Saturday, January 17, 2009

Burning Questions!

Burning Questions!

Link to AdSense for Feeds

Los colores bonitos, or how I learned to stop worrying and compare multiple feed metrics.

Posted: 17 Jan 2009 05:45 AM PST

If you've been knocking about within FeedBurner using your Google Account, you may have noticed that the original "french fry" chart from the Analyze tab of the original feedburner.com is no more. This venerable bar chart, with its green picket fence of subscriber trend results, has been the first stop for many publishers when checking their feed analytics for years. In its place is new green-ness (and blue-ness) that communicates three times as much information in the same space, and sets the stage for more interesting reporting in the future. Here's a snapshot:



This 30-day view now offers the following information:
  • Daily subscriber totals (in green)

  • Daily reach totals (in blue)

  • The relationship between these two numbers over time
You can move the mouse over any day in the chart and see that day's specific totals for subscribers and reach, too. (Note that reach and subscribers are plotted with different y-axes: subscribers on left, reach on right).

The relationship between these numbers is the kicker:
  • Understanding that reach means people taking action by viewing or clicking on items in your feed helps you understand how engaged your audience is.

  • The more often you post (especially with full text), the more often people are likely to view your current (and previous) updates, and even click-through to your site for related information.

  • Note the blue spikes in reach above; these are centered around new posts. Steady subscriber growth occurred as this site promoted and redirected 100% of its original feed traffic to its feed.
Don't forget to click the "See more about your subscribers" link below the main chart to view a detailed breakdown of your subscriber traffic:



Comparing this chart, day by day, can help you spot where subscribers are coming from (and from what source they have gone missing, should there be a sudden drop).

While we're on the topic: make sure you can actually get the reach statistic — meaning, make sure you turn on item-level stats for your feed! They're used to help calculate reach. Visit the Analyze tab, look for the "Configure Stats" option, and make sure the boxes shown below are checked:



(You can, of course, check "downloads," too, if you're a podcaster). As a reminder: to view all feed stats' reports and options, either click the "View Feed Stats" next to your feed's ad unit listing in the AdSense Manage Ads section, or sign into feedburner.google.com and click on your feed's title on My Feeds.

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