Knowing our audience

Photo by Anneke Els Paterson

User data and analytics are helpful to any website looking to attract an audience, but they’re especially important to new sites like ours trying to build a community around smart, thoughtful dialogue on civic issues.

That’s why, since our launch in May, we’ve been paying attention to who’s reading our content and how they’re finding out about us. The data gives us a sense of whom we’re reaching (or not) and whether we’re promoting our content effectively. Frankly, the data is also just a pretty fascinating read on its own.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve learned so far about our audience:

  • About 70 percent of our readers in June were visiting the site for the first time. That’s a big number, and it's a sign that we (and you, if you’ve shared one of our articles or told a friend about us) are getting the word out.
  • A majority of our readers are discovering TribTalk through social media, but a plurality of them are still accessing the site the old-fashioned way: by typing "" into a browser. That's another sign that word of mouth is strong.
  • Facebook reigns supreme. Of the visitors who accessed our site through social media in June, a whopping 75 percent of them came from Facebook (50 percent through desktop; 25 percent through mobile), while about 25 percent came from Twitter
  • More visitors are reading the site on mobile devices than desktop computers, but desktop visitors tend to read more articles per visit. 
  • Austin and Houston are bringing us the most readers, followed by College Station and San Antonio. Dallas rounds out the top five, followed by Waco, Plano, Fort Worth, McAllen and New York City.

And our five most-read articles from the past month:

  1. What's really happening on the border, by Jim Darling
  2. Texas women are on the cusp of victory again, by Grace Ann Garcia
  3. Our property tax system is rigged, by Mike Collier
  4. The delusions of open carry, by Bob Cavnar
  5. Kill the grading curve, by David Laude

How do you prefer to read TribTalk? Still see anything that needs improving? Leave a comment or email us at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with our latest content, and don't forget that we're always accepting submissions from readers like you.

David Muto

Editor of TribTalk