Overview of web analytics for nonprofit news organizations


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Overview of web analytics for nonprofit news organizations

  1. 1. Overview of web analyticsfor nonprofit news organizationsDana Chinn1. What is web analytics?2. Defining goals3. Basic site metrics4. Social media metrics5. Mobile metricsNovember 2011
  2. 2. Improving a site startswith identifying what needs to change Start here not here 2
  3. 3. Three types of decision-making HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion -- Avinash Kaushik Google Kaushik, Decision-making with bad data, too much data data and/or no goals Decision-making Decision making with data in a continuous improvement process 3
  4. 4. Web analytics is the analysis of data “to drive a continual improvement of the online experience… which translates into your desired outcomes.” y Just one part of web analytics 4from Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik
  5. 5. Is this site successful? Our site has 5,000 monthly unique visitors. Last Tuesday that story got 20,000 page views. Our iPhone app was downloaded 10 000 times. 10,000 times We have 2,000 Likes on Facebook. We have 5,000 Twitter followers 5 000 followers. It depends. Not all traffic is equal q 5
  6. 6. Questions for a e-commerce company Who came to our site? e.g., previous vs. new; high vs. low potential How did they get here? What did they look at? Were they successful in getting what they wanted? A simple e-commerce data story “Current and potential customers who typed in “t-shirts” in Google arrived on our t-shirts landing page. 1.5% of them made a purchase.” 6-- Corey Koberg, Cardinal Path
  7. 7. The questions for a news organization are the same… Who came to our site? e.g., previous vs. new; high vs. low potential How did they get here? What did they look at? Were they successful in getting what they wanted?…so why i the typical story usually something lik this? h is h i l ll hi like hi Our site has 5,000 monthly unique visitors. Last Tuesday that story got 20,000 page views. y yg , p g The average time spent on our site last week was 24 minutes. Our iPhone app was downloaded 10,000 times. We have 2,000 fans on our Facebook page. We have 5,000 Twitter followers 5 000 followers. 7
  8. 8. Traditional mass media business model: Eyeballs to advertisers Advertisers pay to spray their messages to everyone… p y p y g y ….and pray it reaches the right people The metrics used to define success are based on The total number of people reached The percent of people reached in a specific geographic area Market share vs other radio competitors vs. Everyone in the audience is equally important.
  9. 9. Internet business model: People can get news whenever they want, wherever th h they want, and on multiple devices t d lti l d i Advertisers pay to reach only the people they want want… …and only the people they can’t reach directly themselves d l h l h ’ h di l h l or through other targeted ways The metrics used to define success are based on the percent of people reached in a specific interest group and whether those people were engaged enough to deliver the results the advertiser wants - sales, sales leads, sign-ups, etc. “The more insight a publisher has into its audience, the more it can charge advertisers.” Alan Pearlstein, Cross-Pixel Media, Ad Age, 8/8/11
  10. 10. Questions for a nonprofit news organization Is Alhambra Source reaching people in Alhambra? How many? Population: 85,000 How often? Is it reaching people of all types? Businesses? Is it growing? Do people need it? Value it? Like it? Does i h D it have influence? i fl ? What’s working? What’s not? What would it take for Alhambra Source to be successful? 10
  11. 11. Defining success starts with defining a target audience Everyone Alhambra Source could serve: 85,000 -- adults and children -- Asian, Latino, Caucasian/other -- Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, English, other Who Alhambra Source can serve NOW with current resources* - less than 85,000 -- adults -- English-speaking -- Internet access* One FT journalist, volunteer community contributors, web only. Does not havethe staffing to produce everything in three languages. 11
  12. 12. Is Alhambra Source successful? Could it be?Who Is Alhambra Source reaching people in Alhambra? How many? in its target audience of xx,xxx How often? in its target audience Is it reaching people of all types? Businesses? How engaged are they? Is it growing? in its target audience in its target audience Do people need it? Value it? Like it? Does it have influence? in its target audience in its target audience What’s working? What’s not? What are its audience goals if it gets more funding? Less? Is its business plan achievable? Does it have what it will take? 12
  13. 13. A site for a traditional news organization needs different audiencegoals, definitions of success – and metricsIs WBUR.org (Boston public radio) A site that’s a supplement to its radio programming? or A stand-alone news site that competes against other 24/7 Boston news organizations? Can WBUR attract the new Boston-area audiences it needs for donations and sponsorships if its site is focused on serving its current radio audiences with nonexclusive NPR and non non- Boston content? 13
  14. 14. WBUR should segment audiences by channel behavior to understand how to target them effectively Level of engagement- Listen to live stream- Listen to radio podcasts- Use web content- Listen to live stream/radio programming and use web content- Interact due to radio content- Interact due to radio and web content 14
  15. 15. Metrics are for decision-making, not marketing g g You had to cut one reporter. How reporter should the others re-arrange their time? You got new funding! What should be covered – something new or something more? Should you partner with another organization? Nonprofit news orgs with clearly defined, targeted local audience goals probably will not find much worth in partnering with a traditional mainstream news org. g 15
  16. 16. Internal metrics External metrics for for Strategic Planning Marketing, Advertising• Census data • Panel, toolbar data 100% of all visitors, visits, page Activity from a sample of self- views, etc. in a site selected people. Usually not relevant for small sites.• Analysis, decisions, • Marketing, trending, actions, evaluation competitive analysis• Omniture • comScore Google Analytics Nielsen WebTrends Compete etc. etc etc.• Web Analytics • Interactive Advertising Association Bureau 16
  17. 17. Step 1: Understand the clickstream, or every action relevant to site goalsBehavioral research What people did when they came to your site, h h as captured by an action taken on a keyboard or mouse 17
  18. 18. What actions indicate engagement? Visit Vi it , regularly l l Read/view content, a l R d/ i lotInteract,Interact often -- rate, print, vote, take a poll, click on an ad -- share, e-mail, comment, contribute 18
  19. 19. Story count vs. traffic by topic givesinfo on what content is working or notgiven how resources are allocated Any info input by a user gives y p y g invaluable information on what people want – and what it expects the site to have 19
  20. 20. Ask people for info that allows you to engage them on ONLYthe topics they want… …and which can be used for targeting advertisers/sponsors and allocating news resources 20
  21. 21. Basic site metrics Unique visitors U i i it visit sites and generate page views 21
  22. 22. Total visits: One indicator of overall site performance A visit i counted i it is o ted every time someone comes to a siteVisits: the strongest metric availableAn increase in visits is always good. -- More people are coming to your site. -- Returning people are coming more often.A decrease in visits? Always bad. 22
  23. 23. Strong vs. weak metrics g Strong metrics are useful tools that give clear indications of what’s successful or notc. Kyle Taylor Weak metrics… -- are conceptually flawed “so what?” counts of things -- are technically flawed metrics calculated by web analytics systems c. Kyle Taylor in ways that give unclear indications …could be so misleading they could lead to bad decisions 23
  24. 24. Really weak metric #1: Unique visitorsA unique visitor is really a unique computer. Unique visitors are either over-counted… …or under-counted. library, school, Internet I t t cafe You’ll never know which or by how much.** It doesn’t matter anyway….better to measure outcomes (did people do what you wanted?) thanthe number of people who came to your site. 24
  25. 25. Really weak metric #2: Page views An increase in page views can be good - or bad * bad.* Bad design navigation site architecture? design, navigation, Lots of page views, annoyed users A redesign improved usability? ? Fewer page views happier users views, 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 (d d people d what you wanted?) than d ’ b (did l do h d ) h the number of pages people went to when they came to your site. 25
  26. 26. Really weak metric #3: Time spent on site An increase in average time spent on site can be good – or bad.* Bad design, navigation, site architecture? g , g , ? Lots of time spent, annoyed users A redesign improved usability? Less time spent, happier users p , pp * It doesn’t matter anyway….better to measure outcomes (d d people d what you wanted?) than d ’ b (did l do h d ) h how much time people spent on your site. 26
  27. 27. Systems only measure the time spent in between pages on a site so site, so…? The time spent of a user who g p goes only to one y page is NOT included in the average time spent calculation. Time spent = 0 and not included in average calculations 1 minute The time spent on the last page of a site isn’t counted at all. 10 Time spent = minutes 1 minute Site X 27
  28. 28. Three types of site metrics that can be usedto segment visitors by behavior1. Visitor acquisition: How did people get to the site? Is your marketing working? Trafffic sources: direct, referrals, search engines, campaigns (e.g., e-mail newsletters, ads)2. Site behavior: What did they do once they got to the site? “I came. I saw. I puked.” -- Avinash Kaushik on bounce rate Bounce rate of a landing page – did people leave after seeing only one page? Visits that included internal search Visits that went to a particular type of content3. Outcomes: Did people take the actions essential to the organization’s success? Visit frequency and recency Sign-up for an e-mail newsletter Buy a benefit dinner ticket Donate; sign up for membership
  29. 29. The bounce rate of a landing page is much more actionable than thebounce rate of the entire site Start by looking at the top landing page, or the page where most visits start 100% 51% 8,331 Home page bounce rate: 43% 16,304 visits visits started on content pages 49% 7,973 57% 43% left the site 4,547 3,426 without going visits went to started at least to another on the one page other home page page Action: Let’s try Week of Sept. 11, 2011 changing the home page 29
  30. 30. The percent of entrances to the top landing pages indicatesWBUR.org may be seen more as a radio supplementthan as a stand-alone news source OnPointHome page: wbur.org radio show site 15% Percent of entrances to Radio Radio- 26% related Live stream pop-up pages 7% 28% Listening center And bounce rates to radio- related landing pages are higher 3% Here and Now radio show site di h it 3%Not actual WBUR numbers
  31. 31. If WBUR’s goal is to be a 24/7 news site,it should also calculate bounce rate based on those who bouncefrom the live stream page. p gA visit that enters the site through the home page… …and goes only to the live stream and radio content… …is not counted as a “bounce” in web analytics systems. BUT it should be interpreted as a visit that’s not interested or engaged with web content. 31
  32. 32. Visitor site behavior metrics – landing page, topics visited,pages per visit, bounce rate, etc. – vary based on how peopleentered the sitePercent of visits that left immediately after coming 75% A high bounce rateto the site, by traffic source site from search engines may indicate you 55% don’t have the right A low bounce rate from content referring sites usually A high indicates you bounce rate have a good from direct o d ect link strategy traffic may indicate your 20% current audiences aren’t engaging with you Direct Referrals Search 32
  33. 33. To understand what content is working, categorize each story withmultiple classifications by content topic, geography, type (text, video)and source (staff, wire) ( , ) Elections Crime Sports Staff- Staff Opinion O i i produced Schools Editorial Health about Cambridge school lunch nutrition Not staff- Boston produced Cambridge Newton New Hampshire Most news orgs use traditional media content categorizations that are too broad t truly understand visitor i t b d to t l d t d i it interests and intent t di t t 33
  34. 34. Attitudinal research is essential for nonprofit organizations to assess site success and other program goals such as the level of civic engagement“What was the purpose of your visit today? Did you find what you wanted?” Use it U site or page-level l l pop-up surveys to calculate task completion rates Market Motive/Avinash Kaushik
  35. 35. SocialmediaNot only are the technologies new,but the metrics are as well. --Online Media and Marketing Association Metrics and Measurement program, June 2009 35
  36. 36. We know about “spray and pray” business models… The social media ‘provide and pray’ model Not having a purpose for social media efforts “….often leads to a worst practice we call ‘provide and pray.’ Leaders and managers provide access to a social technology, and then pray that a community forms and that community interactions somehow lead to business value. In most cases, adoption never really materializes; communities may form, but their activity is not considered valuable to the organization.”“Social Media Success Is About Purpose (Not Technology),” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald, Harvard Business Review,Nov. 1, 2011
  37. 37. Why should news and nonprofit organizations… …have a Facebook page? …tweet?“Effectively measuring social media,” Susan Etlinger, Altimeter Group webinar, April 2011 How important are either in achieving their goals? Are either of them essential, given --a large part of the target audience may not be on Facebook and/or Twitter? --extremely limited resources? Social media metrics are just as important as site metrics.
  38. 38. Two different types of communities ypA traditional news org website A social media service has content serves participants who that it distributes to people -- group themselves -- have the same who are interests in the same geography -- contribute content -- have conversations 38
  39. 39. Understand how to measure Twitter,and you’ll understand how to measure social media Content Followers not demographics or other typical mass media audience metrics 39
  40. 40. User- Tweet- centric centric metrics metrics“Twitalyzer and TweetReach – A Symbiotic Pairing for Twitter Analysis,” by Tim Wilson, March 8, 2011
  41. 41. Measurable tweets have have…1. A call to action Go here…look…tell me2.2 A link that you track with link (e g bit y) (e.g., bit.y) and web analytics tools RT - retweet MT – modified tweet3. #Hashtags and/or keywords Via or HT – heard through Favorite Lists4. Topic or person-specific handles …120 or fewer characters, not 140! 120 characters 41
  42. 42. Tweetreach gives some understanding of the importance of atopic and a news org’s reach through Twitter vs. other users Is th I the news org an influencer in the conversation?
  43. 43. Topsy can help identify if influencers by topic
  44. 44. Twitalyzer assesses whether an org should cultivate an influencer Impact: number of followers, unique references and citations, frequency of unique retweets, update frequency Engagement: R i of people referenced by the user to the number of people E Ratio f l f d b h h b f l referencing the user Influence: Likelihood that a Twitter user will retweet what this user has written or reference this user.
  45. 45. Are each of this journalist’s followers worth $2.50? PhoneDog claims it was damaged because its former editor didn t didn’t transfer his Twitter handle after he quit. It says each of its Twitter followers were worth $2.50.“Can a Twitter Account Be a Company Trade Secret?” by Jeff Roberts, PaidContent.org, Nov. 2011
  46. 46. On his own, he’sstill “influential” And PhoneDog is not
  47. 47. “Using Facebook Insights…is complicated by poor documentation, documentation unclear definitions inconsistent naming and definitions, frequent updates.” --Nestor Archival Jr., Stratigent Facebook I i ht F b k Insights No. of active users No. of likes No. No of comments“Facebook Page Analytics: Using and Integrating Data from Facebook Insights,” by Nestor Archival Jr., Stratigent,May 2011 47
  48. 48. Be honest with the metricsDo 538 peopleREALLY “Like”this? Or do h O d they jjust want another sweepstakes entry? 48
  49. 49. Nov.Nov election Encourage lots of active users to avoid dominant commentators who might constrict interaction Have different pages by topic to encourage participation, understand which topics Higher education generate the most commentsAll 3 comments on thesetwo subjects are from thesame person 49
  50. 50. “What matters is everything that happens after you post / tweet /participate….The ‘so what’ matters!” 1. Conversation: “Social means talk and listen and discuss. So why not measure that?” 2. Amplification: “The rate at which your followers take your co te t a d s a e t t oug t e content and share it through their network.” 3. 3 Applause: “What does your audience like? What like?”“Best Social Media Metrics,” by Avinash Kaushik, Oct. 10, 2011. Chart designed by Erik Ohlen
  51. 51. Mobile is more than apps Mobile web Augmented reality y Mobile applications Near-field Mobile commerce communication SMS or text Mobile barcodes / Quick Response (Q ) codes p (QR) Location-based services Proximity marketing Greg Dowling, Semphonic, Oct. 2011 52
  52. 52. “Mobile…metrics are nascent at best.” Some mobile web metrics --Page views, visits, visitors, new/repeating --Length of visit, bounce rate, depth of visit --Sources: search, referrers, keywords , , y Some mobile app metrics --Campaigns: responses, goal completion --Downloads --Geographic location --Active user rate etc. --App starts and closes --In app events In --Sessions --Trial to paid upgrade etc. And everything differs by --Device (screen size, audio/video capabilities, etc.) --Manufacturer --Operating system etc.Greg Dowling, Semphonic, Oct. 2011
  53. 53. Audiences and actions differ by channel… …so there are completely different metrics for each! And you need to report them all separately – you can’t add them up to get a total audience number SOCIAL SITES MEDIA MOBILE Totals1. Who? How many? In target audience? ? ? ? ? ? ?2. No. of visits?2 f i i ? How often? ? ? ? ? ? ?3. What did they see? ? ? ? ? ? ? Did they get want they wanted?4. Did they interact? y ? ? ? ? ? ? What did they do? How much? 54
  54. 54. Using data for decision-making 1. Define a measurable audience. 2. Set specific goals across all channels; Measure map metrics to goals.Optimize Act Web Report Analytics 3. Set up your site to measure actions that indicate engagement Analyze Don’t forget about Voice of Customer 55