3 tips to master intranet metrics and KPIs

By Raquel Munuera
June 24, 2020
6 min read
Intranet metrics and KPIs: How to prove success

How is your intranet performing?  

This is a question I ask most of our customers at IC and the answers are virtually the same; “our intranet is not doing well” or, “people aren’t accessing it.” However, when I ask how they came to that conclusion, no one has ever presented data to back it up. 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying they don’t know what they are talking about. Their statement is probably accurate, but it’s not enough when you are asking for a bigger budget or trying to justify to the leadership team why you are spending precious and expensive work hours updating the intranet.  

The reality is this: you spend hours and hours to get your intranet up and running. You add relevant content, a top-of-world design, engaging posts, and polls. Now what? How do you know it’s worth it? The answer is simple, by using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).  

Let’s get started …

According to Richard Hatheway“KPIs are a quantifiable or measurable value that reflects a business goal or objective (strategic) and how successful the business is in accomplishing that goal or objective.” Metrics are, “nothing more than a measurement you record to track some aspect of your business activity and measure the success or failure of the performance of that activity “. In short, metrics support the KPIs.  

For example, if your average utilization is 70%, is that good or bad? Your KPI will define that. If your goal is to have an average utilization of 80%, having a 70% is not that bad.  

The same can be said about session length (how long the average session lasts). Having an average session length of 12 minutes can be positive or negative depending on your baseline and your business goals.  

To effectively measure your intranet success here are three metrics to consider: 

Master your intranet metrics & KPIs with these 3 expert tips

1. Utilization  

Definition: The percentage of active users who logged in during the defined period and accessed anything other than the homepage. 

This is the basic metric to track if users are accessing the intranet. This number can be measured by department or across the board depending on the organization. If all employees work on personal computers, you can have a general utilization. However, if some employees don’t use computers all the time or share one, you will probably have different KPIs for different departments. 

In the example below, you can see the utilization is consistent throughout the year, with peaks in March and October: 

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A few questions to ask about utilization: 

  • Does everyone have a login for the intranet? Do they access from personal computers or from a shared one? 
  • Does everyone need to access the intranet? Some organizations have workers or volunteers that do not necessarily need to access the intranet. They can get important info through other channels. 
  • What happened in March and October? How about May and September? 

The idea is to understand how the organization works in its business cycle. A good idea is to learn who your power users are and leverage them to increase the metrics across the board. 

2. Sessions per month 

Definition: A session is when the user does anything other than just view a page.  

This metric is important to understand users’ behavior and the natural cycle of the business. For example, if the number of sessions usually goes up in March due to the end of the quarter, you will know something is wrong if it doesn’t happen on schedule.  

In the example below you can see there is a fluctuation in the number of sessions throughout the year: 

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A few questions to ask about sessions: 

  • What happened in November? The utilization for this month did not plummet, we know something happened with the core group of users that led to a lower number of sessions  
  • Are June, July, and August popular months for vacation? 
  • Investigate if the spikes in March and October are linked with utilization spikes  

3. Search terms and click-through-rates   

Definition: what users have been searching for, how often, and if they used the result (click-through rate) 

The search terms are important because you can have a peek at what users are searching for so you can plan your content accordingly. If you see there is a high number of searches but a low click-through rate it could mean the item is not available on the intranet or it is hard to find. Therefore, it could also help you to move things around the intranet. In the example below, you can see that the employee handbook is easy to find but the logo isn’t, due to a low click-through rate.  

Sometimes having a low click-through rate is not necessarily bad. It could also be because users can preview the result and don’t need to click through to it. A good example of this is when the user searches for specific names (using the employee directory, for example). Getting a preview is usually enough and there is no need to click through to it.  

As you can see below, Mary Pierson has a click-through of 8%, which is likely because of the preview. The same can be said about the calendar. The best way to find out if that’s the case is to do the search yourself and see what comes up. 

Searched Term Click-through-rate Times searched 
Logo 40% 150 
Calendar 17.4% 106 
John Smith 52.5% 90 
Credit card 42% 81 
Employee handbook 100% 80 
Caroline Brent 46.4% 68 
Benefits 96.4% 68 
Philip Johnson  19.2% 56 
Mary Pierson 8% 35 

A final note on intranet metrics and KPIs  

The most important factor to think about before diving into KPIs and metrics is your organization and your business goals; they must make sense to you. Consider what you want to achieve with your intranet and how you get there.  

After creating your KPIs, consider the metrics. Our Source Stats section includes many options of metrics you can use to track the success of your intranet.  

There is no right or wrong answer here and it depends on the efforts you put into the intranet. Best of luck, and remember, you can always reach out to the service team to learn more.  

Best of luck, and remember, you can always reach out to the service team to learn more by booking yourself a FREE DEMO call. 

Do not forget to take our Internal Communications Assessment for a detailed report on where you stand, plus resources to help you become a stronger internal communicator. 

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By Raquel Munuera

Raquel is a customer success manager at IC Thrive. She has a background in psychology and human resources and is passionate about helping companies achieve their business goals. With her experience in the technology industry, she is always available to help clients to go the extra-mile and be successful with their intranet.