Measure, Change, Measure, Repeat: Understanding Distributed Content

Data is addicting. Like a “runner’s high,” it’s a great feeling when you get that data moving in all the right directions. And the same principles that guide a dedicated running practice can also inform your data culture: look at your data in doses, meaningfully measure how you’re doing, change your routine, measure again, and stay consistent.

Website traffic is moving away from the homepage: most people around the world get their news via mobile devices. In the U.S., engaged time on mobile devices is about 30% greater than on desktop. In an increasingly mobile-first world, understanding how to maximize your mobile audience’s engagement can lead to that repeat effect.

And in comes one of the biggest buzzwords of 2016: “Distribution.” Most of this huge mobile audience is viewing content on new distributed platforms like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP — check out the report from our Lead Data Scientist, Dan Valente backing this up!

Let’s clear up a few things you probably already know:

  1. Facebook Instant Articles aren’t hosted by you – which means you don’t have too much control.
  2. A Google AMP page is your site – meaning you have more control over it.

When you look at the Chartbeat Dashboard, they aren’t bucketed in the same distribution category exactly for that reason: Facebook Instant and AMP articles cater to two separate audiences.


What these platforms have in common is that they were created with the reader in mind to provide a faster, more seamless user experience.

According to our very own Tony Haile, the average bounce time for a new visitor is 15 seconds. If your site loads slower than that, you’ve already lost your audience before they even reach your content. The average AMP load time is 1.05 seconds. Huge difference: you’re now getting the most out of your traffic by making sure your audience can engage with your quality content in the quickest way possible.

And we’ve seen the payoff from keeping the reader in mind: readers on Instant Articles and AMP pages have an average engaged time of 53 and 52 seconds, respectively, compared to 46 and 38 seconds for regular Facebook and Google traffic referrals. Take that bump in engaged time to recirculate your audience through your site; include those inline links to other articles.

Every indicator in the Chartbeat suite of tools leads to a different understanding of your audience and prompts a different action with your content. Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to be data-confident in those actions, and this means staying up to date with the industry. With our Instant Articles and AMP integrations, you can be completely confident about adopting these new platforms, because you’ll still have the data you need to understand their unique audiences.

Take cues from Chartbeat tools to measure your efforts and audience, make changes to your content and distribution strategies, measure how those changes affect your traffic and audience engagement, and repeat: soon enough, you’ll be a well-oiled data machine.

Not set up with our Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP pages integrations yet? We’ve got you covered. Check out the Chartbeat docs to help you set it up: Chartbeat Integration Support Page.

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