How Do You Determine Good Reporting Metrics When Using SharePoint?

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Just like an external website, IT administrators for a SharePoint site can view reporting metrics for an intranet or external website.

Metrics provide the administrator with usage, unique visitors and referrers to the website.

These metrics help administrators determine deprecated and outdated pages that can be removed, areas of the site which can be improved and user link navigation habits.

Aside from the obvious “page view” statistics, reporting metrics also help software developers improve provide users with better website experiences.

Obtaining Metrics for a SharePoint Server

At the top of the main SharePoint administration screen, click the “Reports” button to view the main dashboard.

SharePoint gives the administrator an overview graphical pie chart of page views, referrers and other user metrics.

For users familiar with other reporting services such as Google Analytics, the interface is intuitive.

The overview gives the administrator the ability to drill down to more granular metrics.

These metrics are the meat of the statistics, and these reports will help SharePoint administrators and developers tweak pages for a better user experience.

User experience is key to a successful site because it keeps users coming back to the website, and it facilitates “word-of-mouth” backlinks, which are paramount to the highest ranking in a search engine.

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Examples: Bounce rate, Referrers

For instance, the page view and bounce rates are indicators of user interaction with the SharePoint website. Bounce rate is a good indicator of engagement for new users.

When users do not find pages easy-to-use or interesting, they “bounce” from the page.

A “bounce” is an unsuccessful sale or “draw” on the user.

A high bounce rate is especially important because developers and site administrators must figure out what is causing users to leave the site without engaging the content and navigating to another page.

Typically, a 30% or less bounce rate is very good.

Poor bounce rates can reach up to 90%, which signals users are not engaging in the content or page navigation, requiring further investigation.

Referrers and queries are other integral metrics to watch.

Referrers are the websites and external locations from which users find the SharePoint site.

For instance, if one user emails another user about the site, the email location is logged, and the SharePoint statistics show it as a referrer.

Other websites that include a link to the SharePoint site in the content also show up as referrers.

Referrers do not mean organic traffic or search engine rank is high, but it does mean that other websites have taken notice of the company’s SharePoint site.

Other examples

Other minor reports include browsers, storage usage and failed query results.

These can be used to monitor user behavior and as a way to report any errors on the site.

For instance, if a failed query result occurs from a user using the Chrome browser, then it might indicate an incompatibility with the Chrome browser.

Reports can be sent to main administrators and managers to facilitate monitoring of these errors, so they can be handled — and fixed.

What Are Your Thoughts??

  As this is only one is a series of articles on SharePoint that Jennifer Marsh has provided, what questions do you have about SharePoint?

  Perhaps you have something that needs to be resolved?

  Or perhaps you have something that has been a thought for a while but haven’t gotten around to asking (until now)?

  Let us help you, how can we help??

Please share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below!

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Jennifer was brought to our attention by Beth Corneglio of Rackspace Hosting and by clicking here you can reach Beth by email.

Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer, technology writer, and blogger.

You can reach Jennifer by contacting Beth via email or by leaving a comment below...

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