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talkSPORT

talkSPORT scores more readers with data-driven insights

News UK and talkSPORT deliver a big win for sports fans across the UK with improved site experiences.
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Turning casual readers into brand lovers

News UK's media brands reach over 40 million people each month, and key in the roster is talkSPORT, which broadcasts breaking sports news, interviews, and commentary, and is the global audio partner of the Premier League. The station boasts more than three million listeners in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and beyond, but News UK is always looking for ways to grow talkSPORT’s audience across different sports. This means not only driving more traffic to their website talkSPORT.com, but also ensuring that readers return to the site more often, stay longer, and explore more content.

“We want to make talkSPORT a destination website,” says Ruth Mitchell, News UK product manager for talkSPORT.com. “Our goal is to convert casual readers into loyal brand lovers.”

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“Getting fresh eyes on the site from people we trust was so beneficial. Google and the News Consumer Insights report made it clear what we could work on to improve talkSPORT.com.”
Ruth Mitchell
talkSPORT.com Product Manager, News UK

Looking for low-hanging fruit

A longtime Google partner, News UK worked with the Google News Initiative (GNI) team in October 2022 to assess talkSPORT.com’s website using News Consumer Insights (NCI), a data tool that provides recommendations based on a publisher’s Google Analytics account.

“We were looking for quick wins — low-hanging fruit — that we could implement quickly as well as longer-term changes to build into our roadmap,” explains Brian Young, News UK head of product. “We wanted to make informed decisions about which improvements to tackle first.”

News UK and the GNI team used the NCI tool as a compass for analyzing talkSPORT’s audience engagement and revenue patterns, then translating that data into insights and recommendations for meeting their goals.

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29% increase in page views
83% rise in time on site

Identifying opportunities to score more reader visits

News UK's audit revealed that while casual readers represented 77 percent of their audience, the remaining 23 percent of readers - loyal readers and brand lovers - drove disproportionately higher share of the site's page views (59 percent). Brand lovers, specifically, consumed nearly 39 more pages on average than casual readers. 

With that information, News UK prioritised website changes that drove more user engagement, so that casual readers gradually became loyal, and loyal readers became brand lovers. Plus, they took NCI’s recommendations to implement email newsletters and push notifications, improve SEO, and focus on younger audiences and social media.

Their effort paid off: from May to June 2023, page views increased 29 percent, while time on site increased 83 percent.

“Our goal is to attract more people, engage them, and keep them coming back to read more,” Young says. “Over time, we want people to build the habit of coming directly to talkSPORT.com to read about a topic.”

As a result of these changes, the time readers spent on talkSPORT.com increased 83 percent from May to June 2023 compared to the previous period in 2022.

“Getting fresh eyes on the site from people we trust was so beneficial,” recalls Mitchell. “Google and the News Consumer Insights report made it clear what we could work on to make the site better.”

A win for their business and their readers

Making talkSPORT better for readers not only helps turn them into loyalists, it also helps News UK’s bottom line. “With improvements in page views and time spent, we’re also seeing growth in our ad revenue,” says Mitchell.

Funding News UK’s content in a sustainable way is core to their business. “Our mission is to grow our audience, enhance their experience and through doing that, optimise our monetisation,” says Mitchell. “Ad revenue enables us to fulfill that by creating helpful, entertaining, and informative content for our readers.”

Whether fans choose to simply scan headlines or indulge in deeper commentary, News UK and talkSPORT are passionate about connecting with fans where they are. “This partnership with Google has helped us deliver better results on our website and better serve our readers,” says Mitchell.

With an improved experience for their audience, the News UK and talkSPORT team are excited about the future. “We’re proud of the work we’ve been able to do to create a better experience for our audience,” says Mitchell. “We’re excited to continue building the best sports experience for fans across the UK.”

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