How to boost traffic to your intranet

Here at Intranetizen, we’ve talked about the need to measure the impact and performance of your intranet.  While success isn’t measured by page visitors, its hard to meet any of your goals if nobody come to the intranet in the first place.

In this special guest post for Intranetizen, William Amurgis – former director of internal communications at American Electric Power – sets out how you can boost traffic to your intranet by focussing on access, relevance and timeliness.

Many intranet managers follow a standard morning routine: reviewing the server logs from the day before to determine overall traffic, to identify the most popular pages, to monitor search terms, and to spot spikes and dips.

You can often glean important information from traffic analysis — assuming we are also willing to follow up on the analysis and take action to make improvements.

Some intranet managers even set goals to reach particular visitation or participation thresholds.

I’ve never considered visitation or participation rates to be primary goals for an intranet. I tend to focus on productivity enhancement, message reinforcement, and other goals that tie more directly to the organization’s overall strategies and values.

However, if you wish to boost traffic to your intranet, concentrate on three things:

  1. Access. Make your intranet easy to access, from a variety of work and home devices, including mobile smartphones. Simplify the login process, if any, and ensure that performance — the time it takes for a page to load — is snappy even from remote locations.
  2. Timeliness. Make your intranet a must-see, daily destination by offering fresh, timely information and, wherever possible, real-time performance indicators (tied to business goals or — better yet — bonus plans) and status updates. Every aspect of our intranet’s front page changes at least once a day, driving repeat traffic.
  3. Relevance. Also, ensure that the information and applications you provide are relevant to your organization, and consistent with your organization’s strategies and values. Monitor and observe your employees to better understand their needs, and then deliver related services. Pay close attention to hot topics, and address them.

Allow me to illustrate with a brief story.

I was initially surprised, years ago, when I began to see comments on our interactive intranet from field employees. These people work out of their trucks all day, and don’t necessarily require intranet access to do their jobs.

When I inquired, some field employees told me that they would access the intranet over lunch or during breaks, using the computers installed in their trucks to obtain work orders. Others explained that they would access the intranet from their homes, or from mobile smartphones.

To them, tuning into the intranet and participating in online discussions would occur not because they were forced to do so, but because they wanted to do so — just as long as we offered something relevant and valuable to them.

So, if your goal is to increase employee visitation and participation rates, focus on improving access, timeliness, and relevance.

Frankly, I respect the decision of any employee who chooses to avoid the intranet or elects not to participate in online dialogue. The burden is always on us, on the intranet team, to understand our people, to inspire them, to inform them, to involve them, and to offer them value.

Anything less is simply not worth visiting.


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  1. Regan Sonnabend

    Great insight as always, William! The anecdote about the field staff was a perfect case in point. Did you notice a trend in what type of content the field staff was commenting on?

  2. William Amurgis

    Hello again, Regan! Unfortunately, I do not recall the specific content that attracted field staff interaction as described in my example. However, I can respond in general terms by listing the three main types of content that inspire the most interaction by staff (field or office): (1) opportunities to express appreciation for the accomplishments of a co-worker; (2) discussion about the validity or practicality of a new policy or procedure; and (3) deeper analysis, with employees posing and answering questions, about an industry trend or disruption. To me, all three types offer great value to the organization.

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