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Making the Most of Your Metrics: 7 Parse.ly Features You Might Not Know About
Data can be dense and difficult to navigate, even when it’s been synthesized for you. That’s why we ensure that everyone within an organization can navigate the Parse.ly dashboard easily and find actionable data to help make editorial decisions every day.
There are, however, some valuable areas of the dashboard that may not be as easy to find the first time around. Check out some of our favorite hidden gems that will help you dig deeper into your metrics.
Find Social Influencers with Surfaced Tweets
For most digital media companies, social referrals bring in a huge audience; in December 2015, Parse.ly publisher sites saw more than 45 percent of all site traffic coming from social media. Understanding which social networks refer the most traffic to your site is useful in making editorial decisions, but it can be even more important to observe trends at a more granular level. For example, individual users with a large online following can often amplify an article’s reach with just a single tweet.
Use Parse.ly to find the tweets that are driving the most traffic to your posts. Simply select the social referrers function within an article’s post analytics. Then, choose “Twitter” to see a list of all tweets that have mentioned your post.
Add Some Context to Your Metrics
Parse.ly allows you to sort based on various metrics, such as visitors, time engaged, and page views. But in order to get a more complete overview of the performance of an article, you may need some additional details. Shares, for example, will first give you a total number of interactions, and then you can contextualize this number with additional information to the left of the total shares metric. These details provide nuanced insights — from how many people click on the article per social share to how many minutes the average user spends reading the post.
Filter by Publish Date to See The Impact of Your Most Recent Content
Parse.ly’s historical view provides insight into how posts are performing during a selected time period — chosen by clicking on a particular start date then dragging to an end date to create a range.
However, a piece that was published outside of your selected range may still show up if it is gathering an audience well past its publish date. To filter your data to include only posts published within your selected time frame, filter by “Publish Date” in the toolbar beneath your historical graph. You can adjust the publish start date to include articles that were posted only during the timeframe you selected — helping you to see this week’s top posts without last week’s clouding the view (for example). The added constraint of a specific publish date also filters out well-loved but misleading evergreen content, which can skew your understanding of current site traffic.
These historical features create a holistic summary of your data without the need to watch it in real time, leaving writers, editors, and journalists with more time to focus on content.
Stay in The Data Loop with Exports and Scheduled Reports
With so many relevant metrics available per post, it can be easy to lose track of what data is most useful for different users. Take authors, for example, who may be most interested in how their post is performing relative to other popular content.
To take a snapshot of the exact screen you’re on at a given moment, click “Spreadsheet” or “CSV” to immediately export a report summarizing the data you’re currently viewing. If you’d prefer to automate the process, select “Schedule” to set up a one-time or recurring report for a given time period and metric. Reports can be scheduled on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis — and customized for specific authors, including freelancers.
Share Real-Time Metrics with The Click of a Button
In order to get the most out of Parse.ly, every author within your organization should have full access to all of its features. For freelance writers or owners of sponsored content without their own login credentials, the sharing feature provides a glimpse into some of the metrics available to full users. Hitting the “Share” button in the upper-right corner of the page will create a unique URL that you can share with anyone. For those who want to check in on their content regularly, these links never expire. In fact, they are constantly updated with real-time data to reflect the progress of each post.
Keeping freelance contributors in the loop can motivate them to produce more frequently, especially if their content is performing well.
Use Search to Find Your Posts Faster
The search bar at the top of your dashboard can help you find posts faster by scanning both metadata and the text within each of your posts. If you have the URL for the post you’re looking for, you can find it by copy+pasting this directly into the search bar. If the URL isn’t available, or if you want to search by phrase, topic, or tag, the search function will scan every post for the keywords you enter, giving you quick access to data on any post containing those words.
Visualize Trends in Your Content
Parse.ly’s “Pulse” serves as an overview of the total traffic on your site at any given time, but it can be helpful to break down this graph by post to better visualize which articles are creating spikes in your traffic. By hovering over the title of each post listed underneath your velocity graph, you can see what amount of total site traffic it brought in, overlaid in dark green. During peak hours, this can be a quick way to compare an individual post relative to the entire site.
This function extends to each of the left-hand tabs — “Posts,” “Authors,” “Sections,” and “Tags” — providing a quick visual overview of the impact of each. Your “Referrers” tab does not use the trendline feature, but instead uses a bar graph to depict different categories of social media.
Finding and using these Easter Eggs can help you squeeze every bit of utility out of Parse.ly’s wide range of functions. Which of Parse.ly’s Easter Eggs do you use regularly? Share on Twitter @parsely.
Questions about any of these features? Contact Parse.ly’s success team at firstname.lastname@example.org.