Global audience insights from the third quarter of 2023

In the third quarter of 2023, Average Engaged Time was highest in the Middle East, Search traffic grew in Southeast and Central Asia, and pageviews from Social continued to decline.

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

Compare to our previous insights: Q2 2023 | Q1 2023 | Q4 2022

Engaged Time highest in the Middle East and Central / Eastern Europe

Readers in the Middle East were the most engaged audience with 33.9 seconds of Average Engaged Time. Central / Eastern Europe and Africa followed with 33.5 and 32.3 seconds, respectively.

Though it had one of the most engaged audiences of the quarter, Africa saw the largest decrease from the second quarter when it had an Average Engaged Time of 36.4 seconds.

Mobile traffic remains highest in Southeast and Central Asia

Audiences in Southeast Asia continue to visit websites in our network almost exclusively via mobile devices as 87% of pageviews in the region occurred on phones in the third quarter. Central Asia had the next highest percentage of pageviews from mobile devices at 84%, a decrease from 86% last quarter.

No region received less than 68% of its pageviews from visitors on mobile devices.

Search traffic grows across the world

39% of pageviews in Southeast Asia came from Search in the second quarter, up from 38% last quarter. Central / Eastern Europe also saw growth, rising from 36% to 37%.

The Middle East was the only region to experience a decline in Search, falling from 34% to 33%.

Pageviews from Social declined in most regions

Africa continues to see the highest percentage of pageviews coming from social platforms at 19%, but the region was also the most affected by declining traffic, falling from 23% in the second quarter. 

With the exception of the Middle East, all other regions declined 1-3% compared to the previous quarter.

Loyalty strongest in Northern and Southern Europe

Northern Europe had the highest percentage of pageviews coming from loyal readers at 48%, up from 47% last quarter. Central Asia saw the largest increase from quarter to quarter, improving from 25% to 28%.

While most regions fluctuated slightly, North America decreased from 38% to 34% and Africa decreased from 32% to 29%.

Takeaways from our third quarter research

1. Engagement and Recirculation go hand in hand.

One way to encourage Recirculation is by personalizing recommended articles. Recent research on breadth of visit shows that over 70% of site visitors read two or less categories per month, and 40% read only one category. This means that the average reader will be more likely to recirculate to articles within the same category than popular articles with unrelated topics.

2. Pageviews from Social declined in Q3.

If you experienced a drop in pageviews from Social, you’re not alone. Our research shows that Facebook traffic to news and media sites has been declining all year. 

3. Search traffic is growing.

Search traffic increased in the third quarter, but there’s a long way to go from a search result to a loyal reader. Understanding your visitors’ intent and historical behavior can help in optimizing their experience and building a path to loyalty.

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