PostRank ranks online content based upon social engagement (how much readers are interacting with the content by commenting, sharing, responding, bookmarking, etc.). PostRank provides ranking services, blog discover, data services and also analytics. I’ve had the PostRank plug-in installed for awhile and use it to see how individual posts are doing as well as see what the top posts are. PostRank Analytics is a paid service ($9/mo or $99/year) which integrates with Google Analytics to provide an overall picture of how well your audience is engaging with your content. I decided to give it a try to see what type information it was able to provide that I wasn’t getting through the plug-in.
From the dashboard, you can track up to 5 sites (maybe more with different packages) and see the average pageviews, engagement & twitter followers for the past 7 days (you assign a Twitter username to each site – although you could just use the same Twitter account for all the sites). Once you click into a site, you’ll also see graphs of the Pageview & Engagement activity over the past 30 days along with links to daily engagement reports.
Engagement is how often readers are interacting with your content. PostRank assigns points for different types of interactions (like a Tweet is only 7 points but a comment seems to be 10). It also uses these points to assign a PostRank to every post. The plug-in only shows you the PostRank, but the Analytics shows you were the interactions were and links to them. That’s nice information to have.
Another nice bit of information are Engagement Events – or when users interacted with your content which is tied to pageviews so you can see if the interacts lead to more traffic. These are displayed on a graph over time. This could be useful for figuring out what times of day make sense to post.
Integration with Google Analytics
Once you tie your site in with Google Analytics, you’ll also be able to see pageviews, bounce rate & average viewing time for each post – which are nice to know when you’re evaluating the effectiveness of that post.
Both the PostRank plug-in and the Analytics seemed to be missing interactions. Many times it would count my own tweets as interactions (which is fine), but it wouldn’t consistently count them for every post. There were posts which only had a comment listed for engagement points, but when you drilled into the post, you’d see 4-5 tweets listed under conversation. It also would count comments which were really Disqus (my comment plug-in) linking to a Tweet – but not all the time. It also wouldn’t always count when someone else tweeted my content, which I know happened more often then what I was seeing in the statistics for the past 30 days.
Gaming the PostRank
It is possible that PostRank is working on their algorithms to prevent people from gaming the ranking – this may be why there’s inconsistency in my interactions. But it also looks like you can post comments on your own posts and get some interaction points. Why would you do this? PostRank is used as part of the Advertising Age’s Power 150 blogs – if you can artificially inflate your PostRank by interacting with your own content, you can get a higher ranking.
Interesting But Not Worth The Dough
Maybe PostRank was having issues lately with their data and that’s why I’m not seeing all my interactions. I’m simply not impressed enough with the available information to be worth $9/mo (and I was really willing to shell that out if the data was useful). My main issue is the inconsistency in interactions/engagement. If that’s not accurate, then most of the information is available to me for free through the plugin and Google Analytics. If they’re able to fix the problem, I may give it a try again – there really isn’t single place to measure engagement otherwise.
What Do You Think?
Have your tried PostRank Analytics? Are you seeing consistent results? Do you like the information/value for the price?