Last week, Buzzfeed published a leaked internal report from the New York Times detailing some of the challenges it faces in transitioning to a digital-first strategy. While the Times' 100+ years of print excellence make this a particularly sensitive task for the publication, NYT has actually been among the most successful newspapers in adapting to an online world. And yet there are still difficult, organizatoin-wide changes that are necessary.
The Nieman Journalism Lab has an excellent summary and analysis of strategy document, which is a must-read for anyone publishing news or blog content. Go check it out.
We have a few major takeaways that are relevant for all business and organizations:
- Homepage traffic is decreasing: while your homepage is an important advertisement for your organization, an increasing amount of traffic to your site is being driven by social media referrals and search results. That means you need to focus on keeping visitors on your site no matter what page they enter on.
- Custom designs are important, but templates are key. Having a cool landing page can drive a lot of traffic, but being able to generate your own landing pages in a CMS is probably more valuable, cost-effective, and time-effective in the long run.
- Tagging: this is an oldie but goodie. Tags are an easy way to categorize content in a decentralized way. It takes only a few seconds but allows users to find and group content in ways you may not anticipate early on.
- Build it and they won't necessarily come. Having a great website is necessary but not sufficient. You need to work to promote yourself and drive traffic via search engine optimization, social media sharing, and old-fashioned word of mouth.