It’s important to use metrics to set benchmarks from day one. Over time, they’ll tell you how well your content is doing compared with previous posts.

To build a robust and insightful set of benchmarks, you need to establish what metrics to track, but bear in mind there’s no one-size-fits-all for different content types:

Text and photos

Page views and number of visitors have been standard metrics for publishers for many years. The industry more recently has started focusing on engagement metrics, such as active time spent, scroll depth, and ratio of returning users to new users.

Page views and unique visitors remain quick and straightforward metrics that enable a two-dimensional progress of content, but it’s crucial to understand context by recognizing how people are engaging.

How far down the story did they scroll (and could we have served more in-line ads as they scrolled)? Are readers coming back for more content (and are we able to identify what types of content they’re returning to view)?


Like page views and visitors for text-and-photo content, you should measure video plays, unique plays, viewers and unique viewers. As for engagement metrics, average view duration and average percentage viewed are vital when measuring success.

These metrics will tell you whether viewers are enjoying your video content and for how long.

If your videos are auto-play enabled, it’s crucial to look at how long people watched. Did viewers stop the video right away or did they engage with it up to a certain point? If your video had a call to action, did the viewers stop the video before or after the prompt?

You want to look at metrics that make you ask a series of questions and give you guidance for your next steps.


Globe Content Studio is in the midst of producing some podcasts. We depend on third-party platforms for distribution, including the likes of Apple iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.

With multiple distributors, we rely on separate providers, such as Lybsyn or Podtrac, to amalgamate metrics. Similar to video metrics, you want to measure downloads and unique downloads, as well as download ratio from one episode to the next, to see whether you are building a loyal listener base.

Unlike videos, podcasts listeners need to come back to one of the platforms to download and/or listen to other episodes, so it’s critical to make sure your content draws return listeners.

For all content

Exclude your company’s IP address from your metrics to avoid inflating your numbers. Chances are your employees will access the content multiple times before and during a campaign – you don’t want to include those views and activities in your metrics.

We measure content performance to confirm and adjust tactics to gain the highest engagement from our readers. As more and more publishers seek quality engagement (scroll depth, average percentage played, downloads and time spent) on top of quantity engagement (such as page views), it is important to constantly look at how we can improve content and ultimately retain readers.

Published by Karen Ahn

Analytics Lead at Globe Content Studio, The Globe and Mail

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