For my site's analytics, where do I start? Right here.

Nov 9, 2011

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:

  • How is my site doing against the goals I have for it?
  • Is my online audience growing?
  • Are people using the site engaged with the content and coming back?
  • What types of online content and tools should I be working on, based on what works?

To help answer these questions, our Analytics Service will consist of four ingredients: 

  • Better site tagging. In order to measure what people are doing on station sites, we need to make sure our pages are tagged correctly. There are some tricks to this that can give us better and more reliable data in Google Analytics, which is our analytics tool of choice.
  • Monthly reports. Google Analytics provides a ton of data, but it's difficult to know where to start or what metrics are most important. We are creating a custom report optimized for stations that surfaces key metrics around audience growth, engagement, key user goals, and top-performing content.
  • Actionable insights. Turning data into something useful requires analysis and expertise. Michelle Belletiere, our manager of digital analytics, will be looking at system-wide trends, diving into specific research topics, and sharing station best practices across the network.
  • Focused testing. We'll be running live tests to help all of us use our sites better. For example, what are the best ways of using our sites during pledge week to drive donations? Stay tuned, because we're about to share results of a test we just completed about this very question.

This is a quick summary of what is coming soon. Watch your inbox for an invitation to a webinar the week after Thanksgiving that will go into greater detail on the new Analytics Service - what it provides, why it matters, who it's for (hint: everyone), and what our roadmap looks like. We're looking forward to working with you and evolving this new service.