In this post, I will discuss how I started measuring the success of my blog Right Product by creating the focus metric.
Recently I have taken an acute interest in product analytics. You might have read my posts Do We Talk More About Product Discovery Than Product Analytics and 3 Frameworks To Define Success Metrics For Your Feature Or Product , in which I talk about the importance of product analytics.
I continue diving into this topic deeply to turn my gained theoretical knowledge into practice.
This time I would like to share how I created the focus metric for my blog Right Product. The article 3 Frameworks To Define Success Metrics For Your Feature Or Product proposes to use the . I decided to use this framework to create the focus metric and start measuring the success of my blog.
According to this framework, there are 3 levels of metrics:
- Focus metric
- Level 1 metrics
- Level 2 metrics
The Focus Metric
The focus metric is the top priority. It shows what matters most to a business.
I approached definition of the focus metric in the following way:
- Define a goal of my blog.
- Define a user value moment.
- Understand when a user gains the value.
- Create the focus metric.
1. Define a Goal of my Blog
When I think about a goal, I ask myself how my solution changes a user’s life. In other words, I think about the outcome.
I wish readers of the Right Product to get and improve knowledge of how to build digital products that make customers and business happy.
2. Define a User Value Moment
User value shows why a user comes to the blog. The defined goal helps to capture this value. Users visit the site “to get and improve knowledge”. I assumed that most readers get and improve knowledge when they read a post. Therefore the value moment is “Read a post”.
A value moment is a critical event that represents the moment when a user finds value in a product. Further, notions the value moment and critical event are used interchangeably.
For example, Airbnb’s critical event is making a booking. Classpass’s critical event (the fitness & health app) is a complete workout. When a user signs a contract, the electronic signature solution DocuSign considers this action as a value moment.
3. Understand When a User Gains the Value
Not every user that reaches my blog reads a post. Somebody may reach the blog because of an attractive title but find no value in the content. Most likely, such a user drops-off immediately. Thus I need to understand how many users gain value when they visit my blog.
I narrowed down the value moment “Read a post” in a way to make it measurable. What does “Read a post” mean exactly?
The average size of each post on my blog is about 1500 words. I googled the average reading speed. An average person reads 200 to 250 words a minute. It means a user needs at least 8 minutes to read the post. I assumed that a reader might gain value much faster by going over headers and reading individual pieces of material. Therefore I divided this number by slightly less than three and assumed that reading a post for at least 3 minutes should bring user value.
As a result, I created the measurable critical event “Read a post for 3+ minutes”. It allowed me to get to the next step and create the focus metric.
4. Create the Focus Metric
Mixpanel recommends choosing the focus metric tied to active usage. Since I have a measurable critical event, I decided to treat all users who read a post for 3+ minutes as active users. These users matter most to my blog because they are likely to gain value.
As a next step, I should have decided during which period I wish to measure the activity of users. In other words, should I measure a number of active users by the end of the day, week, or month?
Since I publish a new post and use two channels (LinkedIn and Newsletter) to announce its availability on a weekly basis, I decided to track activity weekly. When I publish a new post, I expect to acquire and activate new users and retain already active users every week. Thus my focus metric shows Weekly Active Users (WAU).
For example, social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter monitor Daily Active Users (DAU) because most users access these services daily. In contrast, it makes no sense to monitor DAU when a product is mainly used not more often than once a month (e.g. booking applications). In this case, Monthly Active Users (MAU) should be tracked.
The more active users a product acquires and retain, the more it becomes valuable for both consumers and business.
The focus metric shows what matters most to a business. I created this metric to keep a focus on user value in order to measure the success of my blog.
The next step that I wish to take is to create Level 1 metrics and start working on phases of the customer journey closely. It will help me to mainly improve reach, activation, engagement, and retention of users.