Learning Journeys >
Analytics and SEO – tracking & evaluating engagement
This learning journey has been curated by AmbITion Scotland Lead Consultant Hannah Rudman.
It gives an overview of the tools and processes you can use to gather data about and track your online content and how it is being seen and engaged with by audiences online. Well organised data can become information that any arts, cultural or heritage organisation can interpret and analyse, leading to intelligence.
If you haven’t already signed up to Google Analytics, its a great place to start! Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visits to a website. The product is aimed at marketers. It is the most widely used website statistics service.
The basic service is free of charge and a premium version is available for a fee, although non-profit organisations can apply for free/reduced rate premium accounts. Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing, and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents. AmbITion holds workshops on how to get the most out of Google Analytics – sign up to our newsletters and check the events calendar. Yu can also get news, tips and access to Google’s own online training by signing up to their Google for non-profits blog.
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is far easier and more effective if you have Google Analytics already set-up, but there are simple steps you can undertake to ensure your website ranks well in search engine results.
1 Getting started: learning to listen!
You know what you’ve put online and on social media about yourself or your organisation or practice. But you have no control over what anyone else says about you online! In order to analyse and track the reputation you have online, you need to consider not only your own content, but the content created by others too. You need to be able to find that other content, listen to it, monitor it, and respond to it smartly! This webcast masterclass by Mike Coulter of Digital Agency gives you loads of great tips and common sense on how to begin gathering the data, how to continually listen, and suggests some strategies for responding.
2 Getting started: where should you be listening?
This webcast masterclass should be watched by anyone or any organisation whose community or audience is vocal and creative! Our websites’ users and our social media pages’ fans are out there commenting and creating content around what arts, heritage and cultural organisations do. You might want to engage with it, you might want to comment on it, you might not want to ignore it! Kyle MacRae of Blether Media thoughtfully and amusingly reflects on how organisations, practices and individuals can find and deal with user generated content and comments.
3 Digging in: tracking impact
Knowing levels of hits on or unique visitors to a website doesn’t give us a useful insight into whether or not our customers are participating and engaging at a deeper level with culture. If you want to know what to track to guage how your customers are engaging with you through digital channels, then this step will help!
This webinar masterclass looks at how people successfully track the impact of digital communication and social media, and how a social media strategy can be made manageable, and what benefits that all has for an organisation. David Sim of 4TM highlights some good and bad practices, then shows some tools that will help you track and measure your online impact.
AmbITion Scotland Getting Digital Webinar 3: Tracking Impact was a great success, attracting our best numbers of attendees and online viewers.
David Sim from Open Brolly talked to us about tracking and measuring the impact that our digital presence is achieving.
4 Case Study: tracking the impact of Tate's Tweets
This case study of the Tate’s twitter strategy by Katy Beale reveals the importance of tracking your own activity and its results. Packed with insights and practical tips for how to set up an organisational policy for Twitter.
5 SEO and how to talk online for best effect
This webcast masterclass is all about talking online. It explores how organisations, practices and individuals successfully talk online; why there needs to be different styles of writing; and what different online channels are for suitable for which messages. Occupancy Marketing highlight some good and bad practices, then show you some Search Engine Optimisation tools that will help your messages stand out from the noise so that you can talk effectively online.
6 SEO, syndicating your content and data
This How To… Guide explains how to pull together your data through RSS and XML so that it is in one place to make analysis easier. The guide also gives more tips on SEO.
7 Evaluating success online - great ideas and tools
While cultural managers are increasingly interested in showing evidence of online success, funding agencies and government departments currently lack the expertise to offer guidelines or set standards for measurement. For many organisations this results in a confusing mixture of statistics and reporting which is time-consuming to provide and reveals little about online user behaviour, engagement and satisfaction. This is an issue faced by all parts of the cultural sector. Organisations regularly invest in cultural websites, social media activities and online services without a clear idea of what these services are trying to achieve, or their intended audience.
The brilliant Culture 24 project which works with UK Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs!) worked with 17 organisations to develop effective ways to define, measure and evaluate the success of online activities. The result was an insight into the place where many of the UK’s GLAMs currently are when it comes to understanding and making use of the data they collect from their online activities.
The real insights lie not in the tools or platforms, but in the shift in thinking that needs to happen at a deep level within every cultural organisation. Lessons can be learned through careful analysis of the data against each organisation’s primary objectives.
The report focuses on tools such as Google Analytics, Hitwise, Klout and Twitterific and looks at the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These platforms were chosen because they currently dominate the social space, but it does not mean that other channels are not relevant or should be ignored.
The report provides an insight into the way cultural organisations should go about trying to measure the success of their business online and challenges the assumption that simply counting total visitor numbers or ‘likes’ really tells us anything meaningful at all.
And here’s links to the other useful resources:
Social media metrics toolkit – A framework suggesting ways to make use of your social media metrics
Social media tools comparison – A comparison of the tools identified during the project that can be used to track diffident different social media channels
Google Analytics health checklist – How to check your own GA set-up
8 Understanding and measuring digital engagement - ideas from Culture24
The brilliant Culture 24 project which works with UK Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs!) worked with 22 organisations to develop effective ways to understand and measure digital engagement culminating with this 2013 report.
And here’s links to the other useful resources:
Social media metrics toolkit – A framework suggesting ways to make use of your social media metrics.
Social media tools comparison – A comparison of the tools identified to track diffident different social media channels.
Thanks to the brilliant Culture24 for sharing the outcomes and insights and tools of their latest 2013 action research project. Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs!) worked together to share experiences and exercises in understanding and measuring levels of digital engagement.