Tips from Customer Success: Getting a 360 degree view of the reader experience

Audience behaviors tend to vary by channel and the reader experience, which is why it’s essential to get a full view of your content’s performance. This way, you can determine the best ways to serve your diverse audiences with the most engaging stories.

Below, we delve into that “360 view” — namely, the reader experiences across important mobile, social media, and search channels — that will help you drive stronger engagement and loyalty.

(If you’d like to watch a video of our recent webinar on this topic, click here).

Your social media audience on mobile

To begin, let’s take a closer look at two major, yet often overlooked mobile device-led referral sources: Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP. 

Facebook Instant Articles displays content from publishers that appear directly within the Facebook mobile app News Feed. Google AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a framework for publishing pages that are optimized for a faster experience on mobile web browsers. It’s also worth noting that Google prioritizes these pages in mobile search results. 

(For more on this topic, read: Research Study: Only 1 in 3 publishers see a clear traffic boost from AMP)

Both of these sources are similar in the sense that they were mobile first — created to promote a more efficient reading environment for readers that would prefer to engage with content on their phones.

Quick tip: How to find these sources in Chartbeat

Once integrated into Chartbeat, you can find both of these under the Distribution tab in the real-time dashboard on the lower left hand side.

You can check either of these pivots to filter the dashboard and see how these audiences are engaging with your content, and overall article performance on these platforms. The easier it is to access and read content (specifically on a mobile device), the more likely your visitor loyalty will increase. 

How can I use this data to improve audience engagement?

If we break down traffic growth by device, we’ll see that all of the growth is on mobile. Given that Google Search is now by far the largest source of external traffic to publisher sites (sending more than 2x the traffic of the next-largest traffic source), it’s fair to say that it’s also the largest source of traffic on mobile.

Therefore, if the majority of your traffic growth is happening on AMP pages, you have an optimization opportunity. The first step is identifying the types of content that are performing well on AMP. With that knowledge, you can ensure that you’re repeating the best practices that improved reader engagement moving forward.

You have an app for that: Analyzing native reader engagement

We recently published research showing that, across the board, loyalty is actually higher on mobile, which underlines the importance of tracking these platforms carefully.

When it comes to app visitors for example, the loyalty trends show just how important that audience is. The easiest way to look at this is to ask, for visitors who come from a specific channel, how frequently do they land on your site via that channel? 

reader loyalty direct app links

As we see in the chart above, the most loyal visitors are those who use apps, averaging 9.2 visits per week. That’s substantially higher than even direct visitors on the web, who average 6.1 visits/week. And both are drastically higher than platform visitors from Facebook, Google, and Twitter, who average less than two visits/week.

Quick tip: A view from Chartbeat

If you’re interested in using Chartbeat to track your mobile app audience in your Real-Time Dashboard or Advanced Queries, you can do so with the Chartbeat mobile SDK.

Once implemented, you’ll start to see App traffic with iOS and Android as pivots under the Distribution section. This will enable you to see how your app audience is consuming content in real time. It’ll also help you understand how to build custom strategies for this audience going forward by studying their Engaged Time and what articles are piquing the most interest.

The role of Apple News in engagement

Another growing referral source is Apple News, which shares many of the same qualities as FB IA and AMP. We’ve seen the value that Apple News data can provide to our users through our integration, such as: 

  • How your audiences are spending time on articles within Apple News in real time
  • Which pieces of content are receiving the highest engagement on that platform, and 
  • The ideal time to pitch content throughout the day based on reader behaviors

Quick tip: How to see Apple News traffic in Chartbeat

Chartbeat gives you the option to view your Apple News data in a separate dashboard or in tandem with your site data. You will have the ability to filter on Apple News under referrers below traffic on the right hand side in the real time dashboard. With our Multi-Site View feature, you also have the capability of rolling up your Apple News dashboard alongside your regular site traffic. 

However, this integration is solely for organizations that publish their content to Apple News. Click here to read more about Apple News requirements.

Your view of the most loyal readers: Subscribers

A growing number of sites are focused on reader revenue. Therefore, understanding how subscribers engage with your content can help you make optimizations that keep those valuable subscribers moving forward.

Our research shows that on average, subscribers engage 36% more than non-subscribers, view 68% more pages per visit, and visit the homepage 233% more often per visit. This shouldn’t surprise us — after all, subscriptions are an act of strong engagement — but that gap is particularly important to consider. 

(Further reading: We spent more than 400 hours analyzing subscription models—here’s what we’ve found)

If the most deeply-engaged users are those who subscribe, there’s an argument for teasing out the drivers of that level of engagement in identifying future subscribers. Get a feel for the types of content driving your subscribers to pay for content or become members. From there, your team can create strategies to build subscription loyalty among non-subscribers.

Quick tip: See your subscribers in Chartbeat

Learn more about our subscriber tracking capabilities here.

No need to do a 180 to get a 360 view

We hope that even non-Chartbeat users can see the value in understanding the drivers of engagement across important channels such as AMP and Apple News. The good thing is that you don’t have to overhaul your channel strategy — just look deeper into your data to get a clearer picture of the value and unique reader behaviors for each of your traffic sources. 

Beyond that, any organization looking to understand the drivers of reader revenue should take a closer look at their loyalty metrics. Identifying key drivers of loyalty will help you put together the pieces to inform your broader subscriber strategy.

For those of you that have Chartbeat, you can reach out directly to your Account Manager or Customer Success Manager for more information on any of these integrations and how to get started. And of course, don’t hesitate to contact us at for any technical questions.

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