By Andrew Dmytrasz

The day has come when tracking page visits to a website is no longer enough for companies wanting data results, at least according to BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen.

In a recent blog post, Nguyen discussed how BuzzFeed constantly re-evaluates the criteria it should be monitoring — a process BuzzFeed calls re-anchoring. Essentially, re-anchoring is checking what you are measuring to see if it is the most important data for evaluation.

This is valuable information for a company where 75 per cent of the content it produces never appears on its website. The majority of what it generates is consumed on networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The company used to examine how many unique visitors it had to its website. However, that number is becoming less relevant as the company re-examines how to engage its audience, and how the audience engages with it. Many people engage with BuzzFeed content but never actually go to its website.

The company is looking at what other metrics are in play and which ones it needs to be paying attention to. For example, the number of people commenting on content or sharing it, instead of just viewing it. BuzzFeed also tracks where people view its content.

According to Nguyen, there is no singular measurement of usefulness or engagement that companies like BuzzFeed can use. The reason: the goal of the content depends on its medium. Take, for example, the difference between a picture and a video. The goal of the photo might be how many times it is shared, while a video could be how many comments it receives.

While knowing the number of page visits can still be useful, the way people view and engage with content is changing. Companies today need to be able to re-evaluate and adapt the way they measure data if they want to keep up with trends.


(Photo credit: Flickr/Scott Maxwell)