Disqus 101 How to create content that resonates with your audiences

How to create content that resonates with your audiences

The Disqus analytics dashboard features top-line metrics and content analysis that help publishers better understand audience engagement occurring directly on their site. This analytics suite is designed to provide actionable insights for the unique engagement you’re capturing through Disqus. Here's how to make the most of it!

Disqus content analysis tools

Our most successful publishers are the ones who manage to generate a lot of discussion. We offer analytics highlighting which articles generate the most comments and Reactions. Why? Because you can create more engaging content once you know how your audience interacts with your articles. 

At-a-glance analytics overview

Track these top-line metrics over time to efficiently identify how your site performs with your audience. Month-over-month change indicators will display in green and red so that you can quickly gauge the health of your engagement metrics, especially as your community grows over time.

  • Article reads: The number of times people view an article where Disqus is installed.
  • Comment reads: The number of times people view the comment section on an article.
  • Total engagements: The number of times people have commented or voted on an article.
  • Traffic overview: A multi-axis graph of Article Reads, Embed Reads, and Engagements over time so you can easily track the positive relationship between Disqus engagement and your readership.

Use the Traffic Overview graph to dig into top-line metrics for specific days or to zoom out to spot more significant trends. Click on particular metrics to toggle their visibility in the chart to adjust your focus when tracking trends over time.

Content Analysis

Content Analysis summarizes your most recent site content, ranked by total engagement. The insights generated on this page are designed to inform your unique content strategy as a publisher so that you can optimize for attracting and retaining loyal readers.

  • Total engagements: Total number of comments and votes for a given article
  • Comments: Total comments for a given article
  • Commenters: Total unique commenters for a given article

Click on any engagement column headers to sort the data, or use the date picker to narrow your view to a specific date range.

Once you start digging into these content analytics, look at your posts with the highest engagement. How do they differ from low-engagement posts? You may have written about a controversial topic or posed a question to your audience. Pay attention to how your audience engagement changes for every post and use that information to develop more engaging content.

Dig deeper with advanced analytics

Commenting and Ads analytics are designed to make the arduous process of increasing readership and tracking your earnings performance more effortless. These analytics cover three key areas:

  • Comments: Number of comments, number of votes, and top comments
  • Revenue: Revenue, viewable impressions, viewability %, RPMv, and clicks from using Disqus Ads
  • Payments: Earnings history and payment schedule

Note that the Revenue and Payments pages will only display if your forum has Disqus Ads enabled. See Updating Your Advertising Settings for more information, and read our article on “How to maximize your monetization with Disqus.”

Community Metrics

  • Comment Activity: You can access your site's total comment and vote activity daily and monthly. You can select a custom date range or shortcut date range to track commenting activity over time in your community. You can also export a CSV of commenting activity for additional processing and reporting.
  • Top Comments: These comments from the last seven days have received the most positive voting ratios. This section can help you identify new and active users in your forum.

If you want to use your analytics tool to capture commenting activity, see our help documentation here.

Reaction Analytics 

In 2018, we launched our Reactions feature so readers could leave a like or other response to a story without jumping into the comments section. We released a new Reaction Analytics dashboard designed to help Disqus publishers visualize and learn from how their audiences react to their content. Reactions Analytics displays two key buckets of data. 

The first is Reactions trends over time. By default, the top graph of the Reactions Analytics page will show the total number of reactions left on the site by date. You can adjust the Date Range selector in the top right corner of the graph to change which dates appear. Alternatively, you may modify the “Daily” option in the complete graph to “Threads.” The chart will then display the reaction count by a thread for the 30 most recent threads.

The second bucket of data is thread-specific. Thread-specific data gives insight into which categories of content yield the most engagement from your audience, enabling you to hone your content strategy accordingly and double down on producing similarly themed content. Selecting a date range in the top right corner of the bottom graph will populate the Threads section at the top of that graph, showing up to 30 threads published within the selected date range. Choosing a given thread will then show how many Reactions were left on the thread. The Reactions images used will appear above the graph for reference.

Every publisher with the Reactions feature turned on (more on doing that here) can access Reactions Analytics and see the last year's retroactive data. You can start checking your Reactions Analytics data via the Analytics hub in your admin profile. The Reactions are on the left-hand menu.

Other ways to get readers to engage with your content

You can pair the above analytics data with the tips below to maximize your content's effectiveness and generate more high-quality articles. 

  • Make it easy for readers to comment

Add a comment count to articles on your homepage so readers know where discussions happen. Make it easy to find Disqus on your stories, even if you hide comments behind a click.

  • Establish community guidelines

Clear community guidelines are a valuable tool for strengthening your commenting community. Create a safe and supportive space for readers to share their thoughts by setting clear expectations and rules of engagement. Let your readers know that while you welcome heated debates, there are moments when moderators may need to step in. Use our sample guidelines to help you get started on your community guidelines.

  • Reciprocity is key

Once you’ve outlined a few rules and regulations for your community, you’ll need to designate a moderator. Forum moderators should filter any harmful or unwanted content and respond to comments on your page to let readers know you’re listening. If you have other writers and content contributors, go a step further and encourage them to chime in as well. Keeping your site’s voice active in the comments section is a great way to build longer, more meaningful discussions.

  • Always ask questions

Asking your audience a question is one of the oldest tricks in the book for increasing reader engagement, but remember, consistency is critical. Make a point to include a question in every article, or add a call for comments to your author bio. Reminding readers you want to hear from them is a great way to promote engagement.

One way to spark the discussion about your content is to ask your visitors what they think explicitly. It’s a simple practice, and successful bloggers agree that it's essential to show your community that you care. We have seen first-hand how addressing your users directly in your content can help seed quality discussions.

  • Jump to comments

Posing a question to your readers can help boost reader participation—but don’t stop there. Provide your audience multiple opportunities to chime in by including a link to the comments section. Doing so will encourage your readers to voice their opinions. Consider adding a “jump to comments” link at the top of the article, and after every question you ask your readers, or include a comment count after article titles.

  • Highlight the best comments

If you have a comment that sparks a great discussion on your site (or just a statement that you think should get more attention), you can feature it at the top of your discussion thread. This will make a comment more visible to readers scrolling through your discussion section so that it won’t get overlooked. Get the how-to for featuring a comment.