Historical records

i.e: Why yes, I do know what we produced 18 months ago….


Facebook is all over the place

It feels to me that our Facebook engagement and reach has steadily risen – more comments, more likes, more attention. In our reports, I mostly report on the number of “likes” we have – it’s easy to measure, it always goes up and people understand it.

Our  average weekly reach (as summarized below), fluctuates wildly, depending on types of posts (anything with Dr. Temple Grandin is popular), what time of year it is, and if I pay to “boost” a post. The reach overall is increasing, as shown in the trend line, which I would expect as our “likes” have doubled in the last two years.

In February, our weekly average reach was 7,000 in Facebook. Facebook sent 299 website sessions (total), which is a fraction of the 9,800 website sessions in February. So is it worth it?

  • If our “likes” increase, can we assume that we are reaching new viewers/users?
  • We clearly “reinforce” our brand (one of the reason we focus on news and training; not inspirational quotes) in Facebook
  • I am still new to conversions, so while I know there were some conversions, I don’t know which of those resulted in event purchases. More to learn!



Asking for feedback; not just for annual surveys

Inspired by a #NPMC chat on twitter today, I’m reviving a dormant goal I had for my online videos project.

I’m proposing incorporating a one question poll into our monthly newsletter; low-stakes, it’s a means of collecting feedback from the larger community. I hope that the questions would help recipients reflect, normalize their own questions and fears, and direct them towards resources.

I can use Google Forms to embed it right in the email, and the following month, suggest resources related to the answers.

One Page Annual Reports

A few years ago, we started running out of time to coordinate the staff necessary to create a multi-page annual report.

They are a very valuable resource, however; for reminding staff, donors and clients of your growth and successes.

So I pushed to develop one-page Infographics in lieu. Taking the stats from the end of year report that we were contractually obligated to put together for our funders, we were able to create something that was in that spirit, and for a wider audience.

2015 Year in Review

2014 Year in Review

Who’s our audience?

I’m writing up a report, trying to pull out the significance and interest in our statistics. Right now I’m working on statistics on who attended a conference we put on a few months ago.

The statistics tell us that among our attendees, 46 % are a Parent or Family member of a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 41% are professionals (doctors, social workers, teachers, etc), and 10% are para-professionals (behaviour interventionists, for example). This shows me that we have a pretty broad range of attendees, and we can expect that there is a significant difference in the amount of formal education and training. We also know that sometimes parents or family members have many years more experience (and more intimate experience) with ASD than a new professional. Many of our attendees have fingers in both pies, as well – a parent of an individual with ASD goes to school to formalize their “on the job” training and gains certification as behaviour consultant (as one example).

One of our objectives in our training is to break down those silos of knowledge and experience – to facilitate virtual and live spaces where families and professionals can talk to each other, share stories, questions and concerns. Professionals, para-professionals and family members need some common language and understanding to do what’s best for the individuals with ASD that they are living with, working with and caring for.

And so our statistics only tell part of the story, which is why I’m here, writing up a report to explain the stats.

Following the Google Analytics Flow

We’re collecting website stats for our Quarterly Report, and I’ll report on the usual stats: our registrations, where our visitors come from (email/search engine/direct link, etc) and so forth. But I can’t help but start looking through Google Analytics. I have only lightly scratched the surface, and was getting frustrated with the bounce rate, exit and entrance pages. There are multiple ways that people arrive at and use our site and I was getting frustrated drawing conclusions based on an entire site of activity. Our site has many, many pages (too many?) which clouds our understanding of what people are doing and perhaps dilutes our objectives?

So I explored some more, and right now I’m enamored with the Visitors Flow: at a glance it’s telling me where most of my visitors are landing, and most importantly where they go next. I’m also learning that our site is organized in such a way that Google Analytics (GA) sometimes has trouble following. Due to our odd information infrastructure, it’s not making connections that a human makes, and I either can’t or haven’t figured out how change how pages are categorized in GA. Due to the sheer number of pages on our side, GA has categorized most of them as “misc”, it seems. I’m not sure how much of this is due to the fact that our site is built on Joomla, which creates specific nesting of sites and how much of it is our IA. Both, either, that and more?

Regardless, lots of happy browsing ahead. Any advice or suggested readings?

Following the pathways: our flow 

Data in your site

The web developer in our office installed Google Analytics on our site last month. I like the pretty graphs and numbers, but wasn’t sure how it might inform my job. So I spent a half hour with my colleague, and we clicked and scrolled around.

First of all we looked up what the term Bounce Rate means. Generally speaking is means the number of people who landed on a specific page, and then left the site entirely, without having visited any other pages on the site. In the Google documentation, a high bounce rate is described as undesirable, and if people are landing on the main page and then immediately leaving again, I’d mostly agree. If, however, people are using effective use of keywords to land on a page on our site with more specialized content, then I”m okay with a high bounce rate – that route means the keywords are efficient. We also determined that the bounce rate for our online registration page is low. We’d been having some difficulties with the online registration system, and so this seems like validation that it’s working for plenty of people.

Traffic Sources was an unexpected sources of information. People are getting to our site mostly though google searches, and uses variations on the name of our organization. A healthy percentage come through direct links or our email newsletter. So people know how to search for us, and they read our newsletter, which is good news! We can also see which websites are linking to our site. We can see where on the government website we’re linked, that the BC Teachers Federation uploads information that we send out, and that we’re getting increasing traffic from our facebook site. So these outreach programs are working out for us.

My other preferred section of google analytics was the Top Content section. I can see which pages get the most hits. There are initially no surprises there, but digging deeper there are some interesting details. I can see how long people spend on each page (do they find what they are looking for quickly on the main page? Do spend time on the content heavy pages?), and I can see on which page they exit the site and extrapolate where they found the information they were seeking.

I’m looking forward to comparing last months statistics to this months statistics. We’re implementing changes, such as an online registration system and an online community, and tracking statistics over several months will tell us if our changes are taking hold and changing how are users interact with our site.