NEW SEMINAR! How many people visit your Web site every day? What are visitors doing when they get there? Which features are most popular? We'll talk through the tools and strategies you can use to get the answers to these questions. Through demos of free tools such as AWStats and Google Analytics, we'll look at what these tools can tell you about your site. We'll close with a discussion at some of the more advanced packages - such as ClickTracks, WebTrends, HBX Analytics, and Omniture - that might be useful to larger organizations..
Over the past six months, I've been doing some writing on metrics/analytics in general and Google Analytics in particular. Laura asked me to join her to demo Google Analytics and answers questions and it is great to collaborate with colleagues, you always learn something. . We're using the Idealware stats to explore Google Analytics and to look at some of the basic reports and explain metrics. We'll also use the Idealware stats to demo a methodology that connects metrics to business questions. Which is real life is always much harder and complex than in a training context.
I'm also prepping for a panel session I'll be doing at the Museum Computer Network Conference later this fall on Web Analytics. My role on the panel is to look specifically at Social Media Metrics. Just so happens,Chris Brogan wrote an excellent post on Social Media Metrics the other day. Chris's key point is: A few good metrics in the context of social media goals and strategy are valuable to determine the ROI and continuous improvement of your social media plan.
Numbers Alone Are Meaningless
Chris's post also reinforces to me the symbiotic relationship between strategy and metrics. And the fact that Metrics alone are meaningless. Chris talks about the importance of mapping your social media strategy and identifying a key metric or two for each strategy that tells you whether you've been successful. He gives a great list of what goes into the map
- List of the most likely places a human will encounter the media I produce.
- Methods for listening to conversations off-blog and outside my media.
- Touchpoints along the value chain and how my media reaches each one.
- Path back to a central data capture for reporting and strategy monitoring.
- Pinpoints to corrective measures taken from initial strategy path to current efforts.
I'd like to see a social media plan template and have a category that says "key metric" and the report.
ROI and Continuous Improvement both Lead To Actions
The most important thing that comes from your analysis - both the map of your strategy and tracking a key metric or two is ACTION. There are differences between “measures of success” and “ROI” and exactly how you consider the metrics in either case. Measures of success - are your goals, plus the “evidence” you gather to determine if you’ve been successful. Those numbers do not exist alone, but paint a broader context for improving what you’re doing while it is underway. Some people call this continuous improvement. The ROI on the other hand is about revenue - did your effort yield results? Was it worth it? Of course, with nonprofits and perhaps businesses, there are intangibles that are not easily tracked.
Measuring Your Blog's Results (Revisiting)
Almost six months ago, I did an analysis of my blog using some metrics suggested by Avinash Kaushik. In response, Stephen Downes said that numbers alone are meaningless and it is impossible success. Now, I'm thinking of Chris Brogan's question: "Is there a value in better understanding the different touch points of your strategy, and/or in understanding which numbers matter in what way for your efforts?"
Although I don't have a formal map for this blog in good enough shape to share, but the one metric that is very important to me is unique subscribers. Those are the people , who presumably, read what I write regularly. As long as that number is growing, I can get some indication of the topics I'm writing about are of interest and that the time I spend responding to comments and leaving comments elsewhere helps build the regular readership community. I'm also stealing a line from Chris Brogan that I will add to the end of my posts ...
I get spikes here and there when well-known bloggers link to me in a post or interview or a link is in a news article, but the effect is temporary. Chris Brogan has also written about the Digg effect. I guess I have to agree with his points:
My experience tells me this about me and my content: you’re already here. I’m gaining 50-100 new friends a week. And that’s just plenty fine. It means we get to know about each other in a more organic way. And it also tells me that “fake” fast growth doesn’t do much to change my core community.
I feel good about this. It means that tricks don’t matter. Good content matters.
We are at the heart of a social media and social networking revolution. And this might not be a money revolution, but it is most certainly a communications revolution. We’re now able to reach out to people, communicate in a rich fashion, and build stronger relationships using these tools. As such, I’ve found that my conversations here, with you, are pertinent to the revolution. We’re all figuring this out together, right?
So, what key metric are your tracking for your blog or social media strategy? How does it inform your strategy, improve your content/program, or get results? Anyone have a great template for mapping your strategy or plan?
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