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Optimizing Your Content Pages

This past week at OMMA New York I spoke to content providers. The session was titled “When Every Page is a Landing Page.” This indeed is the case and exemplifies the power of digital marketing (namely search) to deconstruct traditional forms of media and the long held practices around them.

The idea of presenting content in sections and in a linear fashion has been the model since long before the printing press. Understandably, websites were crafted with this information hierarchy. No one in 1995-1998 at the birth of the commercial web could estimate the impact that search engines would have on the way users sought, received and consumed information. This type of reference had never existed before.

Search has the unique power to fracture content. The ability to deliver relevance in 0.04 seconds will do that. It has changed the way we interact with content in new and interesting ways that have just started to be recognized and appreciated.

With the value of content skyrocketing and the hyper-competitive nature of mindshare these sites are beginning to see the need to strategize around delivering relevance that fosters engagement. We know users want bits and pieces of content that they deem relevant and we know users will always gravitate towards the ability to immediately access relevance. With this behavior predominate, content providers have no choice but to strategize each page like a landing page and optimize accordingly. Also magnified is the need to get more RSS feed subscriptions through testing and optimization.

So how should content providers strategically think of their content pages as landing pages?

The goals for content providers need to be threefold:

1. Segmentation
Dividing your audience where it makes an impact

2. Relevance
Delivering relevance to foster engagement

3. Engagement
Enabling further consumption on user's terms

It’s much easier to provide relevance and meet user goals when you can segment your audience. If your landing page does not have the content that helps the user fulfill their goal of information discovery than you have missed an opportunity to engage.

Once you have provided that goal fulfillment for the user you can try to fulfill your own goals as a business by trying to further engage the user with additional relevance. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Let’s look to the retail world for clues to how this should be done. Below are examples from “category” pages from Bluefly and NY Times.

Bf_1

Nty

Let’s take a look at another example. This time from Paid search for “Pope Benedict” who has recently been in the news. Interestingly, both ABC and CBS bought the keyword. As you can see, both networks have the content that will possibly fulfill the user goal. One of the networks provides relevance on the landing page to help not only ensure goal fulfillment but also continued engagement while the other does not.

Googlepope

Pope

The strategy here is really very simple. We are intelligently changing content based on the source of a reader and his or her behavior. The challenge for content provides is being able to leverage the amount of content they have now and will have more of in the future.

Digital marketing strategies are evolving at a breakneck pace, especially in the areas of content. Content providers need to proactively look to optimize their sites in the same way that retailers do. You content is your product. Optimize it!

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» Optimizando las páginas de contenido from Posiciona Tu Web | Blog sobre posicionamiento Web en Buscadores | Córdoba, Argentina
Un interesante artículo sobre los modos de presentar la información, donde propone que cada página de un sitio puede ser potencialmente la página de inicio de nuestro sitio para un usuario, con las implicancias que ello conlleva. Johnatan se pregun... [Read More]

Comments

Jonathan: Normally when I comment I like to add some value, say something interesting. But in this comment I just wanted to say that this is a great post. I really enjoyed reading it and evaluating the slides have and your comments on each site. I am really struck by the difference between the ABC and CBS and Retailer and Nytimes. Thanks for a great post.

-Avinash.

I agree with Avinash. This is a great post. People search for specific topics in search engines, and they will land on specific pages of your website. Are you ready to show them every single page? It is kind of like when people come to your store and they ask "do you have any more of these in the back?" or "Can I see your showroom?" or "Actually I'm looking for something in size small." Same goes for content sites. If there are pages of your website that will get a lot of visits, and they are not necessary landing pages per the conventional definition, they still require customization to engage the user and encourage further exploration on your site. This is the way to reach your goals and to make your profit or conversion.

Great post, this is extremely informative, full of wonderful information, thanks a lot.

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