The importance of having a content management system (CMS) integrated within your website has never been more important. The value of an “alive” website with fresh content, SEO value and a scalable platform are just some of the many reasons an organization seeks out a CMS they can utilize to manage and grow their website.
Content Strategy & Web Usability Sharpen The Tool
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently was the focus of a press release by their CMS and Analytics provider citing a 50% increase in site traffic in the 6 months the tools been integrated. The story also highlighted how StarTribune.com became the top newspaper website in the country for visitor length of stay, which is very impressive.
I couldn’t help but see the true reason for the increases further into the press release though, not so much the specific tools, although the abilities they game them are a factor, it was this:
“Through the integration, editorial staff members increased interlinking within pages to Related and Most Popular stories to augment site visitor stay time. These improvements in viewership have resulted in higher ad rates and a dramatic increase in annual revenue for the StarTribune.”
The tool gave them the ability, but it was having a strategy with their content and making it more user friendly that truly drove their increase. By interlinking from story to story based on relation and popularity, StarTribune.com began to give users more of a path to follow. In turn the users went further down the path. More related information, more links, more insight into what others are reading turned into more time on their site.
So in a simple format, here are the goals and what lead to making them.
- Land new visitors
- Increase repeat visitors (by making them happy)
- Increase length of stay and page views
- Increase ad impressions and ad values from above items
Web Content Strategy:
- Easy to update content with CMS
- Use analytics to understand the users and content
- Link internally to related & popular stories to keep users interested
- Increase page views & visit length (which increases ad impressions)
With educating and enabling their editors to keep visitors interested by engaging basic content strategy and usability they accomplished their goal. They stopped just adding content and started optimizing it with a strategy.
I often head down this same path with our web clients. We build all of our websites on our content management solution, the Site Management Console but the tool alone is nothing without the right content structure and strategy. Having a purpose and following the right guidelines when adding and editing content can make all the difference.
It’s a great start to have the right tools, but it’s even better to have a strategy on how best to use them.