Archive for June, 2016

You’re the real-time maven. Your queue is faster, your backlog is always changing, and you’re constantly adapting moment to moment. But you aren’t just changing things on a whim – by monitoring the Chartbeat Editorial Dashboard, you can make informed decisions to boost social performance.

For instance:

 

Can performance in one region help you adjust strategies for another?

By digging into “Location” on your Dashboard, you may notice hourly trends by reader location. If a story did well with your US social audience in the morning, try a similar promotion strategy when it’s evening for your UK and Europe audiences.

 

Are readers from certain referral sources more loyal than from others?

The Dashboard breaks down readership by “Traffic Sources” and “Visitor Frequency.” Pivoting on both of these criteria is a great way to craft your strategy for converting social visitors. For example, you might find that much of your Facebook audience is loyal, in which case you could promote on other channels to capture new readership.

 

Are there any opportunities for me to create native content?

See what content is accruing organic traffic and recraft it for promotion across all sorts of social platforms. Are there any opportunities to push content further by creating native content for specific channels? Social consumers have more than one social media account and will likely engage with your content across many of them.

 

Are social visitors actually reading what they’re clicking on?

Have a lot of articles where shares and likes are high, but engagement doesn’t seem to be lining up? Use the Scroll Depth Indicator on Chartbeat Heads Up Display, a screen overlay that displays real-time visitor data on top of home, section, or article pages, to find where readers are dropping off within these articles, and place inline links to keep readers reading.

By turning to the social-focused sections of the Editorial Dashboard, such as “Traffic Sources” and “Tweets by Traffic,” social media managers can use the Dashboard to inform their real-time decision-making. By zeroing in on specific audiences — whether pivoting in on Twitter visitors from the UK or loyal visitors from Reddit — you can continually hone and adapt your social promotion strategy.

 

What about those distributed platforms?

We’re integrated with Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP pages! This means you can assess exactly where your audience is consuming your content in real time. Pivot the entire dashboard to just see traffic from Facebook Instant Articles, or use Report Builder to see over-time trends in your Instant Article audiences.

 

Want to see how other team members can put Chartbeat tools to work? Check out the stories for content creators, producerssection editorshomepage editorsmobile editors, and video editors

For more information on how Chartbeat Publishing helps Social Media Teams keep it trendy, reach out to productoutreach@chartbeat.com.

Online publishers know too well how the unpredictable media landscape challenges their growth; shortened attention spans in a fickle and content-saturated environment make it hard for your content to catch on. Getting someone’s attention is difficult — what do you do once you have it?

Creating quality content isn’t the only goal. Page layout is critical for capturing a user and keeping them moving through your site. It’s integral to open doors to your content for them to walk through. Readers on your page are hungry; they may come for one thing but are usually interested in more. If they move onto additional content the time they’re spending with you is multiplying and the longer they engage with you the more they associate with you as a go-to source.

This is where Recirculation comes in: it measures how much of your audience went from one piece of content on your site to another. It indicates the quality of your strategy for keeping readers moving through your site and ensures that none of your content is a dead end to their journey.

 

Recirculation in Action

The Heads Up Display tool is a great way to assess how well your article page layout promotes user Recirculation.Your site-wide recirculation turns red, you’re underperforming your expectations. We know that means one of your top articles is a traffic leaking machine, a dead-end on your site where visitors aren’t continuing on, a missed opportunity to better capture your audience. Select the top few pages to find the hole and inform your next steps. With the scroll depth indicator you can easily see how far down the page most users are actually reading and maximize the space above the drop-off point. Every audience is different so you should develop a link strategy that works for you. To get started, check out these insights our data science team gathered from a study of almost 300 publishers:

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 3.23.04 PM

  • The majority of clicks happen just above the fold at page depths of 400 to 600 pixels, where most main content links typically live (as seen in the graph above)
  • Larger links (including linked headlines) correlate with higher click-through rates
  • Sites with links placed more closely together perform about 2.5x better than sites with more pixels between links

All in all, these statistics indicate that a few large links interspersed with many smaller, closely spaced links will result in the best recirculation.

 

Put it to Work

You can also track your audience’s journey by selecting an article in the Dashboard and checking the recirculation section beneath the graph. Take this example:

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The first page listed shows us that 14 were reading “British Scientists Discuss the European Union” and recirculated directly to “Google Searches Suggest Many in UK Don’t Understand Brexit” and are still there right now.

To track the success of these strategies historically, look at the internal navigation path filter in Report Builder to build a list of additional articles your audience moved to from a given story. Try adding metrics such as average and total engaged time to get an idea of what was most interesting to these users.

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Is there a topic or a time-of-day connection? Use these patterns to inform and adapt your link strategy and use Chartbeat tools to monitor your strategy’s success.

We highlight Recirculation because it provides insight into the quality of your users’ experience with your site beyond the first article they read. The idea is to get people moving throughout your content instead of bailing to their Facebook feeds or to Google and leaving you to fight the SEO battle. We know it’s hard to get a user onto your site; optimizing Recirculation ensures you are doing your best at keeping them there.

Want to dig deeper into Recirculation? Reach out to my team at support@chartbeat.com.

We are all barraged by numbers every day. It is my job, as a data scientist, to ensure that the statistics I report are accurate. The quality and accuracy of Chartbeat data are of utmost importance to me, and these are things I take very seriously. I am proud of the hard work that our team does to ensure that the information we provide to you is as accurate as humanly possible.

Here’s the thing: I made a mistake.  Last week, I presented findings at a GEN Summit Masterclass and after further analysis, I have discovered that several of the numbers that I presented, and which I subsequently blogged about, warrant corrections. I calculated these numbers via a custom data pull and analysis, and there was human error involved.  I have since rerun the analysis, corrected the faulty numbers, and have reposted my Masterclass slides to Slideshare with an intro calling out the changes.

Below are the key corrections:

  • Socially loyal visits are not greater than directly loyal visits as initially presented.
    • For both the EU and the US, the number of socially loyal visits is only a third of directly loyal visits. If you hold out Dark Social from this number and consider only social traffic with a specified referrer (which you may or may not want to do) the numbers drop to less than 5% for the EU and 10% for the US. That is, socially loyal visits are much, much less common than directly loyal visits.
  • Mobile visits to an article are still extremely high, but slightly lower than initially presented.
    • Over 70% of mobile visits in the US and over 60% of mobile visits in the EU were to an article. (The previous finding was that 80% of mobile visits in both regions were to articles.)

I apologize but I’m glad to have the chance to make these corrections.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at dan@charbeat.com or tweet me @dpvalente.

It’s no secret that here at Chartbeat, we’re a little dog-obsessed.

So last week, we teamed up with our friends over at Social Tees Animal Rescue and had them bring in some puppies for us to play with for a few hours. As you can see in the pictures below, we had too much fun… And the best part is, they’re all available for fostering or adoption!

 

About Social Tees

Social Tees Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit, strictly no-kill 501c3 organization in the East Village of NYC that takes abandoned animals from kill shelters and provides them with safe haven and veterinary care before placing them in proper forever homes. They rescue, rehabilitate, and place over 3,000 dogs, cats, birds, and exotics per year.

Social Tees Animal Rescue relies heavily on benevolent donations from the public, 100 percent of which are used directly to save animals’ lives.

 

20160614_142142Photo Credit: Burton DeWildePhoto Credit: Burton DeWilde Photo Credit: Burton DeWilde

 

Check Social Tees out on Instagram and Facebook, and all information about donations can be found on the Social Tees website.

On the client support team we spend our days consulting with clients big and small to make sure they’re getting the most out of their Chartbeat tools – so we get asked a lot of questions. One question that keeps finding its way into our inbox that never fails to give me pause:

Why don’t I see a count of total visitors to my site?

This question misses the fundamental point of Chartbeat’s real-time philosophy. Our core metric for measuring audience size, concurrents, doesn’t represent a running total – and that’s on purpose.

 

The Value of Concurrents

There are a lot of misconceptions and ‘almost there’ definitions of concurrents, so the first thing I want to do is set the record straight: one concurrent equals one open window on your site, and only when that visitor closes that window do they stop counting. Concurrents are not a measure of pageviews per minute, and they do not assume a visitor will be engaged for any given amount of time.

Concurrents diverge from other event-based analytics methodologies in that they don’t assume a visitor will have a set session length — Google Analytics, for example, automatically attributes a session length of five minutes to each visitor, even if they leave after just 30 seconds.

This kind of system inevitably misreports who is on your site and inflates the metrics on poor content while undervaluing highly engaging longer stories.

With Chartbeat, on the other hand, you always know whether or not visitors are still reading your content.

 

A Closer Look

To really understand the value of using the concurrents metric, let’s look at an example within a rapidly growing traffic segment: mobile visitors.

Tracking mobile concurrents in Chartbeat completely excludes all pages, tabs, and applications that are running in the device’s background. While it’s easy to toggle between windows and tabs on your desktop browser, you almost never do that on a phone, so we only report readers who are currently looking at your content.

To illustrate this difference, let’s say that during the middle of your workday you sort your dashboard by “mobile” and check the top three or four stories. You may see something like this:

 

Where_are_the_totals__-_Google_Docs

 

The top three stories have a similar number of mobile concurrents, but one of them, Story 2, has a significantly lower average engaged time. If the audience on Story 2 is only spending a fraction of the time on that page, it’s probably also racking up pageviews at a much higher rate in order to stay in the top ranking.

In a different analytics tool you may see Story 2 as the strongest at the top of a standard “total pageview” report. However, both Story 1 and Story 3 are far more valuable for your mobile audience — those are the stories that are most engaging to your readers.

So what exactly does this mean for you? The best action to take at this moment would be to maximize exposure to Stories 1 and 3 among mobile readers and overall. A friendly reminder from your data-science team at Chartbeat:

 

Readers who spend three minutes engaging with content are twice as likely to return to your site in the next week compared to visitors who only read for one minute.

 

Analytics services that inflate the pageview totals or over-report active visitors shouldn’t inform your content strategy. In this case Story 2 gets the most clicks, but Stories 1 and 3 are the real winners for mobile readers. With so many different kinds of metrics out there, it’s important to be critical about what you’re trying to measure and how you plan to use that to your advantage.

If you want to talk shop, reach out to my team at support@chartbeat.com or read up on some related content about the tools in your toolbox here.