Publishers are focused on taking online visitors deeper into their Web sites. The good news is it can be achieved through minor tweaks that don’t involve much expense or time.
For IDG’s NetworkWorld.com, simply adding links to the top five stories on the site has doubled traffic from the home page into secondary pages of the site and tripled traffic linking from e-mail newsletter stories, according to Dan Gallagher, senior director of audience development. "I categorize users into two brackets;browsers and seekers," says Gallagher. "Browsers tend to come into higher levels of the site;front door or research centers;and they haven’t yet told us what they’re interested in. We’ve got to be a little broader, and that’s why things like the top five stories work better."
As visitors progress though the site, Network World.com can keep them there simply by adding a link for related content at the end of each story. "They’re making the decision, ﾑShould I leave the site, is there anything else here for me?’" Gallagher says. "When they enter at the content-item level, they are focused on thought-thread;they’re in pursuit of specific information. You need to look at the content as the highly-contextual front door for that user and apply the same principles as the home page."
Meanwhile, sister site Computerworld Online, which is poised to re-launch this spring, is focused on how to make the site stickier for visitors being referred directly to articles from other sites. "Over 70 percent of our traffic enters at an article-page level," says Martha Connors, vice president and general manager. "The home page of the site is significant but compared to the actual article pages, it’s small. Most people who go to the home page come from a bookmark link. It can be a story or a landing page for a Webcast or a briefing. That means obviously search is driving this."
With the redesign, Connors wants to treat each article page like a home page. "The article page is difficult to do well because of the amount of information you have to put on page," adds Connors. "The left nav and top nav areas of the site will publish with each landing page to highlight where visitors are. If you’re in a story in the securities section, you know you’re there."