What Additional Metrics Should You Pay Attention To?

Judging FOX’s viewership solely on the Nielsen ratings doesn’t fairly display total viewership, claims Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for FOX. Reilly went on to say standard Nielsen measurement is outdated.

FOX’s Nielsen ratings indicate flat viewership during the current season, however, when considering all platforms – linear TV, video on demand and digital – FOX has received an 8 percent increase in viewership. Measuring the additional metrics also gives FOX a strong look into user engagement. For example, FOX found that 60 percent of viewers who started watching an episode of a TV series on Hulu would eventually complete the series. This is information Reilly called, “strong data.”

No matter the medium, measurement is essential to success. As a content creation company, we are heavily plugged into analytics and how those findings can impact an overall strategy. Here are four of the top metrics you can’t overlook:

1. Site speed

From ice cream cones to finding info on the Internet, we live in a culture that knows what it wants and we want it now. The amount of total visitors your website receives is directly impacted by the time it takes for your website to fully download. Thirty percent of mobile Internet users will abandon a webpage if it doesn’t load within six to 10 seconds, while 25 percent of overall desktop and mobile Internet users will abandon a webpage if it fails to load within four seconds. Extended load times lead to user abandonment and discourage repeat visits. When analyzing site speed, look for a sudden increase or upward trend in load time – if seen or reported it might be time to update hardware.

2. Visitor flow

The visitor flow tab gives you a visual map of how visitors navigated through your site during their visit. This shows you where they started and each page they visited until they left your site entirely. Generally, websites have an ideal path that leads visitors from initial interaction to a completed conversion – be it a sale or new lead. This tool allows webmasters to analyze the path visitors are taking and find where a breakdown is occurring enabling them to devise a plan to fix the breakdown and clear the ideal visitor path.

3. Non-branded search

We’ve all done it. I knew I wanted to visit but because Google is my homepage I simply searched ESPN and clicked directly on the link without any intention of looking at the other results. Non-branded search eliminates these types of branded searches where the company’s name is one of the keywords and focuses on visitors who didn’t know exactly what they were searching for. This information is helpful because it divulges questions or needs (expressed in search queries) that led users to your site. Knowing this information allows you to properly cater content to that audience.

4. Webmaster tools

An obvious method to our strategy team, using webmaster tools from Google and Bing provides deeper insight to overall website ranking and visibility as well as user engagement. Webmaster tools from Google and Bing offer a variety of metrics to help analyze the overall strength of your domain. Metrics and tools include,

  • Submitting and checking a site map
  • Checking and setting crawl rates
  • Lists of all internal links and external pages that link to your site – this can help you find long-lasting relationships or cross-promotional opportunities with other companies
  • Identifying what keywords led to where your site is listed in SERPs and checking the click-thru rates

In addition to the above metrics, webmaster tools are a free Web service that can make a dramatic impact on your site’s ranking and visibility. Use them.

As a content writer, I’m constantly learning about new ways to measure success. The old days of measuring overall traffic are long gone. Marketers can use all of the tools and metrics mentioned above to create a more engaging, helpful and insightful website for all users.

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