Government Analytics - Measuring Success on Government Websites

How do we tell if your website is successful? The answer is simple, by measuring it's performance. Your performance metrics will be different depending on your digital business objectives;

  • if your website is selling products, your baseline success metrics would be number of sales
  • if your website drives "client calls" or "email enquiries", you can measure clicks or form confirmation page pageviews

But what about a Government website delivering information to the community?  How would you measure success using digital analytics?

  • Number of visits?
  • Average Session Time?
  • Bounce rate?
  • Number of contact form submitted?

None of the above metrics tell the real story, measuring Government website analytics performance requires some creativity, attention and deeper thinking. We look to address questions such as: What are the desirable outcomes the Government Analytics Team can focus on?


Government websites are all about delivering content so the visitors satisfaction and experience values need to be measured. Government websites also deliver online services or provide more information about their online services. Quite often the desired visitor experience is not simply "read, understand and leave", it would look more like "read, interact and achieve their goal not our goal". Some of the Government Analytics questions, we like to ask are:

  • Are Visitors finding the information they are looking for?
  • Are Visitors actually reading the information on the website?
  • What is the most popular content on the site?
  • Can the desired content be found with a single click from the Home Page?
  • What is the least popular content on the website?
  • How long does it take for someone to find the information they require?
  • Does the correct information actually exist on the website?
  • How often do visitors return to the website?
  • What are the key exit points and key exit destinations? 

Do these questions sound like they are starting to paint a clearer picture of the visitor experience? It is still a bit general, but it is a good starting place to provide some valuable data which can be turned into actionable insights. Many of the questions above can be answered using simple Google Analytics tagging with out of the box reporting, however, gaining deeper insight would require additional custom tagging, custom account configuration and custom report creation.

The importance of Site Search analysis for Government Analytics should also be very high on the priority list. When utilising the website search functionality visitors are explicitly asking for information they need and how they describe it. It can be surprising, the many different ways in which people might refer to the same information. Knowing the search topics on your website is very important, a key subset to understand are the search terms delivering ZERO search results. Whether the search returned zero or many results, examining search behaviour that was initiated from the search result page (search refinement), demonstrates the disparity between the user search result expectations and what results were actually delivered!

When delivering Government Analytics projects, Internetrix has found the data available to be extremely useful in Form UX Analysis (User Experience). Insight into visitor form interaction behaviour helped decrease the form abandonment rate by up to 350%! It's amazing how a simple action such as placing the Salutation (Title) field on the same line as the persons name or adding Dr to the selection box for that field value can make a difference.

A review by the top U.N. E-Government penetration survey showed that at least 30 out of 50 government websites are using Google Analytics for their Government Analytics tasks.

As a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), Internetrix have assisted a number of Australian government departments in better understanding their website effectiveness with Google Analytics and have helped them derive actionable insight from their visitor data.

Think Government Analytics? Think Internetrix.

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