2015 Analytics Benchmarks for College, University, and Higher Education Websites

With the launch of each new higher education website, our client asks: What’s a good benchmark? How are we doing compared to other peer schools? Are we doing better than the old site?

We believe typical measures – sessions, page views, time on site and bounce rate – are good starting points for analytics. These show the overall health of your website, but in order to tie success to business goals, you’ll need to dig into conversion goals.

Average Benchmarks from Google Analytics for College and University Websites

But first, here were the average benchmarks we saw across college and university websites in 2014:

  • Average Pageviews: 3.17 pages

  • Average Session Duration: 3:05 minutes

  • Average Bounce Rate: 47%

  • Average number of New Visitors: 40%

Before and After Challenges with Benchmarking Websites with Google Analytics

Some clients like to compare their sites before and after a launch to show success. However, we have seen analytics in a negative direction after launch. This drop occurs when the previous site was riddled with significant usability issues.

If a site was poorly organized, we see the number of pageviews and site duration decrease after a redesign. In this case, a decrease is a positive result because we’ve made it easier to get to the information.

For a site with significant issues, a redesign usually means a decrease in the bounce rate. This decrease means that the site is performing better; it is more engaging and more useful.