Inside this Insight Report | Building sustainable online audiences | Building traffic strategies that last | Speed read
Raising traffic  | Getting new viewers, boosting website traffic | Five buttons for every page | Best practice tips
Building sustainable online audiences
Helping websites acquire and retain viewers

Digital Insight Report

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Digital Strategy Consulting

Every website wants traffic, but most web marketing fails to deliver a stepchange in audiences. In the mid 90s we developed a framework for building audiences and website traffic, and this Digital Insight Report introduces you to the principles and the thinking. Today's models have incorporated social media, search engine optimisation, RSS and a range of emerging technologies that help boost discoverability and audience retention. The dynamics of audience acquisition and engagement on the web are different from those in classic media channels and although they hinge on the delivery of great content that satisfies audience needs, marketers have to work hard to acquire the right audiences at the right price.

Although this summary is based on an in-company workshop we've run for hundreds of web publishers, the basic framework can help your website today. If you put it into practice then let us know how it goes.

Best from all @ Digital

Danny Meadows-Klue
Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

Building sustainable online audiences
Digital Insight Report

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Building traffic strategies that last

Getting a web media business to perform means developing a sustainable flow of quality traffic. The economics of audience volumes and advertising revenues are much more tightly linked in online media, and yet most publishers fail to put enough emphasis on the marketing of their web properties.

In digital channels the relationship between the content and its marketing is also much tighter and this Digital Insight Report explores the three key elements in an online marketing plan for a web media business. They are inextricably linked and for the site to perform well, each needs its own dedicated focus:

  • Audience acquisition strategies
  • Audience retention strategies
  • Cross promotion strategies

Speed read

  • Use acquisition strategies to bring in different audiences deep into the content of the site
  • Develop cross-promotional strategies to move audiences from one area of the site to another, building stickiness and visit duration
  • Create additional strategies for retaining readers to online publications
  • Explore social media as a way to enhance all three strategies

Why raising traffic should be raised on the agenda
Boosting the traffic to websites is a ceaseless challenge, and as many businesses become increasingly reliant on their web presence to acquire customers or deliver key research that helps customers buy, traffic acquisition is moving to the heart of the marketing agenda. Marketing of a web presence needs an increasing amount of attention and for media owner websites there are the additional challenges that stem from the tight relationship between internet traffic and advertising revenues (on every page there are ads the media owner only gets paid for when the page is viewed so the more views, the more ads, the more income).

Getting new viewers, boosting website traffic
Start with a strategy for strong audience acquisition mechanisms. Examine ways to make the content of a site discoverable by non-users and invest in content development to ensure that there is a tight match between the content created and the ways people might look for that content in search engines.

  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) remains the most effective long term tool for customer acquisition
  2. Create body copy in the stories which is written with Google in mind: ditch some of the more flamboyant headlines and look for language that creates immediate clicks
  3. Email newsletters are a great way of maintaining contact with occasional readers, but also to reach new readers by encouraging them to forward their news to a colleague
  4. PR channels both offline and online can provide some of the most creative thinking about audience acquisition and there's a tight relationship between PR and some of the most outstanding thinking in viral marketing
  5. The new generation of social media are proving powerful ways to raise awareness, although not necessarily delivering large volumes straight away
  6. RSS feeds are a way of helping the more web savvy users stay in touch and monitor a site's content, but they are only one form of feeds, and with similar techniques available to supply content and headlines into FaceBook profiles and other channels, having the content in this form can prove extremely flexible

And then there are the range of tools and techniques of cross promotion in moving audiences between media channels. Here are a few quick tips:

  1. Weave the web address into the masthead and logo
  2. Give the website a clear positioning in the mind of the reader: "See updates, live, online at..."
  3. Use house advertising to drive specific propositions; rather than generic messages about the website, link the location of the advert to a specific message such as something like this in the cricket section of a printed newspaper "More cricket news and team archives online at..." or this in a directory of a business magazine "For more listings of leading suppliers, with web addresses and online reviews, visit..."
  4. Take the URL into all merchandising so the publication echoes the website at every point
  5. Check that web addresses are always present in online and offline advertising campaigns

Five buttons to consider for every page

Here are five great ways to increase stickiness on any page on any website. Put in place the tracking and watch how they boost audiences and the viral effect of content.

  • 'Forward to a friend'
  • 'Bookmark this page'
  • 'Add a comment'
  • 'Save to scrapbook'
  • 'Show me other pages like this'

In the report we explore the principles and some simple tips for best practice.
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 Best practice: hints and tips on Digital Strategy www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/articles

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Danny Meadows-Klue
"Powerful marketing strategies drive website traffic, boosting engagement and unlocking more value from the site you've already invested in. This practical framework delivers results for brands large and small."
Danny Meadows-Klue
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Digital Insight Reports are research briefings developed and published by Digital Strategy Consulting Ltd. in association with our strategic partners. Every month there's a new edition and you can also read many of them online.

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