How To Understand Digital Analytics Concepts
Starting at the Top
There are three things that every practitioner digital should know:
• Behavior — This is the most basic segment of goal setting. Are you attempting to increase awareness with your target audience, or are you attempting to get your intended interest audience to take some sort of action? Take a moment to sit down and write.
• Amount of change — The number of new people entering a store is expected by 1,000 customers.
• Time — Every goal should have a time element.
Determining Your Owned and Earned Social Metrics
Social metrics are probably going to be the most natural measurements to communicators. To add a layer of complexity, social metrics can be broken down into two different groups:
• Earned social metrics— When communications programs are developed, professionals design them in the hope that conversation will take place outside owned social channels.
Owned Social Metrics
If you are a communicator who is currently developing a program for your company or client and are not including a social media component, you are most likely in the minority.
Please note that these are the metrics for the top social media platforms. There are a number of fringe social media channels that we do not explore here.
Facebook is the most popular social network. If you are managing a Facebook fan page, you have access to Facebook Insights. Facebook Insights is Facebook’s free analytics platform that enables page owners to see metrics on how their pages are performing.
If you have logged into Facebook Insights recently, you know how daunting it can be. There are a lot of possible metrics, and it is not completely clear how you decide which ones you should be using. Here are the most popular:
• Total likes — Probably the most common and easiest to understand, total likes is the number of people who have “liked” your page.
• Reach — Facebook breaks down to reach into organic, paid, and viral. Organic reach is the number of people who have seen a post in the news feed or on the page itself. Paid reach is the number of unique people who have seen an advertisement or a sponsored story. Viral reach is the number of unique people who have seen a story about a page published by a friend.
• Engaged users — This is the number of people who have clicked on one of your posts
• People talking about this (PTAT)— PTAT is a combination metric that includes the number of likes, comments, shares, and total stories created over some days period.
• Likes, comments, and shares by post —Likes refers to the number of people who have clicked the Like button on a post, and comments refer to those who have contributed some opinion on a post. Shares refer to the number of people who have shared posted your content on their page.
If you are managing a Twitter account for a brand, there is very little data available to you outside number of followers and lists. Here are some common metrics you can examine for Twitter:
• Followers — Similar to likes on Facebook, this is the number of people who have decided to track your brand’s account.
• Retweets — This is the number of people who have shared your content with their followers.
• Replies— Replies refers to how often someone has mentioned your brand directly.
• Impressions — Impressions refers to the number of times someone viewed or had the opportunity to view your content.
Like Facebook, YouTube offers channel owners a robust analytics platform for tracking performance. There is a lot of data available to channel owners, and these are the most popular metrics:
• Views — Views on YouTube can be broken down into how many times someone saw a video.
• Subscribers — This is the number of people who have signed up to receive your content
• Comments — This is the number of times someone has offered an opinion on a video or your channel.
Earned Social Media Metrics
The best communications programs have tactics that resonate with the target audience.
There are two different kinds of earned social media metrics that communicators can track:
• Earned conversations — These are social media conversations that are taking place outside the owned social media properties
• In-network conversations — Communicators should be looking to foster a sense of contribution to the online community.
Demystifying Web Data
There are a number of things you can do to track the effectiveness of a website and how it interrelates with other channels.
Following metrics are the most popular metrics communicators are using today:
• Visits — Depending on the platform in question, visits are the number of times people have been on your site.
• Unique page views — This is the number of visits during which a specified page(s) was viewed once.
• Bounce rate— Bounce rate is expressed as a percentage and is the number of visits in which a person left a site from the initial entry page.
• Traffic sources — The traffic sources are helpful in matching up content from social channels to website presence.
• Conversion— Conversion is probably the most controversial metric.
Searching for the Right Metrics
Search analytics suffers a similar fate to web analytics.
Search analytic broken up into two categories.
• Paid searches — A paid search is any form of online advertising that ties an ad to a specific keyword-based search request.
• Organic searches — Organic search results are listings on search engine result pages that appear.