Key Intranet Metrics for Microsoft 365

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Chief Technology Officer

Analytics can provide intranet stakeholders incredible insights into their internal activity, but it’s often not obvious what metrics are most critical. The wealth of intranet information that analytics solutions provide can be overwhelming.  

There are a handful of metrics you can begin using immediately to analyze, engage, and enhance your SharePoint Online intranet portal. 

Intranets are something near and dear to us. We showcase that passion and understanding in many ways, one of which would be that our team has proudly received Neilson Norman Intranet awards multiple times. Today, we would love to share some key metrics that we know will help sharpen your digital workplace. 

Key Intranet Metrics 

The following SharePoint intranet metrics are the foundation for understanding what is and is not working for your internal portal. With digital workplace activity and adoption on the rise, there has never been a better time to continue strengthening your intranet’s relevance to building a better employee experience. 

Here are the basic ones you should be reviewing, sharing, and actioning.   

Unique Viewers Reports   

Indicates the total number of individual users who visit a site during a specific period, not counting repeat visits by the same individual. This often needs to be displayed by page, site, and, if possible, by ‘collections’ of sites. 

Microsoft 365 provides this analytic capability at all three levels out of the box with hub, site, and page analytics. This capability allows you to narrow down and explore unique users based on a targeted portion of your Intranet or your entire Intranet. 

unique viewers report in SharePoint at the site level -  intranet metrics
Figure 1 – Site Level Example 
unique viewers report in SharePoint at the hub level -  intranet metrics
Figure 2 – Hub Level Example 

Understanding the information 

Unique viewers’ data shows if your content is successfully driving users to the intended sites. An upward trend over time indicates a useful intranet to users, which generates a positive user experience. If your unique user count is stagnant, you may need to reassess your intranet strategy or perhaps offer to train users with lower adoption rates.   

Site Visits Reports   

Indicates the number of times your visitors have been to your site (unique sessions initiated by all your visitors).   

Image of site visits in site analytics that shows the number of unique and lifetime viewers. -  intranet metrics

Understanding the information 

Gaining access to the number of times a user accesses a site indicates how much traffic a specific site is attaining.   

Average Time Spent Report

Displays the actual time spent on a SharePoint sites and news posts per user. The report will showcase how long a user is actually active on a site or news post. This means that when a page or news post is minimized, time spent stops being calculated. The report calculates the total time spent on a page against the number of unique users on a given page.

average time spent per user on a SharePoint site -  intranet metrics

Understanding the information 

Leverage average time spent report to determine the effectiveness of each page. This will allow you to ensure that viewers are not only landing on the page but connecting with the content.

Unique Viewers or Total Views Reports   

Displays the number of page views for a specific intranet site or item.   

Each document or page in SharePoint can provide ‘at-a-glance’ insight into its views, which is excellent for content authors to self-service how their content is performing. 

Screenshot of the file hover card that appears when you point to a file in OneDrive or SharePoint

This is richer for pages, and there are continuous improvements by Microsoft. 

SharePoint Page analytics

Across a collection such as a site or a hub (of sites) you can also sort and view what is more popular or active by unique viewers or view count. 

unique viewers for intranet content in SharePoint - intranet metrics
unique views for documents in SharePoint

Understanding the information 

Utilize Page Views reports to understand which pages in the portal are attracting users and what content is most popular. If you’re trying to drive users to a specific site/page and see they’re not accessing it, your organization should implement a new strategy.   

Unused Content Reports   

Displays the content that has not been viewed within a specific period (ensure your reporting tool can provide data on content with 0-page views).   

This can be done on a case-by-case basis with scripting techniques like PowerShell. It is an excellent example of where out of the box doesn’t scale to meet many organizations’ needs and might be best to evaluate a 3rd party product. 

Understanding the information 

Once you understand which content is not being used, you can act! Should the content not be needed, delete or archive it. If required and users don’t know how to access it, make sure you have linked to this content from your home page or other main pages.  

Following up on your metrics 

After adequately analyzing the information you’ve now retrieved and acted on, you should begin to see increased intranet performance. If you’re still wondering how you can make sure your communication and collaboration efforts continue to turn into engaged users, actively check back and experiment. Remember, employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight, but proper intranet management, including reviewing these metrics, will ensure success.  

More Microsoft 365 intranet information  

These key intranet metrics will enable you to make sure your essentials are covered with help with actioning these metrics or for questions about your digital workplace. We would love to speak to you and discuss how we can help you get the most out of these metrics and additional Microsoft 365 needs.   

If you’re looking for a more full-bodied look into Office 365 intranets you will love the gourds of detailed information available in our whitepaper.  

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