So you think you’ve had success?

Originally posted on the IABC Calgary blog on Friday, May 3, 2013.

So you think you’ve had success?
Tips and tricks for measuring your success online.

You have your website up and running, your Facebook and Twitter profiles established and you’ve begun posting content on a (fairly) regular basis. Now what? How are you measuring your success

photo courtesy

photo courtesy

and proving to your boss that all of your hard work was worth it?

There are several ways to measure success online, and this article will cover only a few of them. New tools are being developed all the time, and it doesn’t hurt to check them out. Just remember to measure what is important to you, and that what you measure is a reflection of your goals and objectives, which can vary from a simple awareness campaign to increasing sales.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great measurement tool for websites. It’s fairly simple to use and it’s free.  Basic measurements include the number of visits to your site, the number of new visitors (versus repeat visitors), what pages are viewed the most and the search terms people are using to find your site. Search terms can be handy if you want to set up Google AdWords, but that’s a different blog post all together.

Google Analytics also has more detailed statistics you can do, such as mapping out how people are travelling through your site and the types of mobile devices people are using to view your site (handy if you don’t think you or your organization needs a mobile-friendly site).

Results and graphs are easily downloadable to Excel, PDF or other formats.

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to search specific terms and compare it (if you wish) against other search terms. For example, you could search “University of Calgary” and “University of Alberta” and see which term is searched more frequently, on a global basis. Google Trends also highlights key points in a timeline, such as when a search term increases due to a hot topic in the news.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights is a handy way to track how people are engaging with content posted to your organization’s Facebook page. The Insights panel can be found when you (as the page admin) log into your page. The graph shows when you posted an item, how many people are talking about that item, and how many people you’ve reached with a post.

The terms Facebook uses are pretty straight forward, and my favourite is the “Talking About This” number. This number reflects how often a story was created from your post. For example, if I like or share a post from an organization’s page, that counts as me “talking about this.”

Results from Facebook Insights are easily downloaded, but you may need to get creative to include the fancy graphs (I like using the Windows Snipping Tool).


TweetReach allows you to find the answer to the question “How far did your tweet travel?” Sign in with your Twitter account, enter a search term (like your company’s Twitter handle), and you can find out your Twitter activity for the past week, who your top contributors are, and which tweets were retweeted the most.

Results are easily downloaded from the site if you have a TweetReach account, and a basic account is free.


I’m new to Instagram and haven’t started using it at work yet, but PR Daily just released an article with four Instagram measurement tools. If you use Instagram for work or for a client, check them out and let me (and the other readers) know how they work.

These are just a few tools to help you measure success online. Just remember to measure what is important to you and to make any measurement, graph or statistic relevant to the goals of your communications plan.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s