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Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project

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Slides for the Knight Community Information Challenge - the "Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project: A Primer for Practitioners and Funders" whitepaper on web analytics for news and …

Slides for the Knight Community Information Challenge - the "Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project: A Primer for Practitioners and Funders" whitepaper on web analytics for news and nonprofit organizations is available at http://www.knightfoundation.org/research_publications/detail.dot?id=370646

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  • 1. Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project Knight Community Information Challenge Boot Camp - October 2010 Dana Chinn
  • 2. • What is web analytics? • Tracking overall site traffic • Mapping metrics to goals • Setting up a site for the right metrics • Using data for decisions Slides: www.slideshare.net/danachinn Twitter: @danachinn “Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project: A Primer for Practitioners and Funders” can be downloaded from the Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge site at http://www.infoneeds.org
  • 3. Our site has 5,000 monthly unique visitors…. It was a big news week last week. Our site got up to 20,000 page views…. We like our site. I think we’re doing well. So what. So what. So what! 3
  • 4. 4 Where’s the insight in all of this data?
  • 5. Carol Nancy Christina Clare John Tracy 5
  • 6. Tell a story with metrics mapped to your goals 6 There are 10,000 adult residents who live in Cyberton. We decided to first focus on East Cyberton because…. Tell people what your site does have, and how this compares to your goals. If there’s a problem, use data to help hypothesize why. Revise your goals, develop an action plan. Lather, rinse, repeat. In the three months since we launched, about 500 have registered. Most are from NW Cyberton. Only about 50 are from East Cyberton! This is only 5 percent of EC - our goal was 10 percent. We think it’s because we have fewer stories about EC than the other areas. So we’re going to shift some reporting resources, do a town hall event in East Cyberton and use about a third of our house ads asking them to register. Educate your staff, board, Knight, sponsors, etc. on what your market is, and your priorities.
  • 7. Evaluating a site’s impact starts with setting program goals 7 Start here not here
  • 8. What people say they did what they think and why as captured by surveys, focus groups, social media, usability studies Two types of web analytics data 8 Behavioral research What people did when they came to your site, as captured by an action taken on a keyboard or mouse Attitudinal research
  • 9. Key Performance Indicator #1: Visits 9 A visit is counted -- Unique visitors -- Page views every time someone comes to a site An increase in visits? Always good. A decrease in visits? Always bad. These metrics are useful when put in ratios with visits, other metrics
  • 10. A unique visitor is really a unique computer. Unique visitors are either over-counted… 10
  • 11. …or under-counted. You don’t know when or by how much.* 11 * It doesn’t matter anyway….better to measure outcomes (did people do what you wanted?) than the number of people who came to your site. library ?
  • 12. An increase in page views can be good - or bad.* 12 * It doesn’t matter anyway….better to measure outcomes (did people do what you wanted?) than the number of pages people went to when they came to your site. Bad design, navigation, site architecture? Lots of page views, annoyed users A redesign improved usability? Fewer page views, happier users Content that should be there but isn’t? Lots of page views, annoyed users Dynamic content? Fewer page views, happier users (probably) ?
  • 13. MEASURE OUTCOMES Use strong, dependable metrics that Outcomes are… The short and/or long term changes, results, and impacts from implementing a project, program, or initiative 13
  • 14. Generally, is your site engaging visitors? 14 Page views per visit Visits per unique visitor Key Performance Indicator #2 Key Performance Indicator #3
  • 15. Are you attracting new audiences? 15 Visits from new visitors Visits from returning visitors Key Performance Indicator #4 vs.
  • 16. When audiences - new and returning - come, are they staying? 16A bounce: a visit with only one page view Bounce rate percent of the page where most visits start Key Performance Indicator #5
  • 17. William Penn Foundation: TheNotebook.org KCIC Cohort 1 17
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  • 21. Community news sites need to go beyond overall site trends to assess whether they’re reaching their goals 21 1. Reach Is your site reaching the audiences you want? How do your stakeholders group themselves? 2. Penetration How much of your audience are you reaching? 3. Engagement Are your targeted audiences coming back repeatedly? Are they interacting with you? How much? Is it due to your actions or inactions?
  • 22. 22 Overall site data consists of traffic from everyone Northwest Cyberton Southern Cyberton Eastern Cyberton Non- stakeholders A name that stakeholders identify with
  • 23. How much site traffic is from Cyberton? 23 NW Cyberton 50 E. Cyberton 25 S. Cyberton 25 Non-stakeholders 5
  • 24. Success is defined by goals, priorities – not totals 24 NW Cyberton E. CybertonS. Cyberton Total Site Universe 50 25 25 100 67% 200 50 325 Penetration 75 13% 50% 31%
  • 25. The Notebook’s audiences, universes 25
  • 26. What info do you need from site registration, donation forms, offline events? 26 -- Name -- E-mail -- Zip code -- Stakeholder type as granular, specific as needed based on your priorities Example: Not just “Parent” but also year-of-birth of children enrolled in Philadelphia public schools
  • 27. Social media metrics – focus on influencers 27 Do you know who they are? Are they following you? Are they interacting with you? Not you
  • 28. Content that caters, can be measured 28 • Content • Design/Usability • Navigation • URL Audience-focused
  • 29. Setting priorities leads to efficient, easier resource allocation decisions 29 High priority, highest traffic – grow High priority, medium traffic – grow A LOT Medium priority, very low traffic - ? Low priority, low traffic - hold
  • 30. What content will grow traffic in your highest priority segments? 30 Do you have it? How much do you have? Is it helping you reach your goals? Why is/isn’t it working?
  • 31. Is your site set up… 31 ….so you can track traffic by topic throughout your site? ….with navigation that uses terms that appeal to your audience, improve usability?
  • 32. Using data for decision-making 32 You had to cut one reporter. How should the others re- arrange their time? Will partnering with a journalism school give you the quantity, quality you need? You got new funding! What should be covered – something new or something more? Will you lose audiences in the summer?
  • 33. How – and how much – will your site contribute to sustainability, on and off-line? 33 …sign up - you capture their info Stakeholders are lured to your site, become engaged…. …responding to online, offline campaigns, they donate and/or buy event tickets
  • 34. Set up your site for advertising 34 Advertise your content Help out your navigation Ask users to comment Other calls to action Let potential sponsors know they could have a place on your site
  • 35. Sell on reach, penetration, engagement – not totals 35 NW Cyberton E. CybertonS. Cyberton Total Site Universe 50 25 25 100 67% 200 50 325 Penetration 75 13% 50% 31%
  • 36. Know what your site can – and can’t do 36 Selling high- ticket sponsorship packages requires in-person contact
  • 37. So, what’s your story? What are your goals? Which metrics map to them? 37 In the ????? months since ?????, about ????? have ?????. Most are from ?????. Only about ????? are from ?????! This is only ????? percent of ????? - our goal was ?????. We think it’s because ?????. There are ??,??? adult residents who live in ?????. We decided to first focus on ????? because…. Educate your staff, board, Knight, sponsors, etc. on what your market is, and your priorities. Tell people what your site does have, and how this compares to your goals. If there’s a problem, use data to determine why. Revise your goals, develop an action plan. Lather, rinse, repeat.So we’re going to ?????, ??????, and ?????. Will you help us?
  • 38. Your web analytics responsibilities as a decision-maker 38 1. AUDIENCES / SOCIAL MEDIA Define Size Prioritize Set goals 2. CONTENT Assess audience needs, wants Define your unique value, competitive advantage Prioritize based on the resources you have 3. SUSTAINABILITY Define all revenue sources, current and potential, small and large Determine what your site can do Set goals – on-and offline
  • 39. Your web analytics responsibilities for implementation 39 1. Know what you need to measure What are the Key Performance Indicators that will give you the right data? 2. Communicate what you need to your team To ensure your site architecture supports your metrics So everyone understands how data was used to make decisions 3. Know enough about Google Analytics to direct someone to fish out the data that you need – no more, no less OR Do it yourself
  • 40. Dana Chinn Lecturer USC Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism 213-821-6259 chinn@usc.edu http://www.newsnumbers.com http://www.delicious.com/danachinn http://www.slideshare.net/danachinn Twitter: @danachinn “Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project: A Primer for Practitioners and Funders” can be downloaded from the Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge site at http://www.infoneeds.org 40

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