How much do you understand about the readers of your online magazines? If you’re not using online magazine analytics then you’re really missing out on a powerful tool to better target your content marketing efforts.
Web analytics helps you:
- discover which content resonates with your readers,
- track and evaluate patterns of behavior,
- measure success and
- generally get powerful feedback on what users are doing on your site.
Using online magazine analytics has become even more important to help you understand the differences between how desktop and mobile users interact with your content and your site. Looking after mobile usability is key as discussed in this article, and analytics can help with that.
As a brand publisher, analytics can also answer three key questions:
- What devices are people using to read your online magazine?
- How many people are reading your online magazine?
- How long do people spend reading your online magazine?
1. What devices are people using to read your online magazine?
If you’re going to optimize your online magazine then it makes sense to optimize it for the devices that people are actually using. There’s no point in fixing your content so it’s viewable on a tablet when most of your readers are using phones.
Find out what devices readers are using by navigating to the “Audience > Mobile > Devices” section of your Google Analytics dashboard, where you will find not just device brands, but actual models. Then consider if they are enjoying the best possible reading experience. It could be time to consider an online publishing solution that works well for both mobile devices and desktop computers. That’s important because people often use multiple screens throughout the day for business, leisure and social sharing as shown in detail in our “Who’s Reading When” article. Your online magazine has to work well on all of them.
2. How many people are reading your online magazine?
Readership is an important metric for any publisher, and using analytics can help you find those numbers to see if your online magazine has the expected reach and identify any errors. To get this information, navigate in Google Analytics to “Behavior> Site Content > Content Drilldown” and check out the “page views” and “unique page views” column. As well as the overall readership, you can find out:
- your top pages or articles by number of reads.
- your top pages or articles by number of unique reads
- whether there were any spikes in readership (hint: click on an article link to see stats for just that page).
You can even compare other metrics (such as the correlation between page views and bounce rate) for even more insight into whether your online magazine is hitting the mark. This data can help you troubleshoot your magazine landing pages and sales pages too.
3. How long do people spend reading your online magazine?
Still in that section of your analytics report (see “Behavior> Site Content > Content Drilldown”), you can figure out which parts of your online magazine are the stickiest by looking at the “Avg. Time on Page” column. After all, there’s no point in creating an online magazine if no-one’s reading it. Click on the column header to sort the report by time on page and you can see which content is keeping readers engaged. Click again and you can see which content is least attractive to readers. This information is valuable in helping you to assess your content strategy. If readers don’t stick around, then you know you have a problem. And if they are spending plenty of time on your site, then you know you’re getting it right.
More analytics information for publishers
Want to get even more insight into online magazine readers? Navigate to “Overview> Visitors Flow” and apply the mobile traffic segment to get a visual overview of where mobile users are landing and how they move from page to page.
Why mobile? Because as we mentioned recently, more than half of Americans own a smartphone. Brand publishers need to understand how these readers interact with mobile content. That’s why, in addition to the broad-based data on what people are doing, it can be helpful to create some custom dashboards to get even more detail.
You don’t even have to do it yourself. Social Media Today’s Andrew Shotland has created a dashboard which you can add to your Google Analytics account. It providers information on organic search, landing pages and other aspects of SEO that can help publishers get even more conversions from their online magazines.