developing a social media marketing framework that allows people to communicate better. Its also looking at it from the customer’s point of view.

I came out of that session thinking that the government shouldn’t be thinking about government websites, they should be looking at how to network with their consituents using social media – and that the government was totally missing the point.

Government is really good at spin – they have a message, a campaign and they put it out there on TV, radio and newspapers and on their government website. They want everyone to sing from the government’s hymn sheet. But more and more people are seeing through the spin – they don’t necessarily believe the message any more, let alone go looking for it.

If government wants to reach the people, then government needs to play where the people are playing and that is not on a government website. The people are playing in the social media space.

Nielsen’s Social Media Report – Wave 3 2009-2010 claims 38% of Australians are interacting with companies via social media and most prefer to do this through a social networking site rather than the company’s own website. This could apply equally to government – it would be easy to assume that more Australians would like to interact with government via social media rather than the government’s own website. Other statistics of interest – 63% of Australian have watched an online video, and 14% have either browsed or followed companies on Twitter, 73% have looked at a social networking profile, and 57% have updated a social networking profile.

Nielson also stated that "Social networking on sites such as Facebook was a key driver in Australians’ trial and uptake of social media. Close to three in four online Australians (73%) have looked at others’ profiles on social networks and well over one third (37%) of these report to be interacting with others via social networking sites on a daily basis. Facebook dominates the online social networking space, with three quarters of Australian Internet users (75%) reporting to have visited Facebook 59 percent have a Facebook profile, and the average time spent on Facebook in a given month is 8:19 hours – seven and a half hours more than its closest rival site, YouTube."

So my takeaways from this session were that if government looks at issues and needs from the people’s point of view, they will never fail. Government needs to play where the people are playing and that is in social media sites such as Facebook or they will become distant and irrelevant.


Web Analytics for Government Course in Melbourne 11 March 2010

1 Day Web Analytics Course in Melbourne on March 11, 2010

Learn how to analyse a government website using Google Analytics, Urchin or another web analytics tool.

If you are currently using a web analytics tool to analyse your department’s website or are looking to add this to your website, then this course is for you.

Who Should Attend?

Managers & professionals working in Government, web developers working on government websites


None. A basic understanding of websites and search engines is recommended.

What You Get

  • 1 full day of face to face training.
  • A detailed 91 page printed course manual for each attended.
  • Copies of the slides used in the course.
  • A certificate of attendance.
  • An example Excel KPI spreadsheet with the key formulas to track the success of your website.
  • Access to additional course materials, utilities & resources not available to the public on the Panalysis website.
  • A discount voucher 2 hour personal consulting & coaching session in Google Analytics & other professional services.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this training session you will be able to:

  • Understand what Google Analytics can do.
  • Install and configure Google Analytics.
  • Perform analysis on your website using Google Analytics.
  • Explain how Google Analytics can add value to your department.
  • Understand which reports you should use in Google Analytics to be effective in your running your website.
  • Set measurable business goals for your website and explain how Google Analytics can help you achieve these outcomes.
  • Use a range of Google Analytics reports to analyse your website’s performance against these goals.
  • Identify the visitor’s "primary purpose" for visiting the website and whether succeeded.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of content on the website.
  • Understand common pitfalls / misinterpretations of Google Analytics reports
  • Discuss important issues in planning new business strategies based on analysis of your business’s website.

For more information:

More information is available or contact:

Panalysis Pty Ltd
Tel: 1300 368 553
Suite 2, Level 3, 71 Longueville Road, Lane Cove, NSW 2066 Australia

Email: admin@panalysis.com.au

Registration form for: Melbourne, March 11, 2010

WAA releases report on Government and Non-Profits use of Web Analytics

The Web Analytics Association (WAA) in the US has recently released its 2009 survey findings on "Tapping the Potential of Web Analytics for Public Sector and Non-Profit Sites".

The survey asked three questions:

1. How are Web site managers in the public and non-profit sector measuring the performance of their web sites?

2. Can any KPIs used by many non-commerce organizations be used to measure the impact, effectiveness, and contributions of all non-commerce Web sites?

3. Can we develop a series of benchmarks for the key dimensions of visitor online interaction with the Web sites in the public and non-profit sectors?

124 respondents completed the survey – 83% of those came from the United States,.

Some of the findings include:

  • 60% only dedicate a few hours a week to web analytics – only 12.5% of respondents described themselves as web analysts and nearly 70% of organisations don’t have a dedicated web analyst;
  • monthly reporting is the norm;
  • traffic reporting is used by 82% of organizations;
  • only 10% link web analytics to return on investment;
  • US government sites track file downloads more often than others surveyed; and
  • Segmentation is not widely used.

The report provides some thought provoking key takeaways for government web analysts:

1. Conduct high-value, deeper analyses

2. Focus your analytics evangelizing on people in your organization who stand to benefit from Web analytics and have shown an interest in using analytics.

3. Use voice of customer, usability testing, and focus groups in tandem with Web analytics

4. Build official and unofficial alliances

5. Give more thought to how people want to consume Web analytics data.

It is interesting to compare these findings with the results from the 2008 Australian Web Analytics Survey conducted by Hurol Inan of Bienalto. Of the 208 respondents for the Australian survey, 20% were from government. When analysing the government respondents, the survey found that 60% of government organizations looked at web analytics as not important or less important as other web functions. Most government analysis consisted of reporting traffic – no one reported using advanced analysis.

Hurol’s analysis concluded that "Government remains significantly challenged in terms of identifying the objectives
and KPIs of web analytics, and also lacks the key support of management."

There are many similarities between the US and the Australian studies. It seems government still has some way to go when it comes to really analyzing their data and applying their findings to optimising their websites.

If you want to read more about these surveys, the Web Analytics Association has made their report available from their web site for a small charge. A presentation of the report’s findings is also available for free!

The 2008 Australian Web Analytics Survey is also available from Bienalto.

If you want more information about how to develop KPIs for your website, the eGovernment Resource Centre has a collection of links you might find useful as well as a section on Return on Investment.

What do you put in a web design brief for a government web site?

Where do you start when you are asked to write a design brief for a government website? The usual place – Google! I hunted around for examples and decided this was how I was going to structure mine.

About the site – what is your site about – how and why did it come into being. Why is it here? Does it support a government policy, or is it a corporate site for a government department?

Provide some background about your site. Things you might consider including:

  • Competitor sites – who are they – provide links
  • Current marketing activities – do you provide any newsletters, news feeds, what are the services the site offers?
  • Current features offered on the existing site- such as subscription to newsletters, membership facilities, email a friend etc
  • Current traffic levels – eg., visitors, visits, page views, bounce rate, search engine referrals, average time on site,
  • Technology used – what is your existing CMS, hosting platform etc – if that is relevant.
  • Target audience – including any real demographic data you have collected along the way

Current issues with the site design – what is wrong that you know needs fixing, changing, sprucing up, etc.

New Design

  • Goals – what do you want to achieve? Do you want more subscribers to your newsletter, more members? Do you want to make the site functional and easy to use? Do you want to keep your existing visitors returning?
  • The Web site Design – what standards should it comply with? Should it comply with the W3C web accessibility guidelines – do want to follow WCAG 1.0 or WCAG 2.0? Should the site look like it belongs to a family of sites? Do you want to specify a CMS or do you want the designer to do that? Do you have specific graphics or photos that must be used? Do you want to use a 3 column or 2 column layout or aren’t you too fussed about that? Do you want to use flash or not? Must not compromise the search engine optimization of the existing site!
  • The Newsletter Design – do you want to design a newsletter layout which compliments your new web site design? It would probably make sense to do them both at the same time, so that when you launch with your new design, the newsletter will match the site.

There are probably a myriad of other things you could include. Please add your comments on what you would include in a web design brief for a government web site.

Web Analytics for Government

1 Day Web Analytics Course

Learn how to analyse a government website using Google Analytics, Urchin or another web analytics tool.

If you are currently using a web analytics tool to analyse your department’s website or are looking to add this to your website, then this course is for you.

In 2005 the Auditor General produced a report "Measuring the Efficiency and Effectiveness of E-Government". This report showed the importance of correctly measuring websites to provide evidence of the value of the online initiatives of government departments. This course will assist you to develop the skills to do just that.

In just 1 day we will take you from the basics of this tool through to advanced analysis. This course will use Google Analytics during the presentation, however the skills you learn during this course can be used in other web analytics tools such as:

  • Urchin
  • ClickTracks
  • WebTrends
  • Omniture
  • HBX

Participants are encouraged to discuss their needs in advance of attending this course. Participant websites will be used as case studies during the course with their permission.

Who Should Attend?

Managers & professionals working in Government, web developers working on government websites

  • Does your agency or department have a website?
  • Are you looking to understand how successful your website is in serving your constituents?
  • Are you interested in getting real results from your website?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this course is for you.

Where and When?

Melbourne – Wednesday October 22, 2008

Register at Panalyis.