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#Podcast – Homepage analytics: A look at ‘front door’ traffic to news sites

October 4th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast, Traffic
Image by paraflyer on Flickr. Some rights reserved

‘Front door’ and ‘side door’ traffic
Image by paraflyer on Flickr. Some rights reserved

This podcast looks at what percentage of readers of a news site land on the homepage.

Homepage traffic varies hugely, with big international outlets generally receiving a greater percentage of homepage traffic than many smaller titles with lesser-known brands.

Andrew Montalenti from describes news sites with large numbers of people coming to the homepage as “front door” sites, and those with low homepage traffic but a large proportion hits from social as “side door” publishers.

We also hear from Quartz, which last week celebrated its first anniversary. In the podcast, senior editor of Quartz Zach Seward says “homepages as traditionally conceived by news organisations will have diminishing value”.

We speak to:

  • Zach Seward, senior editor at business news site Quartz
  • Andrew Montalenti, co-founder and chief technology officer at analytics platform
  • Josh Schwartz, head of data science at real-time analytics platform Chartbeat

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the podcast feed.


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Media release: records 15m unique users across Europe in first quarter

May 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism, Traffic

In a press release issued yesterday the BBC announced the latest traffic statistics for, which was said to have recorded 15 million unique users across Europe in the first quarter of the year.

Figures relating to accessing BBC news on mobile devices were also reported, with visits of “around 8.5 million users” across the world visiting the BBC News websites and apps on mobiles or tablets “in an average month”.

See the full release.

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Nieman: Blogs, SEO chief and Facebook comments result in traffic increase for LA Times

August 16th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Traffic

The Los Angeles Times is experiencing an increasing amount of traffic, which Nieman Journalism Lab is attributing to engaging with its audience using its blogs.

In March the site had more than 160 million pageviews; in May it was 189 million, bucking the downward trend of many other major US sites. The Nieman report states:

That doesn’t mean the LA Times is going to lap the New York Times or the Huffington Post when it comes to reader counts. But the numbers are still impressive, and more so when you consider the secret sauce at the heart of it all: a full embrace of blogging that adds voice in some corners, emphasises timeliness in others, and has opened new doors for reader engagement. On, news is getting the blog treatment and blogs are getting the news treatment. “Most of our blogs are reported stories,” said Jimmy Orr, managing editor/online for the Times. “What we’re seeing is big increases in our blogs, and that’s where a lot of the breaking news is.

The post goes on to explain some other changes at the LA Times, too. The site has recently added an SEO chief, “who works on the copy desk to optimise headlines” resulting in a “65 per cent rise in traffic from search and a 41 per cent jump in traffic from Google as compared to this time last year”.

Another move by the LA Times is to make the site more social by adding Facebook comments to around 50 per cent of articles, a move that has resulted in a 450 per cent increase in referrals from Facebook, according to Nieman’s post.

It also plans to expand its use of Facebook as a commenting system because of encouraging results it’s seen so far. The goal is a virtuous circle: A bigger community leads to more traffic leads to more impact for the Times’ journalism.

It is worth reading the full post on the LA Times’ traffic report which lists examples of the LA Times blogs, including LA Now, “which looks like a blog, but is actually a driver for breaking news”.




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Tool of the week for journalists – TwentyFeet, analytics for your site and social networks

Tool of the week: TwentyFeet

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? TwentyFeet is an analytics platform allowing you to use one site to keep track of your web page impressions, retweets, Facebook likes, YouTube plays and shares.

It doesn’t give you stats that you can’t get elsewhere but they are presented in easy-to-read graphs and charts and allow you to see your metrics all in one place.

Sign up and authenticate your Google Analytics, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and bitl.y accounts and TwentyFeet will start gathering your data.

There are various pricing options but there is a free trial and you can track some accounts for free forever.


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LinkedIn growing by two new members every second

August 5th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

LinkedIn is growing by two new members every second, according to figures released yesterday (4 August).

Around 14 million people joined the business social network in the three months to 30 June.

That equates to an average of:

LinkedIn has also released impressive web traffic figures and financial results:

  • Unique visitors of 81.8 million per month, an increase of 83 per cent from the second quarter of 2010;
  • Page views of 7.1 billion, an increase of 80 per cent from the second quarter of 2010;
  • Revenue for the second quarter was $121.0 million, an increase of 120 per cent compared to $54.9 million for the second quarter of 2010.

The results represent LinkedIn’s first quarter as a public company.


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Poynter: Five ways to turn traffic spikes into return visits

July 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Traffic

Poynter has been speaking to US news organisations about how they turn traffic spikes as a result of major news stories into return visits.

Reporter Mallary Jean Tenore spoke to the Orlando Sentinel, and the Arizona Daily Star.

Page views and unique visitors are valuable metrics, but they don’t measure the likelihood that readers will be returning visitors. Here are a few indicators that readers have committed to your content:

1. An increase in Twitter followers and/or Facebook fans;
2. An increase in newsletter subscriptions;
3. If your site has a print publication, an increase in print subscribers;
4. An increase in mobile app downloads.

Tanore gives examples and stats on each based on her interviews with the news organisations and gives the following tips on cultivating new readers:

1. Make it easy for readers to follow your site on Twitter and Facebook;
2. Make it easy for people to subscribe to email newsletters and RSS feeds;
3. Showcase your mobile offerings;
4. Provide readers with unique content they can’t find elsewhere;
5. If readers come to your site through search, offer them a different sidebar.

The post gives examples how the three news organisations have done each of the above in order to turn first-time visitors into loyal readers.

The full post is at this link.

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Mashable: What impact has the NY Times paywall had on traffic?

Mashable has been attempting to discover the impact of the New York Times metered-paywall on web traffic.

It is early days as the wall only went up on 28 March but the analysis suggests a reduction of between five and 10 per cent in traffic and a fall in pageviews by up to 30 per cent.

It is perhaps not surprising that pageviews have taken a greater hit as the metered-paywall model allows readers to access up to 20 articles a month free, so users may be deterred from clicking as many pages .

So here’s the big question: Is NYT’s paywall a success or a failure? When it comes to this big-picture question, we still don’t have enough information to make a conclusion. The paywall simply hasn’t been around long enough and we don’t have the financial data to see whether the paywall has made up for the loss in advertising revenue.

Mashable’s full article is at this link.

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Mediabistro: CJR to investigate magazines’ online problem

February 24th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines

The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) has received a $230,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to investigate why magazine websites are struggling to grow online traffic and audiences.

Full story at this link…

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Similar posts: How Hearst Magazine increased traffic 150% with SEO

February 20th, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Search, Traffic

CJ talks to senior SEO analyst for Hearst, Dan Roberts, about how he helped grow online traffic to the publisher’s website by 150 per cent using SEO and Wordtracker.

Full story at this link…

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The Australian: Australian print media to release web traffic audits by end of year

August 28th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines, Newspapers, Traffic

Audited data for online traffic to Australia’s newspapers and magazines will be produced by the end of the year.

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