How Hearst Magazines Increased Website Traffic By 150%

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Using good keyword research and educating editors on proper search engine optimization techniques helped the Hearst publishing empire increase traffic to their web properties by 150%.

Hearst publishes 15 of the world’s most popular magazines including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Oprah’s O Magazine, and Good Housekeeping as well as 5 web only magazines. Their Senior SEO Analyst for the Digital Media team overcame the challenges of introducing SEO to management, staff writers and editors.

Choosing the right keywords is essential. An online writer must adapt to the online world, which means using different words than for a print publication. Below is an example of using keyword research to write title tags that will reach the largest audience:

When writing for women’s fashion: titles are big part of what they do, so early on we made the decision that we’d instruct them to run some comparatives on the keywords ‘fashion’ and ‘style’. In the print context they like to use the word style, but I stressed to them that style is somewhat nebulous in that it can mean a number of things. People’s behavior online is different because when they are looking for content they tend to be much more literal, because they have to be. The Wordtracker keyword research data showed us that 7:1 people were more likely to use ‘fashion’ than ‘style’ when looking for the kind of content we were promoting.

Here is a great tip on assisting editors with search engine optimization, and coding the keyword research tools into the web based publishing platform.

We have incorporated a link to the Wordtracker keyword tool directly into our CMS (content management system) so that when someone is entering a critical field, like the meta-title, right next to it there’s a link to Wordtracker, which acts as a ‘call to action.’ They can at least check to see if the keywords they have chosen are a solid choice, or if there’s something better out there.

Hearst probably uses a custom CMS, but this could easily be added to the ‘write’ page in wordpress.

Read the full article on how Dan Roberts helped increase Hearst Publication’s online traffic. This is a good thing, because the design looks like it was last updated in 1996.


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6 Responses

  1. Very true information about online writers as they play an important role forming the internet content. Most journalists are now part time SEO’s.

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