volume 2 | winter 2015

An Excerpt from "Depth of Visit"

Dan Valente and Kris Harbold

Across the Chartbeat network, we see about 75,000 new pages come online a day. A day. The sheer amount of information often makes the web a place of opacity, confusion, darkness, a maze of mountains of content.

But in the darkness, there are those that light a candle, so we can find our way to the best work, the truth, the light. You are the candle holders, the content creators, the way-leaders. You labor to inform. You labor to engage. You labor to entertain. Your only hope is that we stay a while, and perhaps find enough reasons to return. And so the question that you grapple with daily is: how can I get visitors to stay, and how can I get them to keep coming back?

We looked into one possible solution: altering the design of article pages to facilitate deeper visits. We looked at the traffic topology of several sites, breaking them into those with infinite scroll implemented on each article and those using a more traditional, link-based recommendation scheme.

Each dot in these visualizations is a page, and the line between them denotes traffic that flows between the pages; a heavier line means more traffic.

What drives more interest, engagement, and returns?

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Also in this issue:
The Effect of Engaging Headlines
Dark Social: Correcting Attribution in Mobile Apps
Global Comparison of Traffic Sources and Behavior