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4 Tips on Reporting Digital Metrics from CDC.gov

At a conference, I was recently asked “What’s the best way to report web and social media metrics?”

The participant said they struggle on what specific metrics to report, how frequently, and in what format.

My response was check out Center for Disease Controls’s metrics

Here’s 4 tips based on CDC’s metrics (September’s metrics embedded below):

1 – Provides Historical Context – The metrics provided don’t provide a snapshot of just one month – they provide it in a historical context – page views/visits in a context of last 3 years, social media in last 2 months. So you can see the trends on growth and how that month compares.

2 – Provides Gov’t & Private Sector Contexts – I love how they compare CDC against top health sites overall (including webmd and NIH) and how they compare social media follows in context against other gov’t agencies. This is great for senior leader to gauge quickly – how are we doing compared with others?

3 – Focus on Popular – It’s important to show senior leaders why people are coming to your site – I love how CDC shows both what’s popular when people get to your site (from cdc.gov’s search bar – #1 zombies) and external search (how are people coming to you – you can see what diseases people want more info on Herpes and HPV are in top 5)

4) More than Followers – While it’s great to track # of followers, that number is becoming less significant as Facebook changes their algorithms and fewer of your fans see your post (and Twitter has a ton of spam followers). So I love that CDC tracks the # of click-throughs via each channel to CDC.gov- which in the end is the goal (how many people received the content). It’s interesting that while CDC has similar # of Twitter/Facebook followers, they get 2 to 4X more click-throughs from Facebook.

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Profile Photo David Dejewski

I would love to see what the CDC is doing with these metrics. Gathering them is one thing. Using them to influence strategy is a huge step from there. Is there any evidence that their publishing, investing, coverage and/or marketing and communications is being affected by these metrics? That would be cool.

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