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
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
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting
Register for our Digital Knowledge research briefings
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 retention strategies
Cross promotion strategies
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
- 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
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.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) remains the most effective long
term tool for customer acquisition
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
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
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
The new generation of social media are proving powerful ways to
raise awareness, although not necessarily delivering large volumes
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:
Weave the web address into the masthead and logo
Give the website a clear positioning in the mind of the reader:
"See updates, live, online at..."
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..."
Take the URL into all merchandising so the publication echoes the
website at every point
Check that web addresses are always present in online and offline
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
your copy of the Digital Insight Report »
practice: hints and tips on Digital Strategy
Solving the digital publishing skills crisis with
The skills crisis is everywhere and that's the underlying reason
so many classic media brands are haemorrhaging audience and advertiser
market share on the web.
practice: SEO for magazines, newspapers and media sites: processes and
Search engine optimisation is critical for driving traffic and raising
audience numbers. Every website wants to increase users and page
impressions, but for media sites this is at the heart of their
business model. The problem is most publishers fail to give it the
attention it needs.
Online moderation - deciding when to moderate comments in social media
As a web publisher, how do you deal with conversations between viewers
that descend into a flame war? Social media tools are great ways to engage
audiences and boost page traffic, but moderation needs to be taken into
account from the very start.
Video advertising duration and structures
The sudden arrival of in-stream video advertising formats presents new
challenges for commercial directors, ad operations teams and media
Best practice: Dayparting - how online ads can learn a lesson from
you're McDonalds and selling breakfast products, when do you want to
advertise? Broadcast media has always been strong in using the times of
day to talk to customers when they are most receptive, but why have web
marketers missed the trick?
Best practice: Advertising sales structures - how to structure internet ad
sales team effectively
Selling online advertising is harder than selling print. While the Google
interface may have made search listings easy enough for anyone to buy off
the screen, selling brand building graphical 'display' space is tough
because it opens up so many questions, often at a time when there just
isn't the knowledge inside the client team or the sales force.
Seven simple steps for getting more from your website
Every firm has a website these days, but that's only the start of internet
marketing. Why do some websites do almost nothing for their companies and
others change the perception of a brand or generate massive numbers of
leads? Could you be getting more value from the time and money you've
already invested in your site?
A blog is for life and not just for Christmas
What started out in a techno ghetto moved to the mainstream of digital
publishing over three years ago. These days many small company websites
are run entirely by blogging software and many big company CEOs are
itching to write their own blog.
Creating a digital strategy for a television station, newspaper or
There's been rapid change already, but the pace will accelerate from here.
"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."