PostRank just launched a new analytics tool that promises to give publishers a better way to track the social engagement around their content across the web. To do so, PostRank Analytics, which costs $9 per month after a free 30-day trial, combines engagement metrics its already collects from social networks with traditional analytics data from Google Analytics. Given that the majority of engagement around a blog post now happens off-site and within an hour after a post goes up, PostRank's ability to give users a real-time view of how a story is being shared on multiple social networks can be quite useful.
Setup is pretty easy - the only slightly annoying part of the registration process is that you do have to provide PostRank with a credit card to sign up for the 30-day trial. After this, you simply grant PostRank permission to access your Google Analytics account and you are good to go.
On its overview page, PostRank will display standard metrics like total page views, a PostRank engagement score and, optionally, the number of Twitter followers you have. PostRank Analytics also offers a wide range of additional features, ranging from daily 'Concierge' emails with a summary of your blog's engagement activity to very detailed reports about specific posts.
The most interesting data can be found under the 'analyze' tab. Here, you can see a mashed-up view of all the posts on your blog and drill down to specific metrics for every post. PostRank aggregates data from all the major social networks and sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook, delicious, Reddit, and digg. In addition, it also uses BackType to track conversations around posts and displays traditional metrics like number of unique visitors and bounce rates from Google Analytics.
Most of the info in PostRank Analytics can obviously be found for free on the Internet already, but getting an aggregate view of all of this data definitely gives you a new way to track engagement around your blog posts. PostRank Analytics is obviously not an enterprise-class social media tracking service like Radian6 or Sysyomos' MAP and Heartbeat, but for $9 a month, it provides a lot of value to publishers who are looking for a convenient way to track engagement around their posts across a multitude of services.