This spring, we launched a feature on the Extension website called “focus areas”. These allow counties to highlight the work they do around a particular topic or topics, and were intended to serve as a link for visitors between the statewide educational content on topic pages and locally relevant events and programming on county pages. Now that focus areas have been live for a few months, we took a look at analytics to see how effective they have been in meeting the goals we had for them.
Here are the basic stats for focus area pages, for the period of March 20, 2019 – August 7, 2019:
- Pageviews: 3,655
- Average time on page: 1 min. 17 sec.
- % Entrances (views where it was the first page viewed on the site): 26.59%
- % Exits (views where it was the last page viewed on the site): 28.78%
- % New visitors: 61.53%
These stats (the low time on page, entrance, and exit rates) suggest that visitors are using focus area pages as a navigation tool on the way to the content they want to see. This is what we want to see. Additionally, the percentage of returning visitors to focus areas is significantly higher than for the site as a whole (38.47% vs. 13.12%).
Here is a graph showing how visitors get to focus areas:
A majority (~57%) of visitors to focus areas click on focus areas from a county page. Of those, around 35% do so on the county’s landing page. The second most common way people get to focus areas is by searching on Google or another search engine, which makes up a majority of the “Entrances” in the graph above.
On focus area pages, counties can:
- Select topics to direct visitors to and related experts to contact in their county.
- List programs and events offered in the county related to that topic.
- Highlight individual pieces of educational content that are especially relevant to their county, such as newsletters.
Here is a graph describing where people go from focus areas:
We see that 37.86% of visitors find content of interest and click to it from the focus area – if this type of information has been featured. Watch or read how to do this in our Website User Guide.
Finally, here are the top 10 visited focus areas up to now:
- HAREC Plant Pathology Diagnostic Laboratory Services
- Douglas County Home Garden and Landscape
- Benton County Forestry and Natural Resources
- Douglas County Forestry and Natural Resources
- Deschutes County Home Garden and Landscape
- Lane County Home Garden and Landscape
- Washington County Home Garden and Landscape
- Lane County Forestry and Natural Resources
- NWREC Berry Crops
- Douglas County Livestock and Forages
Ideas for improving county focus areas
Here are some things you can do as a member of a county group to improve your county focus areas:
- If you offer services at your office, make sure to add them to the website. Some of the more popular focus areas are those that give information about services for the public, such as laboratory services, pressure gage testing, and supplies for checkout.
- Make sure to tag your county events with a topic. Events are displayed on focus areas based on the topic(s) they are tagged with. Analytics show that a lot of visitors to focus areas are interested in the events listed there.
EESC will also use this data to make design and functionality improvements for focus areas, which may potentially include making them more visible on topic landing pages or linking to them from content pages themselves.
Recent website updates
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