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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - June 2017

The Analytic Connections That Define Intent

Usually when I talk about analytics for publishers, I take the long view on data because, in publishing, momentum over time is what defines us.

I have talked about this many times before. The way to measure success for a publisher is not to look at when people do specific things, but how they interact in general. We want to measure loyalty and persistence, rather than individual actions. And the way we can measure this is via several high-end forms of analytics, like scored analytics, behavioral analytics, learning analytics and machine learning. All of which I quickly summarized here.

But there are still a number of highly noticeable actions that can really help you understand why your audience do what they do. A type of super-KPIs(key performance indicators), where our readers are directly telling us why there are here.

So, let's talk about this, because it's something that most publishers miss.

That one action that defines everything

Imagine if there was one single indicator that would magically define exactly why a person is interested in your site.

Looking at things like pageviews doesn't answer that, because a pageview does not imply an intent. And depending on where it came from, it might not mean anything at all.

For instance, most of the audience you get via Facebook means absolutely nothing, because often they don't even remember where they went.

But something extraordinary happens if you can link a specific pageview to a specific high-level of value.

For instance, the page that people see just after they sign up for a free trial tells you so much about what that specific person is interested in. In fact, that one action tells you more than any standard dashboard filled with data, because it informs you about that person's direct intent.

For instance, on this site, this is one of the ways I look for indications of value. Let me show you how.

There is a big difference between how people behave when they are subscribing to something and when they are merely signing up for a free trial.

Signing up for a subscription is a decision that most people only make when you have proven your value, which I talked about in my last article.

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Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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