Core concepts of newsroom analytics

Pageviews ruled the roast for many years. It’s almost impossible to shake pageviews (PVs) off the mindset of newsroom managers, including those on the business side. Google has a simple definition for Pageview:

A pageview (or pageview hit, page tracking hit) is an instance of a page being loaded (or reloaded) in a browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.

Competing for equal attention is the number of Sessions.

A session is when a user visits a site and whether she exits immediately or stays on and visits numerous pages on the site, it makes for one session.
Google says: “The period of time a user is active on your site or app.” But there’s an important caveat to that, “By default, if a user is inactive for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session.” Though, “Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.”
A quick look at how you’re faring can be gauged by looking at a basic report, which shows the each page URL or Title along with respective Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, the Average Time users spent on the page, the number of users who came directly through the page is accumulated in Entrances, while the Bounce Rate gives the percentage of users who left the site after viewing just the one page, and we also get to see the percentage of user after viewing the page.

Hits can be misses

Hits is often used to mean Pageviews, a vestige from the pre-Google Analytics days. Hits, as defined by Google says, “An interaction that results in data being sent to Analytics. Common hit types include page tracking hits, event tracking hits, and ecommerce hits.” Thus to base ones assessment of the performance of a page cannot be accurately read by measuring Hits.

Key metrics and business model.

The business model or the business priorities of the publication decides what key metrics it would lay emphasis on. After all the full arsenal of data is at the disposal of users. How much to stress on pageviews or time spent is completely left to the news organisation. A general purpose news site often looks at pageviews as the single-most important metric, without discounting the importance of New Users, Average Time on Page or the Bounce Rate. Many news sites have even started laying stress on the scroll depth, that is the depth to which most readers go to read the page. A video-heavy website with very little text might have a very different approach to GA than a website that concentrates on long-form journalism. In fact, a general news site might look at each of its sections with a very different lens — or ought to.

Users are unique

It ultimately about users, returning users, of course, but new users too — the relentless desire to grow even as we retain existing users. The metric Users, according to Google, show hows many users engaged wit your site.

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