This article is part three of our four part series on measuring your organization's intranet with the free tool, Google Analytics. For those new to Google Analytics, please see Setting up Google Analytics on your Intranet. For information on user data, see Understanding Internal Audiences.
Many of the most common questions internal communicators have about their intranet performance relates to measuring content on specific internal pages. Every piece of content has time put into it and an anticipated use, so it makes sense to measure how content is being used once it's published.
In this article, we'll show you how to get data on engagement with any specific page on your intranet. We'll also simplify the terminology while still getting familiar with the same data points marketing departments use to optimize external websites!
The Behavior Overview Report
The reports in the Behavior tab will feel familiar if you've been exploring the Audience reports we looked at last week. To get started at analyzing your site's content, navigate to Behavior and then Overview.
Like the Audience Overview, the Behavior Overview contains a wealth of information. Here though, the statistics are focused around your site's content (rather than the audiences) and how pages are being viewed:
Scrolling down reveals more data, including a top 10 list for the pages on the intranet site which had the most views:
Note: When looking at reports on your intranet's content, the URL adressess are shown as paths. The slash (/), as seen with 18,083 views in the screenshot above, represents the home page. The Page Title option under Site Content lets you see the top pages displayed by their page tile rather than the URL.
Viewing engagement data on all of your intranet's pages
By far the most common question we've heard from internal communicators relates to getting data on the number of times each page is viewed. We just saw that the Behavior Overview shows you your intranet's top 10 pages, but what about all of the rest?
Navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to see all statistics for every page on your intranet:
Note: All of the site content reports are searchable as well, so you can search for specific pages as long as you know some of the words in the page URL.
By default, this page shows 10 rows. You can use the arrow buttons to navigate between pages, and also show more rows per page using the Show rows dropdown -- you can show up to 5,000 rows per page.
With this report you'll get data on exactly how many times each page was viewed, and a great set of other metrics on actual engagement with the content on each page.
Let's define what each of the relevant default metrics on the site content reports mean:
- Pageviews - The total number of times a specific page was viewed on the intranet, including repeated views.
- Unique Pageviews - The total number of sessions (or visits to intranet) during which a specific page was viewed at least once.
- Avg. Time on Page - The average length of time a specific page was viewed for.
- Entrances - The number of times a visitor entered the intranet (started a session) on a given page.
- Bounce Rate - This measures the percentage of site visitors that only viewed one page before leaving the intranet (without any other interaction).
- % Exit - The percentage of visits for which this was the last paged viewed by an employee.
Note: From the Behavior Overview we first looked at in this post, you can also access the All Pages report by clicking View full report under the summary of the top 10 pages.
How to use Analytics data on your Intranet
Even if there aren't any immediate questions you're looking to answer about specific content or pages on your intranet, there's a lot of utility to having this data available to your internal communications team.
Some ideas to get you started on improving your organization's intranet include comparing two pages which have a similar purpose or use case, and see which was more engaging over the last month.
Comparing two employee stories to each other, articles with and without images, and articles that were shared in different ways are all part of a regular Google Analytics workflow.
Metrics to look for here are Avg. Time on Page (higher is often better) and Bounce Rate (lower is always better as long as you anticipate that most users would stay on the intranet after viewing the initial page they arrived at).
Drilling down and measuring specific internal pages
Clicking through a specific page lets you look at the data for that page only. This is a great way to drill down into a specific page:
Drilling down to a single page also allows you to apply some of the segments we covered in last week's post. Using the + Add Segment button above the graph, we can compare how two different segments of users interacted with this page:
In this example, by enabling the Mobile Traffic segment we can easily compare how mobile visitors interacted with the homepage of your intranet compared to all visitors.
Note: The graph above each set of report data will default to Pageviews but can be changed to show any dimension of your data with the drop down:
Other Behavior reports for measuring internal content
You'll notice that although there are many reports pre-configured in Analytics, not all will be relevant for the analysis internal communicators may need to use. Here are two other reports in this section that are relevant and helpful:
Site Content > Landing Pages
This report shows you which pages were most commonly the first page viewed during a session, and how sessions that started on these specific pages played out in terms of engagement with the pages' content.
In this report, a higher bounce rate combined with a low average session duration tends to suggest that a visitor that arrived at this site was more likely to leave before getting much use out of it. (Remember, the bounce rate is the percentage of users that only viewed one page).
Site Content > Exit Pages
With Exit pages, you can look at the pages that were most often the last page viewed before an employee stopped using the intranet. Although there are many pages which make sense when engaged with last during a visit, there's a good chance there's a small number of pages causing the majority of frustration with the intranet that can be diagnosed and prioritized here.
For instance, the index of your policy pages should ideally have a low number of exits as this would indicate that employees are clicking through to the information they need rather than abandoning the intranet and seeing information out elsewhere.
Next up we're talking Goals and how to track the completion of specific actions on your intranet (including downloads of pdf documents).
Visit other posts on the Intranet Measurement with Google Analytics series: