We’re so excited to share with you what we’ve been working on for the last several months. Our goal at Momently is to empower publishers to know their readers and make better editorial decisions. And today, we’re a step closer to that goal, with the new Momently.
Why a new Momently?
As a publisher, you spend a remarkable amount of resources to create content for people to read. Yet, the logistics of knowing how/when/where people read your content are extremely difficult. Even with solutions like Google Analytics and others, the basic questions you have about your content still aren't answered. Are people actually reading your posts? Where are they dropping off? Where do they go next? We created Momently to help publishers have clarity on questions like these.
Within the past year since we launched, we've made significant progress. Digital publishers across the globe in every industry - from food and fashion bloggers, to fast-growing tech companies, to publishing organizations - use Momently to know their readers more than they could before. But there's still more opportunity to make analytics even easier for you. After countless customer conversations, user experience studies, and prototypes, we built a new Momently.
The answer to “why do we need Momently?” isn’t because data, it’s because it can help you do your editorial jobs, even if that’s just as simple as showing your section editor that she might be wasting her time micro-managing the front page and should be instead focusing in at the article level on how to move people along to other pieces of content. That in itself helps her prioritize her time.
Momently is a powerful product with a lot of features, and in the old Momently, it could feel overwhelming to read your data. To fix that, the product needed some big changes. In fact, the number one request from customers was an improved and focused content dashboard. The new Momently is redesigned to make it easier to make sense of your data, so you can take action fast and use Momently to achieve your goals.
A simple, clear experience
When you start using Momently, it's simple. Advanced features unfold gradually, only when you need them. The new top bar highlights the core features you need to stay on top of your day (Date & Comparison period), explore your data (Breakdown) and dive deeper into your metrics (Filter). You have access to these features from anywhere in the product.
The heartbeat of the new Momently is the page views graph. At a glance, you can see the top 50 performing pages/posts, total page views, average engaged time, total audience and a graph that clearly shows the traffic levels. Every page view (deemed valid) is displayed with a lag of less than five seconds.
When you go to a page/post detail, you'll see a cleaner, more skimmable list of charts and insights. The improved detail page gives you access to everything you need to drive your story to success: breakdown of readers by geographical region, engaged time, scroll depth (on different devices), and click-through (inbound, outbound and download) along with a high-level view of traffic channels and referrers.
There’s clear, consistent hierarchy throughout, so you can quickly scan a page for the important information. The sidebar, with your complete list of filters, can slip away with a click, so you can focus on the work at hand.
The main metric that's used in the new Momently is page views, a measure that isn't without its flaws, but it gives a broad indication as to whether a piece "resonates."
The advantage of page views is that they are linked directly to traffic properties such as referrer. For example, if the same user visits your site multiple times, both directly and via Facebook, each click instance can be tracked independently and the referral attributed appropriately. This allows us to cross-analyze the data in more depth and with greater accuracy. On the new Momently, you can breakdown and filter your data for any time and comparison period with every possible combination of traffic properties, audience behavior and content properties.
Another advantage of page views is that it helps keep things simple. Page views is an easy concept to grasp. For data to work, it needs to be understood and democratized across your organization - from the writer to the editor to the marketing team. Information and the metrics need to be clear and simple to understand so that even the busiest teams can see at a glance how stories are performing.
Although page views are maligned - seen by some as encouraging clickbait - it's a useful metric in its own right when you see it as an analytical tool to gauge behavior rather than solely to drive revenue. Most people have a natural understanding of the fact that page views is not necessarily a sign of quality - as long as we understand that, that's fine - but it can tell you whether something is working. The end goal here is to get your excellent content in front of the widest possible audience.
Momently isn't just about page views. It also provides far more granular data for those who need it. For example, it shows where a reader went after each article, how far they scrolled, and crucially, it shows how long people paid attention to an article for - using the same methodology as Chartbeat.
Average engaged time is for those not happy with simple page views data, and many argue that how engaged a person is with the article is a more important metric than a click. But engaged time can be slippery and even misleading, too.
For example, in our old blog, an article on SEO performed outstandingly well in terms of traffic. However, the average engaged time on the article was only 5 seconds, which suggests that there’s something not quite right with the article - did it have a clickbait title that didn’t deliver once clicked? Or was the content simply boring? Looking at our data in Momently, we could see that Twitter was the major driver of the article’s viral performance. Breaking down the data even deeper by source, engaged time with Twitter users in particular was even less than 5 seconds. On the other hand, Reddit referrals clocked in at about 1 minute and for homepage visits, even longer. So in effect, the overall engaged time data was saying less about the quality of the article than it was about the interest Twitter readers had on the topic of the article.
Another thing to note here is that although it's tempting to look at engaged time as an indicator of quality and try to aggregate the data and find out the peak length of an article, we've seen time and time again that maximizing engaged time doesn't yield results when it comes to editorial content. Though people are quick to criticize the page view metric as a driver of clickbaiting, we believe an overemphasis on engaged time, leading to arbitrary shortening or lengthening of editorial content, to be much more fraught with unintended consequences.
The social effect
Social signals, such as a Facebook like or a tweet, can be used to measure user engagement, but they can also be misleading. The problem with social signals is that there's no correlation between likes and tweets and people actually reading. Making widespread use of teasers on social networks can net you high click through rates, but it is highly likely that people simply won’t have the time to actually engage with your content as they’re perusing their social media. Rather, what we get is a burst in sharing that is completely disconnected from engagement performance, and hence, the phenomenon of click fraud.
Page views serve as a counterweight to other data — it’s not either-or.
A widespread assumption is that the more content is liked or shared, the more engaging it must be, the more willing people are to devote their attention to it. However, the data doesn’t back that up. In a study by Chartbeat, they looked at 10,000 socially-shared articles and found that there’s no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content.
Momently provides you with a level of granularity that turns it from analytics reporting into an exploratory tool. You can breakdown and filter your data for any time and comparison period with every possible combination of traffic properties (referral source, traffic channel, location, loyalty, campaign UTM types, device, browser types and more), audience behavior (engaged time, scroll depth, and click through), content properties (sections, authors, and content age) and page type (article vs. a generic page).
For example, if you find that loyal readers from a particular geographic region are no longer viewing your sports articles as they normally have (a subset of readers that have been isolated by applying region, loyalty, and sports section filters), you can breakdown your isolated data with referral sources to see whether the decline in viewership is common amongst all loyal sports readers from that specific region or just those from a specific source.
This kind of in-depth data exploration enables your team to grasp the relationship between the different referral types, such as social and search.
While Momently is rooted in objectivity with a focus on data and analysis, its end goal is to empower the user by providing insight. We want Momently to become a part of the editorial process and enable more informed and accurate judgement in the production of content itself, rather than just marketing and packaging strategy.
Obviously, some are skeptical of this approach and fear that this kind of data-driven feedback could impair rather than empower judgement. This attitude is based on erroneous assumptions though:
First, it assumes that operating in ignorance of data is a good environment for accurate decision-making. From our experience at Momently and comparing these two approaches, we know that this is not the case at all.
Second, it takes for granted an irrational fear of data - the popular perception that the data will end up in control you, and not the other way round. This paranoia is misplaced in our case, because we purposefully do not use automated processes in the analysis and interpretation steps. Human beings are integral to our system, placed between the data side and editorial side. We understand that publishers want to be informed by the data rather than led by the data. With this carefully considered approach, there are times when the data will tell you something or confirm something you already know and you might very well ignore it.
When you don’t fully understand what the data is saying, critical implications for your performance will easily be missed. For example, page views per visit is a metric often used to gauge loyalty of visitors. If we go about improving your article page such that it links more smoothly and efficiently, page views per visit will counterintuitively go down. As visitors no longer have to navigate an overly complicated or inefficient site, they can get to the content they want to read quicker and with less clicks.
It is easy to become overwhelmed, when you’re surrounded by a whole a lot of different metrics and indices. This is exactly the sort of battle we at Momently aim to arm and equip you for.
The future of Momently?
Custom reports is our next big feature on the list. Right now, Momently provides a daily/weekly digest to give you an idea of what has been going on your site. With the report builder, you'd be able to create, download and share reports instantly, or get recurring reports emailed to you and your team. The reports can be setup to track specific performance and goals over a desired date range and comparison period.
A lot more is to come within the next few months as we're working with a team of amazing publishers on some cool new features. Click to join Momently to be part of the adventure.
The new Momently is the easiest way to understand your data, and make better editorial decisions.
The new Momently is clear. It gives you focus, it gives you insights, and it will make your team data-informed, not data-led. Most importantly, it helps you to get to know your readers, so you can make better editorial decisions.
We hope you ♥ it.