The first two of 10 reports commissioned by the Digital Media Federation’s Audience Development Committee have been released.
In October, Spotted generated 12.2 percent of all page views on Morrisâ€™ newspaper sites, according to data provided by Coyle. In some markets, such as Yankton, S.D., Spotted generates more than a quarter of all page views.
And each visitor to Spotted generates an average of 27 page views per month, compared to 5.5 page views per month for each visitor to Morrisâ€™ online news sites, Coyle said.
That’s impressive. Spotted is one of my favorite newspaper.com initiatives. It was the right product at the right time and well executed.
Last week I met Bret McCormick, the new VP of Web Enterprises for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. He told me Spotted has been a huge success for his site. I’ve been meaning to drop him an e-mail so I can get more details. (BTW: I happened to check out the Tyler site last summer and it was a real dog. Bret has done a great job of advancing a small-paper site. I’m not sure it’s an award winner yet, but Brett’s making great progress).
Because the Spokesman-Review changed its traffic-analysis systems in 2006, it is not possible to compare audience data earlier than April of 2006. But data provided by Sands for April and November 2006 shows dramatic growth in traffic for the paperâ€™s blogs. During that period — page views for the rest of the paperâ€™s Web presence increased 17 percent — blog page views increased 73 percent. In November, blogs received almost 500,000 page views, about a sixth of total Web traffic.
The paperâ€™s audience data does not indicate the extent to which the blogs are attracting people not already visiting other parts of the subscriber-only Web site. But since traffic to both is growing, and blog traffic is growing faster, there is at least circumstantial evidence the blogs are finding a following among people who donâ€™t use the paperâ€™s main Web site.
The evidence is mounting that blogging drives traffic to newspaper sites.
Rich Gordon is doing a great job on these reports. The goal is to find the best audience growth practices and share with the industry what is working and why. To be considered for a case study, the site managers must be able to share hard data that demonstrates real growth. If you know of or involved in a qualifying project, you should contact me (I’m chair of the committee), the NAA or Rich Gordon.