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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….
    So what.
    It was a big news week last week. Our site got up to 20,000 page views….
    So what.
    We like our site. I think we’re doing well.
    So what!
    3
  • 4. Where’s the insight in all of this data?
    4
  • 5. Nancy
    John
    Christina
    Clare
    Carol
    Tracy
    5
  • 6. Tell a story with metrics mapped to your goals
    6
    Educate your staff, board, Knight, sponsors, etc. on what your market is, and your priorities.
    There are 10,000 adult residents who live in Cyberton. We decided to first focus on East Cyberton because….
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Revise your goals, develop an action plan. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • 7. Evaluating a site’s impact starts with setting program goals
    7
    Start here
    not here
  • 8. 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
    What people say they did
    what they think
    and
    why
    as captured by
    surveys, focus groups, social media, usability studies
  • 9. Key Performance Indicator #1: Visits
    9
    A visit is counted
    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
    -- Unique visitors
    -- Page views
  • 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
    ?
    library
    * 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.
  • 12. An increase in page views can be good - or bad.*
    12
    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)
    ?
    * 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.
  • 13. Use strong, dependablemetrics that
    MEASURE OUTCOMES
    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
    Key Performance Indicator #2
    Visits per unique visitor
    Key Performance Indicator #3
    Page views per visit
  • 15. 15
    Are you attracting new audiences?
    Key Performance Indicator #4
    Visits from new visitors
    vs.
    Visits from returning visitors
  • 16. When audiences - new and returning - come, are they staying?
    16
    Key Performance Indicator #5
    Bounce rate percent of the page where
    most visits start
    A bounce: a visit with only one page view
  • 17. William Penn Foundation: TheNotebook.org
    KCIC Cohort 1
    17
  • 18. 18
  • 19. 19
  • 20. 20
  • 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
    Northwest Cyberton
    A name that stakeholders identify with
    Non-stakeholders
    Overall site data consists of traffic from everyone
    Southern Cyberton
    Eastern Cyberton
  • 23. How much site traffic is from Cyberton?
    23
    Non-stakeholders
    5
    NW Cyberton
    50
    E. Cyberton
    25
    S. Cyberton
    25
  • 24. Success is defined by goals, priorities – not totals
    24
    NW Cyberton
    E. Cyberton
    S. Cyberton
    Total
    Site
    50
    25
    25
    100
    Universe
    200
    50
    325
    75
    67%
    Penetration
    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
    Not you
    Do you know who they are?
    Are they following you?
    Are they interacting with you?
  • 28. Content that caters, can be measured
    Audience-focused
    28
  • 32. Setting priorities leads to efficient, easier resource allocation decisions
    High priority, medium traffic – grow A LOT
    High priority, highest traffic – grow
    Medium priority, very low traffic - ?
    Low priority, low traffic - hold
    29
  • 33. What content will grow traffic in your highest priority segments?
    Do you have it?
    How much do you have?
    Is it helping you reach your goals?
    Why is/isn’t it working?
    30
  • 34. Is your site set up…
    ….with navigation that uses terms
    that appeal to your audience, improve usability?
    ….so you can track traffic by topic throughout your site?
    31
  • 35. Using data for decision-making
    32
    You had to cut one reporter. How should the others re-arrange their time?
    You got new funding! What should be covered – something new or something more?
    Will partnering with a journalism school give you the quantity, quality you need?
    Will you lose audiences in the summer?
  • 36. How – and how much – will your site contribute to sustainability, on and off-line?
    33
    Stakeholders are lured to your site, become engaged….
    …sign up - you capture their info
    …responding to online, offline campaigns, they donate and/or buy event tickets
  • 37. 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
  • 38. Sell on reach, penetration, engagement – not totals
    35
    NW Cyberton
    E. Cyberton
    S. Cyberton
    Total
    Site
    50
    25
    25
    100
    Universe
    200
    50
    325
    75
    67%
    Penetration
    13%
    50%
    31%
  • 39. Know what your site can – and can’t do
    36
    Selling high-ticket sponsorship packages requires
    in-person contact
  • 40. So, what’s your story? What are your goals? Which metrics map to them?
    37
    Educate your staff, board, Knight, sponsors, etc. on what your market is, and your priorities.
    There are ??,??? adult residents who live in ?????. We decided to first focus on ????? because….
    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 ?????.
    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?
  • 41. Your web analytics responsibilitiesas a decision-maker
    38
    AUDIENCES / SOCIAL MEDIA
    Define
    Size
    Prioritize
    Set goals
    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
  • 42. Your web analytics responsibilitiesfor implementation
    39
    Know what you need tomeasure
    What arethe Key Performance Indicators that
    will give you the right data?
    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
    Know enough about Google Analytics
    to direct someone to fish out the data that you need – no more, no less
    OR
    Do it yourself
  • 43. 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