Increase page views by focusing on repeat visitors
If you’re publishing online and in print, you can see which way the wind is blowing. Your website needs to succeed.
As discussed yesterday, it is vital to realize that the people who read your print publication are likely the same people who visit your website.
Your website should have something more to offer these visitors and give them an incentive to return. Otherwise it is going to be difficult for your website to consistently make money.
One way to do that is with a good editorial strategy, which outlines what kind of content to publish, how frequently to publish it and how the content is written.
One strategy we’ve seen successfully executed again and again is to publish unique content online. That means you should rarely—if ever—print an article both in print and on your website.
The people that read your print publication do not want to read the same content online. If they find that your website is merely a digitized version of your print product, they are not likely to return, and you’ll be losing out on potential advertising and retail revenue.
Forbes.com, for example, serves the same audience and editorial principles as Forbes Magazine, but 98 percent of the content on Forbes.com is strictly for the website, Steve Forbes told Mequoda researchers.
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Also, most of the content at Forbes.com is free and of great quality, which means that visitors are likely to return to the site.
All of those repeat visitors, looking for free content, drive page views at Forbes.com into the tens of millions.
This enables Forbes to aggressively sell Forbes Media products, Forbes Magazine subscriptions and third-party advertising—the main advertising stream behind Forbes.com.
Forbes.com views Forbes Magazine as one of its major advertisers and Forbes.com receives a commission for each subscription it sells. Almost every page of the website offers visitors a chance to subscribe to the print magazine.
So, do you see the power of an effective online editorial strategy?
By treating it as a separate entity, Forbes.com becomes a huge driver of magazine subscriptions, product sales and website traffic. Without unique content, this would not be possible.
Another factor helping Forbes.com, and many of the Web’s blogs, is frequently updated content.
Forbes.com is a news-oriented website, making it easy for it to add content throughout the day. When users know that a website is going to have content added to it every few hours, they are more likely to frequently return.
On the other hand, if users know that a website is updated daily, they are likely to only visit once a day. And if users know that a website is updated at larger intervals—like every two weeks—they are likely to visit even less frequently.
Take a look at your editorial strategy. Are you publishing content that users will want to read? Are you publishing it frequently enough to get users to return?
If not, consider changing. It could be the best decision you’ve made for your website’s traffic.