At Outbrain, we recently released a new feature that lets you target your content geographically when buying traffic. For instance, if you have an article about an event in New York city, we can recommend it only to people who are in NYC and who we think would be interested in reading it. We invested in this feature as part of our personalization mission, as a way to give each reader something of more precise interest to him or her.
Last week we ran a test across 4.5 million impressions and 20,000 clicks to see if geographic targeting of content would, in fact, lift reader engagement. We took several hundred news and sports articles from a large regional newspaper and ran a split test: in one bucket, we distributed links to the content nationally, in the other, we took the same links but distributed them only to people in the newspaper’s DMA. The differences in reader engagement were profound: local targeting drove a 60% improvement in click-through rate, and a 27% increase in pageviews read after the click
So what does this mean?
From an audience development perspective, it means if you have content with specific local appeal, you can increase the efficiency of your traffic buy using our new targeting feature. And from our perspective, it means we have an additional way to help people discover new content likely to be even more relevant to their lives. We love it when helping customers also improves user experience!