Metro responsive swipe

Metro's website had record monthly global traffic in November of 20.1 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, with more than half of UK traffic coming from mobile.

The UK audience traffic accounted for 10.4 million of the total, a 112 per cent increase year-on-year, while the global figure represents a 161 per cent year-on-year increase and a 24 per cent increase – from 16 million – since October, a rise Martin Ashplant, Metro's head of digital content, attributes to the outlet's "made-to-share" style.

"We as an organisation are focussing much more on shareable content and seeing social networks as a key driver for traffic," he explained. "You know what you're going to get from search but with social you have to create really quality content."

He added that the team consider whether the content is likely to be shared by their own Facebook connections, friends and family. "And if it's not how do we make it more like that" he said. "If it's not a story that we think people will want to share or talk about then the thinking we have is that it's not right for our audience."

Richard Moynihan, Metro's social media and community manager, told that social referrals had risen by more than 1,000 per cent from January to November, and doubled between October and November as Facebook adjusted its algorithm to show more content from publishers.

"Metro has been known as having more shareable or conversational content in print and that's the focus we have online," said Ashplant, "and something we are looking to do more of."

Mobile traffic has also increased significantly, with 10.5 million unique visitors coming to the Metro site from a mobile device, an increase of 30 percent since October and 277 per cent year-on-year, with 52 per cent of UK traffic coming from mobile.

Metro re-launched its website with a mobile-first strategy at the end of 2012, a decision which Ashplant said is a key factor in the continued rise in traffic to the website as the digitial team continue to experiment.

"People are increasingly used to seeing content in constant streams on mobile," he said, "and we're looking to give people something to dip in and out of. All the research we've been doing has been pointing to this."

And, said Ashplant, the growth of Metro's traffic is expected to continue as the organisation carries on experimenting with making more mobile-friendly and socially-shareable content.

"We're growing again this month and the signs are that we're going to have a good chance of repeating this in December," he said. "We're very pleased in the growth stage and it's definitely being driven by increased social referrals."

All audited titles, bar the Telegraph, saw increases in daily and monthly web traffic month-on-month in today's ABC multi-platform results.

The Metro was top, with its 24 per cent rise in monthly traffic, followed by Mirror Group Digital, which rose 11.8 per cent to 40.7 million, and then the MailOnline with a 9.2 per cent increase to a monthly unique browser total of 168 million.

The MailOnline also recorded its highest ever traffic for a single day in November, with more than 13 million unique browsers, including 5.7 million from the UK, visiting the website on 20 November.

The Guardian's website saw a 6.6 per cent boost to monthly traffic of just under 84 million, while the Telegraph website fell just under 5 per cent to 60.6 million unique browsers.

Figures were not reported for the Independent and London Evening Standard websites.

Additional reporting by Rachel Bartlett

Update: This article was updated to correct Ashplant's title to head of digital content

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