we need a resolution

Metrics we measure

Laura Joint

We are on a mission to help the PR industry be recognised for their work. This means moving away from the overinflated and almost meaningless figures that metrics such as AVE and OTS carry, and curating free tools such as Answertheclient which allow you to see how much traffic and sales your coverage has directly generated.

When creating Coveragebook.com, we had to decide which metrics best represent a piece of coverage and where we can obtain this data reliably. 

In case you didn't know, here's a breakdown of what data we gather in our reports and where the information comes from: 

Estimated monthly visits

Monthly website audience, data provided by SimilarWeb 

We use data from SimilarWeb to pull monthly audience figures for the entire website. This data is taken as the numbers stand on the day the coverage is uploaded to Coveragebook.com and based on all visits to the website the previous month. Using a variety of sources, we have found SimilarWeb to be the most accurate provider and is the trusted data provider for the likes of Reuters and Bloomberg.

How is this different to unique users?
Unique users refer to how many different users have visited the website over the past month. On the surface, this appears to be a realistic way of measuring the potential reach of an online piece of coverage. However, this data is often distributed in advertising packs so uses data that is from peak months, is rarely updated and often out of date. There are companies who try and track this through cookies, but some cookies get blocked and deleted so the data is not too reliable. Also, now that it is common for people to access the internet through different devices (phone, tablet, PC etc.) the figure is becoming redundant anyway as one person or user may access the site 3 times and be counted as three different “unique user”.

If you wanted to read more on this, here’s a pretty good article

Estimated coverage views

An estimation of how many people will read the coverage.

Estimated coverage views is a formula created here at Coveragebook.com.  We recognised it was highly unrealistic to assume that every visitor to a website reads every page and we wanted a more realistic figure to state how many people are likely to have seen that piece of coverage. So while estimated monthly views are useful to see how popular a publication is, a more useful figure would be how many people are likely to see the coverage. By looking at the visits to the website and then depending on how far down the site it is, we calculate the number of people who are likely to read that actual piece of coverage.

Here’s a video which explains this in more detail.

Domain authority
Domain authority is how reputable the site is. 

The figure is taken from SEO Moz, a site very highly regarded amongst SEO professionals worldwide. The stronger the domain authority, the more influence the site has in terms of integrity and passing SEO benefit.  It is judged out of 100, with 100 being the strongest. 

How influential the site is, depends on how often the site domain authority is checked. So the likes of the BBC will be constantly checked, however if you secure coverage on site with low domain authority, the robots will have less of a priority checking the site and therefore revisit it less often.

Here’s a video which explains further.

How is this different to PageRank?
Domain authority was developed by Moz and now is more widely trusted than Google PageRank.  Google stopped updating PageRank as frequently and so has decreased in value over the last few years. That said, Google PageRank is part of the algorithm for Domain authority, however, the data is supplemented with metrics such as quality and volume of links.

Links from coverage

Coveragebook.com automatically detects and adds the number of links from your coverage to your client's website. As well as aiding brand awareness, a link in a piece of coverage not only directs the readers to more information (and where they can possibly buy the product) but it alerts to Goggle that your client's website is trustworthy and so it helps increase SEO visibility. If you would like to know more about how links in coverage helps SEO, here's our Stella explaining more.


Youtube Views
This is how many times the video has been legitimately viewed on YouTube.

We have taken the views directly from YouTube’s counter which means a view counts each time a user starts to watch a video rather than the number of people who watched it through to the end. The views increase if the video is embedded from YouTube and watched elsewhere. The metric in the report is taken as the snapshot of how many views the video had at the time you uploaded it. To stop people fraudulently inflating views, YouTube monitors the increases and you may notice views freeze every now and again to capture fraudulent views, making the figure as accurate as possible.

You can read more about YouTube metrics here.


Social Shares
The number of times the coverage has been shared.

We monitor Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and LinkedIn (Unfortunately not Twitter since they pulled their data) . As with YouTube, the counts are static and taken at the time the coverage book is created. If you think that the numbers have increased since adding the coverage, there's an option to refresh this data. 

The automated process of coverage reporting ends here. But we urge our customers to carry on and gather more insight behind the campaign - with the time saved automating much of your report, the following questions should be considered:

  • How did the campaign hit the predefined objectives?
  • Did the campaign have an impact on sales or visits to the website?
  • Were there any pieces of coverage that generated comments and discussion?
  • Did the campaign hit any new audiences?
  • What were common themes discussed in the coverage?

Most importantly, think about each metric and ask yourself "So what?" to make sure you are both taking learnings from the campaign but also so you are reporting reputable figures. We have a great post on 'Asking so what' when creating coverage commentary.


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