Most newsrooms by now have access to analytics through a variety of tools, including Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Omniture and Google Analytics. Those real-time spikes and valleys can be thrilling and depressing. But there’s more to what the numbers can tell you, including what you should and should not be covering.
In California, The Fresno Bee tried short-term food coverage experiments. The team wanted to see what audiences responded to, what they weren’t reading and how they could make adjustments. Here’s what they discovered:
People loved high-utility coverage, like restaurant openings and closings. They didn’t love a localized national story. The day the story was published online mattered (no one read them on Fridays). And food/culture stories still performed well.
Many newsrooms are moving beyond the popularity contest of pageview metrics, but analytics can tell you other important things.
In Fresno, for instance, the food writer’s experimental coverage was:
First in the newsroom in direct subscription conversions. Second in the newsroom in stories that led to a conversion. First in subscriber pageviews. And yes, first in pageviews.
Those numbers show this is the kind of work that readers not only want but will pay for.
One more example: In April, Poynter wrote about how The (Charleston, South Carolina) Post and Courier grew digital subscriptions by 250%. Part of their strategy included publishing fewer stories.
You read that correctly.
Editor Mitch Pugh told Poynter that the newsroom learned to stop focusing on clicks and pageviews and instead
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2019/why-great-reporting-and-writing-are-not-enough/