Web Site Metrics

In an average week, 2.4 million people listen to public radio via NPR stations' live digital streams. Even though that number had been growing steadily over the years, it plateaued in 2014-2015, making us all wonder whether big growth in digital listening was only going to be about podcasts from now on.

What's happening on your website right this second? How many people are there and what are they doing? Are there things you should know right now that could inform what stories you publish or where you invest more time?

On the December Station Analytics Insights call we talked about our recent upgrade to the newest version of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics.  One of the key benefits of the transition was the ability to store additional data in Custom Dimensions.  Custom dimensions are used to collect and analyze data that isn’t automatically tracked by Google Analytics and they replace Custom Variables that were used in the previous version of the tracking code. This new information will allow us to answer lots of interesting questions - on the webinar we walked through the following examples:

Lately lots of people have been emailing me links to articles about a phenomena called "dark social." This is interesting because "dark social" is the phrase coined to describe what was originally thought to be impact of the social sharing of links directly between individuals through email and chat.  Back in 2012, Alexis Madrigal wrote an article about a concerning trend that he was seeing on theatlantic.com.

We all have access to useful metrics on our sites and our live streams. But on-demand audio created by stations - including audio segments, archived programs, and podcasts - has been a black hole. Not anymore.

It's that time of year again, when the DS Analytics Service takes a broad view of public media and finds the big trends everyone should know about. I have good news and I have bad news: Looking across the entire system, our station streaming is growing, but our audience isn't.

Looking at analytics data can sometimes feel like watching one Olympic bobsled run: In isolation, you have no idea if what you're looking at is good or bad. Context is everything.

For web metrics, we can look at our data over time, which gives it context and meaning. We can also look at our station numbers compared to other public media stations like us using the Station Analytics System. Comparisons can turn data into actionable insights.

So how do we compare our stations against the most important digital competition we have: the websites of local newspapers, TV stations, other nearby radio stations, local music sites, and so on?

If you weren't able to join our live training webinar on February 6th, 2014 you can now watch the video or download the slides on nprstations.org.  The session included an overview of segmentation and examples of how to build visit and user segments for a few key site activities.

Here a few suggestions to get you started by building segments around or two most important activities: listening and reading.

The web is a visual medium. Since the html blink tag was created we have all been focused on the appearance of our websites, but for the public radio audience listening is critically important - even on the web. Rather than thinking of the homepage as a whole, we looked at the individual parts or functional elements to determine which were most effective at engaging visitors.

This week we launched an improvement to the response time for "Stations like Me" comparisons in the Station Analytics System.  Since the system launched with our 1.0 release we have been troubled by the slow response time in the dashboards.  Our team was able to reduce the amount of time by more than 75% resulting in a much better experience for our stations.

The Era of Digital Transformation is upon us. Listening is moving online, and more and more of our audience connects with us through computers, tablets, and phones instead of radio. One of the great things about digital is that we have so much more data at our fingertips than ever before. We can measure every listening moment, every story read, every link clicked, every point of interaction.

I don't know about you, but I've always been frustrated by the Google Analytics segment builder because you couldn't set conditions about the user - only about the visit. Well today Google announced some changes to the segment builder that have my heart all aflutter. Check out the changes and look for an invite to a training session in the near future. I see some cohort analysis in our future! woo hoo - it's like Christmas in July!

We're excited to announce the launch of new digital metrics dashboards for stations, with critical data on your site and your streams. Station Analytics presents key metrics on your station's audience growth and engagement - plus the ability to compare your numbers to other stations like you.

There's a lot of good stuff coming from the Station Analytics System these days, so if you haven't yet signed up you can read more about it, but I know you're going to like this new batch of enhancements that are rolling out this week.  In addition to launching dashboards, we are supercharging the data that is in your Premium Google Analytics account by taking advantage of Custom Variables.

On Tuesday the team here at Digital Services started rolling out an analytics dashboard for Core Publisher. There's a lot of data displayed (beautifully displayed, we should say) and we're going to take a minute to explain why we chose these numbers and how they can help you in your day-to-day editorial process.

A Two-way Street

What reporting does the Station Analytics Service include?

Our Analytics Service provides the business intelligence you need to answer key questions. There are three components to the service; all provided under your DS fees:

Webcast Metrics

Chartbeat

Website Reporting

Learn more about the station analytics service.

What are the benefits for Triton Webcast Metrics?

What reporting does the Station Analytics Service include?

Our Analytics Service provides the business intelligence you need to answer key questions. There are three components to the service; all provided under your DS fees:

Webcast Metrics

Chartbeat

Website Reporting

Learn more about the station analytics service.

What are the benefits of Chartbeat?

What reporting does the Station Analytics Service include?

Our Analytics Service provides the business intelligence you need to answer key questions. There are three components to the service; all provided under your DS fees:

Webcast Metrics

Chartbeat

Website Reporting

 

Learn more about the station analytics service.

How do I sign up for Website Reporting?

Photo by Leo Reynolds

Web analytics is one of those things that everyone agrees is important, but no one has enough time for.

We all agree that measuring the performance of our station site is valuable, so we can see what's working and where we should be investing in improvements. But let's face it: Looking at raw Google Analytics data is overwhelming, time-consuming, and sometimes not very actionable.

We're here to help with this challenge. We're putting the finishing touches on a new Analytics Service and growing a team that will be dedicated to helping you answer these important questions: