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Tag: homepage

Create Better Vanity URLs: 8 Dos and 8 Don’ts

Follow these landing page guidelines for your vanity URLs so that people can both remember you and find you organically

You know the importance of landing pages, but it’s completely possible that you don’t know how important your vanity URLs are. Vanity URLs that are too long, don’t make sense, or are hard to read can actually turn someone away, rather than attracting them to your site.

The most popular places to use a vanity URL are:

Website Redesign and Newsroom Changes Come to Major Publishers

Huffington Post’s website redesign digs towards tabloid roots; The Economist slowly redesigns its site; The Boston Globe sets to reinvent its newsroom
A website redesign can have a major impact on a publication, especially if the new site incorporates subscription options or enhanced audience development strategies.

We begin today with a website redesign from Huffington Post, which

Association Magazine Best Practices: Don’t Bury Your Content

We’re not sure why most association magazine websites bury free and magazine content, but we’ll try to help them see the light.
If you’re an association website, do you spin off your magazine on its own, or do you keep your organization and the content you publish under the same roof? In other words, do you

Website Changes for Subscription Publishers Offer New Audience Opportunities

Sometimes we’re amazed by content offerings we see subscription publishers launch. A recent content initiative from The New York Times applies, and it will be the first news story for the day. The New York Times is officially using Twitter content in their print publication. Nieman Lab reports, “The paper’s newly redesigned pages A2 and A3 will highlight some of that content — and the “huge scope of activity that’s going on in the world of The New York Times on any given day,” said Jake Silverstein, the editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine and one of the leaders of the redesign.”

18 Website Development Tools to Try

There’s a never-ending stream of new tools that pop up every day to help us become better web developers. We have a dashboard of tools we look to for ideas, assistance and even implementation, and it’s safe to assume that you probably do too.

Last year we discovered and shared a lot of web design tools that we use and want to pass on. In case you’re new here or missed a few, here are our favorites.

What is a Subscription Marketing System?

A subscription marketing system is the only good way to guide visitors through your product catalog

Did you know that a sunflower is not just one flower, but more than a thousand small flowers, all stuck together on one head and a single stalk? Even what seems like the petals of a sunflower are considered individual

The Mequoda Newsletter Content Business Model

The newsletter subscription website model is simple, clean and editorially-focused

Newsletter publishers, particularly those on the B-to-B side but also those with consumer titles in the finance and health fields, were among the first to embrace subscription websites. Perhaps that’s because the newsletter subscription website archetype is the easiest type of subscription website to build. The file size of newsletters is generally manageable, whether the newsletter is 8, 12, 16, 32, or more pages, since it is mostly text and often limited to black-and-white or two-color.

From Time to … Coca-Cola (!), the Latest News From Publishing Sites

What Coke has soaked up from publishing sites; plus, Joe Ripp steps down, and The Daily Beast drives website traffic
In digital publishing, sites are where it all starts. But they can’t be where the consumer experience and audience development end. Far from it. As multiplatform magazines, Mequoda Members know that the homepage is a portal.

Magazine Publishing News: Portals, Native, Video, Email

The digital media companies making magazine publishing news include GQ, Slate, Meredith, and more
We monitor magazine publishing news on your behalf because every day brings new big things in the industry, and because it helps us do a better job helping media companies like yours do a better job of producing more high-quality content.

And, hey,

Don’t Build a Subscription Website Until You Identify Your MIU

Before any Mequoda client will build a subscription website, they first identify the most fundamental content their users will digest
At Mequoda, we talk a lot about your minimum information unit, and that’s because you should never build a subscription website without identifying what yours is, and how many you have.

A minimum information unit, or MIU,

Website Architecture vs. Web Design – Which Comes First?

Website architecture refers to the funnel that leads your customers from a page, to a point of interest, like a “buy now” button, or an email subscription form. It refers to the function of your website and its webpages. It does not refer to the colors on your website or your CSS stylesheet, but the actual structure of your website and its purpose.

Every page of your website should have intent. For example, before you “design” a page, create its structure. An article page includes a page title, URL, headline, subhead, body copy, and sometimes a photograph. Additional SEO elements include a meta title, a meta description and tags. These elements all contribute to the architecture of an article page.

The Best Subscription Business Models Are Based on Your Minimum Information Unit

As we always say, a publisher’s minimum information unit (MIU) is the bedrock on which the best subscription business models are built. Any online publisher who doesn’t bother to understand and identify his MIU cannot choose the appropriate subscription website archetype, and, in turn, will be simply guessing at how to be a publishing success.

Why do we say this? Because of all the website business models we’ve identified, the single characteristic which determines how you run your business is that MIU.

5 Places to Test Video Landing Page Templates

Mequoda has been testing video landing pages for the past few years with great success. In fact, our Intensive attendees have told us repeatedly that our video is what convinced them to sign up. A few years ago I read a study by EyeView that said businesses who tested video on the homepages and landing pages saw a conversion rate increase up to 86%. These results were based on multiple iterations of video and placement, but 86% is no small feat.

An Informal Approach to the Best Website Design Review of Your Website You Can Conduct

As someone who’s looked at your website every day for a long time, you probably have no business reviewing your own website. There are probably things in the back of your mind that you’ve kept a mental checklist of – items that need to be optimized, altered and updated. Have you been writing these things down? Often, when we finally get the chance to update our websites, it’s months after we’ve discovered the original issue.

That’s why I’m going to give you a quick little checklist, based on our internal website design scorecard, to remind you of the items you should be paying most attention to. While these guidelines are by no means the complete list of website design practices, they are essential to sound, effective website design. We’re sure that implementation of these practices will result in happier, more satisfied, readers.

Content Planning: Nailing Down Ideal Post Timing and Frequency

A couple weeks ago I attended an SEO conference called SearchLove hosted by Distilled. One of the speakers was Rand Fishkin, better known as the Wizard of Moz. At the very end of his presentation, completely off topic talked about the time he saw that Hubspot posted 49 articles in a week, and wondered if they’d ever determined that that was an optimal frequency for them.

01-content-planning-nailing-down-ideal-post-timing-and-frequencyLike most of us, especially in publishing, Hubspot was basically on the page that “more content = more traffic.” So Hubspot replied that they hadn’t measured it exactly, and asked if Moz wanted to do an experiment with them. At the time Moz was publishing 8 posts per week. Both cut their frequency in half and the results basically told Hubspot that they could afford to write less, but Moz should write a little more.

How to Launch a Magazine Subscription Website and Increase Digital Sales

If you are a legacy magazine publisher, guarantee success by learning how to launch a magazine subscription website, which is often misunderstood.
A magazine subscription website model is set up to sell subscriptions for a related print or digital magazine and to provide access to issues of the magazine.

For the past 20 years, our team has been

When Multi-Platform Advertising Isn’t Enough

Stop trying to sell multi-platform ads and start selling marketing partnerships as sponsorships

“[Publishers] are not selling ads — they are selling desired outcomes,” David Leskusky, NAPCO Media president wrote in an article for Publishing Executive. The message: advertisers aren’t looking to see their ads in lights anymore, on a webpage, as a full-page four-color ad, unless they’re seeing

Social Media for Magazines: Audiences Up in 2015

If you want to drive traffic – and revenue – as a digital publisher, social media for magazines is no longer a religious discussion. It’s a must-have component of your multiplatform strategy.

For those holdouts who consider social media strategy a luxury, frivolity, or optional tactic, we do understand your reservations, to an extent: After all, there’s frankly a lot of junk out there … in the form of clickbait, shady referral traffic, and other drags.

But the upside is undeniable, with side-door traffic via mobile devices surging past traditional desktop homepage visits. With the likes of Facebook Instant Articles, Twitter marketing, and Snapchat promising publishers boosts in readership and sharing. And with plenty of opportunities to offer fans freemiums, subscription plans, and multimedia.

Online Magazine Subscription News: How One Publisher Succeeds

Online magazine subscription tactics will key digital publishing strategy in the coming years, as advertising challenges like ad blocking and viewability could force small and midsize, regional and niche, publishers walled off by the likes of Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat to shift to a membership model.

Luckily, Mequoda Members already know that digital magazine subscriptions are a crucial component of a mutliplatform publishing strategy. The question is not whether to offer subscriptions, but rather what is the best mechanism or product with which to do so.

And you have options.

The Importance of Phasing Projects for Content Management Systems

The larger projects online publishers face when becoming multiplatform publishers are often broken into multiple phases to keep the work manageable and the project moving along. Phasing brings focus to the work as it helps employees avoid mental exhaustion that can occur with large, daunting projects.

When building Haven Nexus systems for our clients, we are often transforming a standalone website into a fully integrated multiplatform publishing and marketing system. This isn’t exactly a small task, so we focus on a few phases to prioritize and stay focused.

Magazine Content Monetization: How Smart Publishers Turn Content into Cash

How magazine content monetization has gotten more profitable, if you publish it in the right places

Something we know from talking to niche publishers at the industry events we speak at, and during our own CEO Institute, is 99% of magazine publishers are giving away 100% of their content and not separating their free portal content

What is a Paywall?

Digital magazines are relying less on advertising by implementing paywalls that influence more subscriptions
 

Remember the days when digital editions of magazines were only available by paid subscriptions? You’d arrive at a static home page with a snapshot of the recent issues, and then be prompted to sign in or register to view any content. The

5 Signs of Bad Website Design & How to Fix

Websites are not magazines (most of the time). However, magazine content can be the basis of a successful periodical website that follows the basic rules of periodical website design and content management.

Great Examples of Newsletter Subscription Website Sales Pages

Each of these newsletter subscription websites illustrate how to collect and convert website visitors into paid digital subscribers
If you sell a print newsletter, considering a newsletter subscription website is a business-critical decision. Consumers expect to access their periodical subscriptions digitally, and they’re willing to pay more for access when it includes back issues they don’t

12 Features of Great Magazine Subscription Websites

TIME almost hits the mark with their magazine subscription website, but niche publishers hit the bullseye
One of the most profitable subscription websites is a magazine subscription website.

It’s not because it’s cheaper to build, or brings in substantially more revenue than other business models, it’s more profitable because once your platform is up and running, you

What Are Native Ads’ Status Among Publishers?

First things first: What are native ads, as we know them today? Native advertising is sponsored content crafted by marketers, often in collaboration with in-house studios at digital magazines, that’s intended to “fit in” with articles and videos on a publisher’s site, without misleading readers.

Sound like a fancy way of saying advertorial? Well, sure, but we’ve come a long since the early days of advertorial. How far, and where does the evolution find us? Well, that’s what Digiday asked several publishing executives. Let’s start there today!

Top Digital Publishers’ Hottest Hire: Platform Relationship Managers

The top digital publishers have risen – and stay – there because they’re willing to experiment, evolve, and tread along the cutting edge of industry-wide best practices while pushing out ahead of the pack with new practices. This includes everything from hiring trends to social strategy, mobile video trends to ecommerce website design.

To start off this week, let’s take a look at Digiday’s coverage in those four areas and then some.

Niche Content: How One Major Publisher Is Playing It

There’s no doubt that niche content is the name of the game, at least if you’re playing the game using the Mequoda Method. But digital magazines can’t expect to slap a few enthusiast articles up on a homepage and wait for the money roll in. Rather, online publishers must stay vigilant in repurposing content, developing a content distribution strategy, and cultivating audience via social media and other platforms.

The Mequoda Retail Website Business Model

Discover how ConsumerReports.org and Lynda.com are utilizing the reference subscription website model

A reference subscription website archetype allows paid subscribers continued access to a library of content that is updated constantly with new information.

The 8 Characteristics of a Subscription Website

Each subscription website business model we write about has a distinct combination of characteristics
When Mequoda writes about subscription website business models, we always include a chart that outlines eight different characteristics of the different models. As far as we know, we’re the only ones writing at length about publishers’ website architecture, much less going into

14 Best Website Design Guidelines for Improving Any Website

Since 2006 we have held these fourteen guidelines as the most fundamental principles of the best website design.

Every website is unique to its own audience, so you can’t include things like the best colors to use, or anything that will tell you exactly how to design a site. What we’ve put together is a report card that can be applied to any website, of any age. Like I said, this report card has existed for almost a decade and when we update it (like we did today), all of the rules still apply.

The Mequoda Lead Generation Website Business Model

Portals are seen most often because not only are they a profitable model on their own, they’re also intended to build and feed an audience for affiliated premium subscription websites. They are specifically designed for SEO, email marketing, list building, lead generation and building engagement and loyalty. It’s a Mequoda best practice to build a portal for every subscription website we create.

6 Ideas For Where To Put The Facebook Like Button on Your Website

Since the future of your articles in SEO-land is now so dependent on social media, it’s more important than ever to enable your readers with easy-to-use like and share buttons. The “like” button comes in a few shapes and forms, but if you have any interest in getting people to follow you on Facebook and share your articles, there are several important places where installing it is a pretty great idea.

The Mequoda Classroom Website Business Model

The classroom website is one of 10 website business models that Mequoda currently supports. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, including the classroom model, and four affinity (free) archetypes.

8 Subscription Website Homepage Ideas for Audience Engagement

These subscription website homepage ideas will help you provide a better user experience through website design

Mequoda has long quantified its own best subscription website homepage ideas, which we put into action with all of our clients. Having recently launched two brand-new websites and re-launched a third, this is an excellent opportunity to show you how we put our subscription website homepage ideas into action.

The Mequoda Community Subscription Website Business Model

Some of the most successful publishers let their users generate more than 99 percent of their content. The publishers who can do this become masters at building communities that draw users to both read and post.

Out of the 16 website business models that Mequoda currently monitors, the community subscription website archetype is the only one where the publisher relies on its community to create the content. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, and four affinity (free) archetypes. This is one of the four free ones.

10 Great Website Design Ideas that Make Lazy Visitors Click More

Reader engagement is a key metric important to all publishers. Time spent, pages per visit and return visits are all numbers that every online publisher should hold near and dear.

The problem with the information overload of the internet is that website readers get lazy. When they come in from search engines, they often click, find what they’re looking for and head off in another direction.

However, if you give them better reasons to click, they’re more likely to keep digging.

Responsive vs. Fluid Design: Do You Have to Choose?

Design is a delivery mechanism for content – nothing more and nothing less. The more elegant, the better, of course, but getting caught up in appearances is never a good idea no matter what you’re doing. When we talk about good design at Mequoda, aesthetics (as much as we love them) take a back seat to user experience. And when discussing the responsive vs. fluid design problem, we always caution publishers to not overcomplicate things by getting bogged down in industry buzzwords.

Digital Magazine Business News: A Noteworthy Redesign + Ad Considerations

In the digital magazine business, today’s trendiest practices could be taboo tomorrow, and vice-versa. That’s why it’s so important to build a durable core product that’s solid enough to withstand industry trade winds yet dynamic enough to adapt to them, too.

It’s also good to know what’s happening across the field. In addition to our consulting services and free advice, we also filter out the most relevant digital magazine business news from around the web. Today’s trending stories come from Digiday.

How to Build a Website with a Simple Website Architecture Template That’s Great for SEO

People concern themselves with the external factors (link-building, social media, etc.) of SEO, but those are nothing without website architecture that’s built to pass link juice through the website’s pipeline. Did you know that there are ways to build a website for great SEO that go beyond inbound links and even the words on your website?

A properly optimized site has a chain of command that would look very similar to your business model if you put them side by side.

A Look At The New FIPP Website

Did you know that FIPP, the worldwide magazine media association, has launched a new website? Let’s take a look at this new website.

How Digital Publishers Approach Time Spent

Have you noticed that time spent is becoming a more significant metric to digital publishers and digital advertisers alike? It’s understandable that this is happening because time spent on web pages and within websites shows the level of engagement from users.

New ‘Times’ Homepage Feature Includes Social, Digital Video

The New York Times has released a new major feature to its homepage, making it a whole new desirable destination, reports Talking New Media.

Homepage Maintenance: How Top Sites Handle It

As publishers wrestle with engagement for visitors coming in from the side doors of search and social, some are focusing resources on their homepages, which the most loyal readers still use as access points.

Evergreen Content: Publishers’ Renewable Resource

Publishers like New York Magazine and Business Insider are finding out what Mequoda Members have known for a while: Updating and repackaging content is a strong strategy.

AOL Hopes Personalized Homepages Will Help Publishers

AOL plans on tailoring its publishers’ homepages to individual readers’ tastes, preferences, and habits without overstepping privacy lines, according to Journalism.co.uk.

14 Burning Questions from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

Last week, at our quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive in Boston, we discussed multiplatform publishing, digital magazines, audience development and subscription website best practices at length. During these sessions, we gathered some of the best burning questions from our attendees.

Three Subscription Website Best Practices from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

At Mequoda, we maintain the publishing industry’s most comprehensive database of website design best practices. These best practices are continually evolving and guide publishers to design and manage high-performance websites that deliver on three primary goals: using free content to attract, engage and retain users; selling and delivering premium content that generates revenue; and building online communities that dominate their target markets.

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts

The subscription website publishing posts below get into subscription website best practices in design and monetization. They also dive into the many different archetypes that we’ve identified.

Time Magazine Expands, Reorganizes Staff

The dust has settled after Time’s personnel changes during the first week of April, and Tom Weber has found himself near the top of the heap.

An assistant managing editor at the magazine for two years, Weber is now executive editor, according to MinOnline.com. He “distinguished himself [by] his shrewd news judgment, great story sense, and ability to work with writers to frame and form their stories into surprising, high-impact features,” Time said in a statement.