Archive for the ‘Know Our Products’ Category

Big Board is one of our favorite ways to display data. It’s a leaderboard-style visualization of your top stories that displays the essential information—article link, number of concurrents, Engaged Time, Recirculation and referrer sources. Big Board came out of a Chartbeat Hack Week some years ago and has since become a popular addition to newsrooms all over the world. And, now that we’ve open sourced the code, Big Board is totally customizable.
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Did you miss last week’s webinar on Engaged Headline Testing? Saw it and want to review the fundamentals? No fear. You can watch Adam and his friends here.

Last week, our illustrious Chartbeat Publishing Product Lead Adam Clarkson joined three top digital media specialists to discuss headline testing best practices, and how they use the Chartbeat Engaged Headline Testing tool to drive visitors to their most engaging content. Joining him were:

Ally Tubis — Head of Digital Analytics & Insights, Rodale
Joseph Merkel — Assistant Front Page Manager, Bleacher Report
Travis Hunter — Front Page Manager, Bleacher Report
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Engaged Ad Refresh 101

July 23rd, 2015 by Jared

What is Engaged Ad Refresh?

Engaged Ad Refresh brings attention metrics to ad refreshing technology. By requiring that a visitor spend time with a viewable ad before that ad refreshes, this tool is changing the landscape of display advertising. Sounds cool, no?

Think of Engaged Ad Refresh as the Internet version of the thirty-second TV ad spot. The same commercial doesn’t show for three straight minutes, because three minutes of commercial time generates more collective value to advertisers when it’s split up into thirty-second spots. You can apply that same principal to digital advertising. And — by adding Chartbeat attention metrics, you can make refresh decisions based on the maximum amount of time you want visitors to spend with each ad.

Publishers have been refreshing display ads for years, but Chartbeat Engaged Ad Refresh introduces new levels of precision and transparency. Keep reading to find out what we mean by that.

What’s the deal with traditional ad refreshing?

Traditional ad refreshing technology, like a good outdoor reading spot, can sometimes be shady. More ads loading means more impressions, and more money for sellers — yet those impressions are not always worthwhile. Triggered by time simply passing on a clock, standard ad refreshing can’t guarantee that an ad was viewable, let alone exposed to a live person for a meaningful period of time before the slot reloaded. As a result, traditional ad refreshing often exacerbates viewability issues.

How does Engaged Ad Refresh work?

Engaged Ad Refresh is triggered by active consumer attention, not wall clock time. A visitor has to see an ad for a minimum amount of time before it refreshes — a minimum amount of Active Exposure Time. What is Active Exposure Time, you ask?

Active Exposure Time measures the amount of time an ad is in view while a visitor is actively engaging on the page.

By employing this metric, we confirm two things — that the ad is viewable and that the visitor is engaged — before refreshing the ad. The best part? Engaged Ad Refresh is flexible: You set the Active Exposure Time threshold required to refresh an ad on your site, you can customize this interval for individual campaigns, you can combine interval rules, and you can exclude specific campaigns or creatives from refreshing.

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By taking audience engagement and ad viewability into account, Engaged Ad Refresh enables publishers to give each ad the best chance to succeed while still getting the most value from every second visitors spend on their sites. Sites can gain more quality, viewable inventory or increase overall site viewability because refreshed ad slots are more likely to be viewable. Just look at, which increased its viewable inventory by more than 10% by using Engaged Ad Refresh.

For buyers, Engaged Ad Refresh means the opportunity to increase branding campaign KPIs and the potential to exercise more control over how creative is experienced. Our data has shown a strong correlation between Engaged Time and brand recall – that time matters when it comes to ads making an impact. After all, brands need time with an attentive audience to get their message across and build an audience. Engaged Ad Refresh enables just that – ensuring an actual, live person will see an ad before it refreshes. Compared to other ad refreshing technology, Engaged Ad Refresh better ensures that brands get the opportunity for their ads to succeed.

All in all, Engaged Ad Refresh means brands get actual audience attention, not just a page load. It means that publishers can directly monetize the attention of their audience, not just their clicks.

What a refreshing concept :).

Ready to get started with Engaged Ad Refresh? Want to learn more? Think we’re awesome? Get in touch.

Headline Testing 101

June 24th, 2015 by Chris

Already familiar with Chartbeat Engaged Headline Testing?
Hop down to our 101 section for tips on how to get the most out of your headline tests.


Engaged Headline Testing is like a laboratory. In this lab, you run the experiments. You determine the variables. But we provide the measurements. Our algorithm handles the heavy lifting. Engaged Headline Testing maximizes the effectiveness of your content by combining your own editorial expertise with real-time performance metrics.

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You’ve got the great content—but are people seeing it? Are you driving readers to your most engaging content—the content that will keep them coming back again and again? Engaged Headline Testing helps you get to know your audience on a deeper level and promote your content with headlines that you know are more likely to grab—and keep—readers’ attention.

You’ll know which headlines resonate best with readers so you can increase engagement—and improve headline writing in the process.


We understand that audience attention is an important measure of success. Chartbeat Engaged Headline Testing identifies not only the headlines that are being clicked on, but also the ones that lead to engagement with your content. Using our Quality Clicks metric, the testing tool tallies the clicks that correspond to a user actively engaging with your content for at least 15 seconds after clicking the headline.

Clicks are not enough; your most successful headlines are those that grab users’ attention and position engaging content. Engaged Headline Testing ensures your headlines do both.


The setup is simple: pick a story that you want to test headlines for, enter a series of different headlines, and launch the experiment. Chartbeat then serves those different headlines to your audience and measures how many clicks each version receives—and more importantly how much Engaged Time those visitors spend consuming the content. Tests run in real-time, weighting the winning headlines based on what’s driving the most post-click engagement with each audience.

Ready to upgrade to the Engaged Headline Testing tool? Let your account manager know—or shoot us a note to learn more.

Headline Testing 101


Since a headline test is an experiment, you should structure it that way — hypothesis, variables, results, and conclusions.

1. Leverage your own experience and insight. When deciding on headline variants, consider what kinds of headlines have been successful in the past. Maybe one that’s interrogative, one with numbers, and another written in the second person.

2. It’s multivariate headline testing after all, you’re not limited to two choices. Pick a series of different kinds of headlines, at least 4 or 5. And make sure they’re different.

3. Make sure your headlines are different. You’re testing to see how your audience reacts to different styles and tones, not slight changes in word order or punctuation.

4. Analyze your results. Look back at those headline writing strategies you started with. Were your hypotheses correct? Every time an experiment completes, you have a chance to learn a little bit more about your audience’s preferences and how they respond to different styles of headlines. Which approaches were more successful? Under what conditions? Do certain approaches work better against certain content topics (e.g. sports or tech or entertainment)?

Chartcorps Insight: High clicks with low engagement might mean that the headline didn’t communicate the message of the article. Is your headline too sensational, too much of a stretch? Low clicks with high engagement can tell you that the article could use more exposure. Have you shared it on social media, are you linking to it from your home page or other article pages?

5. Apply your findings time and time again. Some of the best headline testers write wrap reports and have daily meetings to go over results. Creating and sharing a summary of the insights you gained from previous experiments helps all editors and content producers benefit and learn.

6. Test again.
And again. Test deliberately and in ways that confirm or deny a single hypotheses.


  • Always be testing — since there’s no limit on how many experiments you can run at the same time, you always have the opportunity to learn from your audience’s behavior.
  • Know which audience you’re testing — homepage audiences are usually loyal and visitors from social tend to be new, so it’s likely they’ll prefer different headlines.
  • Don’t stop tests prematurely — it might be tempting to stop a test when one headline quickly takes the lead, but you’re likely to see cases where the tides shift halfway through the experiment and the initial success trails off.
  • Don’t get discouraged by a tie — it’s possible that two great headlines are attracting similar levels of engagement. If you’re frequently seeing similar results, it might be that the headlines you’re testing are too similar.
  • Higher traffic pages will turn results faster — since experiments are based on how many clicks your articles are getting, a bigger audience means more clicks.
  • Ready to get started with Chartbeat Engaged Headline Testing? Want to learn more? Get in touch.

    But, what is Report Builder?

    One of Chartbeat’s core beliefs is that your data should work for you; real-time updates to drive decisions and historical trends to better inform strategies. Report Builder is our latest push to help you understand how the actions you apply in the moment pay off over time.

    In addition to our pre-built daily and weekly reports (Perspectives), Report Builder now gives you complete freedom to create custom reports with the metrics and filters you need to evaluate and measure the success of your unique goals.

    So, how do I use it?

    Each report is generated by inputting a combination of:

  • Metrics: the actual data point that you’re interested in seeing (e.g. Average Engaged Time, unique impressions, or scroll starts)
  • Filters: a certain breakdown that you want to focus on in your reports (e.g. you want to see the data for just a particular section, referrer type, or page path)
  • Group by: how you want to organize the data that’s returned to you (e.g. you want to group your data results by city, loyalty types, or a series of hours throughout the day)

  • Report Builder’s functionality is as limitless as your imagination—you can create any number of reports to help you better evaluate your content’s performance.

    To get you started, let’s take the following question that editors commonly ask:

    Over the past week, which articles have had the highest average engagement, and how does that compare to the amount of traffic they received?

    With Report Builder, we can set:
  • A one-time report over the last 7 days,
  • metrics as Average Engaged Time and unique cookies—because we want to compare quality time to simple unique visitors,
  • and group by page path—so that we get the engaged time and unique cookie metrics sorted by a given page path (the reported URL that comes after the .com)
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    And now we can see the most popular pages from the last week showing exactly how much traffic and Average Engaged Time each received.

    But why stop there? Add another group parameter like section or author, and you’ll be able to see which sections or authors those popular pages belong to.

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    Or, if you see a high performing article that catches your eye, try filtering on that page path, and you can start building reports for that specific article.

  • You can group by referrer type to see which traffic source drove the most attention to that article,
  • or by hour to see how attention changed throughout the day.
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    What other reports can I make?

    The sky’s the limit. It all depends on what you want to know.

    Want to track your audience’s internal navigation from the home page? Plug in the specific metrics you want to evaluate (e.g. Average Engaged Time, unique cookies) and group by internal navigation path and page path.

    You’ll get a historical look at how people were navigating from page to page on your site—and see how much time they spent there.

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    Notice any trends or connections between the content? Use this data to adjust your link strategy: change the way you link your content together to optimize recirculation and keep your audience engaged—and likely to come back.

    What else can I do with this tool?

    Do you build a report that you want to download into a spreadsheet every week? Go further with the API endpoints and program a spreadsheet to automatically call and receive the same report over and over again for your team to use.

    And, in case you missed the Report Builder launch webinar and are looking to get inspired, you can check it out here on the Chartcorps Support Site.

    Stay tuned for more tips, best practices, and advanced report ideas.

    Don’t have Report Builder yet? Contact your account manager or shoot us an email to get set up today!