Analytics and the Newspaper Industry: What Matters and Why?

The interactive nature of the Internet is still something that newspapers are wrestling with, but many papers are starting to see the value of tracking numbers that had been nearly unavailable in the past. When a newspaper uses analytics to capture information on its current client base, it can compare that information to its business goals or current trends and adjust its activities accordingly. But what types of analytics are newspapers looking at and how are they using these very powerful numbers?

SEE ALSO: What Information Should Your Analytics Reveal (and What Should You Do With It)?

Viewer Internet Activity

According to PBS.org, the data that newspapers and other media outlets are collecting is extremely detailed. It’s getting to the point where media outlets are collecting data such as the amount of time a user’s mouse hovers over a link before clicking on it and how many clicks a user makes when going through a set of news stories and headlines.

What is the point of collecting this extremely specific data? Internet marketing experts can crunch these numbers and determine if there are behavioral patterns that can be used to determine how to get more users to click on a headline and how to bring more traffic to a website. In the world of Internet news, more traffic means more revenue, and that’s why so many outlets are seeking out such detailed data.

Improving Advertising

Newspapers survive thanks to advertising revenue, so it only makes sense that much of the analytical information gathered deals with making advertising more effective. Newspapers can use analytics to determine which type of advertising format is more effective and which type of marketing content gets more results.

As an example, newspapers can use analytics to determine where their strongest geographic audiences are located and use that to appeal to advertisers looking to reach those audiences. Analytics can also indicate which types of advertising (banner ads, links, etc.) bring in the most traffic and use that information to create more focused advertising for clients.

All of this information gets bundled into sales presentations geared at showing advertisers how they the newspapers can improve the return on investment for their clients.

Monitoring Content

Analytics can show a newspaper what type of content gets the most attention and which sections of their online publications are getting the most attention. By altering their content based on the trends created by the public, newspapers can develop content that brings in more traffic and that, in turn, increases advertising revenues.

By using analytics, a newspaper can determine what type of content works best to retain current subscribers and bring in new registered customers. According to INMA.org, an online publication in New England reported that it was able to increase its digital publication subscriptions by over 400% just because the publication used analytical data to develop content that was more relevant to its readers.

Some of the data gathered in these instances deals with the initial surge in traffic for new content compared to the sustained traffic, where the traffic is coming from, and how long traffic stays on a particular web page. All of this analytical information helps newspapers to create content that will be much more appealing to their audiences and advertisers.

If you want to get more out of your publishing website, then you first have to understand what you are getting out of your current content. Analytics can act as the key that unlocks all of the information you need to reach more customers, improve the experience for your advertisers, and grow your online publication significantly. Until you know what your customers want, it is impossible to develop content that will bring in more revenue-generating traffic.

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