Tool Tuesday: PostRank Analytics

It isn’t that we need another tool. It isn’t that we need a tool that does everything. Its that we need a tool that does what it does really well.

As a blogger, there are numerous tools at your disposal to track how your content is doing. Most obvious of these is Google Analytics. Another is the popular “Add This” which also offers analytic information. But if you use blogging as a tool, whether for personal branding or corporate exposure, you’ll quickly see that these two tools don’t tell the whole story. Why? Because if you are creating content, you are likely distributing and promoting that content in variety of ways, including social media.

Enter: PostRank. A deceptively simple yet dynamic tool for bloggers which measures what it calls “Engagement Events” such as a comment, a bookmarked link, or a tweet about a particular post. In short, PostRank endeavors not only to show you how much TRAFFIC you got, but how many times a particular post was talked about.

There is even a feature to add additional pages, great for blog-specific campaigns and funnel analysis and comparing it to Engagement Events.

There are several tabs within PostRank, each designed to give you a unique view of the data.

The Overview page:

What I like: While the graphs aren’t exactly overlaid, at a glance I can see the impact of discussion about a post, compared to actual traffic, I can do this for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or 3 months.  The top graph is engagement events, the bottom graph page visits.

Also, it identifies what days posts were made so that I can see the connection between traffic & post days.

Below this data, are the actual tweets about the post and who tweeted them. Helpful if you feel (as I do) that I might be missing tweets and RT’s occasionally.

What I wish they would improve:

While this data is great, none of this can be exported, even for paying users (there is a freemium model for bloggers), making long-term trends harder to identify.

Also, I wish someone would create an option where I could remove my own tweets about an article or posting. It would be great to see ONLY what others are saying.

Also, I wish I could set the dates, rather than stick to their 3 choices. It seems like an easy thing to do, let the user choose the dates, particularly helpful if the blog is part of an overall campaign.

The Trends Page

What I like: Again, quick, at-a-glance data shows which posts are most popular. Love how easy it is to read and interpret.

It also breaks down where engagement events are occurring for the time period (comments, Digg, Twitter).

I also like that the top tags used to describe content are displayed; helps to make sure that I am making the most of the audience most talking about my content. While most of this isn’t a surprise if you are monitoring your social media efforts, it is helpful to see it so cleanly laid out and including other sources besides Twitter.

What I wish they would improve:

Again, the data can’t be exported. In particular this page helps bloggers see how well particular posts are doing over time. At a glance is useful, but ability to export and manipulate is even better.

Optimize Page

What I like:

Shows primary influencers on different networks in a clean list.

Interesting (albeit basic)  info about each network.

What I wish they would improve

Influencers aren’t listed in order of number of engagement events.

Wish that originating account could be removed from influencers.

The information about each platform is basic. There are some tips, but they are essentially 101 tips. Obviously, this is a limitation of API’s but I wish the information could be tailored to the audience based on tags and categories. For example, instead of telling me that there are 150 Million people on Twitter, tell me how many people on Twitter are talking about the same things I am.

Overall, I like PostRank, its a relatively new tool so I suspect that they will continue to improve. But without export features, I fear that eventually this tool will lose my attention.

Pricing is incredibly reasonable ($15/month lets you  track 5 sites with up to 10 custom pages/site). The Freemium model is kind of interesting for Pro Bloggers: it allows registration (in exchange for free use of analytics) to be included in a list of influencial bloggers, making the blog information accessible to professional marketers using PostRank’s additional services (I imagine).

What do you use to track post engagement? I’m always on the look out for new tools!