Author Archive


Growing an audience is about doing two things: getting new visitors in the door and getting them to come back. Many websites can successfully pull off one of the two, but it’s far more difficult pulling off both. If your goal as a publisher is to convert your fly-by visitors into die-hard loyalists, then you need to successfully meet both challenges. That’s where we come in.

Take a look at your Chartbeat Publishing Dashboard‘s “visitor frequency” module:


As you can see here, there are currently 7,734 new visitors, 8,424 returning visitors, and 6,274 loyal visitors on this website. Here’s a quick refresher on those definitions: New visitors are the folks in your audience who are visiting the site for the first time in at least 30 days. Loyal visitors have visited on eight or more days of the last 16 days. And returning visitors fall somewhere in between; they’ve been here recently, but not with enough frequency to be considered loyal. Understanding the composition of your audience is key. Here’s why:

Often times, a website will have a high number of new visitors and a low number of loyal visitors, as is the case here. That means the website is doing a great job attracting new visitors, but it needs to work harder to bring folks back again. If you’re in this camp, you need to develop a retention strategy. Even a simple newsletter can go a long way.

Conversely, a website might face the opposite challenge: a low number of new visitors and a high number of loyal visitors. That means there’s a solid core audience, but the website isn’t doing enough to broaden that base of loyalists. That requires the development of an acquisition strategy, and a stronger social media presence might be in order.

Of course, as you click to pivot on any one of these segments, you might notice that different articles or types of content are resonating among each segment. In other words, some content may do a great job of attracting new visitors whereas some pieces may sustain your loyal readers. To go one step further, you can look at the composition of your audience as it relates to the sections of your website. For example, Sports readers may come every day during football season, but Opinion readers may only come through Facebook once a week.

So, how does your audience stack up? Let us know at

Want to learn more about how to use Chartbeat Publishing to grow your audience? The Chartcorps is hosting a “Audience 101” webinar on Thursday, March 27 at 1 p.m. EST. Sign up now.

The new Chartbeat Publishing has been out in the wild for over a month and we’re excited about the enthusiastic reactions we’ve been getting from you guys. We built the dashboard from the ground up with quality in mind so that you, as digital publishers, understand your top-notch content as well as the most valuable visitors coming through your site’s doors.

All across the new Chartbeat Publishing dashboard, we’re breaking down your audience in a number of new ways, as well as highlighting the areas on your site where unique opportunities are happening — so that you can take action in the moments that matter.

I want to help you get rocking and rolling with the new dashboard, so here’s a quick round-up of 10 tips for the new dashboard. In the near future, we’ll be sharing more blog posts dedicated to helping you get comfortable and easily master the new Chartbeat Publishing.

10 Ways to Analyze Your Audience’s Behavior with the New Chartbeat Publishing

Chartbeat Publishing dashboard

  1. Track the percentage of your audience that’s clicking from one article page and moving to another page with Recirculation. It measures how well traffic is flowing, and it gauges stickiness—your ability to keep visitors reading and hanging around your website.

  1. See what makes your new, returning, and loyal visitor segments tick with the Visitor Frequency module. Our tooltip-style benchmarks give you a sense of whether you’re over- or under-performing among any particular audience segment.

  1. Pivot on Mobile to find out what engaged mobile visitors are reading and which referrers are sending them to your website. Get visualizations of your mobile-versus-desktop breakdown over the past day, 7 days, or 30 days.

  1. Look specifically at the visitors coming from your top five countries, cities, regions, or designated market areas (DMA) with new Location filtering. It’s just one of the many ways you can examine the audience you care about most.

  1. Track your Top Pages and easily uncover the pages with relatively higher or lower Engaged Time—the bold green and red colors make it super easy to spot anomalies, so you can zero in and focus your attention.

  1. Identify the pages that are drawing in the most new visitors, relative to your website’s average, with Acquiring badges. These are the pages that are doing a good job of making a first impression on your website’s first-time visitors.

  1. Surface pages where visitors are exhibiting a higher propensity to return with Retaining badges. Visitors on these pages are spending a relatively higher amount of time engaging, or are recirculating from these pages at a higher rate.

  1. See which Referrers are bringing in valuable visitors which a higher propensity to return. You can mouse over any referrer to get the return rate of visitors coming through that referrer, plus a couple tips on how to boost that return rate.

  1. Find out which tweets are actually sending the most visitors through to your website in real time with Tweets by Traffic. Your social media team might be inclined to either retweet or reply and kick off a conversation.

  1. Apply multiple filters to your data and analyze complex audience segments. It’s great to know who comes from Facebook, but what about those visitors coming from Facebook who are loyal? Or the Facebook visitors from New York?

These are just some of the new features on the new Chartbeat Publishing. If you have questions or want to learn more, get in touch with us at support[at]chartbeat[dot]com. Send us your feedback or let us know which features you’re using the most!


Update: Check out what makes Chartbeat Publishing Different these days

First things first: Let’s talk about roots.

Similar to the blazers+jeans career look, Chartbeat Publishing was born and bred in the newsroom. (Tweet this) While several peers offer great options to cover a wide range of clients, these tools are often developed to be one-size-fits-all analytics solutions. In our case, we’ve collaborated with our editorial partners to offer products and features designed to surface data specific to the online publishing workflow.

Beyond-the-basics data

Like any service, Chartbeat does give you standard, bread-and-butter insights on traffic sources and top pages. But it’s our additional data, researched and curated by our data science team, that’s specifically relevant to digital publishers. We integrate this data into many products and features so that you have what you need at your fingertips 24/7, such as social data on trending content or customized data science power tools like Spike Alerts that identify your potential viral content.

We’re always iterating on tools that integrate into the various roles within your team, like the Chartbeat app, the Heads Up Display and all the useful stuff you can access on the Chartbeat Labs site. However you work and no matter what your responsibilities are, there’s data-driven feature or tool that can help you out.

Real-time measuring that matters

We’ve always shirked popular conventions around click or view-based metrics. Instead, we focus on measuring the data that truly gives you a sense of your live, real-time audience. Chartbeat, like an obsessive host, is constantly checking in – pinging your site every fifteen seconds to be exact – taking attendance and tracking how long, on average, your users tend to stick around. This means our metrics typically aren’t going to match what your other analytics are saying. To see specifically how our numbers vary from Google Analytics figures, go to this infographic.


Measuring your audience’s interest, not their clicks

From what we understand, working in online publishing is sort of like running as fast as you can whilst juggling, i.e., tons to do in a very short time frame. Thus you need the most accurate stats on real-time traffic moment to moment, quantitatively and qualitatively. It’s not enough to show you how many folks are visiting a page –  those stats need life and context. (Tweet this) Enter, Engaged Time. We measure engaged visitor activity by tracking scrolling, mouse movements or keystrokes –  so you know how many people are actively consuming your content and for how long.

Because a reader’s Engaged Time correlates with his or her likelihood to return to your site, you need engagement insights no matter what you’re working on. Thus, we’ve integrated our signature metric Engaged Time into many of our features and products.

Get the whole story

Overall, we see value in using Chartbeat as a complementary product with other analytics services. You should always to take a 360-degree view of your site. A bunch of publishers – big and small – find our metrics and tools pretty damn useful for informing a significant part of that 360-degree view when it comes to taking action and making decisions.

No need to memorize – here’s a cheat sheet

Cheat Sheet

We’ve had a busy summer here at Chartbeat, with Chartteam members building and iterating on many products and related features. A big focus during this most recent six-week development cycle was expanding the impact of the Heads Up Display, a browser overlay that projects your data right over the homepage.

Today I’m excited to introduce two new additions to the Heads Up Display – an engagement view and video stats – two features that will help you make smarter and stronger decisions about your homepage.


Engaged Time

We’ve been talking about Engaged Time as one of our key indicator metrics for growing audience loyalty for a long time. Engaged Time has been in your Heads Up Display Details Window for a while, but today’s update lets you easily switch your entire view to see what homepage links have the highest Engaged Time right now.

What does this mean? With the option to view your whole homepage through the lens of Engaged Time, you can now make faster decisions based on your reader engagement.

Click the clock symbol on the dock and teal pins will highlight your most-engaging links in rank order. By surfacing the content that your readers are spending the most time with, you can promote these links to strategic positions on your homepage. Many of these links can be considered your high-potential stories – links that might be a position change away from a traffic spike.

Shout out to smaller sites that get fewer clicks: The Engaged Time view is great for managing your homepage content, as you can still identify your high-performing links despite a potentially lower traffic volume.


Video Data

We’ve also incorporated video data into the Heads Up Display so you can now see how your videos are interacting with the rest of your homepage content.

If you’ve implemented Chartbeat data in your video player, you can access your video data right on your homepage. When you click on the video icon in your Heads Up Display dock, you can see what pages have the most visitors watching videos in real time.

Right below the top pages where visitors are playing video, we’re showing you which high-performing pages pages don’t currently have video on them. Since Chartbeat has data about your site’s written content, we’re able to recommend strategic pages that might benefit from video content.

This is full-context video performance data within the Heads Up Display – you’re getting new insights to make faster, informed decisions about your homepage content overall.

By having your video data right in the Heads Up Display, you know exactly where your most popular videos are so you can make sure you’re giving those top videos enough promotional love on your homepage.

You can also determine if videos are perhaps hurting your homepage– are they driving traffic or inciting abandonment? And, are there any top-performing links where you could add a video to take your page to the next level? It’s total visibility into how your videos affect your audience’s overall homepage content experience – so you know how to best leverage the videos on your site.

Test this stuff out

I hope you’re as excited as I am about these changes to the Heads Up Display. We absolutely need your feedback about these updates. Love them? Hate them? Want more? Share your thoughts in the Comments or send us an email – we’re looking forward to your opinions.

We get it. Your readers are out and about and want to access your content when they’re on the train, in the mall or in bed. That’s why we’ve updated the Chartbeat Publishing dashboard to include info about your mobile and desktop readers – how your readers are consuming your content.

Because Engaged Time is one of our highly-actionable, key indicator metrics, the Mobile vs. Desktop stat is measured using your pool of engaged readers (people on your page right now who are actively reading, typing, or scrolling).

We’re taking your engaged visitors and then breaking that number down between those reading on mobile devices (tablets and phones) and the traditionalists reading content on their laptops or desktops. This metric adjusts as you filter on a section or page level.

Want more insights about the device-based audience behaviors? Our Data Scientist Josh wrote a great piece a few months ago about understanding mobile vs. desktop visitors.

Now that you can track mobile engaged readers on your dashboard, how do you deal with mobile spikes? Is your mobile site optimized for the content you’re on-the-go audience prefers? Let me know in the Comments how you’re creating and promoting content for your mobile readers.