Know Your Audience: Not All Traffic is Created Equal

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Given today’s fragmented web, it has never been more important to understand your audience. New social media platforms and device types mean that not all users want to interact with your content in the same way. Some are there to read articles and tweet about them, others to watch videos.

Catering your on-site experience to meet the needs of these different audiences can not only boost engagement, but also generate an organic boost in page views from new users who appreciate the personalized attention. Below are some of our key tips on how to better understand your audience and deliver the right experience to the right person.

Dive Into the Data

Data, though sometimes overwhelming, is your friend. Analytics tools provide the pulse points for you to see where audiences come from and how they behave on your site. Breaking out your audience by referral source, device type, and geography are especially powerful ways to understand the broad spectrum of user behaviors. Diving into the numbers will show you who stays on-site the longest, which users want photo galleries over video, and allow you to cater the user experience accordingly.

Don’t Be Afraid to Segment

Users arriving on your site from a specific location are more likely to exhibit similar behaviors as a group, versus users that arrive from elsewhere. Taboola’s network insights have found that Facebook-referred visitors more often interact with mid-article items, while users coming from your homepage are more likely to consume an entire article and then some. Segment-specific optimizations (such as promoting mid-article items for Facebook-referred traffic) can improve the on-site experience for these different groups of users. By creating low-friction ways for people to take the actions they find most desirable, you can increase the overall potential for on-site engagement.

Cater to Mobile Attention Spans

Users are rapidly shifting to new devices, and by now it’s no surprise that having a mobile-optimized experience is key to success. Google recently revised its search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites, and Pew’s latest 2015 State of the News Media report found that 39 of the top 50 digital news sites now receive more traffic from mobile than desktop. These users have different attention spans, and Taboola’s data finds that mobile visitors are 20% less likely to consume an entire piece of content than those on desktop (and 30% less likely than tablet users). Make sure your on-site experience integrates more opportunities for mobile users to engage early on in a piece of content, while you still have their attention.

The Secret Benefits of Tablet

Tablet users often get left unnoticed, likely because they aren’t a primary source of traffic. But these users have proven to be some of the most engaged, and open to deeper interactions when given the opportunity. We’ve found that tablet users are 20% more engaged (based on click-through data) than desktop users as a whole, and it makes sense if you consider the environment. Tablet users are likely in a passive consumption mode (perhaps browsing the web while watching TV) and open to discovering new content. Responsive websites that elevate the tablet experience are better positioned to engage these users and encourage them to keep exploring.

Trending Towards Personalization

With users arriving at your site from an array of channels and variously sized devices, understanding what each person wants is crucial to fostering engagement. Enlisting data as your strategic adviser can help you parse out user behaviors, optimize your on-site experience for different audiences, and ultimately encourage visitors to stay longer and come back for more in the future.

Want to learn more about how Taboola can help you optimize for different audiences?  Contact us today.

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