Archive for April, 2012

Give into the Pressure. Introducing Peer Stats & Notable Pages

April 29th, 2012 by Doug

We hate to break it to you, but you’re not in a monogamous relationship. Your audience has been seeing other sites. While your site is amazing at some stuff, it probably needs some TLC in other areas. But which ones? Is your audience ending up with your competitors because their search results are amazing while loving you because you’re killer at social? It’s time you knew how you stack up against sites like you. As part of the Chartbeat network, you’re one of thousands of sites we monitor every day.

Peer Stats

We’ve anonymized (so no one knows your site is compared to theirs and you won’t know exactly who is in your Peer Group either) and aggregated our network of data, filtered it through some intense algorithms and will now be delivering it in context for you in a new feature called Peer Stats.

Peer Stats let you see information about sites that are similar to yours. What does similar mean, you ask? Great question. Right now it’s based on a bunch of stuff like your daily traffic pattern, size of your site, and your industry. This last part we need your help with. The first time you log into your dashboard, we’ll give you a quick survey asking you what kind of site you have, so we can make sure you’re matched up with the right competitors.

Big sites are different from small sites, and your tech blog is different from that guy’s Tumblr with pictures of dogs standing on things. You treat yourselves differently, and so do we.

Notable Pages

In fact, because we know your site is different from all the others, we’ve also given you new ways to learn about your own content. Until now you’ve seen top pages content - only those pages with the most traffic. Now, we’re introducing Notable Pages, which highlight the most interesting aspects of your site, regardless of the amount of traffic they’re receiving. Say you have a page that’s suddenly getting 99% of all traffic from Social sources. Whoa. Huge. Important to know why that’s the case when the rest of your site is averaging around 20% of its traffic from Social, right? Maybe you can learn from this page and apply those insights across your site immediately. Or there’s a page that’s suddenly surging with new user visits vs. the returning users that it normally gets. You should probably create some new content or related links or the like to make sure you treat these new users carefully to convert them into loyal members. Notable Pages and Peer Stats give you a bit more context to the story of your site. They give you an instant answer to how your site’s doing today. Remember, our Chartcorps team is hosting a weekly virtual workshop for you to get the full rundown of all the new dashboard can do. Sign up!

Chartbeat Is Engaged! Introducing Engaged Time

April 24th, 2012 by Doug

Engagement: That elusive beast.

Everyone wants it, no one knows just how to pin it down. So we’ve all been stuck with our second choice, the back up, plan B -- the page view. Ick. Who cares that people are loading your page? We need to know how they’re interacting - with what and for how long. As we’ve already ranted and raged about back in January, that’s the only real measure of great content. Well, it’s your lucky day/week/forever, friend. We’ve wooed engagement out of her secret hiding place and pinned her down for all to use. So let’s show off your newest metric Engaged Time:

Engaged Time is dissected in a few ways:

  1. Total amount of time your visitors are have spent actively browsing your site – in human terms: days, weeks, months or years. Not billions of absolutes because, well, what the hell would you do with those massive numbers?

Think about it this way: Total Engaged Time is how long you’ve had your users’ undivided attention today. If 2,000 people have been interacting with your site for an hour each today, that means you’ve had about three months of attention on your site in one day. Three months is how long it takes Mercury to orbit the Sun. Your site engagement being that long is pretty nuts.

Oh, also, since today is Monday, we also let you compare today’s total to Monday last week, the week before, and so on for the past month. You can gauge how your site is doing and see if your sparkly new content is making the difference you’re hoping it does. It shows if you’ve had a good day compared to your usual days.

  1. Average amount of time your visitors are spending on each page.  There’s more to understanding a page than just seeing how many people are there – let average engaged minutes help you understand how much they really like it – like, this very second.
Oh, and there’s more! Check out the Content View in your dashboard. See that list of pages? Below each one, you’ll see how many visitors are on that page (like you always could), but now zero in on that nifty little click icon on the right.

That’s the average engaged time for that page – and you can compare and contrast to see which of your pages are doing well at keeping people’s attention. See a page that’s getting a ton of engagement? Click on that.

This is your Page View that has detailed information on its traffic and engagement. Right under your usual traffic timeline, you get a timeline of average engagement over the course of the day. And that number on the right? That's the total amount of engaged time it's gotten today.

Now do something about it

You know what everything is, so let’s talk about how you should put it into action. Picture a page on your site with particularly low traffic. It happens to all of us. But then you notice that this page has ridiculously high engagement compared to your other pages. People are into this page, way into this page. The people who come to it aren’t just bouncing off, but actually sticking around to check out the content you’ve crafted.

A page with high engagement but low traffic

You made this, so give yourself a pat on the back. But then get back to work. You need to make sure other people see this page too, so send it to everyone you know: put it on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure people notice it on your homepage. Figure out what it is about this page that’s keeping people engaged and apply that genius to the rest of the content. Oh, but you work isn’t done with that one page. Not when you notice something about another one of your pages - that one that you’ve known to have a ton of traffic, so you generally left it alone.

The flip side: high traffic with low engagement

But, now that you have Engaged Time, you see it has really low engagement. So, there’s something about it that’s drawing people in – maybe a good title, an interesting topic, or you got lucky with a link from Reddit. But the low engagement stats are showing you that it just isn’t keeping people’s attention. Is it the writing? Do you need to spice it up? If your traffic is coming from a link, do you need something that’s more interesting to visitors from that other site? The possibilities to awesome-up your pages are endless. In fact, our Chartcorps team is hosting a weekly virtual workshop for you to get the full rundown of all the new dashboard can do. Sign up! How are you hoping to/already using Engaged Time as the ultimate kick-ass metric?

Chartbeat: The Next Generation

April 11th, 2012 by Tony

Three years ago this month, Chartbeat launched at the web 2.0 summit. Today Chartbeat is beating under the hood of sites across 37 countries and takes the pulse of around 5 million visitors across the web at any one moment. Fantastic clients like ESPN, Fox News, The New York Times, Forbes, Fab.com, and Gilt Groupe have partnered with us and helped us to understand the contours of this new world of data. Today, I’m excited to announce the next chapter in Chartbeat’s history: a new round of funding, new look, new dashboard, and a whole bunch of new features. That’s a lot to get through, but I promise to be brief.

Chartbeat: Next Generation from Chartbeat Video on Vimeo.

A New Round and A New Partner

We’ve just closed a $9.5m Series B round of funding led by Josh Stein at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Saul Klein at Index Ventures, and they're joined by some of our favorite Angel investors. Saul has been a constant friend and guide over the last three years and helped us take the time to find the right partner that will continuously help us push Chartbeat and the real-time revolution forward. We found that partner in Josh Stein. Josh took the time to get to know us over the course of a year, has incredible experience of building great SaaS companies like Box and SugarCRM. Most importantly, Josh just plain got it. Thanks Saul, thanks Josh, we’re going to make you proud.

A New Look

The first thing you’ll notice when you hit Chartbeat.com today is a very different look. We’re growing up. And growing up means making sure we’re as good looking on the outside as our dashboards are on the inside. We’re also making things simpler. Newsbeat has become Chartbeat Publishing: the command center for all serious publishers of media and content.

A New Dashboard

We’re also rolling out a brand new dashboard with advanced functionality to all Chartbeat users over the next few days. When you get your hands on it, you’ll see a few key elements that we’ve focused on:

1. Real engagement

Common understandings of engagement have always relied upon explicit actions (a like or a share) taken by a few people or traditionally inaccurate guesstimetrics like “time-on-site.” At Chartbeat, we wanted to accurately understand how engaged each person who visits your site is, not just the people who hit the like button.

So we built Engaged Time. Window open in another tab? Doesn’t count. The visitor isn’t actively viewing, reading, commenting on the page? Doesn’t count. With Chartbeat’s unique way of measuring, Engaged Time counts the amount of time someone spends actively interacting with your site and enables you to see your site from a completely different perspective.

For the very first time, you can finally go beyond eyeballs and clicks and understand which content is making an impact, what’s engaging people’s heads and hearts.

2. Data in context

When you’re looking at your data - whether Chartbeat or otherwise - I bet the first question you ask yourself is “Is this good?”. You generally know if you’re doing well compared to yourself, but what about your competitors -- those that are fighting for the same eyes and hearts that you are?

We’re introducing Peer Stats, which does just that.

Now, you can see your data, put in context with the anonymized, aggregated stats of your sites like yours all in real time.

Are we getting as much social traffic as we should? Is our page load speed fast enough? For the first time you’ll have a frame to understand your performance in the context of the wider web, so you know where to focus and when to celebrate.

3. Your data wherever you are

When something important happens, you want to know about it -- whether it’s on your site, your iPhone or iPad app or across the social web. So why should you only see real-time stats of who’s on your site? You shouldn’t.

Chartbeat is going beyond the site. From now on you’ll be able to get real-time data from your iPhone or iPad app as well as your site. This feature is currently in beta so we’re going to need your feedback, but we’re super excited about it.

We’ve also launched a new Social View that brings the social data you need into one dashboard. You’ll get loads of insight into not just who’s talking about you where, but how that’s affecting your site traffic.

We hope you like all the new things we’ve been working on. The only thing we ask of you in return is your feedback. Let us know what you think about your new dashboard as you’re rolled into it over the next few days. We can’t thank you enough for the love and support thus far. We’re excited to get to work and take this thing to an even higher level.