How to choose the right metrics for your intranet

Establish performance metrics to meet the website’s goals
Jun 13, 2023

Intranets are vital tools for fostering collaboration, enhancing user engagement, and improving user experience. However, building a successful intranet for your federal agency is no small feat—it demands careful planning and constant monitoring.

To ensure your intranet meets its intended goals, it’s crucial to establish key performance metrics. Today, we’re here to guide you through choosing and using these metrics to optimize your intranet.

Understanding your agency’s intranet objectives

Intranet objectives are the foundational bedrock on which your metrics should be built. They steer the direction of your intranet, influencing its content, structure, and functionality. Having a clear comprehension of your agency’s intranet objectives is paramount, as they will guide you in selecting the appropriate metrics.

Common intranet objectives for federal agencies vary based on the specific mission, goals, and user needs of the agency. Nevertheless, they often include:

  • Enhancing internal communication: The intranet should foster efficient and effective communication between departments, teams, and individuals within the agency.
  • Promoting collaboration: The intranet should provide access to tools and platforms that support collaborative work, such as document sharing, project management, and communication channels.
  • Streamlining processes: By providing easy access to resources, tools, and applications, the intranet should improve internal workflows and processes.
  • Centralizing information: The intranet should serve as a centralized, reliable source of essential information, such as policies, procedures, news updates, and more.
  • Fostering a strong agency culture: By encouraging engagement, sharing successes, and strengthening the sense of community, the intranet can help build a solid agency culture.
  • Supporting professional development: The intranet should provide learning resources, training materials, and opportunities for skill development and career growth.

Each of these objectives requires a unique set of metrics for evaluation. Below, we’ll delve deeper into the types of metrics that might align with these objectives and how to use them effectively.

Types of intranet metrics

Intranet metrics, which form the core of any performance measurement plan, can be broadly organized into three categories — usage, engagement, and satisfaction metrics. Each category serves a distinct purpose and offers unique insights into your intranet’s performance. 

Usage metrics

Usage metrics provide a comprehensive overview of how your intranet is being used. Some key metrics to consider include:

  • Visitors: The number of individual users who visit your intranet within a specific timeframe.
  • Views: The total number of pages viewed on your intranet, including repeated views of a single page.
  • Session duration: The amount of time users spend on your intranet in a single visit.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of users who leave the intranet site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate could indicate that users aren’t finding the information they need or that the site isn’t user-friendly.
  • Pages per session: This metric provides an average of the number of pages a user visits during a single session. High values may indicate that users are engaging with multiple resources or tools during their visit, which can be a positive sign of engagement and utility.
  • Peak usage times: Identifying peak usage times can help you schedule updates, maintenance, or crucial announcements when they’re most likely to reach users.

These metrics help determine the reach of your intranet, highlight high-traffic areas, reveal where users spend most of their time, and uncover usage patterns that can guide optimization efforts.

Engagement metrics

Engagement metrics offer a deeper understanding of how users interact with your intranet. They include:

  • Social interactions: Metrics such as comments, likes, and shares can indicate user engagement with the content on your intranet.
  • Participation in polls or surveys: High participation rates may suggest that users feel a sense of community and involvement.
  • Downloads: The number of downloads of resources like PDFs, guidelines, or forms can show how actively users are using these resources.
  • Completion of online training courses: Tracking completion rates can offer insights into the level of user engagement and the effectiveness of the resources provided.
  • Forum participation: Metrics like the number of new threads, responses to existing threads, or views on a thread can offer insights into user engagement levels.
  • Use of search box: This can provide insights into whether users are able to find what they need.
  • Attendance at virtual events or webinars: Tracking attendance or registration rates can be a useful engagement metric.

These metrics can reveal how well your intranet fosters communication and collaboration, and they can also indicate the effectiveness of your content strategy.

Satisfaction metrics

Satisfaction metrics measure users' perceptions and experiences with your intranet. They include:

  • Survey results: Regular surveys can gauge user satisfaction, gather feedback, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Feedback: Regular feedback collection can offer qualitative insights into user satisfaction and highlight potential issues.
  • Customer loyalty score: A measure of how likely users are to recommend the intranet to their colleagues.
  • Customer effort score: A measure of how easy it is for users to complete tasks on the intranet.

Collecting and analyzing these metrics can ensure your intranet meets user expectations, contributing to higher satisfaction and engagement. Common Metrics: Guidance, Best Practices, and Tools is also worth a read.

Aligning objectives with metrics

To ensure your intranet meets its intended goals, each objective should pair with one or more metrics that provide means to quantify or qualitatively analyze the performance relative to that objective.

The table below outlines eight common objectives for a federal intranet and the corresponding metrics that can help measure the success in achieving these objectives.
Objectives Metrics
Enhancing user engagement Comments, likes, shares, participation in polls or surveys, downloads, completion of online training courses, forum participation, use of search box, attendance at virtual events or webinars.
Improving user experience Session duration, pages per session, bounce rate, , customer loyalty score, customer effort score.
Facilitating access to services Downloads of resources, completion of online training courses, usage of search function.
Encouraging collaboration Participation in polls or surveys, forum participation, attendance at virtual events or webinars.
Improving Communication Comments, likes, shares, attendance at virtual events or webinars.
Promoting Transparency and Accountability Participation in polls or surveys, forum participation, comments, likes, shares.
Supporting Training and Development Completion of online training courses, attendance at virtual events or webinars.
Increasing Usage and Adoption Visitors, views, session duration, peak usage times.

This table is a good starting point, but remember that the specific metrics you choose should align with your specific agency’s objectives and the needs of your users. You may also need to adapt your metrics over time as your intranet evolves and as you gain more insights into user behavior and preferences. Learn more on how to orient your analytics strategy around success metrics.

Conclusion

To sum it up, building a successful intranet for your federal agency means choosing the right metrics that align with your objectives. This, in turn, offers actionable insights and reflects your users' needs and behaviors.

Through usage, engagement, and satisfaction metrics, you can continually assess your intranet’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and push your intranet towards its objectives.

Remember, metrics are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach is to continually review, update, and refine them to best serve your evolving intranet objectives and user needs. After all, it’s all about making your intranet more useful and engaging for the people who use it every day.