And now it gets interesting: metrics and goals for the social media team

Hello all,

since July 21st we are monitoring the website through Google Analytics. We typically look only at the number of visits, unique visitors and pageviews, but there is much, much more that we can do! For example, one of my favorite reports is the fully interactive visualization of the traffic flows. Here is ours for the period July 21-August 6:

I recommend to explore it, trying to make sense of the different paths that visitors take across the site. It will give you a sense of just how varied are the journeys of different users through the content! Other relevant reports include the visits by source, the pages most viewed and the countries of origin of visitors (Italy is firmly in the lead so far, with Sweden, the UK and the US following suit.

Today I created four personalized goals:

  1. signup (this was actually already there and tracking. We got 45 signups since July 21st. Unfortunately, most are spambots.
  2. edit user profile. Useful for tracking existing users that sign up to LOTE – but misses new users that tick the LOTE box directly on signup
  3. create or edit a node. This of course tracks active contributions
  4. visit at least 4 pages. This measures people who are either active or "hooked".

I would have liked to add a “create a comment” goal, but I can’t figure out how, because the acting of creating a comment directly from the form below the post or wiki does not seem to go through a URL that I can track, like /comment/add/XXXX/YYYY (if I reply to one I do get a URL like /comment/reply/XXXX/YYYY). [Matthias], am I wrong?

The next step: experiments! I think it is time to experiment with our home page, trying different layouts and contents and weeing what works best, especially in relation to goals 1 and 4. Check out the short video below to see what I mean.

  • Would anyone be interested in a discussion on how to improve the home page?
  • Would anyone be interested in a crash course via Hangout on using Google Analytics, if I can find someone to give it ?

Obvious, but…

… I forgot to write it: having careful monitoring and goals makes it easier for the social media team to plan an impactful social media action. Ultimately, the goals of being present on social media is functional to other goals, closer to home: expanding the community (signups), getting people to LOTE (edit profile) etc.

Very useful post, Alberto, thanks!

I guess that sometimes we can use social media to start interacting with people who are a bit afraid of a lot of text, not familiar with structure of Edgeryders, or just don’t know where to start. So stuff like Twitter/Instagram or even survey on FB is more relaxing in this way! Then they can continue dialogue here on website, commenting etc.

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I would be up for a crash course!

Would also be interested in designing and understanding how to run such an experiment rather than website tweaking the home page. So yes, count me in!

Watching the graph above, two things strike me:

  1. drives traffic on Edgeryders.

  2. it’s a shame that making lote3, who has seen some traffic, is no longer easily accesible from various points in the website. Actually you have to go to Projects to find it…


Good points, Noemi. Re 2, I added links here. In general, we could add links that go from the minisite into the workspace.

“Count me in”… the hard part is building alternative pages to test! I think we would use our time well in testing:

  1. the home page, obviously. About 12% of all page views...
  2. the profile page. This is less obvious, but then I remembered reading of this pattern from Ning. On Edgeryders, more than 8% of all page views since we are tracking are profile pages. Our profile pages are ugly as hell, with too many fields and some missing information! Incidentally, I know how many profile pages get viewed because there is a neat trick to count classes of pages dynamically generated: go to the Content => All pages report in GA. Look for the search field, then click on "advanced" and select a search "Starting with", then type "/users/". This generates a search of all pages of type, and you can see how many they are.

I think the way to go is to create system pages with different urls (for example “/start” instead of “/home”. Design them according to some hypothesis. For example: the hypothesis “people want to see activity streams more than they want to see featured content” would generate a home page based on feeds and streams of things that happen. This phase requires a lot of panelizing, view making etc.  Once it is ready, we go through the procedure and serve the candidate home page to 50% of the visitors (treatment group) and the existing home page to the other 50% (control group). Then we track how the different homepages influence our goals, for example signup. GA does the statistics, and tells us when we the number of observations is high enough that it can declare a statistically significant winner.

So, any hypothesis?