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.”
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?
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.
“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’…