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A DWG member recently asked for suggestions on key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the quality of news on their intranet home page. The goal for this ask was to develop half a dozen KPIs in the interim of undergoing their first annual benchmarking evaluation with DWG.

Below is a short list of the KPIs that I put together for them on the basis that their home page functions very much as a digital newspaper. These KPIs are intended to provide an indicative view of quality in addition to drawing attention to quick wins and improvement opportunities. Importantly, as an intranet evolves into a more collaborative, digital workspace KPIs such as these would need to evolve quite dramatically.

The Six KPIs:

Theme Essential Question Metric Target Comments
Readership Did a critical mass of employees read the article? Unique visitor click-through rates from home page to full story as a percent of ‘plugged’ employee population Stage I: 80%

Stage II: 90%

The ‘plugged’ population is the employee group that has Intranet access.
Readability Is the article readable? Flesch reading index Reader’s Digest FRI ~ 65 FRI.

Time magazine scores ~ 52 FRI.

See Flesch-Kincaid readability test on Wikipedia.

DWG members can download “Writing for intranets: how readable is your content?”briefing paper

Engagement Did the article illicit discussion and debate amongst employees? % of readers who commented on an article Stage I: 0.5% of readership

Stage II: 1% of readership

This is the obvious stat, but often the most discouraging as you continue to write posts with few or no commenters willing to interact with you. It’s ok.

You must work to get these comments in, but that should not prevent you from tracking the number of comments over time.

YCapture some compelling verbatim quotes in an annexe for ready reference during executive briefings on intranet KPIs.

Satisfaction Detail:

How did employees rate the article?


Were employees both satisfied and engaged?


Average user rating


Weighted average of rating and # comments


Stage I, target a grade = B or better (4 of 5)

Stage II: Target a grade = A (4.5 of 5)

Assumes a five-star rating scheme.
Relevancy Did the content address the WIIFM from the employee perspective?

(WIIFM = What’s in it for me?)

Qualitative assessment by editor in chief as to whether it what employees were supposed to think, feel, see and do as a result of reading the article Stage I:

Stage II:

Rating scale (e.g., 1 = Unsatisfactory, 2 = Below standard, 3 = Satisfactory for publication, 4 = Accomplished.)

For more insight into WIIFM messaging, DWG members can download the ‘Managing the news on the intranet’ briefing paper.

Bouncing Did employees bounce off the article page right away? The percentage of visitors who stay on the site for a small amount of time (usually five seconds or less) < 10% Although we have been trained to become scanners, five seconds is a reasonable indication that people are ‘bouncing’ into and off of an article page without giving the content much attention.

Implementing the KPIs:

  • Define the scope: Isolate the top 10 news articles (and/or videos) of the month as prioritized by the editor in chief. Articles should be selected on the basis that they were intended to be the 10 must-read articles of the month.
  • Document the rationale for selecting each of the 10 articles (and/or or videos) of the month, so they are defensible if questioned by your intranet sponsors.
  • Compile the detailed scores above for each of the 10 articles and present average scores via an executive dashboard. A dashboard such as this should drive editorial strategy for the intranet. The dashboard could also show the spread (best and worst) and proximity to target. You can also show trends over time to illustrate progress or raise red flags for discussion. Be sure to include an executive story that highlights wins, key learnings, decision-points and actions.

Related Reads:

Since my exchanges with this DWG member, I’ve come across two very topical articles. The links follow below. Happy reading! Be sure to come back to this post to share comments and reactions.

  • Evaluate Editorial Impact Using Google Analytics by Lars Johansson of Website Magazine. This article features six meaty KPIs to measure and analyze to make sure your website’s content is meeting your business objectives.
  • Why news goes unread by kilobox communiqué. This blog post contemplates the secret, number two, insidious reason that people don’t use your intranet or read any of your news is that they are not allowed to. Ouch!

Share Your Experiences:

  • If you have tried any of the above KPIs, let us know what has/hasn’t worked and why.
  • What other KPIs and metrics do you look at regularly, and why, to gauge the impact of your intranet news (or videos)?
  • What are some key editorial decisions that have been informed by your intranet measurement programme?

About the author

Nancy Goebel - DWG's Managing Director for Member & Benchmarking ServicesNancy Goebel is DWG’s Managing Director for Member Services. In addition to heading up service delivery, she is responsible for member engagement, retention and growth. Nancy also sits on DWG’s Board of Directors.

Prior to joining the Digital Workplace Group, Nancy was an accomplished executive at JPMorgan Chase where she built and led a global team in designing and implementing an award-winning intranet. She also led digital enablement and business re-engineering initiatives.

Outside of work, Nancy is a wine maker, fundraiser, reiki practitioner and meditator.

Connect with Nancy on Twitter: @nancyatdwg or on LinkedIn.


  1. Great. I’ve been thinking about KPIs for the overall intranet, but perhaps I should start, or include, these news page KPIs. I have more control over front page news articles after all. Thank you for sharing (and linking to me).

  2. Wedge:
    I am a big believer of the ‘start small and build’ approach to things. This ensures that you build confidence, momentum and targeted impact.
    Do come back and comment on the discussion questions!
    PS – Happy to link to your latest blog post. It was such a timely and thought-provoking read. Keep ’em coming!

  3. These KPIs are applicable to ANY content. Whether someone is creating intranet, blog posts, presentations, eBooks, or audio podcasts and vidcasts. If the reader and the author don’t connect, there’s zero value. Well done.

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