ClickHelp Technical Writing Blog
Stories for technical writers, web developers and web designers willing to grow

Metrics in Technical Writing (Part 2)

Posted by
Anastasia in Education on 11/28/20184 min read

Woman holding a smartphone

Technical writing requires tools for measurement and analysis like any other work process. Although, it is quite difficult to decide what metrics to use considering specifics of this field.

We began discussing this topic a while ago and figured out the main aims of using metrics - you can either measure a documentation team’s productivity or the quality of your final product. Feel free to refer to this post for details: Metrics in Technical Writing.

Today, we are going to look into the second aspect - how to assess quality of the final output with Google Analytics, one of the most powerful tools out there. And, more importantly, what to do with the retrieved data.

Using Google Analytics for Online Documentation

PC showing analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool by Google that offers an impressive amount of settings and options to get all the essential metrics a website owner would ask for. The same way it will work for an online documentation portal.

What metrics can potentially interest a technical writer? First and foremost - the amount of views per page. This is how you can see what questions bother your users the most. Or, e.g. you can check how much time a person spends on a page on average. Let’s talk about these metrics and their interpretations in detail. We advise using this information when making changes to your documentation plan.

  • Allocate more resources to work with the most viewed help topics. This should be your primary concern.
  • Find areas of expansion for your documentation project. You might want to add new topics and get into more detail about the functionality that users find more interesting or challenging.
  • Combine Google Analytics with other approaches. For example, adding the feature of rating or commenting topics can help you get the right idea about what should be done with a topic. Your red flags are high views and low rating/negative comments. Re-work these topics first.
  • Help topics with just a few views can be put on hold for now in terms of upgrade and revision.
  • Pay attention to the time users spend reading your topics. If you notice that user stay on some topic pages for too long, look into them when you have time - these topics might be too complicated and require restructuring or adding more visuals for easier understanding.
  • With Google Analytics, you can track how users get to various pages and make the corresponding changes in topics navigation to direct users.
  • Identifying the target audience has always been important in technical writing. With modern UX trends, this is becoming even more significant. Google Analytics can help with that - you can learn the geolocation, age, interests of your readers.
  • Tracking bounce rate can, again, point to certain topics that require special attention. Consider this - a topic has high bounce rate and a lot of views. This is a direct sign that something is off. Most probably, people expect to see something different in this topic.
  • For those of you who have paid traffic campaigns, checking traffic sources is also important. This data can tell you a lot about your campaign’s efficiency.
  • You can use Google Analytics as your A/B testing platform. Technical documentation intersects with UX in many ways now, so A/B testing is gaining popularity among tech writers.

With that said, you can see that the free version of Google Analytics offers a lot, and we only mentioned the most obvious ways to measure your online user manuals’ quality. Once you get your hands on this app, play around with it, try different things - you might get a lot of use out of it.

ClickHelp online documentation tool was created with all these potential bonuses in mind, so we added Google Analytics integration, and configuring it is just a breeze! Three clicks, and you can start working with this freemium web analytics service.

Conclusion

You can’t really improve anything without thorough analysis. Luckily, such free tools like Google Analytics can provide you with a lot of metrics that can be used to improve your technical documentation. Don’t expect to see some immediate results from using the metrics, though. It will require time for you to try out different metrics, see which are working for you, adjust them. The best result will be increased customer satisfaction that means you have done your work right.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

HTML Templates for User Manuals
Download Free Templates

Want to become a better professional?

Get monthly digest on technical writing, UX and web design, overviews of useful free resources and much more.
Like this post? Share it with others:
×

Mind if we email you once a month?

Professionals never stop learning. Join thousands of experts subscribed to our blog to get tips, ideas and stories from us once per month.
Learn more on ClickHelp
×
By using this site, you agree to our Security Policy and Terms of Use.     Learn more