This article was originally posted on the Chartbeat blog. Chartbeat’s real-time content analytics, historical dashboards, and optimization tools help the world’s leading media organizations understand, measure, and build business value from their content.
The second quarter of 2022 saw growth in engagement and mobile referrals across most of our global network, as well as a new milestone in loyalty for one European region.
Read on for more global insights from our second quarter research below.
Engaged Time Highest in Africa, Middle East
Readers in Africa were the most engaged audience in the second quarter with 39.2 seconds of average engaged time. The Middle East and Latin America followed with 38.6 and 33.1 seconds, respectively.
Average engaged time in Africa rose a full five seconds from the first quarter, and the Middle East experienced an even larger increase, adding almost 12 seconds to their first quarter average.
Mobile Devices Dominate in Central and Southeast Asia
Audiences in Central Asia continue to consume content primarily on mobile, with 88% of all pageviews in the region coming from mobile devices. Southeast Asia followed at 83%, an increase from 78% in the first quarter.
For the fourth consecutive quarter, all regions saw at least 65% of their pageviews come from mobile devices.
Search Traffic on the Rise in Asia and Africa
54% of pageviews in Central Asia came from search in the second quarter, followed by Southeast Asia at 44% and Africa at 34% (up from 31% last quarter).
Search audiences in Central Asia drove 52% of pageviews in the first quarter of 2022, while search in Southeast Asia had driven the second most at 43%.
Africa, North America Lead in Pageviews From Social
Africa had the highest percentage of pageviews from social platforms for the fourth consecutive quarter, rising from 20% in the first quarter to 23% in the second. North America followed at 19%, and Latin America and Southeast Asia both saw 18% of pageviews come from social.
For more on social media best practices, consult our guide on the best time to post on social media.
Central/Eastern Europe Reaches Audience Loyalty Milestone
Central/Eastern Europe saw more than half of its pageviews come from loyal readers* in the second quarter, the first time any region has crossed the 50% threshold since the first quarter of last year. Northern Europe (47%) and Southern Europe (38%) slipped slightly, but still maintain some of the most loyal readerships in the world.
*A loyal reader is someone who returns to your site at least 50% of the days in a two-week period.
Takeaways From Our Second Quarter Research
1. To increase engagement, increase word count.
According to our research on article length and engagement, average engaged time increases as word count increases for articles between zero and 2,000 words. In fact, increasing articles from 500 to 2,000 words has the potential to add 30 seconds of engagement. Beyond 4,000 words, the return on length is less certain, but that doesn’t mean that longreads can’t be engaging, too.
2. Search referrals continue to outpace social.
In a multi-year study of traffic sources, we found that the disparity in search and social was mostly driven by Google. From 2019–2021, average monthly pageviews from Google increased 51% while Facebook only saw a 21% increase. The second quarter showed that this disparity continues.
3. Engagement leads to loyalty.
Central/Eastern Europe has slowly but surely been increasing average engaged time over the past year, and these engagement efforts have paid off as loyalty has now followed suit.
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