CBS Interactive is one of the world’s leading website editors. The group is in the Top 10 online media groups in terms of audience numbers and has thousands of contributors worldwide. In France the aim of CBS Interactive is to become the reference media group for all media enthusiasts. Eight themed sites form part of the group’s media offer, today in France, including: ZDNet.fr, BusinessMobile.fr, CNETFrance.fr, Cartech.fr, Goosto.fr, Gamekult.com, Musicspot.fr and CNETTV.fr
• Visibility & performance Each team within CBS Interactive has access to the AnalyzerNX interface. Journalists, in particular, need to be continually kept up to date with the performance of their articles, they want to be able to identify those subjects which readers want to read the most, and in particular those which have not been currently covered.
• The effectiveness of communication types Content is published in different formats on all of the group’s websites: text, videos, image galleries, etc. The Technical Manager of CBS France, Mustapha Omar, points out that “All of our content is produced internally; we have a studio for shooting videos.” It is essential to evaluate the performance of these communications types in terms of cost and production deadlines.” “Furthermore, accurate measurement of the exposure each channel receives is crucial for us since our business activity is primarily based on the sales of advertising space.”
• Traffic generation Search engines are a major source of traffic generation. ”We need to test/determine all of the different methods/levers that can be used to increase traffic generation.”
• React in real time “All of our journalists log on to the AnalyzerNX dashboard on a daily basis to find out how well their articles are performing. They are also very happy to use the real time analyics. If we see that a particular theme is performing well, in real time, we will develop it and publish it as additional content on our site”. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the internal search engine: CBS Interactive analyse ‘Search with no results’ frequently to discover what topics that are not covered and which could generate a greater audience and better visitor performance for the sites.
• Communication type performance monitoring Whether it be text articles, or more visual communication types such as image galleries or videos, AnalyzerNX measures accurately the exposure of each of these types. The Rich Media module, in particular, not only provides information on play counts per video, but also on the exact play count rate and time spent per play count, as well as reloads etc. On a more general note this enables CBS Interactive to measure the impact that these different channels or media have on user behaviour in terms of increasing time spent per visit, or their frequency of visits. This performance data can be used as a decision-making tool on a daily (or minute-by-minute) basis in order to choose the most effective communication support.
• Optimised search “We [CBS] accurately monitor all of the activity which takes place in the different search engines and in particular in the ‘Engine zone’ analysis (Latest information, search bar etc). For example, we knew how important the Google toolbar would be in generating traffic. Today, we are able to accurately encrypt the Google toolbar, meaning that it has been possible for us to place our own search engine directly into the search bar”. In terms of optimisation, CBS Interactive carried out numerous tests (18 months ago) on different formats of articles, and in particular on the impact that images have on referenced content: an article which was published with no images was compared to an article that was published with an image. “Thanks to AnalyzerNX, CBS have been able to see that whenever an article for ZDNet is published with an image, the site’s audience increases approximately six fold.”
• Maximising visitor traffic and loyalty Knowing how well an article performs in real time means that it is possible to capitalise effectively on the audience. If there is a particular theme that has been successful CBS Interactive are sufficiently reactive to have support ready for the article within the same day. The other advantage associated with recurrence and loyalty is that readers come back to the site during the same day because new, relevant content will be available.
• Optimal management of content ”The performance of the image gallery has been a real discovery for us. As a result this support has been improved: In the past we used to generate a new image gallery every week, today the image gallery is produced on a daily basis and this is applied to each different theme and heading.” By measuring the performance of the different types of content published, CBS Interactive have been able to gain a signifficant amount of information that can be used in their sales and marketing approach to encourage more advertisers. “For example, whenever our sales and marketing teams have been able to measure the rate at which podcasts are used, they have then been able to promote podcasts in their offers backed up by accurate statistics. This is also the case for videos today.”
• Widespread adoption of best practice techniques The fact that the level of traffic coming from ‘Google News’ increases six fold (whenever an article is published with an image) explains the widespread use of images in articles that are published by the CBS Interactive group in France: “Previously, only articles that were published on the front page had an image, whereas today each article is accompanied with an image.” This best practice technique has been adopted on an international scale. Now each country, in which the CBS Interactive group is active, will systematically provide illustrations for each of their articles. “This was easy to implement and the statistics speak for themselves.”
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