Archive for the ‘The Chartcorps’ Category

Chartcorps Challenge: Getting Your High-Converting Referrers to Work Harder

April 16th, 2014 by Chris

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Day in and day out, you're working hard to build your returning and loyal audience. You’re publishing tons of high-quality content. You know it's great content because your visitors are spending lots of time engaging with it, and they're coming back for more of it. The question I have for you is this: Are you making your best referrers work hard for you? Are you leveraging the best social channels to get your best content in front of the best audience?

To answer that question, let’s talk about your traffic sources, sorted by conversion quality.

conversion-quality

If you're a Chartbeat Publishing user, you probably already know that the right-hand side of the dashboard gives you the real-time low-down on how many concurrent visitors are coming to your website, and also which traffic sources are responsible for driving that traffic. What you might not know is that you can go even one step further: When you use that little drop-down menu in the top-right corner and filter by "conversion quality"—boom! Game changer.

Now all your referrers are instantly sorted not by the number of concurrent visitors they’re delivering to your site, but by the percentage of visitors who have returned to your site after being referred a first time. Now let’s talk specifics: Facebook and Twitter. See how Facebook is driving almost 4x the number of concurrents, but Twitter’s conversion rate is 14% higher? This should get you thinking about which channels matter more to building audience loyalty.

 

It stands to reason that because people who come from Twitter are more likely to return, if you can get a lot more traffic from that referrer, you’re going to be more effective in expanding your segment of returning visitors. So how do we make that happen? Now that you know visitors from Twitter are more likely to return, you can focus more of your time and attention on that social network, and you can get more of your most engaging content in front of that audience. Sort your Top Pages by Engaged Time, and look out for articles with retaining badges—these are the highly engaging stories that are ripe for the tweeting.

 engaged-time-sorting

How about for ol' Facebook? It’s still doing a great job at getting people in the door, so let’s make sure they stick around. Pivot on Facebook, see where those big numbers of people are spending time engaging, and make sure those pages have great links for recirculating. Bonus tip: Since you know what kind of content brought them to your website, you can hold their attention by connecting them to similar articles. Clever, huh? There you have it—quantity meets quality. Building that loyal audience one real-time decision after another.

Chartcorps Challenge: Make the Most of Your Social Traffic

April 9th, 2014 by James

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Wait! Before you tweet that awesome story, think: Have you done everything you can to capitalize on the instant exposure? With your Chartbeat Publishing Dashboard as your trusty sidekick, you can find the best content to share in terms of audience and Engaged Time before you ever post or tweet, and then watch the traffic roll in real-time. But you should also make sure those stories are optimized for the best experience of those who visit. Let's consider an example. We pivoted to see what Gizmodo's new visitors were reading, and noticed the top article: "If You Want to Watch Game of Thrones, Maybe Just Pay For It."

Chartbeat_Publishing_-_Dashboard

Of course, you would pick this story, maybe fine-tune the headline, and then whip up a witty tweet, but you might also want to take a minute to set up the best page possible for this new audience. Don’t miss this opportunity! Before you take that story to the tweeple, spend a minute curating it for the influx of new traffic that we’re sure to see. Start by loading up the page in the Heads Up Display and then find your digital fold, i.e. "most visitors don't read past here." Then, embed links to related content that you know will lead to more recirculation and increased engagement. Notice how Gizmodo got its related links above the fold here?

gizmodo-hud

If you have related on-topic stories that could help drive your visitors deeper into your website, embed 'em! You could add links in line with the text, or as part of a separate breakout box—both of which are employed by Gizmodo here. How about your other acquiring content that’s doing particularly well with your new audience? Put your links in great positions, and then maybe add a picture and snappy headline for good measure.

Check out last week's Chartcorps Challege: "Zombies! What to Do When Newly Undead Articles Walk Again."

Do everything you can to promote extra content that’s likely to do best before you share. Then tweet it out, and watch the traffic grow in real-time. Don’t forget, once you’ve got folks rolling in, revist the links on the page, continue to curate around the best performance, and keep tweaking until the tweets lived its short 140-character life. Rather than tweeting and hoping, take control. With the Heads Up Display and Chartbeat Publishing Dashboard, you’re able to react rapidly, increasing the odds that these fresh faces come back again soon.

Chartcorps Challenge: Zombies! What to Do When Newly Undead Articles Walk Again

April 3rd, 2014 by Nik

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You wake up to see an article trending like there’s no tomorrow. But it’s not the piece you published last night, or even the follow-up article you tweeted about while grabbing your morning coffee. It’s a story you barely remember writing. It sounds like you might have a ‘zombie’ article on your hands, and this just might just be an opportunity to take action.

So what do you do when an article that was produced ages ago starts picking up steam?

top-referrers

First, find out how this zombie managed to find its way out of the graveyard. Checking an article’s top referrers can be the best way to quickly find out why this story is taking off. Perhaps it was linked to in a current editorial, recently picked up by a social media maven, or for all one knows you did in fact predict the next zombie apocalypse. In any case, this is your opportunity to capitalize on your article’s momentum and reach out to a new audience.

So your article’s blowing up on Facebook? Get involved in the conversation. Posting your newly undead story to other social media networks can breathe new life into your story and further grow your new visitors. It’s already taken over the social sphere? Consider updating headlines, adding new photos, or linking to other relevant articles to keep your audience reading. You might even consider writing a follow-up and promoting it on today’s homepage.

Helping your visitors to discover engaging content can be a key factor in building audience loyalty and ultimately keep your readers coming back time and time again. Here at Chartbeat, we’ve found that visitors who continue to read beyond their initial article are more likely to return than those who just read just one page and then dip out. By taking the time to freshen up what may be an oldie—but a goodie—you have the opportunity to help your readers uncover the quality content they’ve been craving and keep them coming back for more.

So the next time you find a zombie creeping out of the closet, don’t worry. Open the door and let ‘em run wild. And if you ever want to pick our brains... support@chartbeat.com

Chartcorps Challenge: Taking Advantage of an Article with High Recirculation

March 26th, 2014 by Andrew

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“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.

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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’...

Chartcorps Challenge: Developing Your Website’s New, Returning & Loyal Visitors

March 19th, 2014 by Clara

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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:

visitor-frequency

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 support@chartbeat.com.

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.