Core Publisher responsive theme shows measurable gains in analytics

Jan 27, 2015

The Core Publisher development team has been working hard to introduce a fully functioned responsive web theme. Over the past few months a handful of sites have moved to this new theme which provides a cleaner look and allows a consistent experience across devices. While we can't share sites confidential details, we can point to a few positive trends that we have seen post launch.

Improved organic search performance
Mobile stories can now be found in search. This allow mobile users to find the exact content that they are looking for.  In addition, Google's search algorithm recognizes responsive design as a best practice and favors responsive sites in search results allowing content from sites on this theme to get a boost in search traffic. Sites that launched in responsive theme saw increases in traffic from organic search in the weeks immediately after the change.  

Boosted traffic and reading
Organic search isn't the only source of increased traffic; Direct visits to the site have increased as well.  In the six weeks post launch we have seen boosted traffic leading to increased engagement with written content. On responsive theme sites more visits include story content than before the launch. We also saw that interaction with inline audio increased for desktop traffic. Streaming visits have not seen an increase but have remained steady across all devices. Later releases will provide enhancements designed to improve the listening experience.  

Integrated and complete Google analytics data
For those of you who are frustrated by the lack of meta data and the limited URL structure on the "m." mobile website we are happy to say that the responsive theme allows common URL's for both desktop and mobile device users.  This also allows us to track custom variables based on story meta data including author, category, program, API id, publish date and word count.

For more information and more detailed results please view the webinar recording or look at the powerpoint slides from the October Analytics Insights webinar which are posted on nprstations.org (bit.ly/SASVideos)