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The digital publishing goal is converting website visitors into subscribers and then into buyers, resulting in increasing the sales of online editions on computers, tablets, and smartphones.

The road to achieving this leads through systematic data analysis, understood as deep insights, what provides better knowledge about the visitors’ real needs, and understanding what attracts them most. The result is contributing to engaging readers in content, and building a loyal audience which is a long-term investment worth all the efforts. To succeed with revenue, digital publishers need to understand readers’ behavior and aspects of the online selling process.

Only then they can manage their website effectively, prepare the most engaging content, publish in their rush hours, and in the effect, build strong relationships, earn subscribers, and drive revenue.

There’s not a quick solution to achieve it. However, this process is worth the effort, the more so, there’s a free tool that helps to unveil all the secrets – Google Analytics.

We analyzed ten different digital publishers’ websites gathering around topics like lifestyle, finance, sport. Thanks to Google Analytics we collected data which comes from the last 12 months – from March 2020 to March 2021.

Here are the most intriguing conclusions we received that might be significant for digital publishers and their monetization process.

3 facts from Google Analytics based on analysis of ten publishers’ websites

1. Tablets have a conversion potential

Our analysis clearly shows that over the last year the dominant device for displaying publishers’ websites was the computer. It was followed by a smartphone and a tablet – places on the podium in this order have been taken for several years.

The usage of different devices in visiting websites
The usage of different devices in visiting websites

However, let’s go beyond the “users” category and analyze their behavior and conversion rate. The data shows that the tablet’s statistic, despite the smallest participation of users in viewing the content, can be interesting in other respects (the most popular tablet device is Apple iPad).

desktop mobile tablet

According to Google Analytics, visiting websites on tablets is characterized by:

  • the lowest bounce rate,
  • the biggest number of pages viewed during a session,
  • the longest average session duration,
  • the highest percentage of visits that resulted in a conversion to a goal.

What conclusions can publishers draw from this?

People use tablets to visits websites differently than other devices. While smartphones are used almost everywhere outdoors, tablets are preferred for home use: on the couch, in the spare time, when the user’s relaxed, etc. Tablets are used for long-time entertainment, getting deeper into the website, or do online shopping.

RS Web Solutions, a group of experienced web designers and developers, says:

“The biggest draw for tablets is their ability to entice people into reading full-fledged articles, e-books, novels et al. in a comfy and relaxed manner […] Tablets are your best bet when you are lying on the couch and want to peruse apps like Vimeo or YouTube for accessing your favorite online video channels. Thanks to massive display size, tablets rule the roost and edge out smartphones by a huge margin. When it comes to consuming media on different platforms, tablets make things more enjoyable and hassle-free affair when compared with Smartphone.”

Moving forward, according to Pugpig’s report, tablets are irreplaceable for reading monthlies, while dailies and weeklies a better fit for smartphones.

digital magazines readership

2. Websites visitors do it in the evening

By creating custom reports in Google Analytics, we can find out what time visitors enter the website, and this is extremely valuable information. Our analysis of US traffic (which is the most of all traffic and it is 67,39%) shows that the most visitors see publishers’ websites from 3 p.m. to 00 with a peak at 6 p.m. For traffic from Europe, the visiting hours look a quite similar to US.

The conclusion is that people view the websites after work, especially in the evening which can be significant now when many publishers publishing their content in real-time, which seems to be a great idea but in the context of a news app, not a website.

when to publish content on website

For publishers, this information answered on questions:

  • When to post website content?
  • When to make major or minor changes to the website?

Without traffic, no one reads, clicks, signs up or buys.

It matters also in playing with time in publishers’ paywall strategies and German Madsack knows how to use it perfectly. They launched a timewall in mid-2019 that allows new content to be free for the first hour after publication, then it goes behind the paywall.

With a goal of 25k new subscriptions with this strategy in the first 18 months, after just six months they were already halfway to their goal.

The knowledge about the greatest hourly traffic on the website was essential here.

3. Android beats iOS

As far as we can say that mobile traffic is basically the same for Android and iOS systems (it’s almost fifty-fifty), the rest of the parameters are not at so similar. It shows how different are both groups using different devices, the same for the US and Europe.

mobile devices system

  • Android users have reflected almost three times longer average session duration than iOS users.
  • Android has almost three times higher percentage of website visits that resulted in a conversion to the goal.
  • Android has three times higher conversion to the goal.

Our analysis shows that Android users spend more time on the website, and they are more willing to make online purchases. This is in contrast to many previous researchers and suggestions that iOS users are more likely to online shopping, are more active on the Internet. It raises a need to answer questions about the personality of mobile devices’ users and their behavior again.

Google Analytics will tell you the truth

On the basis of Internet traffic over the last 12 months, we showed some of the regularity we saw which might be intriguing and trigger publishers to deeper exploration.

  • Firstly, we indicated that the tablet as a content viewing device, despite its low popularity, beats smartphone and computer in terms of bounce rate, the number of pages viewed during a session, average session duration, and visits that resulted in a conversion to a goal.
  • Secondly, we have shown that users of publisher websites prefer to read quietly, at home, in the evening hours.
  • Thirdly, we questioned a lot of studies that indicated the superiority of iOS over Android, and we demonstrated the differences in the actions of users of both these groups.

The goal of our analysis of ten publishers’ websites was to draw attention to aspects that may have been unobvious, overlooked, or need to be revised.

We believe that the analysis is the first step to better decision-making. That’s why real-time analytics are a part of our PressPad News platform. 

Do you want to know more details about your traffic? Contact PressPad.