Help with SEO/SEM Strategy For Online Magazines

by nairb
5 replies
  • SEO
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A little more than 2 years ago I was working professionally with internet marketing using "gray" hat techniques for local, small business websites. I used techniques like outsourced backlink creation, on-site optimization, and subsequent analytics and strategy adjustment.

Since then, I have focused exclusively on front-end web development, and I've been freelancing ever since. Now I've been given an opportunity to work at a company that has had print magazines for many years but has recently decided to follow the beaten path and transition to a heavy online presence.

Common sense tells me they need external backlinks from high PR blogs, social media buzz, and maybe some directory listings if those don't exist already. I'm concerned that the techniques I've used in the past are now obsolete - i.e. article submissions, meta-tag optimization, Squidoo/Hubpage placement. This opportunity is also different from my past experience in that it's dealing with a small group of websites that are well-established - they have hundreds of articles, pictures, some user comments. Their main site is PR5. This differs from my past experience with sites that were PR0-1.

tl;dr ... I'm a bit rusty with internet marketing. What are some common techniques that this company can use to increase their web presence? Their main site is already PR5! But they're looking for more turnaround with their ad campaigns, and they have a pretty poor bounce rate (60%+).

I realize this is a self-serving post, please accept my advanced apologies for not offering anything of substance for others on this board. But if I can do enough for this company to secure my position there as a developer with supplemental SEM capabilities, I will certainly be returning here with detailed accounts of our successes/failures - and I certainly think that would be useful info for the rest of you.
#high pr #magazine #magazines #online #online magazine #sem #seo #seo or sem #strategy
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    How large is their current site?

    Do they have their site setup to promote each individual article in the magazine, like a newspaper subscription teaser page/article?
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    • Profile picture of the author nairb
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      How large is their current site?

      Do they have their site setup to promote each individual article in the magazine, like a newspaper subscription teaser page/article?
      They have a handful (approximately 3-5 that I am aware of) of sites that represent their different magazines. The main one (I am not at liberty to provide the name(s) at this time, but that may change in the future) returns more than 35,000 page results with a simple google special operator search ("site:example.com")

      Their other sites return approximately 20,000-25,000 results using this method. In the next few days I will be granted access to more comprehensive data including Google Analytics data. For now I have only simple methods of researching their sites like alexa.com

      To answer the second part of your post, they do seem to post each article in the magazine as a digital version. I am part of the process that recreates the articles to match the design and layout of the print version digitally.

      They use wordpress for their sites, including SEO-tailored plugins to manage page titles, tags, etc.

      They have newsletter sign-up sections on the home page. Nothing as far as teasers as far as I know.

      One of their biggest concerns in email marketing. They would like to increase their email blast lists' volume and quality to reach more amounts and more accurate potential readers/consumers.

      That's the information I have at hand for now. The more research I can prepare today, the more information I will be able to retrieve when I continue my temp work there tomorrow, so I'd like to ask why you want to know the information you're asking about. Thanks for the response, also
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by nairb View Post

        They have a handful (approximately 3-5 that I am aware of) of sites that represent their different magazines. The main one (I am not at liberty to provide the name(s) at this time, but that may change in the future) returns more than 35,000 page results with a simple google special operator search ("site:example.com")

        Their other sites return approximately 20,000-25,000 results using this method. In the next few days I will be granted access to more comprehensive data including Google Analytics data. For now I have only simple methods of researching their sites like alexa.com

        To answer the second part of your post, they do seem to post each article in the magazine as a digital version. I am part of the process that recreates the articles to match the design and layout of the print version digitally.

        They use wordpress for their sites, including SEO-tailored plugins to manage page titles, tags, etc.

        They have newsletter sign-up sections on the home page. Nothing as far as teasers as far as I know.

        One of their biggest concerns in email marketing. They would like to increase their email blast lists' volume and quality to reach more amounts and more accurate potential readers/consumers.

        That's the information I have at hand for now. The more research I can prepare today, the more information I will be able to retrieve when I continue my temp work there tomorrow, so I'd like to ask why you want to know the information you're asking about. Thanks for the response, also
        I asked about the size of the site to get an idea what we're dealing with. The sites are well established having +25K pages per domain, that makes your work a lot easier. That also means they have old established internal pages that will still show pagerank (PR).

        Do a site:domain.com search while running SEOquake (free) with the search results set to 100 results per page, sort the search results by highest PR, those are your known authority pages. Use the authority pages to help rank whatever pages/keywords your trying to rank.

        If the rest of the magazines are same/similar niche that's an extra bonus, find the authority pages & use them to your advantage for ranking pages.



        Originally Posted by nairb View Post

        To answer the second part of your post, they do seem to post each article in the magazine as a digital version. I am part of the process that recreates the articles to match the design and layout of the print version digitally.
        If they're posting the entire magazine articles online that's your chance to boost email subscribers right there. Make each magazine article a teaser page on the website. Make it so traffic can only read the entire article in exchange for subscribing to the email list. That can work for both free or paid subscribers, but the teaser content has to be really good content to convince traffic to subscribe.
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        • Profile picture of the author nairb
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          I asked about the size of the site to get an idea what we're dealing with. The sites are well established having +25K pages per domain, that makes your work a lot easier. That also means they have old established internal pages that will still show pagerank (PR).

          Do a site:domain.com search while running SEOquake (free) with the search results set to 100 results per page, sort the search results by highest PR, those are your known authority pages. Use the authority pages to help rank whatever pages/keywords your trying to rank.

          If the rest of the magazines are same/similar niche that's an extra bonus, find the authority pages & use them to your advantage for ranking pages.





          If they're posting the entire magazine articles online that's your chance to boost email subscribers right there. Make each magazine article a teaser page on the website. Make it so traffic can only read the entire article in exchange for subscribing to the email list. That can work for both free or paid subscribers, but the teaser content has to be really good content to convince traffic to subscribe.
          Great, I now have the highest PR authority pages for the sites on record, and all of them (PR4-5) are blogrolls containing many links to other inner pages that contain the actual articles.

          All of the magazines share a niche - they are all relating to a major North American city. Each magazine explores, however, different niches within that market - family, shopping, travel, etc.

          Teaser content is a great idea - I am not sure it will work for this magazine, however. I have not asked yet, but I believe the publications are free. I may be wrong about this - I will find out. I am also not sure that the management will want to tease users with content. They may fear that it will drive away views and worsen the already bad bounce rate. While this concern is legitimate, high-quality content and/or only placing teasers on specific articles may be a viable strategy. They already use the common strategy of "click-through" article titles - lots of numbered lists (i.e. Top 20 Smart Foods, etc.) and similar titles that encourage readers to click through to other pages.

          Placing teaser content, if done correctly, would provide them with a solid email list of readers who already read their magazines. This has its advantages - they will know what niche the email is interested in, and therefore only send them email marketing for that niche. It also has its drawbacks, in that they are not discovering quality emails for people who do not yet read the magazines. I am not yet sure what is more important to them: readers or consumers. Part of their business model relies on selling ads within the magazine and affiliated website, and the other part relies on selling promotional material through email marketing. In my short time there, I have been exposed much more to the email marketing side of that business model than the in-content ads.

          Thanks for the good start - I will have more information in the coming days. For now I would still love to hear more ideas, and if there are any more questions you have I will do my best to answer them!
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          • Profile picture of the author rcostica
            Hi nairb, I'm curious to find out how your project is going.

            I am currently in a similar position to yours and I would really appreciate some tips on what strategies you found to be most successful. The magazine I am looking to optimize is a bit larger (70k+ indexed pages) and already has more than a million backlinks from 650 domains, however it drives A LOT less traffic than the competition (around 10% compared to the niche leader).

            Thanks in advance for your help!
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