Abstract

Background


It is easy to accurately measure web site usage and to quantify key parameters such as page views, site visits, and more complex variables using commercially available tools that analyze web site log files and search engine use. This information can be used strategically to guide the design or redesign of a web site (templates, look-and-feel, and navigation infrastructure) to improve overall usability. The data can also be used tactically to assess the popularity and use of new pages and modules that are added and to rectify problems that surface.

Questions/purposes


This paper describes software tools used to: (1) inventory search terms that lead to available content; (2) propose synonyms for commonly used search terms; (3) evaluate the effectiveness of calls to action; (4) conduct path analyses to targeted content.

Methods


The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) uses SurfRay’s Behavior Tracking software (Santa Clara CA, USA, and Copenhagen, Denmark) to capture and archive the search terms that have been entered into the site’s Google Mini search engine. The AAOS also uses Unica’s NetInsight program to analyze its web site log files.

Results


These tools provide the AAOS with information that quantifies how well its web sites are operating and insights for making improvements to them.

Conclusions


Although it is easy to quantify many aspects of an association’s web presence, it also takes human involvement to analyze the results and then recommend changes. Without a dedicated resource to do this, the work often is accomplished only sporadically and on an ad hoc basis.

Full-text article