MAGLR BLOG / 16 December 2020

6 key metrics to understand how your publication is performing

Once you have created and shared your Maglr publication with your audience, you obviously want to know how it is performing. We believe it is important to learn what your audience likes to read and view in this digital-first world. To measure is to know, and with those insights, you can improve your existing and future content. To determine and understand the success of your online publications, you have to take a look at your analytics. This blog will help you to measure the success of your publications and content made with Maglr.

Define success metrics

In our Maglr analytics dashboard, we visualize the data of your publication so that you can easily analyze the metrics. But before you get lost in the data, you need to understand that each publication needs a different approach in understanding this data. Therefore, it is important that you need to determine what goals and metrics will define the success of your content.

First of all, each publication you create with Maglr can serve different goals. Meaning that each piece of content can be designed to either inform, involve or convince your audience. Offering a mesmerizing content experience ensures that you get and retain the attention of your readers. But with each goal can come a different metric to deem it successful, for example:

  • Informative publications can be measured by scroll depth and time spent on pages;

  • Engaging publications can be measured by the number of interactions and engagements;

  • Conversion-focused publications can be measured by the number of acquired leads, clicks or conversions.

Maglr analytics dashboard

If you access the analytics dashboard in Maglr, the first thing you will see is a timeline graph with an overall view of the performance with highlighted scorecards for Unique Visitors, Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Average time on page, Mobile users and Bounce. These scorecards are the first indicators of how your publication has performed. You can change the date selection in the upper right corner, which is automatically set on the current month. 

Maglr Statistics dashboard

Further down the report you will find more detailed info such as data based on the most popular pages, demography and traffic sources. The key to understanding how well your content is resonating with your intended audience is to combine and interpret the different data coming from your publication. And before you dive into the data you need to be able to view your publications through the eyes of your audience.

Engagement Metrics 

Your visitors’ content experience and user satisfaction play a crucial role in determining whether they will love and continue to consume your content. There are 6 key metrics that tend to have the highest influence:

  • Reach

  • Time spent

  • Engagement

  • Referral

  • Bounce rate

  • Conversion

Reach
Unique Visitors / Total Visits
Visits-to-unique visitors is a valuable user metric you can use to evaluate the level of engagement with your content. How many unique visitors have read your publication? And how many of them were new visitors? If you see a big difference in visits-to-unique visitors, this means you have returning visitors that are willing to engage with your content again.

Time spent
Average time per page/session duration
These metrics tell you how much time people spend in your publication. By looking at the average time visitors spend, you can see how interesting and relevant your content is for your intended audience. By looking at the average time spent per page and session you can see which pages are more relevant to your readers. Longer session durations also indicate more engaged visitors. 

At Maglr, we have dived into different types of publications and on average people will spend:

  • at least 3,5 minutes in online magazines/digital publications (with avg. of 10 pages) on desktop

  • 2 minutes and 20 seconds in online magazines/digital publications on mobile devices

  • more than 1 minute and 30 seconds on single interactive landing or campaign pages

Woman reading online magazine on tablet

To put in perspective, the average page visit lasts a little less than a minute. But to really determine the success of your publication, you need to look further than only these quantitative numbers. If you want to know how your publication is performing you need to look into how your audience is interacting with and browsing through your content. This kind of qualitative data can fill the gaps of the real success of your online publication. The users of your publication are still all human beings, each with their own motives and reading behaviour. For example, you have dedicated subscribers that devour all your content or people that skip the advertorial content or only watch the videos in your publications.

Engagement
Average pages per visit/Interactions/Events
Do you know which pages are popular and generating the most traffic? Identifying these pages can help you analyze the topics, types, and formats of content that are popular with your audience. The average amount of pages indicate the total amount of pages visited divided by the total number of visits during a specific timeframe. A higher number means visitors are browsing through your publication and are engaging with the content they enjoy. 

By looking at the interactions per page, you can also determine why they are (under)performing. These interactions - called events - show data based on the number of clicks or interactions people had on a specific page of a publication. For example, different scroll depths (25% to 100%) will tell you how many users are scrolling down and looking at your page. Other interactions are indicating whether they are clicking the buttons, opening pop-ups or engaging with interactive elements on your page. These are defined by an event category, event actions and the total of (unique) events in the dashboard. Learn more about event tracking in Maglr publications.

Landingpage statistics
Statistics from one of our campaign pages with a lot of interactions.

An example: you have created a page that contains a video and several buttons that will open a popup window with more info. When looking at your statistics, you see there’s little to no engagement in terms of views and click events on that page. This means that the content isn’t inviting people to interact with this page. Reason enough to reconsider the design of the page and look into why people aren’t interacting with the content.

Bounce rate
Bounce and exit rates
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions. Meaning sessions in which the person left your publication or page from its entrance without interacting. To be upfront, bounce rates depend on many factors outside of just the “type” of publication you have. While a low bounce rate indicates that the content is relevant to visitors, a high bounce will not necessarily mean that a page is not relevant. This metric is good for understanding how each individual page contributes to the overall reading behaviour. It's also a great metric for understanding the correlation between the amount of content on a page and what further action is required of the reader. If a page contains little information but requires a strong call-to-action, this means this page needs to perform better in terms of interactions than time spent on page. 

Do you know where your visitors exit your publication? Are they leaving from a specific page? By looking at the popular pages in your analytics dashboard, you can see the number of users that view each page. With this data you can visualize the user flow. This enables you to see how far visitors make it through your publication and content. By taking into account the bounce and exit rates, you can now think about ways to improve your content experience. For example: you can add more links to other pages, reorder your pages and call-to-actions, or place a table of contents at the beginning of your publication.

Referral:
Traffic source and share of voice
After publishing your publication, you have shared it with your audience. But do you know where all that traffic is coming from? Social media? Organic search? Referrals? Of those sources, which referral traffic are sending the most visitors your way? Knowing how your publication visits break down can give you insight into your high-performing channels as well as under-utilized ones. Is your content worth linking to? Referral links are extremely valuable metrics; it indicates that your content is valuable to others and worth sharing through a variety of channels. Keeping track of your inbound links helps you keep tabs on the quality of your content.

Traffic top 10 in Maglr publication
Referral traffic from a Maglr whitepaper

The analytics dashboard will show you where the origin (source) of your traffic comes from, such as a search engine (for example, google) or a website domain (example.com). It also shows from what medium, the general category of the source, the traffic is sent from. For example, organic search (organic), cost-per-click paid search (CPC), web referral (referral). Every source/medium also shows what metrics this traffic generates such as page views, sessions, average time per session or on page with its bounce percentage.

Conversion
Lead generation and conversion
If your publication is created to convert visitors to leads or to collect information, then there are several conversion metrics that will help determine its success. You can track how many visitors filled in a form on your publication or clicked on an outbound link leading them to your website or webshop. These clicks or submissions can be tracked by integrating tools such as Google Tag Manager or Zapier. Using UTM tags can also define the user behaviour and easy track visitors coming from your publication.

In short:

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience
The analytics dashboard can provide you with a lot of metrics and a lot of data. It is up to you to choose your most important metrics and measure them accordingly. If you can put yourself in the need and motivation of your target audience, you get actionable insights on how to move them.

If you want to see more and advanced statistics from your publications, then you are able to integrate Google Analytics and implement Google Tag Manager. The GA dashboard displays more advanced and in-depth information from your publications in comparison with other website traffic.

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