Social sharing test

What is it?

Checks the amount of social interest that pages within the website have, i.e. how often pages within this website have been shared, or reacted to socially.

Currently this test is only able to measure social interest from Facebook. It is equivalent to the count shown by this button, if it were displayed on an individual webpage:

Social interest should not be confused with the behavior of a Facebook page, which is measured separately.

Why it matters

  • Social is a crucial channel for attracting traffic, in some cases, the primary channel
  • Social interest signals value to search engines, thereby contributing towards search engine ranking
  • High social interest suggests value; it is a form of social proof for visitors that itself attracts further sharing
  • Low social interest suggests low value. Would you read a blog article with 2 shares?

What is a share?

Insites asks Facebook for the number of reactions to every page within a website. This includes:

  • Shares of this page on a timeline
  • Comments on these shares
  • Reactions (likes, loves, angry etc) to these shares
  • Private messages linking to this page

Note that this test is unable to see who shared what, but measures the total count of these events over time.

How to use it

This test displays the most shared pages from the website in a table:

For each page, you can see:

  • Total shares – the number of times this page has been shared
  • Shares last week – the number of new shared obtained during the past week. This data is extrapolated from whatever tests Insites has – if a website is tested weekly it will be perfectly accurate, otherwise it will approximate these figures from the most recent tests.
  • Trend – a very small graph of recent shares, designed to show the trend in shares. From this it is easy to see if a page has had an unusual recent upturn in shares.

Limitations

This test is only able to track shares over time if it has been run repeatedly. The “shares last week”, for example, is extrapolated from whatever data is available. If a website is tested monthly, it will infer what it can from that data.

A previous version of this test measured shares on Twitter. Unfortunately Twitter have since ceased counting these, and there is no longer any way to obtain this information reliably.