SMM 101: What You Need to Know About Facebook Page Insights

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SMM 101: What You Need to Know About Facebook Page Insights

This post is about all the information that can be found in Facebook Page Insights, and what most of our visitors should look into first. Ultimately, it all depends on the kind of website you have, of course.

Why You Should Check Your Facebook Stats

During a local networking event I recently attended, someone asked me what Facebook does for your sites rankings. Good question, especially since Facebook blocks a large number of posts from Google— though public posts are indexed by Google.

Google does notice the number of links coming from Facebook to your website. When people talk about you on social media, you and/or your pages are seen as important for a certain topic. If a page gets a lot of links to it, even from pages Google can’t read, Google can read that the page visited your website and rank you for the subject of that page. There are more factors that should be taken into account, but this is the short version. Add that to the fact that Facebook search is getting better and better, as Joost explained a few weeks back, and you’ll have enough reasons to dig a little deeper in your Facebook reach and engagement. Facebook Page Insights helps you do this.


  • Get 30 likes: You won’t be able to access Facebook Page Insights if your page has less than 30 likes. An easy way to increase this for new pages is to buy promotion from Facebook. But usually, 30 likes is something that can be achieved quite fast by just asking people to like your page. A couple of hours after getting that 30th like, Facebook Page Insights will be available at the top of your Facebook Page.
  • Historic data: Please note that Facebook stores information about your visitors for 180 days. If you want to keep track of historic data, be sure to export it now and then via the export function in the main Insights menu at the top of your stats.
  • Time zone: Pacific Time Zone is used to calculate the data for Page Insights, so be sure to translate times to your own timezone if needed. I use Google for that.

Facebook Page Insights

I’d suggest opening it in a second tab or browser window, so you can check all the things mentioned below for your own page. 

Facebook Page Insights provides you with loads of information about your visitors. The convenient thing with Facebook is that we voluntarily enter all kinds of details about ourselves, knowing Facebook will use this to target ads, among other things. This information is pretty valuable for you as a Facebook Page owner as well. Facebook Page Insights will tell you, for instance, which posts had the most engagement from your fans and what times your audience is on Facebook.

Page Insights Dashboard

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

When you click Insights at the top of your Facebook Page, you’ll see something similar. It was a bad week for us, or so it seems. You should always keep in mind that this is just one week, compared to the week before. We launched Yoast Academy’s Basic SEO Training on the 12th, so it makes sense that the week after that would have a little less reach or engagement.

Below the dashboard there is a nice overview of your last five posts. I’m a sucker for trends, not incidents, and that is why I hardly use this overview, but if you are in the middle of a campaign, this will provide quick information:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

This is a nice, clean overview. It tells you:

  • the post type (e.g. video, link or image);
  • if you are targeting a specific audience;
  • the post reach;
  • the engagement (clicks, likes).

As with Twitter Analytics, I think the good stuff can be found on deeper levels in Facebook Page Insights. So let’s go to the first section: Likes!


The Totals graph is interesting, as it will tell you if your fan base has grown or not. Facebook Page Insights tells you about the likes you’ve gained, but also about the likes you lost. That can be due to people not liking your page anymore, or Facebook cleaning up their database. Facebook requires members to be human, that is why we always recommend creating a Page for your business, not a Profile (personal). Facebook is pretty strict about this.

It will also tell you the number of paid likes you received. I do recommend using Facebook ads/promoted posts. It works. It’s as simple as that. As Facebook knows a lot about us all, Facebook ads can be pinpointed right into your target audience and be adjusted per promotion. It will not only help you grow your likes, but it will also increase your reach for future posts!

Following the Total graphs, Facebook also tells you where your likes come from. On a per-day basis, you can tell what number of likes came from:

  • ads,
  • page suggestions (the People also like section),
  • on your page,
  • direct page likes themselves.

Clicking a certain day in the graph will give you a nice pop-up with numbers, as well. And a lot can be filtered by clicking the legend next to the graph, or by adjusting the date range at the top of the page.


In the reach section, we find similar graphs and numbers. Where likes is about the click itself, reach is about the number of people that might have seen your post. Might have—as in opening a page with your post below the fold and no scroll action—still seems to count as a view.

The section is about post reach and engagement and there is one extra interesting graph: an overview of Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes actions. Why is that interesting? Because it can tell you what post triggered people to ‘move’ away from your page. Let me show you an example:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

We boosted our Basic SEO training post and that triggered a lot of impressions and engagement. It also caused an increase in the number of posts that were hidden from timelines:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

Makes sense, right? If you post once per day, this will give you a nice overview of what type of posts to avoid or adjust to your audience. If your promoted post gets hidden, that doesn’t matter as much as a sudden increase in ‘dislikes’, of course.


The Visits section will tell you what tabs on your Page have been visited the most. That can be your timeline, the info tab or the videos tab, for instance. Most of the time it’s your timeline, but it’s nice (thought probably not more than that) to see that other tabs are visited as well. Make sure there is sufficient content or information on these tabs for just that reason.

The second graph in this section could be more interesting to you. It tells you the referrals to your Facebook Page. For us, that graph just shows that most of our Facebook visitors are coming from our website. Nice to know. It becomes interesting when other websites besides your own and Google start to surface in this graph. Monitor it from time to time. This is data you won’t find in Google Analytics.


This is my favorite section, to be honest. The post section is about your content. Not just about what content, by the way. It starts with a nice overview of visits per hour:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

Remember what I said about timezones; this is Pacific Time. For us, that means posting on Facebook around 2PM would be smack in the middle of our peak hour.

Of course, this page will also give you valuable numbers on impressions per post and engagement per post. Use this to analyze what type of posts work best for your company:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

Video posts, like our weekly recaps, get roughly 2.5 times the clicks of link posts, with only twice the reach. That’s interesting and the reason we focus a lot more on video now.

Facebook Page Insights provides some more insights on that, by the way. If you go to Insights › Posts › All posts published › [click the video post you want to check] › Post details › Video, you’ll find this:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

How many times have you started a video in your timeline, for instance on your phone, just because you were trying to scroll? Remember to take that into account when checking these stats.


There is one tab remaining: People. Facebook shows you some stats here about gender and age of three groups of people:

  1. Your fans
  2. People Reached
  3. People Engaged

It’s a nice overview:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

This could lead to the conclusion that it would be alright to use more popular language or tone on Facebook, for instance. The majority of our likes come from men who are 18-34 years old (70%). However, the second tab tells a different story:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

The main group here is Men, 18-44 yo, and a number of women as well. FYI, the third group of people that actually engaged roughly aligns with this second graph. It shows you should really check all stats before jumping to a conclusion.

Next to age and gender, this section also shows country, city, and language. Keep in mind that age and gender are found in our personal profiles, but country and city are derived from our IP addresses (and might not be 100% accurate). Language is based upon the language settings you use for Facebook. Mine are set to English, but I’m actually Dutch. Check your settings here.

Final Thought: 100 Likes

In this post, I tried to go over all the things Facebook Page Insights can tell you. There is one more thing: competitor information. If your Facebook Page reaches 100 likes, you will be able to add competitor pages to your Facebook Page Insights as well:

Facebook Page Insights Explained | Search Engine Journal

You can see details on their top posts and things like number of likes and posts in that week. It’s always interesting keep in mind what works for your competitors.


This post originally appeared on Yoast, and is re-published with permission.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by the Yoast team
All screenshots by Michiel Heijmans. Taken November 2015.

Michiel Heijmans

Michiel Heijmans

Michiel is a senior online marketing consultant at Yoast. He was one of the first bloggers in the Netherlands and ... [Read full bio]