“Oh snap, this article has ridiculously high Recirculation, what’s the best thing we can do with this in real time?” This is a question we’re hearing more and more from editorial teams since our release of the Recirculation feature as part of our Chartbeat Publishing revamp back in December. It’s also a question that brings attention to a great use case, with positive results.
Recirculation is the percentage of your audience that’s clicking from one article page and then moving to any other page within a single visit. It measures how well your traffic is flowing, and it gauges stickiness—your ability to keep visitors lingering on your website.
The first aspect that you need to recognize with an article generating high Recirculation, is that it is a traffic driver that encourages a “path of least resistance” for those who come to your site, allowing them to dig into more content. More content means more time spent perusing your website, and more Engaged Time means a more loyal audience. This is the “big picture” idea, so let’s explore your first strong step toward loyalty, using Recirculation.
A charming article with high Recirculation—say, with a rate north of 30%—opens doors for your website, but only as long as people are reaching it to begin with. So the real-time action here is to promote this article as much as possible. (Naturally, this drives more visitors from this particular article to your other pages.) More important, look to promote it via side-door traffic sources, through social media, linking partners, or search engines via SEO tactics.
The reason I say this is that these are the primary referral sources for new visitors, and these types of readers are the hardest to draw deeper into your website. So now’s the chance to put your best foot forward. The other reason I like to focus here is because we’ve seen that new visitors with three minutes of Engaged Time are twice as likely to return next week than those with one minute of Engaged Time. In this case, you’re putting your site in the best position to drive that number up, by sending visitors deeper and increasing their exposure.
So what’s the long-term action here? Beyond the quality of the initial article itself, learn what’s working with your packaging and article structure, too, and repeat it. What was it about the second article that caused people to click into them from the first? Where were the links located on the first article the reader was on (in a widget, embedded in the sidebar)? How did you choose the links you embedded to get users to journey deeper? These are all things to think about on your road to higher Recirculation, and eventually, a more loyal audience.
One extra note: I embedded a couple links in this post. Did you notice how these links open in new windows to more interesting content on our blog? Recirculatin’ while dropping facts about recirculatin’…