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Web metrics for community news organizations

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Web metrics for community news organizations

  1. 1. Using web metrics to improve your site A presentation for the Knight Digital Media Center Knight Community Information Challenge Boot Camp Dana Chinn March 2010
  2. 2. • What’s noise vs. signals • Questions to ask of your data What data will give you answers • Planning your site with metrics in mind • A metrics assignment @danachinn 2
  3. 3. The Rime of the Ancient Web Analytics Analyst Data, data everywhere I think I could sink Data, data everywhere Will someone please “Dutch boats in a squall” by J.M.W Turner help me think. Rishad Tobaccowalla, CEO, Denuo at OMMA Metrics & Measurement, June 2009 With apologies to Coleridge and mariners, ancient and otherwise 3
  4. 4. “After the disaster in Haiti, [our site] hit 168.6 million pageviews in the month of January. A new record.” --The ”famous metrics” term comes from web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. Internal vs. external metrics Decision-making Advertising, marketing • Census data • Panel data 100% of all visitors, visits, page Activity from a sample of self- views for all sections selected people. Only total site data for a limited number of sites. • Analysis, decisions, actions, evaluation • Marketing, trending, external comparisons • Omniture Google Analytics • comScore WebTrends Nielsen etc. Compete etc. • Web Analytics Association • Interactive Advertising Bureau 6
  7. 7. Recognizing the signals amid the noise Noise: Everything, every one, every second of every day Signals: Metrics you select -- Mark Smiciklas, for decision-making 7
  8. 8. Only look at the signals you need 1 You need to know • How your site traffic changes due to external 2 events so you can determine whether your actions made a difference (or not) 3 • Whether your actions led to the results that you anticipated 8
  9. 9. What decisions do you need to make? Which metrics will help you? (How are sites are measured?) 9
  10. 10. Two types of web metrics What people do (behavioral) Who they are, what they think (attitudinal) 10
  11. 11. Unique visitors visit websites, generate page views. 11
  12. 12. Questions to ask your data You Your Data Did people visit our site more than once last week? Was this more or less than previously? If more, was it due to an outside event, OR was it something we did? Was the increase as much as expected? If less, was there a holiday, OR did we not do something? Was the drop as much as anticipated? 12
  13. 13. For every question... Did people visit our site more than once last week? ...there’s an answer hiding in Google Analytics... visits per unique visitor 13
  14. 14. ...but you have to go past the Dashboard... visits per unique visitor 14
  15. 15. ...change the time period, and customize the reports for your decisions default report shows a 5-week period Use weekly metrics, full- week time periods so you can identify unusual movement quickly 15
  16. 16. On average, last week, how many stories did people see with each visit? Did most visits come from returning visitors OR new ones? Are we hooking in new visitors? 16
  17. 17. On average, last week, how many stories did people see with each visit? Are we hooking in new visitors? page views per visit percent of visits from new visitors page views per new-visitor visit percent of visits from returning visitors page views per returning-visitor visit 17
  18. 18. When someone came to our site, what was the first page they saw? Did they leave immediately when they saw it? Did new visitors leave more than returning ones? 18
  19. 19. When someone came to our site, what was the first page they saw? Did they leave immediately? bounce rate of the page where people enter your site most often 1. Overall 2. Visits from new unique visitors 3. Visits from returning unique visitors 19
  20. 20. 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 20
  21. 21. Example Home page bounce rate = over 50% Over half of the visits to the home page left without clicking into any other pages Best (?) cases: Came only to get the headlines Home page has dynamic content not captured with page views 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 21
  22. 22. Need to translate this... information used for decisions 22
  23. 23. Measure engagement... No. of podcasts -- put on iPod -- played -- listened to the end ...and construct your site to maximize success Put “please donate by going to” at the beginning 23
  24. 24. 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 24
  25. 25. “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 25
  26. 26. Two types of web analytics metrics What people do (behavioral) Who they are, what they think (attitudinal) 26
  27. 27. Some questions that can’t be answered from web traffic data 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? 27
  28. 28. Are you reaching the audiences you meant to reach and in the numbers you want? Is it your content? Is it your design? Is it you? 28
  29. 29. Web analytics is not easy... • Have clearly defined, accountable goals, objectives on which everyone agrees each of which is someone’s direct responsibility • Know the limitations of your data, metrics Guess rather than rely on bad data, metrics • Dedicate people, processes to analytics Technology, software are just tools • Let the hippos decide whether metrics will really be used for decisions Use only what you need HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion 29
  30. 30. Your metrics assignment • List all of your target audiences and stakeholders --residents (what areas), businesses (what types), government (what depts) --teachers (what grade), students (how old), parents (what grade) • List what you want them to do on your site --Write stories. Submit comments. Rate areas. Play game. • List the decisions you’ll need to make --We need to increase the number of Westside participants --Can we double the impact of the five reporters we hired with the grant in the next year? • Decide what metrics, site elements you need 30
  31. 31. Who will do what, for whom Residents, businesses, government officials will post content and debate solutions for the benefit of all stakeholders in Alexandria Types of decisions needed How do we get more [residents] to participate? What issues aren’t on our site that should be? The liquor store owners are dominating the discussion boards. We think they’re keeping the other businesses from participating. What should we do? Sample metrics, site elements Behavioral: Require registration to track who’s participating, how much? By group, track visits/unique visitor, comments posted Attitudinal: For each group, we will need to know awareness of the site, why they do or don’t post, problems they don’t see on the site, what it would take to get them to participate more 31
  32. 32. Who will do what, for whom To serve Akron residents and businesses, selected citizen journalists of all ages will get training and tools to create news stories, music, documentaries and videos for the web and mobile devices Types of decisions needed In what areas do we need to provide more training and tools? How can we help the unproductive citizen journalists to produce? What should we do to increase the credibility of the content that’s produced? Sample metrics, site elements Behavioral: Track the training/tools each citizen journalist gets vs. what types of content and how much they produce. Attitudinal: Need monthly meetings or surveys with citizen journalists. For each stakeholder group, we will need to know awareness of the site, how credible they consider the content, and do they want to become a citizen journalist. 32
  33. 33. Dana Chinn Blog Lecturer 213-821-6259 Analytics for news orgs bookmarks danachinn Presentations danachinn Twitter: DanaChinn 33

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  • onlinejournalist

    Apr. 1, 2010


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