Application of Number Project – Review

I decided to base my AON (Application of Number) Project on reviewing my company website’s performance. I had built the website from scratch for my previous project, so this was the natural route for me to take.

During my initial website project I had learned how to collect analysis data from several sources including Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and AW Stats (part of the Pickaweb hosted website software I had used). I therefore chose to use data from all three sources for my AON project.

I began my project by creating on an index, including all the the relevant topics I wanted to include in my project.

The Index consisted of the following:

1. Introduction & Hypothesis
2. UK Visitors
3. Website Visitors in 2012
4. Custom Reporting
5. Referrals
6. Search Query Position
7. Final Comments

Once I had decided on the above content, I was able to develop and build my project around those subjects.

My Introduction and Hypothesis was basically an outline of my project and what I expected to happen and hoped to find.

The UK Visitors section was an analysis of visitors from different regions of the UK. I sourced the information from Google Analytics. I used this site due to it’s flexibility, reputation and accessibility. It allowed me to gather information easily and quickly from periods of my choice. Surprisingly I found that we have more visitors from England than Wales.

The Website Visitors in 2012 section was an analysis of the total number of visitors to our website in 2012. I used AW Stats in the Pickaweb Cpanel to collect this information. I knew this was a reliable source as this is the software I used to host and create our website, and it was therefore tried and tested. I was quite pleased when analysing the number of visitors each month as there seemed to be a steady increase which coincided with the my development of the site – I must have been doing something right!?!?!?!?!?

For Custom Reporting section I used Google Analytics and set some custom report settings. By doing so, I was able to use Google Analytics to keep record of the number of visitors to particular pages. I was then able to compare the number of visitors to our call-out ‘Rates’ Pages with the number of visitors to our ‘Contact Us’ page. This provided me with supporting evidence that our potential customers are not put off by our charges.

My Referrals section compared the amount of traffic referred to our website from other websites. This was of particular interest to me, as I was able to compare the success of referrals from a sponsorship deal with a local sports team and the success of a corporate membership with the Ospreys. Once again, I used Google Analytics to source this information.

For the Search Query Position section I used Webmaster Tools to analyse our websites ranking when using certain search terms in Google. I used two search methods – one while logged into Google, and one in Cognito mode (meaning the searcher is not recognised to Google). I used Webmaster Tools because it is a recognised and respected source. The information was easy to access and allowed me to search a wide variety of search terms with ease.

My Final Comments section was basically a brief analysis and review of my whole project. In this section I summarised my findings and what they meant. I had no need to use any websites or software as it was a summary of my personal comments.

All the data provided in Google Analytics, Pickaweb CPanel and Webmaster Tools was in table format. This meant that the information was easily copied and pasted into Excel, which then allowed me to quickly create a range of charts, including, bar charts, line charts and pie charts to demonstrate the results. I was also able to apply formulas to the spreadsheet to quickly calculate totals and averages.

During the project I didn’t really have to consider any Copyright issues (MAKES A NICE CHANGE!), as all the data analysed was sourced from the website that I had created.

By using e-mail, I was able to forward my project to my personal e-mail account to enable me to work on it outside of Swansea Itec – this would not have been possible without the internet!

The most difficult part of my project was setting the custom search settings on Google Analytics for the website. There was such a variety of options when creating the settings, and even after selecting them I had to wait a few days before knowing if the setting were even working – fortunately they were. That said, it will be much easier second time around as I am more familiar and confident with the software.

Following the submission of my initial project, the main change I had to make was to provide evidence of my manual calculations. This meant a manual, hand-written analysis of some of the results, including manual formulas. I had to do this to cover one of the project units. I also had to add descriptions of the charts used and the reasons why those particular charts were used. This was to demonstrate that I understood the use of charts and when to use them.

If I had more time to complete the project, I think I would still analyse the same data that I originally chose. However, I would be able to analyse it over a longer period of time, meaning there would be more results and hopefully more visits to the site to analyse.

All in all, I enjoyed completing my AON Project, although I do feel a sense of relief now that it is complete. It gave me a good insight and understanding of website analysis and helped me develop my professional analysis skills.

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