Why you need Publisher Analytics, even if you already use Google Analytics

By Karthik / April 24, 2018

Yes, Google Analytics is pretty awesome - it was probably among the first tools that gave you a chance to observe who your audiences were, how they interacted with your website and what hooks worked to get them where you wanted them to go etc. Moreover, GA is easy to install and has been getting regular updates and new features and bells and whistles from the Google team. The best part - it is FREE!

What more could you need, right?

There is always more - especially if you are a digital media publisher operating in a niche. The niche could take several forms, you:

  • May operate in a highly specific industry with unique audience behavior
  • Could receive huge amounts of traffic that needs custom metrics & dashboards
  • May be a fast-moving business (such as news or stock trading) where you need to process and act on data real-time
  • Might have several teams - editorial, digital marketing, audience development, subscription  / account management, Social Media etc.
  • Rely greatly on multimedia such as video, audio, streaming services where the analytical metrics are different

If any or multiple of the above niches apply to you, you probably also know that Google offers a premium Analytics suite - complete with Optimize, Analytics 360, Attribution, Data Studio etc. which comes at a hefty price tag but offers solutions that might solve some of the special needs posed by the above niches.

However, it is still a (admittedly fantastic) catch-all tool that does a lot, but is not designed exclusively for publishers, in a way that a Publisher Analytics platform, such as NativeAI is. Read on to find out why.

What does a Publisher Analytics tool offer

An ideal tool that provides Web Analytics customized for Publishers today, would be expected to deliver on the following parameters:

  • Understand your content - build hierarchies of audience interests and categorize your articles so you can track audience behavior by interests rather than by individual articles. This allows you to build a segment-interest affinity map that is far more valuable to build your editorial and marketing strategy
  • Measure Audience Engagement - It is great to know scroll-depth, time spent, clicks, shares etc. but article could be short or long, they could have embedded video which, if played, increases time spent or they could be filled with in-line images that increase the length while not necessarily increasing read-time. There is a need for a leveling metric - that accounts for all these and allows you a fair comparison across date-ranges, audience interests & segments.
  • Actionable Insights - Once the NativeAI audience interests have been collected for a suitably long period (we recommend at least a month) the algorithm is in a position to process your articles published, audience behavior, engagement quality and audience interests to provide you with actionable insights that will make a difference
Besides these, your Publisher Analytics tool should also provide you with the usual analytics metrics that your teams may require for sanity checks and reporting such as:
  • Measure visits, behavior on-site and acquisition channels
  • Track audience attributes such as location, device etc.
  • Robust reporting, analysis and customizable alerts

The latter 3 are clearly areas that a tool such as Google Analytics handles very well, the former is what sets a true Publisher Analytics tool apart.

What does NativeAI do better

NativeAI did not set out to be a replacement for Google Analytics, NativeAI is purpose-built for the Publishing Industry - typically news & opinion media in the digital format. It uses state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) to

  1. Crawl your articles
  2. Identify discrete subjects and objects in your content
  3. Apply machine learning algorithms to determine category(ies) your article belong(s) to
  4. Allow you to pivot and breakdown all the metrics that you want to view, by category

It is as simple as that - Artificial Intelligence allows NativeAI to UNDERSTAND and therefore RECOMMEND, while most other tools just MEASURE.

That does not mean you're forced to choose though - NativeAI uses a light script that loads asynchronously and can easily coexist with other measurement tools installed on your website. What's more, it also gives you real-time audience data, a reliable version of which is available only on Analytics 360.

Have your cake, and eat it too!

So it is a no-brainer that you should choose to use both a publisher analytics tool like NativeAI as well as a web analytics standard like Google Analytics for your website to get the best of both worlds.

Ready to try? Get a free NativeAI demo.

Written by Karthik / April 24, 2018