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Managing Nonprofit News Sites with Web Analytics Dana Chinn December 2011
ExamplePurpose of a community news program Increase civic engagement in a community by bringing stakeholders together through their shared need for community news and information 2
Using site metrics for decision-making is dependent first on a clearly defined target audience…Alhambra Boyle Heights “South LA” City of Alhambra City of Los Angeles LA Times …and then on an equally well-defined multichannel strategy 3
Each channel reaches different audiences and hasunique functionality, so each needs its own measurement model.A channel’s model – and metrics – should be developedbased on its role vs. other channels. Goal: What the org wants the channel to do Key Performance Indicator: A metric crucial to the org’s survival Target: The value of the KPI that will indicate success or failure Segment: A group of visits or visitors, categorized by type and/or behavior, that is essential to reach the target 4
Understanding cross-channel audiences is essential to assessingreach and setting targets. An e-mail address, obtained with permission, is the most valuable piece of information an org can get. -- Track (some) usage and interaction across channels -- Get stakeholder type and location -- Regularly solicit input, topic and event preferences and interests Audience data is more valuable than content. 5
Other metrics provide insights about KPI performance –and suggest actions that should be taken 7
Analyzing each KPI and metric with segments is essential to understanding what action to take.Web Analytics Measurement Model - Nonprofit News Site Program Objectives Create Provide news in the public interest. Connect Provide forums for community Have a sustainable business model. awareness. stakeholders. discussion.SiteGoals Reinforce offline Capture e-mail Provide content Sign up members Gather community- Gather sign-ups or Collect donations Provide ad space and online newsletter sign (stories, calendar, generated sell tickets for from individuals for business campaigns. ups. retail directory) on comments and events sponsorships local topics and content neighborhoods.Key Branded traffic E-mail newsletter Visit frequency Members Comments Sign-ups or Individuals who No. ofPerformance (direct and click-to-delivery tickets per event donate The businesses thatIndicators search) rate objective is a high ask for number of people, so the No. of clicks / no. of e- average dollar amount is sponsorship info mails delivered. Indicates not the KPI. list quality and content relevancy. Awareness Satisfaction Submissions ratings from ratings from offline surveys online and offline surveys x visits per week 100% x% who come x x members per x comments per x tickets per event x people per week x leads throughKPI Targets times per week week week per week the site per month x% "aware" or x% "satisfied" or x submissions per "very aware" per "very satisfied" per week quarter yearSegments for analysis: Visitors who take the desired actions, or visitors who…Acquisition Are from the city or region. Enter the site directly by typing in a URL or accessing a bookmark. Or, enter the site through a branded keyword through a search engine. Enter the site through an e-mail newsletter (content, ad, or change preferences/unsubscribe link). Enter the site through a specific URL dedicated to another channel (e.g., /townhall) or marketing campaign (e.g., /member).Behavior Visit more than two times a week. Visit content for a specific topic AND neighborhood. Viewed a video. Clicked on an ad (house ad or sponsorship).Outcomes Are members.
Implementing a site measurement model requires aninvestment in customizing and maintaining Google Analytics Examples Metric GA customization Cross-domain tracking; filtering out Profiles internal traffic E-mail newsletter click-to-delivery rate E il l tt li k t d li t Campaign t C i tracking ki Donation completion rate GA goals and funnels Stories by topic and neighborhood Custom variables. Content management system taxonomy taxonomy. Sign-up completion rates GA goals and funnels Content tracking by visitor type Custom variables Internal site search Profiles. Content management system parameter settings. Visits to groups of pages Event tracking 9
Discussion E-commerce sites depend on web analytics. p y Shouldn’t nonprofit news sites? Where’s the journalism? This type of model is for an org that defines journalistic success by the impact it has on an audience. Orgs need to see web analytics as an essential management tool. Reports to foundations should be secondary, and include only those metrics that define success for the org. What should foundations require – and fund? -- measurement models complete with starting points and targets -- training and guidance -- Google Analytics technical set-up consulting 10