We’ve witnessed incredible changes in the publishing industry over the past few years. As real time has changed the landscape of journalism, it’s touched every aspect of the business. By bringing actionable data front and center, we’ve seen front-line editorial teams make on-the-fly decisions, dramatically redesign products, and even totally reorganize the way their physical environments are set up. Likewise, we’re continuing to see exciting developments in online advertising, too, with the advent of new, outside-the-box ad experiences. The jobs of folks in publishing are evolving, so are their tools, and so is the whole business of online media – from the introduction of mainstream native advertising to video and mobile taking center stage.
We’re finally starting to see high-quality content get the attention (and opportunities to monetize it) it deserves. That’s the very heart of journalism, and that’s been our number-one goal at Chartbeat since… well, forever. When you stop chasing after indiscriminate traffic in the hopes of hitting a page view quota, and you reorient yourself around the goal of growing your loyal audience, everything changes. You’re no longer the dog behind the ice cream truck – you’re now the alpha leading the pack. Focusing on loyalty means that for the first time, goals become aligned across an entire organization. Everything falls in line when you write or produce quality content that drives your audience to return, and when you design audience-friendly products that result in opportunities for monetization – because advertisers want your defined, loyal audience, too. This all underscores the importance of understanding qualitatively how you’re looking at your metrics.
Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce the next evolution of Chartbeat Publishing for Editorial. Nine months ago, we set out to overhaul the entire platform, to rebuild it from the ground up, backend, frontend, the whole deal. And we did – beyond even our own expectations.
The new Chartbeat Publishing bets on that major shift – away from clickbait and chasing indiscriminate traffic and now toward developing a loyal audience. It connects the dots, between quality journalism and a loyal audience: an audience you can monetize.
So, how does the new Chartbeat Publishing help you ?
Understand how visitors are moving through your site
If you’re already familiar with Chartbeat Publishing, you know the number of Concurrents on your website – a real-time tally of your visitors right now – is a great indicator of your current performance. You also know Engaged Time is one of the best barometers for quality, and for visitors’ propensity to return. Our data science team has been hard at work analyzing the metrics that contribute to audience growth, and we’re ready to introduce a new signature metric: Recirculation, the measure of your audience that’s moving from one article to another within a single visit.
Get a better breakdown of your audience
In the past, we all looked at audience quality has been binary – visitors were either new or returning. But we found that binary segmentation wasn’t actionable enough if you’re setting out to build a returning and loyal audience. In the new Chartbeat Publishing, we’ve expanded upon this concept with three simple categories: new, returning, and loyal. This breakdown is based on the frequency of visits by your audience. We show you how each segment is performing in real time, and we compare that performance to benchmarks from the past month. Pivoting on each segment individually let’s you narrow your attention, and from there, you can filter down even further by almost any other dashboard attribute.
Rely on quick signals, clues and tips
Every site has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to audience development. Some need to focus on bringing in new visitors, and others just need to better understand what their core audience is consuming to inform editorial decisions. We’ve sprinkled a little contextual magic throughout the product just for this purpose. You’ll notice different elements turning red if you’re in dangerous territory (or green if you’re really cruising), and the tooltips will help you know what to do. Within top pages, opportunities are called out when content is either helping to acquire new visitors or retain visitors, i.e. hold their attention. We’ll even tell you when a high percentage of video consumption is occurring on a particular page.
Target your top referrers
As Josh Schwartz, our lead data scientist, notes in one of his latest blog posts, external referrers provide the greatest volume of new visitors to websites. But they also provide the greatest challenge in terms of generating actual engagement. Chartbeat Publishing has a new lens through which you can look at your referrers. It’s based on “conversion quality,” and it shows you which referrers have the highest propensity to drive true audience growth. Even better, new tooltips will explain just why. This view is one of the most successful if you want to focus your attention on the visitors who are most likely to return again and again.
With audiences consuming content in dramatically different ways, we knew it was important to allow you to discover completely new patterns, too. With this, we developed a totally new technology platform to allow for multi-segmentation. For example, you can now pivot on the mobile audience from Washington D.C who are consuming content through social channels — all in real time. Additionally, we’re surfacing the specific tweets from your audience that are driving traffic to your site, so you can focus your outreach strategy and know who to engage with.
Journalism is too advanced, too full of smart people, to start every day at zero – to wrangle new traffic every day, to look for any warm body to fill a seat. We’re here to help you focus on the right audience – an audience who knows who you are, likes what you do, and keeps coming back for more.