Mequoda Summit Boston 2008 Coverage: 4 Keys to a Best-Practice Website

Being content-driven, google-friendly, email-centric and profit-minded makes for a best-practice website

In the first session this morning, Don opened with the explanation of what we consider a great website.

What’s a great website?

  • Content-Driven
  • Google-Friendly
  • Email-Centric
  • Profit-Minded

What is a Content-Driven site?, a Crain title, is the only Mequoda Publishing System that is 99% ad-driven. They have 27 clusters of keywords that have 27 section pages. Don stressed that your home page shouldn’t be the main focus of your website, your section pages should. According to our research, Google doesn’t want to drive traffic to your homepage, they want to use relevant keywords to find targeted pages.

Another important note was that “the site with the most pages is the site that will succeed”. [] went from 10,000 to 37,000 pages with more than 1400 keyword phrases since taking their previous gated-access newspaper site and making it free in their new redesign. “If you’re in the B2B news space, your life has moved online,” Don noted.

What is Google-Friendly?

GVI has 1,545 pages with 12,289 inbound links. Craig Better, GVI’s Managing Editor has 75 free reports with dedicated Rapid Conversion Landing Pages that rank within page 1 and 2 on Google. Don noted that GVI owns the #1 Google rank for their primary keyword term “golf vacation”. He also advised publishers that a successful website should have 1/3rd of their inbound traffic coming from search engines, another third from inbound links, and the last third directly from email.

What is Email-Centric?

JHHA implements what we feel is the key component to maintainting the best customer relationship email strategy: integrating email sign-up with site registration. “If we want to be aggressive about asking for their email address, we need to stop asking once we have it,” Don noted.

“A lot of websites have email signups independent from website logins”, Don said, “on the JHHA site, the registration occurs in the content management system, which is then mirrored to the email system. The website then knows to stop asking if they want to sign up for their email newsletter if they’re already subscribed. There should be a different user experience depending on whether you are a known-user or unknown user.” Don compared the situation to a greeter at Nordstrom’s, where they both greet you by name like a regular customer and recommend some coats you might like, or on the unknown front, greet you like a new customer that needs help finding what they want.

What is Profit-Minded? HR Daily Advisor

HRDA creates and sells HR training and compliance products in the form of booklets, newsletters and events. When they took Jay Schleifer, Managing Editor on board (and out of retirement), they told him that HRDA was “a recommendation engine for BLR products”.

Once a quarter, according to Don, he looks at how much revenue was generated on every email he’s sent, and programs an editorial calendar out 13 weeks, based on how much he’s sold of every product. “Over Jay’s first nine months, they tripled their revenue per thousand”, Don told the audience. “They were very clear when they went into the process that the success metric was How big is the file? and What is our revenue per thousand?”

Most successful Mequoda Publishing System?

Launched in 1994 as a channel on AOL, Motley Fool is about a $50 million dollar business and they sell everything online. Product sales are triggered by email, which has a list created by strong site conversion architecture all over the website. They have millions of subscribers with more than $40 million in product revenue and $10 million in website advertising.


Leave a Reply