online measurement

Goals for 2015: A list of Online Measurements Defined by @alleecreative

online measurement
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by Melissa Harrison | Featured Contributor

It’s the time of year where we’re feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! As you think about your business goals for 2015, be sure to routinely monitor and track your success (and failures) and modify as needed. In terms of online content, blogs, websites and social media, there are some great things you should keep in mind when tracking success.

The following is a short list of online measurement terms defined; it is not a comprehensive list, but starting here will get you well on your way to monitoring your success online. Use an Excel spreadsheet to track the numbers in these areas over time to see trends, growth and ideas for change.

Bounce rate

A visitor “bounces” from a website when he or she only views one page before leaving. The bounce rate is the percentage of visits to a webpage where this occurs over a named period of time. Higher bounce rates can indicate lack of visitor engagement.

What’s a good bounce rate? (researched by RocketFuel in February 2014)

26 – 40% Excellent
41 – 55% Average
56-70% Higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm, depending on the site (anything higher than 70% other than blogs/news is too high)


Each time a user follows a hyperlink from one page to another. The more clicks, the better–it likely means that you have engaged your audience and they are choosing to stay on your site/blog in order to look around at other areas. In terms of social media, clicks also mean that your reader is doing something with the information. You caught their attention long enough for them to want to click and read more. Clicks can be tracked at various levels and rate (ie: click through rates) depending on the type of platform from which you’re gathering stats.

Earned Media

Third-party media coverage secured through a relationship or newsworthy event; can include print, broadcast or online media. One tool for securing earned media is through public relations, though this is not the only method for obtaining earned media. Earned media is not paid.

Engage (Engagement)

To engage is to attract interest or attention from an online user, involving the user in a topic, conversation or discussion. Engagement on social media or online communication requires an action from your audience—a response, a like, a share, a comment or discussion.

Engagement Percentage (or Engagement Rate)

Used to measure a brand’s effectiveness at engaging its audience, the engagement rate compares a brand’s engagement performance of its posts while also comparing to posts from other brands on the same platform. In short, engagement rates measure what share of a brand’s audience engaged with its content.


Many times used in conjunction with reach, frequency is the average amount of time that an individual event occurs or the average amount of times each person has been exposed to content.


In terms of web content, one impression is counted each time that piece of content is loaded into a browser. Impressions are the aggregated published or acknowledged readership numbers for any piece of content.


In the social media space, influence is not the ability to change someone’s way of thinking, but rather, the likelihood that your content will be shared/talked about combined with the potential reach of those shared pieces of content. For this reason, some use the phrase social capital instead of influence, which defines only the frequency of a someone/a brand’s social media shared contributions and the reach of the shared content. Note: Higher social capital can also be skewed by content that is shared as a joke or in disgust; it does not account for sentiment.


Stands for Key Performance Indicator. KPIs are essential for setting goals and strategy. According to the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), quantitative KPIs are often:

  • Quantitative indicators that can be presented as a number
  • Practical indicators that interface with existing company processes
  • Directional indicators specifying whether brand/business/organization performance is improving or not
  • Actionable indicators sufficiently in an organization’s control to effect change
  • Financial indicators used in performance measurement and when looking at an operating index

Mentions (or Tags)

Depending on the social media platform, when another person or social media account is brought in to the conversation, they can be done so by a mention or a tagged post. Both of these are metrics that can be measured. Users will get a notification when they are mentioned or tagged using the handle, vanity URL or page name they are associated with.

Owned Media vs. Paid Media

Owned media: Media channels that you, as a brand, have ownership of. Examples include: company websites or blogs, newsletters and company social media accounts. Paid media: Advertising is a form of paid media—content that appears/has been generated because it has been paid for/purchased.


Reach is disaggregated (counts the actual number rather than opportunities or data combined from several measurements). Reach is the actual number of people (or the percentage of the audience as a whole) that have been exposed to content.

Referral Source (Referral Traffic)

In terms of a website, referrals refer to which domains or websites in aggregate are sending visitors to your site. Identifying your referral traffic is key; it helps you determine where your audience is hanging out and can lead you to create more content in those spaces.


Melissa Harrison – Marketing and Small Business Executive from Allee Creative, Twin Cities, MNMelissaMelissa Harrison , CEO and founder of Allee Creative, LLC , has more than 13 years of experience in content management, marketing strategy and branding, working with small to mid-sized businesses to build strategic online content and traditional marketing strategies.

Listed as one of the “Top 36 Content Marketers Who Rock” by TopRank and Content Marketing Institute, Melissa believes that businesses must adapt to what customers want, which includes using social media and creative online content to provide relevant, consistent information, in order to survive. It is no longer business as usual and only the companies that strive to embrace change will remain relevant.

Melissa is also a four-time recipient of the Hermes Creative Award and a national speaker on the topics of branding, content marketing, marketing strategy and social media. Melissa is also certified by Google Analytics Academy in Digital Analytics Fundamentals.

In addition to her professional life, Melissa is a mother of four, a certified fitness instructor an avid reader. If you look up “insane multi-tasker” in the dictionary you’ll most definitely find her picture. Melissa is forever pushing the envelope, starting her company when she was pregnant with her second child at the young age of 27 years old. Named a “Mover & Shaker” by the Star Tribune, she’s fought with the “big boys” for her spot at the table and continues to challenge herself each day.

For more information and to connect with Melissa, give her a shout on Twitter, LinkedIn;  or check out the Allee Facebook page.

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2 Replies to “Goals for 2015: A list of Online Measurements Defined by @alleecreative”

  1. Melissa Harrison

    Hi Indigo,
    Thanks so much for your comments. I’m glad you found the article helpful. I agree, the more we can talk about and set KPIs, the better off small businesses will be. Have a great day!

  2. Indigo Ocean

    I was really happy to read this article for several reasons, and have shared it to a couple sites. First, glad to find some context for my bounce rate. My bounce rate on both my websites ranges from 22-25%, which I never knew was good or bad. Turns out it’s exceptional! Also, I’m always happy to hear someone talking about KPIs. Too often small businesses act as if all there was to running a business was making a product and marketing it for sales. Thanks for addressing some of the business of business.

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