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Using Analytics to Build Out Your Editorial Calendar

Your Calendar
Source: Eric Rothermel

Parse.ly Co-founder and CTO Andrew Montalenti shared some insight on Twitter recently after reviewing Parse.ly data: Google News pickups send a lot of traffic to publisher websites, but readers tend not to stick around.

Google News Pickups

Tracking site metrics can provide digital publishers with a new perspective on how, and why, they are driving visitors to particular pieces of content on their site. And depending on their unique site goals, publishers must then find ways to make these insights actionable.

Are you simply looking to generate traffic? Maybe Google News pickups are a good thing for your news organization since engaged time isn’t one of your top priorities. On the other hand, if audience development is one of your main goals, connecting with your loyal readers through long-form content that is prominently placed on your homepage may work better for you.

Many publishers now realize that where they distribute their content is as important as the content, itself.

Data-Driven Content Decisions at GateHouse Media

GateHouse Media is one example of an organization using insights derived from analytics to improve the reach of its content. Forty-nine GateHouse Media sites are currently using Parse.ly to make editorial decisions that have resulted in a positive growth in pageviews and three-figure percentage increases in social media referral traffic. The video below shows two specific examples.

Driving Actionability: Key Questions Editors Should Be Asking of All Content

Editors across all GateHouse Media properties study what content is driving visitors to their respective sites, and why, and ask questions that will help them to amplify this content:

  • What is popular with our readers that we can do a follow-up piece on?
  • What pieces of content are performing best on social media?
  • How can we adjust the content we post on social media to appeal to our existing audience?

Analytics can be a key driver in determining what your organization’s editorial calendar will look like on a given day. For example, is a piece of content resonating with your readers on social? Move it to a more prominent place on your homepage!

Have you noticed a particular story gaining traction with your audience — even though you have no idea how or why? Write a follow-up piece to capitalize on that attention and to capture readership. Or, consider promoting this piece more heavily on social media.

What have you learned from tracking metrics? Have there been any insights that have changed how, or what, you publish?