Popularity Contest

Think you know what your audience likes? Be sure, by tracking the activity around your content.

By using meta-data about your web content, and traffic analysis, you may begin to see what sorts of things are popular with your audience. You can also run experiments to test your ideas. But what meta-data do you track? Here are a few categories. I’d really like to hear of others-


Time and Day of the Week: These may be critical for micro-blogging and content that appears in time based feed.  Platforms such as Twitter and even Facebook do not easily display content besides what is current.

Position: Is your content at the top, middle, or bottom of page? Is it in a boxed, highlighted, area? Some places the eye is naturally lead, find out where those are and use them.

Author: If your content is from several authors, you may find some just have a better connection with the audience.  This is easy enough to track, and can be analyzed further if there are big differences.

Flesch–Kincaid score: Quantify your content’s readability with Flesch–Kincaid scores. While some technical content may not truly represent how your audience’s experience, it is a quick way to gain insight in how your content is written.

Subject Matter: Cats? Dogs? Poodles? Miniature Poodles? Establish categories for subjects to see what folks are interested in. Be sure to go into more detail if you think that is warranted.

Reader Segmentation: If you can describe the content as how it may appeal to a particular market segment, you will want to track that. This would include not only where the reader might live, their age and gender, but further details you may find useful. There are many aspects to marketing segmentation.

Graphic: Does your content include a graphic? You might also distinguish between a picture or image, as well as the content.

That’s a few for now. I’d be curious to hear of others.

The neat thing is you don’t have to wait for the data.  You can apply this to your past content and activity and begin learning now. Using past content you can also tweak your categories for your particular situation, and set up experiments for future posts.






About John

Interested in how information intersects daily life, technology, and art. Collaboration specialist, working in social and collaborative media. Biomedical Informaticist, focusing on patient/patient, patient/provider communication.
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