Widget Analytics - Metrics and Reports to track Performance
Among the most powerful aspects of NewsGator widgets are the analytics and tracking data that come with them. NewsGator allows you to build widgets that are highly portable and can be shared on websites, blogs, personal homepages or social networks. Your widgets can even be integrated with external ad and analytics servers, allowing you to monetize them based on how often people view and interact with them. To view the analytics data, click on the “statistics” tab on the upper left portion of the home screen.
This statistics page is designed to give you an overview of how your widgets are performing. You’ll see a list of all widgets in your account on the left panel, with empty checkboxes next to them. To view the data, all you need to do is check the boxes next to the widgets; the data shows up on the right panel.
You will note that the data is broken up between home site and descendant sites. What’s the difference?
- Home site is where the widget was originally placed using the script block you got from Editor’s Desk. (This also refers to the “parent” site in the inheritance reporting; more about that later.)
- Descendant sites are all sites that your widget exists on when “get this” is clicked on the home site widget. (These sites also refer to the “children” sites in the inheritance reporting; again, more about that later.)
The following statistics are available for both the home site and the descendant sites:
- Page Views: the number of times a widget was loaded on a page. (Note that though most of the time the page views will be same as the number of impressions, but in more complex widget implementations it will be different. This is due to the construction of some of the more complex widgets – i.e., checkbox widgets, where each checkbox is considered a widget.)
- Impressions: the total number of times a widget was loaded on a page
- Click Through (Rate %): the number of times a user clicked through to source content, as well as the click through rate per impression
- Other Interactions (Rate %): the number of times a user performed some type of interaction within the widget. This can include toolbar functions such as: e-mail, rate, send to mobile, send to IM, comment. (Note that NewsGator allows the widget publisher nine custom interaction “buckets” in which you can specify what you want to track – i.e., if there’s a podcast within your widget, the number of times a user selects the play button.)
To the right of the page view, impression, click through and other interaction data for your widget’s descendant sites, is the inheritance data. This includes:
- New Descendants: the number of new users/sites who took your widget to their site during the specified date range
- Active Descendants: the number of sites where your widget is hosted, and generated impressions, during that time period
- Total Descendants: the total number of sites your widget exists on during the lifetime of the widget
Note that Editor’s Desk allows you to view trended data for your widgets. All you need to do is toggle the list of trend options to the upper left of the reporting chart. The options include:
- No trending (the default)
- Trending by Month
- Trending by Week (Sun – Sat)
To view the complete inheritance reporting data, you’ll need to click on the “manage” tab in the upper left portion of your home screen. Then, click on the “reporting” tab to view the full data for each widget you’ve published. This will allow you to see where your widgets exist on the internet after users have picked them up from their original (home site) location.
Once you select the appropriate date range (above the “inheritance tree” and “domains” tabs), you can then select the location from which you would like to see metrics.
In the “Inheritance Tree” view, you can see the parent location (which is the home site where the widget first appeared) and all of the other locations that the widget appears when people use the “get this” feature to put it on their own sites. When you click the ‘+’ sign next to any location, you can see the other children sites that have picked up with widget. (Note that each widget that has been shared from its initial parent location/home site can have descendants, and that each descendant can have any number of additional descendants.)
Once you select a date range, you can analyze the statistics. On the right side of the page you’ll see a table showing impressions, click through rate, other interactions, and interaction rate for the overall widget ‘instance’ as well as for each of the descendants (if there are any).
Alternatively, in the “Domains” view, you also can see a breakdown of the statistics by domain.