Global audience insights from the first quarter of 2022

The first quarter of 2022 saw reader engagement improve despite decreases in pageviews from mobile devices and social platforms. While loyalty remained high in Europe, other regions weren’t as successful at retaining engaged readers. 

Read on for more global insights from our first quarter research below.

Compare to our previous insights: Q4 2021 | Q3 2021 | Q1 2021

Engaged Time continues to be highest in Latin America, Africa

Readers in Latin America were the most engaged audience for the second quarter in a row with an average of 34.7 seconds of Engaged Time.  Africa and Central Asia followed at 34.2 and 31.7 seconds, respectively.

While most of the regions we track registered more than 30 seconds of Average Engaged Time, Southeast Asia, Northern Europe, and the Middle East lagged behind this quarter.

Mobile referrals down in most regions

For the second quarter in a row, most regions experienced a small dip of 1-2% in pageviews coming from mobile devices. The Middle East fell from 74% to 70%.

It’s worth noting that no region receives less than 67% of pageviews from mobile, and Central Asia (87%) and Africa (84%) continue to engage with content almost exclusively via mobile devices.

Southeast Asia, Middle East see search referral decreases

Search engines drove 52% of pageviews in Central Asia in the first quarter, followed by Southeast Asia at 43%, and Africa and Southern Europe at 31%.

With the exception of increases for Southern Europe and Central /Eastern Europe, search referrals decreased slightly from the previous quarter, notably in Southeast Asia which dropped from 46% to 43%.

Social down slightly across the world

Africa had the highest percentage of pageviews coming from social platforms for the third consecutive quarter despite falling from 21% to 20%. Latin America and North America followed with 19% and 18%, respectively. Most regions saw social referrals decrease about 1-2% with the exception of Central / Eastern Europe which reflected no change.

Loyalty still highest throughout Europe

All European regions saw at least 40% of traffic come from loyal readers* for the first time since the first quarter of 2021. Outside of Europe,  Asia / Pacific and the Middle East both recorded 34% loyal pageviews, though they arrived at that point from opposite directions. Last quarter, Asia / Pacific was at 40% and the Middle East was at 31%.

*A loyal reader is someone who returns to your site at least 50% of the days in a two-week period.

Takeaways from our first quarter analysis

1. Engagement on the rise

Our recent analysis of audience data from the past three years found that outside of Q2 2020, engagement has not been keeping pace with traffic. With many regions seeing incremental increases in engagement last quarter, it will be important to build on this momentum with strategies for increasing engaged time even further.

2. Mobile down, but still dominant

Our research has shown the move to mobile as a years-long trend, and despite some minor decreases over the last six months, the vast majority of readers prefer discovering and engaging with content on mobile devices.

3. What to do when loyalty is down

Audiences in Asia serve as a reminder of the continuous hard work necessary to translate traffic into loyalty. Increasing recirculation opportunities for visitors from Search and Social is one strategy for recouping visitors’ attention when loyal pageviews drop.

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