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Introduction to Web Analytics for Journalists

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A presentation from the Innovate News conference. Web analytics is a discipline focused on the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data in order to understand and optimize how …

A presentation from the Innovate News conference. Web analytics is a discipline focused on the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data in order to understand and optimize how a website is being used. And when it comes to online journalism, it's how publishers decide whether your article was a winner or a failure. During this engaging session, Patrick Glinski, a digital strategist at Idea Couture, and Mike Sukmanowsky, Manager of Digital analytics at Rogers Media, will provide a foundational course in Web analytics by providing a frank look at how publishers determine the success of stories online. Attendees will walk away with a concrete understanding of the tools of the trade and how access to a little data can dramatically improve their popularity.

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  • Normal audience for one of these presentations – clueless online marketers, people who want piles of reports that serve no real purpose.It’s refreshing to get to talk about WA in a different way, because the reality is, if anything you do touches online, then web analytics can help you improve.
  • Today our goal is to teach you five things. And of all of these things, number 5 is the most important. Today we’re going to walk you through quite a lot of material in a very short period of time, and if you remember one thing, it’s that Web Analytics is not scary. It has a big, sophisticated name. It implies the two things people hate the most – math and technology. But as you’ll learn today, the application of Web Analytics to what you do is much much simpler.We’re walking through 5 thingsIf you walk away with any, it’s the last one WA implies all the things that people are afraid of most – technology and math. But as you’ll learn today, the application of this is not scary.
  • When we use the term Web Analyst, what picture comes to your head? [ASSUME pimply teen typing at a computer in a dark room]. So anyways, we want to apologize in advance for any assumptions we might make about what you do. You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics. From what I’ve been told, Web Analytics doesn’t come up very often in the world of Journalism, so I’m going to wager that this is the first dive into the subject for most of you. Well I’ll be honest, it’s a two way street. I’m not a journalist. Mike is not a journalist. We’re not going to pretend to understand the intricacies of your roles and your jobs. And to be honest, very few people do that with us. We’re apologizing in advance because we plan on presenting you with an honest perspective of how the people who evaluate success online view your content. Because that perspective is going to one day be the dominant view of content in the future. We’re two guys who help businesses make money online. We don’t pull punches, we’re honest, and we get results. And so we’re taking the same approach with all of you today.
  • SifterThe reason we’re telling you too much about ourselves is because we can only guess that as journalists, you’re inquisitive people. I’ve always thought that journalists are experts at uncovering the truth, no matter how awkward and uncomfortable it may be. And so if you wanted to know more about us, you’d find it out. We think that means we have a lot in common with you.
  • This is the formal description of Web analytics. Basically, it involves the end to end process of collecting and analyzing the data produced by websites. The information is primarily used to understand and change websites to either sell more of something or improve how the website works.
  • recurrenceI have no doubt that we probably lost a whole bunch of you with that quote. That description gets pretty complex.
  • YandleI think we’ve all probably had the experience of interacting with a two way mirror. You use a two-way mirror for doing research so that a participant isn’t as conscious that you’re there. It’s so you can observe. Well think of Web Analytics is really like a two way mirror for your website.
  • On one side of the mirror, there’s a user who goes about their daily business. They read a few articles. They click a few links.
  • On the other end, there’s a series of tools that allow us to understand pretty much everything that happens related to our website.
  • DavestfuThe way that analytics software works is that every time you do anything on a website, information about what was done gets passed to a service that collects and stores that information.
  • FrcsykWe learn everything we can. In particular, this stuff…
  • UnusualimageSo if you’re not familiar with the technology, you’re probably freaking out right now, worried that the “they’re watching me”.
  • LarskflemIf you can, turn off the journalist in you. There is nothing to worry about here, and this has come under question a million times before in the Web Analytics field. As a user, you’re not personally identified – it’s part of the ethical code that we use. We don’t personally identify an individual, we group individuals together. So that’s not the story here…
  • SplorpOur time is better spent on “aggregate data” rather than the data of an individual. Think about it this way. If my job is to make money from a website, how am I going to maximize the amount of time to the amount of effort I’m putting in? I’ll tell you – it’s not going to be by analyzing each and every individual that comes to my site. It’s going to be done by looking at trends and groups of people. We use data to make improvements to websites. That’s’s everything from using it to determine what’s working, what isn’t working, everything as macro to what we call categories to as micro as the color of a button. We make changes. We uncover the truth about what’s working and what isn’t working.
  • Web Analytics data, combined with other data sources, provides us with a really great platform for understanding consumer behaviour. This is a common model we use in our industry that describes the ecosystem of information that can help us make decisions. If our goal is to understand behaviour, there’s a lot to knowThis is a model we use to describe all of the things that go into developing insightsWeb analytics data is part of a bigger ecosystem of information
  • All of this Normally, we spend our time trying to convince large companies that they need to move beyond data analysis and incorporate all of these different degrees of activities.
  • As a consumer, it means that web analytics makes your user experience way, way better. On a website, we’re always improving the design and findability, and making sure content is targeted towards a particular audience.Optimizing the user experience Findability and usability
  • 416styleAbove all else, web analytics is about a mentality of constantly optimizing your website.
  • SerhioAs writers of web content, no one’s trying to optimize for you. They’re trying to optimize around you. That means looking at the types of content You’re a color of a button. Or a piece of navigation. All of your writing is currently being measured and evaluated.
  • MegaulBut from an analysts perspective, you are a piece of content. If our goal is to optimize the site so that users have the best possible experience, then that inevitably has to influence the content that you produce – otherwise, you cost money and don’t bring in money. There’s no return on your content. From a publisher’s perspective, content exists for one reason. And that reason is to drive revenue.
  • Today we’re not trying to tell you how to run your website. We’re not teaching you to be web analysts. We’re trying to get you to an easy starting point, so let’s talk about what REALLY matters here. Knowing that there’s an easy way to measure all of this is fundamental.
  • Shannon K
  • megaul
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • But seriously… do you really care?
  • davestfu
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • Satoru KikuchiYou probably think we’re from another planet talking about Revenue. This is supposed to be a presentation about web analytics. Well I hope that some of you are making the important connection here. If publishers care about revenue, and you’re responsible for revenue when your articles go online… then…
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • SqueakyMarmotEvaluating the true value of a journalist and their content is, of course, not so black and white.
  • davestfu
  • arbyreedWahig
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • zack turbo Avg. Number of Comments / Article Most Discussed Articles Word analysis – positive / negative / neutral?
  • Most Recommended Articles Average Article Rating (if available)
  • Rising stories – most discussed / rated highly may deserve better promotion if you’re paying attention to itPredict the future – likeliness to recommend
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • Now that you’ve seen the metrics you’re being evaluated on, you can use those same metrics to improve yourself.
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • Lopolis
  • Do you care about revenue now? No, well I didn’t think we’d be able to change your perspective completely in one presentation.
  • How about this? Engaging people? Being popular? Or just seeing your content being read by a whole lot of people?
  • LopolisFindability refers to the quality of being locatable or navigable. At the story level, we would talk about findability in terms of your story being easy to discover or locate.
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • SwamibuWell, it probably impacts your happiness. Both from a personal success and from a “your editor off your ass” perspective
  • 1st is search. Any search engine will index your stories. Search engines are one of the primary ways that news gets shared. 2nd. Title. When someone is navigating the home page of your publisher’s site, your story’s headline and sub-headline need to entice someone to click on the story. 3rd. You can be a popular writer. When you’re consistent and make a name for yourself, people will come back to your content regularly. When you ask quesitons4th. You can be a shared writer. Have a good topic, pose a question, reference someone else, or have a social media account where you post your articles and you’ll increase your ability to be shared.
  • seretuaccidenteWe really aren’t quallified to do that. But we
  • davestfu
  • gruntzooki
  • gruntzooki
  • So keep your eyes on them
  • Now I don’t know why you became a journalist, but I can imagine that you were at some point interested in reaching as many people as possible. Doing these few things will help make it happen.
  • You’re here today to hear us give a talk about Web Analytics.
  • PatternedWeb Analytics platforms offer a list of thousands of metrics that measure every conceivable minute detail about what happens on a website
  • JurvetsonThere is a pretty complex technical side to the world of Web analytics platforms that can be pretty daunting
  • Ask can you help me!
  • Jon_Marshall
  • SlantyeyedIf we’ve done our job, we’ve hopefully sparked your interest. We’re not trying to get you to switch your job, just to know that there are people who’s job is to make the online experience better.
  • Now I don’t know why you became a journalist, but I can imagine that you were at some point interested in reaching as many people as possible. Doing these few things will help make it happen.
  • SteveleggatWe would love to leave our computers and help someone get better at what they do. We would love to be your hero.
  • Today our goal is to teach you five things. And of all of these things, number 5 is the most important. Today we’re going to walk you through quite a lot of material in a very short period of time, and if you remember one thing, it’s that Web Analytics is not scary. It has a big, sophisticated name. It implies the two things people hate the most – math and technology. But as you’ll learn today, the application of Web Analytics to what you do is much much simpler.We’re walking through 5 thingsIf you walk away with any, it’s the last oneThis is not scary
  • Transcript

    • 1. Introduction to Web Analytics
      The harsh realities of online measurement for Journalists
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 2. 00
      You will learn five things from us
      01 Web analytics is about the truth
      02 Publishers care about money
      03 You’re evaluated on data
      04 Web analytics data can make you “better”
      05 This is not scary
    • 3. 00
      WARNING:
      The following presenters are not journalists, editors, publishers, fact checkers or anything like that. Mike does have a blog (not a lot of people read it). Patrick once tried to write a screenplay about robots (never made it past act 2). Anyways, I digress. What we’re trying to say is that during this presentation we’ll be making some assumptions about your role, and use words like “revenue” and “ads” that may offend your journalistic integrity. We’re not going to tell you how to do your job, but you’re part of an ecosystem. The more money you make your publisher, the more money you’ll see back. That’s why you should probably be interested in Web analytics.
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 4. Patrick – Not a Journalist
      Strategist, Idea Couture
      Runs Toronto Web analytics group
      Got first job through nepotism
      Failed at P90X over a dozen times
      Poor at spelling
      Obsessed with scarves
      Swears too much at work
      Learning how to sew
      Drinks a little too much
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 5. Mike – Not a Journalist
      Analytics Manager, Rogers
      • Member of eMetrics advisory panel
      • 6. Hasn’t updated his blog since April ‘09
      • 7. New condo buyer
      • 8. Recovering chronic nail biter
      • 9. Secretly hates Patrick (and wishes he would shave his beard)
      • 10. Not a huge fan of the iPad…yet
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 11. Why we’re over-sharing
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 12. 01
      WEB ANALYTICS IS ABOUT THE TRUTH!
    • 13. 01
      Web analytics is the collection, measurement, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage
    • 14. Yes, we know… that sounds academic
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 15. Think of Web analytics like a two-way mirror for a website
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 16. Mirror, Side A
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 17. Mirror, from behind
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 18. Without getting to technical
      Good websites contain analytics code
      When you arrive, we know where you come from
      When you visit, we know what you visit
      When you choose, we know what you liked best
      When you use, we know how you navigate
      When you like, we know what you value
      When you search, we know what you search for
      When you receive, we know if you opened
      When you leave, we know where you left from
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 19. And we learn plenty
      Good websites analysts know
      Who is visiting the site
      Where they go on the site
      What content they like the most
      What content they like the least
      What content people share the most
      What content people interact with most
      What content people talk about the most
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 20. NOTE: This is not a big brother scenario
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 21. You’re just part of a crowd…
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 22. We use data to uncover the truth about websites
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 23. Clickstream
      01
      Multiple Outcomes & Analysis
      Experimentation and Testing
      Voice of Visitor
      Competitive Intelligence
      Insights
    • 24. who what where
      Clickstream
      01
      goals objectives
      Multiple Outcomes & Analysis
      what if
      Experimentation and Testing
      why
      Voice of Visitor
      What else
      Competitive Intelligence
      Insights
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 25. On the plus side…
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 26. Web analytics is about truth that drives change
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 27. You’re on the other side of the mirror
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 28. We don’t want to be harsh here…
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 29. 01
      For journalists, Web analytics is a resource that can help you understand how people find, consume, and interact with your content online so you can improve.
    • 30. Is your content being consumed online?
      Clickstream
      01
      Multiple Outcomes & Analysis
      Are people interacting with the content?
      Experimentation and Testing
      Are you improving?
      Voice of Visitor
      Competitive Intelligence
      Insights
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 31. Web analytics will get you to the truth about your writing
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 32. So while we’re on the topic of truth…
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 33. 02
      PUBLISHERS CARE ABOUT MONEY
    • 34. Here’s how it works online…
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 35. 02
      METRICS THAT IMPACT REVENUE
      unique visitors = total number of visitors to your site in a time period, usually monthly
      visitors = total number of visits to your site in a time period, usually measured monthly
      page views = number of pages seen by your visitors
      impressions= number of ads you serve to your audience
    • 36. 02
      METRICS THAT IMPACT REVENUE
      unique visitors = total number of visitors to your site in a time period, usually monthly
      visitors = total number of visits to your site in a time period, usually measured monthly
      page views = number of pages seen by your visitors
      impressions= number of ads you serve to your audience
      people
      visit your publishers site
      to view interesting content
      and your publisher pushes ads at them
    • 37. Sell through rate
      1000
      Ad Revenue
      02
      HOW AD REVENUE IS CALCULATED
      Total Ad Impressions
      Cost per thousand
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 38. Sell through rate
      1000
      Ad Revenue
      02
      WHAT JOURNALISTS CAN IMPACT
      Total Ad Impressions
      Cost per thousand
      Impressions
      Visits
      Page Views
      Unique Visitors
      Unique Visitors
      Visits
      Page Views
      Loyalty
      Engagement
      Growth
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 39. Understanding your impact
      Site revenue increases if:
      Increase Unique Visitors (Growth)
      Increase Visits per Unique Visitor (Loyalty)
      Increase Pageviews per Visit (Engagement)
      Increase CPM (Revenue)
      Increase Sellthrough Rate (Revenue)
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 40. 02
      FACTORS THAT IMPACT
      METRICS THAT IMPACT REVENUE
      unique visitors = how much is your content being shared with others online?
      visitors = how much does your writing impact the loyalty of readers?
      page views = how often do your articles get read, if at all?
      impressions= do readers get through your articles?
    • 41. I thought this was about Web analytics?
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 42. 03
      YOU’RE EVALUATED ON DATA
    • 43. 03
      YOUR PUBLISHER’S DREAM
    • 44. But it’s not just about the Benjamins
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 45. A page view is just a page viewed…
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 46. Window shopping versus action
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 47. 03
      THERE ARE MORE THAN JUST PAGE VIEWS
      INTEREST
      INTERACTION
      page views
      rate
      print
      comment
      recommend
      send to a friend
      (social) bookmark
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 48. Are you controversial?
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 49. How likely is it for someone to view you again?
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 50. 03
      INTERACTION METRICS MATTER TOO
      they go much deeper than page views
      they measure your influence
      they put you inside your readers’ heads and hearts
      they can indicate rising storiesbefore the page views follow
      they can help predict the future
    • 51. 03
      Whether it’s tracking your page views or the interactions resulting from your articles, the performance of your content can be measured.
    • 52. 04
      WEB ANALYTICS DATA CAN MAKE YOU “BETTER”
    • 53. Now you know how you’re being graded
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 54. 04
      When you know what you’re being measured on and why you’re being measured on it, and you care about revenue, you can influence your metrics by changing what and how you write.
    • 55. Did they just say what I think they just said?
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 56. 04
      When you know what you’re being measured, why you’re being measured on it, and you care about revenue, you can influence your metrics by changing what and how you write.
    • 57. 04
      When you know what you’re being measured, why you’re being measured on it, and you care about revenue, you can influence your metrics by changing what and how you write.
      Seeing your articles shared
      Reaching new audiences
      Involving people in your media
      The ego of popularity
      People reading your articles
    • 58. How and what you write impacts findability
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 59. 04
      WHY FINDABILITY MATTERS
      findability= more unique visitors
      more unique visitors = more page views
      more page views = more impressions & interactions
      more impressions & interactions= …
    • 60. … hopefully this is starting to make sense now
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 61. 04
      HOW YOU GET FOUND
      FIND THROUGH TITLE
      FIND THROUGH SEARCH
      • The headlines & sub-headlines you use impact whether someone clicks on your article from your publisher’s home page
      • 62. The words you use impact whether search engines pick up your articles
      Article
      • The topic, timeliness, quality, controversial nature of content impacts sharing
      • 63. The consistency of your writing impacts whether people look for you in the future
      FIND BY BEING SHARED
      FIND BY NOTORIETY
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 64. 04
      PADDING YOUR STATS
      SEARCH
      SHARED
      TITLE
      YOUR
      ARTICLE(S)
      publisher
      site
      other sites
      NOTORIETY
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 65. Unfortunately we can’t help you become notorious
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 66. Search (engine optimization)
      Your search results will be better if you:
      Write using words that your audience commonly uses
      Conduct keyword research to find relevant words
      Use keyword phrases that you would like to be ranked for in the body text of the article
      Use a natural combination of keywords by page as you would in a conversation
      Seed your article on other sites
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 67. Title (Headline testing)
      Learn from email testing:
      The quality of your headline impacts clicks
      There is no perfect formula, so try many ways
      Imagine there is no body and ask if you would click
      Compare many articles to see click-through rates
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 68. Sharing (On other sites)
      Sharing is about ego:
      Share yourself. Set up your own social media presence.
      Put your articles on other relevant sites.
      Pose a question or write as a conversation.
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 69. Everything you do will impact your numbers
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 70. 04
      Optimizing your story for findabability will make you “better” from an analytics perspective. Whether you’re an award winner or just starting out, the more readers you have, the more impact you create.
    • 71. 05
      THIS IS NOT SCARY
    • 72. Yes, there’s a lot of data
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 73. Yes, there’s a bit of technology involved
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 74. 05
      LEARN JUST ENOUGH
      Know the metrics you impact – hopefully we’ve helped you accomplish that one.
      Experiment and see results – change a headline, pose a question, include key words
      Ask for your performance data – someone just like us will feel briefly important.
      Monitor what you impact – forget about the rest, unless you’re looking for a career change.
    • 75. There are a lot of resources
      Where to get started with Web analytics
      webanalyticsdemystified.com/Wednesday (free events)
      webanalyticsdemystified.com/content/books.asp (free books)
      tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/ (free help)
      analytics.google.com (free tool)
      webanalyticsassociation.org (paid organization)
      emetrics.org/toronto/ (paid event)
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 76. The best place to go is to your (free) analyst
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 77. 05
      The content you produce is part of the online experience. A Web analysts job is to optimize the online experience. Ask them to help you get and interpret your performance data.
    • 78. It’s not scary because there are people to help
      mike
      patrick
      &
    • 79. 00
      You will learn five things from us
      01 Web analytics is about the truth
      02 Publishers care about money
      03 You’re evaluated on data
      04 Web analytics data can make you “better”
      05 This is not scary
    • 80. X0
      PHOTO CREDITS
      Wahig
      Zack turbo
      Lopolis
      Swamibu
      seretuaccidente
      gruntzooki
      Patterned
      Davestfu
      Frcsyk
      Unusualimage
      Larskflem
      Splorp
      416style
      Serhio
      Jurvetson
      Jon_Marshall
      Slantyeyed
      Steveleggat
      Sifter
      Recurrence
      Yandle
      Megaul
      Shannon K
      Satoru
      Kikuchi
      Squeaky
      Marmot
      arbyreed
      mike
      patrick
      &