Your organization’s intranet should act as a central hub for employees to get the information they need to do their jobs and understand the bigger picture. But how is your intranet really being used?
The reality is that intranets can be the source of a lot of internal frustration and disengagement among teams in large organizations. If there are usability issues or pages aren't accessible on the devices employees are using, important information tends to go unread.
The unique nature of the content makes benchmarking important, especially when executives inevitably have questions about how the system is being used and by whom.
So it makes sense for internal communicators to measure their intranet. Not measuring it would be a mistake.
In this and other posts in this four part series, we cover how to answer questions like:
- Which content is most useful to employees?
- Which channels are employees using to access internal content?
- How many times was each page on the intranet viewed?
- Is there a need to make intranet pages mobile friendly?
Your system may have some analytics or metrics built in, but as we explore the power of the free Google Analytics tool, you'll quickly see the benefits of the depth of data and flexibility.
Google Analytics is a standard tool for optimizing external websites, and has been widely adopted by internal communicators responsible for measuring intranet use.
Setting up Google Analytics on Your Intranet Site
Getting analytics on your corporate intranet is surprisingly easy, and with Google Analytics, it’s also free. For most Sharepoint intranets and many other platforms, setup is as simple as creating a Google account and adding a tracking code to your intranet.
What you’ll need:
- 10-15 minutes to set up a free Google Account
- An intranet that is accessible through a fully qualified domain name such as http://intranet.company.com . Google Analytics won't work if your intranet can only be accessed using a domain name that isn't fully qualified, such as http://intranet .
- Access to your intranet’s page editor (or a member of your IT team with a few minutes to help).
While setting it up will likely be a quick task for IT, it’s important to understand both how Google Analytics works, and what information is collected that indicates engagement with your intranet.
How to create a Google Analytics account (without Gmail)
If you use Google Mail, you can skip this step, but for the majority of internal communicators using Outlook or other mail clients, you’ll need to create a Google Analytics account with your work email.
Visit this link to create a Google account without Gmail. This won’t create a Gmail account for you, rather it will allow you to log into other products like Google Analytics with your existing email.
Once you have an account, navigate to the Google Analytics site to sign up for Analytics and get started. In the new account window enter a descriptive account name, and then set up your first property:
A property refers to a specific site you’d like to add tracking to. It’s likely you will only have one intranet site for your organization, but Google Analytics supports tracking many different properties from a single account in case you need more.
In the next step, you’ll be provided with a tracking ID and tracking code:
This is what you came for. Grab the tracking code and paste it into an email for your friendly IT person to add to your intranet.
The tracking code needs to fire on every page of your intranet, and making this happen is a lot simpler than it sounds. Most intranet systems will allow you to easily add it once in a way that will deploy the code automatically.
Adding Google Analytics tracking to SharePoint 2010
For SharePoint sites, the code can be added through Master Pages:
- Open the SharePoint Designer interface
- Navigate to Master Pages
- Right click on your Master Page and click Edit File in Advanced Mode
- Paste the tracking code just above the closing body tag (</body>)
Adding Google Analytics tracking to other intranets
For other intranet systems, including in-house systems, contact your IT team and ask them to add the tracking code. It will likely need to be added to a header file or in any other way that includes the code on all internal pages.
That’s it! You are now measuring your intranet.
Log in to Google Analytics to verify that the code is working. Here’s how it might look with a month of data:
Google Analytics will start populating with data based on how employees are using your intranet.
Visit the next parts in the Intranet Measurement series and learn more: