Podcast Seminar: Podcast Metrics

This post continues the Podcast Seminar series. This week we cover the topic of Podcast Metrics.

A metric is a standard unit of measure or a way of quantitatively measuring or assessing a process, event or institution.  That’s the definition at least.  When it comes to your podcast and the website/blog that is supporting your podcast, it means a couple things in particular:

  • How many downloads am I getting?
  • How many people are coming to my site?
  • Where are people finding my podcast?
  • How are people finding my podcast?
  • What keywords are getting sent to my site?

I recommend a couple of services for podcasters to get information about what kind of traffic their podcast is receiving.  The three services are Feedburner, Statcounter, and Google Analytics.

Feedburner is a recent Google acquisition.  They provide a few services but the one I’m recommending here is the feed stats.  By using Feedburner you can see how many downloads of your podcast have occured, what podcast aggreagators your listeners are using, and how your podcasts are being used.   The service will also let you know how many subscribers you have to your feed.  If you are a WordPress user, the FeedSmith plugin will be of great use to you.  It works wonderfully integrating the Feedburner service into your WordPress blog.  Feedburner is free and is one of the easiest ways to get stats on your feed.

Statcounter was the first metrics site that I used.  It is incredibly easy to setup and use.  Sign up on the site and get the bit of Javascript and HTML code that they provide and insert that into the page you’d like to keep track of.  Statcounter provides information on popular pages, entry pages, exit pages, keywords, came from, search engines, visitors, pageload activity and more.  Statcounter also has a plugin for WordPress that will insert that bit of code they give you into every page on your blog.  Statcounter is free for up to 500 log entries, paid packages start at $9/month.

Podcast Metrics ExampleGoogle Analytics is the service that I currently use for most of my blogs/podcasts.  It provides information on your visitors, new vs. recurring, and trends, traffic sources, keywords, adwords, top content, top landing pages, and exit pages, etc.  It is very comprehensive.  One additional feature is Goals.  Goals are basically funnels that a visitor may follow.  I use this in the most basic way to see how many site visitors are heading to the subscribe and about page from the home page.  Google Analytics is also shareable among partners/co-hosts so everyone can see what’s going on at the site.  All users must have a Google account.  Google Analytics is free.

Now that you have an idea how and where to get your podcast metrics, how do you use them?

Beyond answering the basic questions above, I use the information on these services to decide on what to post about.  If I see a whole bunch of people finding my site when I talk about or write about a particular topic, I might write about it more.  I will take a look at the number of downloads and decide if I need to upgrade my hosting account to accomodate more podcast downloads.  I may also decide that based on the metrics that I need to focus more advertising on one site or another.  The uses are almost endless.

If you’re unsure about how to read the statistics after you get them, this page will give you primer on reading the statistics.

Next time, the host bed topic of monetizing your podcast.

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