Why Your LMS Needs Google Analytics

January 14, 2020
Laptop with google analytics dashboard shown onscreen

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with Google Analytics. You (or your marketing team) are probably using it to track traffic on your organization’s website. But why not on your Learning Management System?


General dashboards offer an at-a-glance view of some general insights. In addition to this, you can also create custom dashboards that focus on the data you are most interested. Custom dashboards can be useful for sharing with other colleagues who have specific insights they’re after on a routine basis.  

Google Analytics makes it easy to compare data on different audience segments. For example, Mobile vs. Desktop traffic can be compared to visualize the different behavior patterns depending on the device used to access your Path site. You can also slice and dice audience data by device, geolocation, or any number of datapoints to uncover trends and identify potential opportunities 


Track your user behavior flows to understand common paths users take to reach different areas of your Path site. Then review bounce rate or visit length data to help you make a case for improving certain areas of your site.  


Understand how well your email and social media campaigns are doing by viewing your conversion data by campaign. Then drill down deeper to identify campaign success by channel, user geolocation, revenue, etc.  

Remember to optimize your marketing campaigns for tracking by adding the correct UTM parameters

When should you start? 

Google analytics are not retroactive, so even if you aren’t quite sure of your questions or goals, we suggest you start tracking as soon as possible! All we need is your Google Analytics tracking ID and you’ll be pulling in raw data in no time. Get started now so that you have an ample set of data to work with in the future.  

Connecting the Dots with Path LMS and Google Analytics 

Path has off the shelf reporting that focuses on providing you with rich activity and sales data but leveraging Google Analytics in addition to our built-in reports can help you visualize learner data from different angles.  

  • See how your site visitors are reacting to your site and the different pages on your site 
  • Learn from these collective insights to make improvements, track engagement, and accelerate your marketing initiatives. 
  • Visualize behavioral flows, common paths, click through rates, and content sales by any number of dimensions 
  • If you sell content on Path, tracking eCommerce is as simple as flipping the eCommerce switch in your Google Analytics admin settings 

Client Case Study 

In July, our client was using Facebook ads to get people to visit their LMS. They were testing the ability to reach lower and middle income countries and their visitors went from under 1,000 users a month to over 13,000 users in July. On the flip side, engagement went down. 

For that same month, looking at geolocation, Asia and Africa were the top continents visiting their site. These continents had the lowest session time though and were certainly not engaging with the content. 

Our client could then see what content was most popular, and what ended up being most popular in July was a topic about a food found in Asia – so, it clearly made sense why the continent of Asia was the largest demographic visiting their site! 

Looking at where the traffic came from, it was also clear Facebook was the leader, showing the ads had a high click through rate. 

90% of their users in July was from mobile. And depending the country to page load time became longer and longer. Depending on the browser, the page load time could become even longer – meaning that many of these people who clicked on the Facebook Ads probably abandoned the page before it ever actually loaded for them and they never saw the content! 

One takeaway was that for less developed countries who are often times on mobile, with sometimes slower internet access, they needed to figure out how they could provide them content that is easier to access. Without having the intel they had from Google Analytics, they may never have connected these dots.


  • Try to build picture of acquisition and traffic flows to inform planning and marketing efforts – what is your hypothesis or question?
  • Look for trends and patterns instead of specifics
  • Experiment with secondary dimensions to get better picture of users and behavior
  • Keep it simple to avoid information overload 

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