Using web analytics in public relations
Dana Chinn




                                     February 2010
Web analytics essentials

• Why measuring audiences is different now
• Behavioral vs. attitudinal
• “Famous metrics” vs. u...
Traditional ad-supported business model


                         Newspaper
                             Magazines Paid
 ...
Online ad-supported business model

                   Online
               Newspapers   Direct mail
               Magaz...
Earned media is a lot harder now

A traditional news org website   A social media service

  has content                  ...
What really matters in online?

What people do (behavioral)




      Who they are, what they think (attitudinal)




    ...
Data won’t answer
                    unless you ask it the right questions

• What needs to get done, what you want to do...
8
Some metrics are “famous” but useless
      “After the disaster in Haiti, [our site] hit
      168.6 million pageviews
   ...
A meaningless metric,
      and a copy editing error, too




--From ”A world of connections/A special report on social ne...
More issues...




--From ”A world of
connections/A special
report on social
networking,” Jan. 30,
2010


                ...
Internal vs. external numbers
Internal                         External
• Census data                    • Panel data
 100...
Unique visitors


        visit websites,



           generate page views.




                                  13
A “unique visitor” is actually a “unique computer”




                                                     14
Unique visitors may be over- or undercounted




              Work                  =33 unique visitors
                 ...
The no. of unique visitors is based on the time period you specify.
            S     M        T    W     Th     F     S

...
The math of visits

A visit is a period of activity separated by at least 30
minutes of inactivity.
  A visitor clicks int...
Calculating engagement
Two ratios




visits per unique visitor   page views per visit



One                         the ...
Visits
per weekly unique visitor

      Example
      2.5 visits per week
                  Are visitors coming to your si...
Page views
                        per visit, by week


Example
3.6 page views per visit
    When visitors do come to your...
Bounce rate of top entry pages

                         One visit with
                         one page view
           ...
Example
     Home page bounce rate
     = over 50%

            Over half of the visits to the CNN.com home page
         ...
The value of an influencer: Nikki Finke

                                                                  Content: 24/7
  ...
Each defined activity has its own
               Key Performance Indicators

Define success/failure with KPIs that indicate ...
Attitudinal research
Do you know the people behind the clicks?


1. What was the purpose of your visit today?

2. Were you...
Do you know who’s not coming to your site,
and why?

• Start with focus groups, usability
  studies, etc. to identify issu...
Social media:
   Not only are the technologies new,
   but the metrics are as well.
       --Online Media and Marketing As...
Types of social media channels

Sharing


   Networking


 News

                                                         ...
Social media:
a constant stream of calls to action



                                    Brands earn the trust and loyalt...
Social media rules

1. Listen
2. Engage
3. Measure
          • Audience

          • Engagement

          • Loyalty

    ...
Step 1: Define the R



                       R OI  eturn         n    nvestment




                                     ...
Step 2: Identify the participants,
their roles, their numbers




                                     32
Understand the limitations of your data sources
The Facebook ad
application only
gives you people on
Facebook who filled
ou...
Your clients want KPIs that show
                                                      proof of audience, participation
• ...
Understand Twitter’s simple complexity,
understand how social media is measured




                           Content


 ...
Analyze your follower profiles
to assess their likelihood of engagement




         Do your followers identify with your k...
Followers
  Look for influencers
  Review reach, churn,
    following/follower ratio




                           37
Analyze content
   Review hashtags,
   keywords, sentiment,
   problems, conversations
   that connect people




        ...
The perfect (measurable) Tweet

• A call to action to participate, engage with you
  Look at this. Go here. What do you th...
“Perfect” tweets are less than 120 characters
RT/via @handle + call to action/comment + link + #hashtag




  100 characte...
GM “Reinvention”
                   Measurable
                           R OI eturn   n   nvestment
Is your company part of the conversation
in real-time web signaling events?




      “When a burst of tweets citing a par...
Define success by who your audiences are
and what they’re doing, thinking




                       Universal Studios Holl...
Dana Chinn                      Blog
Lecturer                           http://www.newsnumbers.com

    chinn@usc.edu
    ...
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Using web analytics in public relations

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Using web analytics in public relations

  1. 1. Using web analytics in public relations Dana Chinn February 2010
  2. 2. Web analytics essentials • Why measuring audiences is different now • Behavioral vs. attitudinal • “Famous metrics” vs. useful ones • Basic site metrics Counting vs. calculating engagement • Social media metrics Understanding followers, analyzing content 2
  3. 3. Traditional ad-supported business model Newspaper Magazines Paid Radio and/or TV earned Direct mail media ...subsidized audiences Yellow defined by Outdoor demographics, geography HIGH ...few competitors BARRIERS ...everyone in its place TO ...can only measure mass ENTRY e.g., paid circulation 3
  4. 4. Online ad-supported business model Online Newspapers Direct mail Magazines Yellow Pages Radio Outdoor TV Online-only ...(highly) subsidized audiences defined by individual behavior, attitudes ...few barriers to entry ...change in behavior, business ...little geographic focus ...everyone’s online, competing with each other ...can measure anything (niches, engagement) 4
  5. 5. Earned media is a lot harder now A traditional news org website A social media service has content serves participants that it distributes who to people -- group -- have themselves who are the same in the same interests -- contribute geography content -- have conversations 5
  6. 6. What really matters in online? What people do (behavioral) Who they are, what they think (attitudinal) 6
  7. 7. Data won’t answer unless you ask it the right questions • What needs to get done, what you want to do, what is impact you want? “What is it that we want to change, improve, accomplish, incite?” --”The Maturation of Social Media ROI,” by Brian Solis, Mashable, Jan. 26, 2010 • Who are the target audiences? • What activities will reach the target audiences, get them to take the desired actions? Over what time periods? • What are the measurable elements - the Key Performance Indicators - that will tell you whether you’ve succeeded or failed? 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. Some metrics are “famous” but useless “After the disaster in Haiti, [our site] hit 168.6 million pageviews in the month of January. A new record.” “We are the go-to source for California 12.2 million news....[our site had] CALIFORNIANS....For the month, we received 24,449,693 --From an internal communication of a media organization, February 2010 visits.” --The ”famous metrics” term comes from web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik 9
  10. 10. A meaningless metric, and a copy editing error, too --From ”A world of connections/A special report on social networking,” Jan. 30, 2010 10
  11. 11. More issues... --From ”A world of connections/A special report on social networking,” Jan. 30, 2010 11
  12. 12. Internal vs. external numbers Internal External • Census data • Panel data 100% of all visitors, visits, Activity from a sample of self- page views for all sections selected people. Only total site data for a limited number of sites. • Internal data • External data Confidential Used to compare sites • Omniture • comScore Google Analytics Nielsen WebTrends Compete etc. etc. • Web Analytics • Interactive Association Advertising Bureau 12
  13. 13. Unique visitors visit websites, generate page views. 13
  14. 14. A “unique visitor” is actually a “unique computer” 14
  15. 15. Unique visitors may be over- or undercounted Work =33 unique visitors = unique visitors Hotel Home = 1 unique visitor Work 15
  16. 16. The no. of unique visitors is based on the time period you specify. S M T W Th F S 1 July 6-12 July 13-19 July 20-26 31 The number of unique visitors... ...on July 1 is six; July 31, two. “Daily unique visitors” ...for the week of July 13 is five. “Weekly unique visitors” ...for the month of July is seven. “Monthly unique visitors” 16
  17. 17. The math of visits A visit is a period of activity separated by at least 30 minutes of inactivity. A visitor clicks into your site at 1 p.m., surfs for 20 minutes, then clicks into CNN.com. One visit A visitor clicks into your site at 1 p.m., surfs for 45 minutes, talks on the phone for 30 minutes without touching the keyboard, then hangs up and goes back to your site for 20 minutes before clicking into CNN.com. Two visits A visitor clicks into your site at 1 p.m., surfs for an hour, leaves his computer for 29 minutes, and then comes back and surfs for another hour before clicking into CNN.com. One visit 17
  18. 18. Calculating engagement Two ratios visits per unique visitor page views per visit One the bounce rate proportion of the page where people enter your Example: 50% site most often 18
  19. 19. Visits per weekly unique visitor Example 2.5 visits per week Are visitors coming to your site with the frequency you need to build loyal, satisfied audiences ? If you update your site 24/7, is your content engaging enough to compel someone to visit more than two or three times a week? 19
  20. 20. Page views per visit, by week Example 3.6 page views per visit When visitors do come to your site, are they engaging with its content? Does a high number suggest visitors can’t find what they want? 20
  21. 21. Bounce rate of top entry pages One visit with one page view to the home page = 1 bounce No. of bounces + No. of visits that started with the home page and had 2+ page views = 100% of visits 21
  22. 22. Example Home page bounce rate = over 50% Over half of the visits to the CNN.com home page left CNN.com without clicking into any other pages Best (?) cases: Came only to get the headlines Home page has dynamic content not captured with page views (check your business model) Worst cases: Couldn’t find what they wanted Didn’t like what they saw Source: “Can CNN, the Go-To Site, Get You to Stay?” by Brian Stetler, New York Times, Jan. 17, 2009 22
  23. 23. The value of an influencer: Nikki Finke Content: 24/7 unique info about The Industry UVs: “a few” 100,000 Industry execs who visit 10x/day Value: $10 million Source: “Call Me,” by Tad Friend, The New Yorker, Oct. 12, 2009 23
  24. 24. Each defined activity has its own Key Performance Indicators Define success/failure with KPIs that indicate participation, engagement. Use ratios, percents - not counts. • Content: comments/post; bounce rate; percent positive/negative • Twitter: PVs/URL; tweets/influencer; retweets/tweet • Facebook: Percent of fans in target audience; discussion topics/influencer; wall posts/fan • Photos/slideshows: percent of show viewed; percent of target audience who posted; comments/slideshow • Videos: views/UV; percent of UVs who rated • Attitudes: transparency; trust; are you adding value to the conversation? 24
  25. 25. Attitudinal research Do you know the people behind the clicks? 1. What was the purpose of your visit today? 2. Were you able to complete your task today? 3. If not, why not? 4. If you did complete your task, what did you enjoy most about our site? Caution: Pop-up survey data is a truth but not the complete truth. Pop-ups are only completed by those who feel like it...it’s not a representative sample. 25
  26. 26. Do you know who’s not coming to your site, and why? • Start with focus groups, usability studies, etc. to identify issues, (not thinking about you) keywords, hypotheses - the questions that will result in data that will lead to decisions • Follow with surveys that reach a representative sample of the target audiences. Measure niches, not everyone. Avoid convenient, easy samples (sorry) 26
  27. 27. Social media: Not only are the technologies new, but the metrics are as well. --Online Media and Marketing Association Metrics and Measurement program, June 2009 27
  28. 28. Types of social media channels Sharing Networking News Bookmarking Reviews -- “Five essentials for social media marketing,” by Lisa Wehr, CEO/Oneupweb, iMedia Connection, July 17, 2009 28
  29. 29. Social media: a constant stream of calls to action Brands earn the trust and loyalty of their customers by listening and responding. --”The Maturation of Social Media ROI,” by Brian Solis, Mashable, Jan. 26, 2010 ...the true value of a network is measured by the frequency of engagement of the participants. -- Interactive Advertising Bureau Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions, May 2009 29
  30. 30. Social media rules 1. Listen 2. Engage 3. Measure • Audience • Engagement • Loyalty • Influence • Action Metrics should map to goals. Period. From “What the **** is Social Media - One Year Later,” Marta Kagan, Espresso|Brand Infiltration, July 16, 2009. Some explicit words. 30
  31. 31. Step 1: Define the R R OI eturn n nvestment and R OO eturn n bjectve “What is it that we want to change, improve, accomplish, incite....?” --”The Maturation of Social Media ROI,” by Brian Solis, Mashable, Jan. 26, 2010 31
  32. 32. Step 2: Identify the participants, their roles, their numbers 32
  33. 33. Understand the limitations of your data sources The Facebook ad application only gives you people on Facebook who filled out the form. You don’t know how many: didn’t give details or updated their status or told the truth or aren’t in Facebook or... 33
  34. 34. Your clients want KPIs that show proof of audience, participation • Targeted audience reach, frequency • Audience profile • Unique visitors, active users; page views; visits, return visits; time spent • Growth; “conversation reach” • Content relevance • Author (journalists, others) credibility; content freshness; influence • Calls to action answered • Passive: downloads; games played; videos viewed; alerts subscribed/ unsubscribed; widgets installed • Info submitted: comments posted; topics/forums created; photos, videos uploaded; poll votes; ratings, reviews, recommendations; contests entered • Interaction: friends reached; in/out links; reposts Derived from Interactive Advertising Bureau Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions, May 2009 34
  35. 35. Understand Twitter’s simple complexity, understand how social media is measured Content Followers 35
  36. 36. Analyze your follower profiles to assess their likelihood of engagement Do your followers identify with your keywords? 36
  37. 37. Followers Look for influencers Review reach, churn, following/follower ratio 37
  38. 38. Analyze content Review hashtags, keywords, sentiment, problems, conversations that connect people 38
  39. 39. The perfect (measurable) Tweet • A call to action to participate, engage with you Look at this. Go here. What do you think? • A link To get news, information Tweets are now a primary news source, the new home page To respond to the call to action • A #hashtag and/or keywords • Handle specific to person/topic • A comment 39
  40. 40. “Perfect” tweets are less than 120 characters RT/via @handle + call to action/comment + link + #hashtag 100 characters 111 characters Watch handle, hashtag sizes Lost the link 40
  41. 41. GM “Reinvention” Measurable R OI eturn n nvestment
  42. 42. Is your company part of the conversation in real-time web signaling events? “When a burst of tweets citing a particular subject or URL emerges, it’s a signaling event.” --Rishab Ghosh, co-founder of Topsy, a search engine for tweets, in “Live in the Moment,” by Clive Thompson, Wired magazine, October 2009 42
  43. 43. Define success by who your audiences are and what they’re doing, thinking Universal Studios Hollywood ad, 2007 43
  44. 44. Dana Chinn Blog Lecturer http://www.newsnumbers.com chinn@usc.edu 213-821-6259 Analytics for news orgs bookmarks http://www.delicious.com/ danachinn Presentations http://www.slideshare.net/ danachinn 44
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