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Why a High Performance Website is a Must for a Niche Magazine Publisher

Vee Banionis

at General

Every business that focuses on building a digital presence must start with well planned and built website. The same goes for niche magazines and digital publications who are looking to build their brand identity and turn their business into a money-making machine. Unfortunately, there are so many niche magazine websites focusing on the wrong things or are poorly planned when it comes to their digital strategy.

High-performance magazine website

There is an easy way to understand if your website is optimized – ask yourself a question what’s the main goal and what’s the conversion rate of it?

If you are a niche magazine publisher, your main goal should be acquisition: get subscribers to convert on your website. To be successful, your conversion rate should not go below 2%. This means, for every 1,000 unique visitors, you should get at least 20 subscribers!

You can calculate your conversion rate by taking the unique visitor traffic (x) in the last 30 days and comparing it with number of new subscribers (y) 100*y/x. If your conversion rate is lower than 2%, you need to work hard on optimizing your site. 

What’s a “high performance website” and why do I need it? 

 A high performance website is a highly optimized system that helps you attract traffic, recognize and group visitors, and encourage them to take the right actions. It’s the core of every online marketing strategy and it’s a must-have tool for publishers. 

For publishers, a high performance website must be built around the magazine. In order to be successful, it’s essential that each visitor is lead in a certain direction that drives them to convert. 

How to build a high performance website for you publishing business? 

There are two stages of actions to creating a high performance website for your publishing business: the technical stage and marketing stage.

First. you need to make sure you build a highly optimized website through the technical stage. 

Build the right website structure

These are the basic, must have pages you should have on your website.

a. Offer Free Content: In order to attract organic traffic, create valuable and engaging content for your visitors to consume.

b. Issue Archive: The issue archive is a chronological catalog which introduces your product – the magazine – and helps them navigate through the issues.

1. Issue page: The issue page is the landing page for each of your issues. It should have some intro text, TOC and an image of the magazine. It helps you get organic traffic, engage your audience, and lead them to read the entire magazine or subscribe.

2. Feature Page: The feature page is similar to your teaser content and acts as a landing page for each of your publication’s features. The feature page should have some introductory text from the article or a short summary, and a featured image may be useful as well. There should be easy to use navigation between the features of the same issue. It helps you get organic traffic, engage your audience, and lead them to read the full feature on the magazine or subscribe.

3. Author and Tag pages: Groups articles by tag and author.

c. Sales pages: Conversion oriented page, or sales pages, are isolated action driven pages which integrate with you marketing campaigns.

d. Static pages: Simple, static content pages for your publication.

e. Blog Feed: The blog feed lists all your blogs and has functional sidebar.

1. Blog post – single blog post page with sidebar

2. Author and tag pages – similar to blog feed just filtered by specific tag (keyword) or author.

Set up dynamic reusable widgets on your website

Here is a list of must have widgets to engage your visitors and convert your traffic:

a. Banner widgets – Banner widgets are most commonly used for header and sidebar banners.

b. Subscribe widget – A dynamic widget that captures subscriber information and sends it to mailing list software.

c. Call to Action (CTA) Popups – A popup widget that can be reused in different situations. For example it could launch when a user is trying to exit a landing page or be triggered after a specified time.

d. Current issue widget – A widget that can be used in the header or on the sidebar to show a graphic of your current issue and CTA button that leads to issue page.

e. Search widget – A field that allows visitors to run sitewide or section isolated searches.

Develop a Responsive Website

Create an attractive design and seamless user experience on every device. Your website must load fast, be easy to use and work on most popular devices and screen sizes.  

W3C Compliant

Your website needs to be W3C compliant. Being compliant means that the HTML and CSS code meets the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium. 

It’s not just important to be compliant for the sake of visitors to always see the content intended. It’s also a ranking signal or two for SEO. One for compliance. Another, potentially, for accessibility.

You’ll also want to ensure your website is tested and optimized using Google page speed tool.

Google Webmaster Tools

Integrate Google Webmaster tools to monitor and improve website performance. This will help you to understand your site better in terms of your content’s search appearance, and in terms of its engagement with search users.

Now it’s time to make sure you have the right set of marketing tools and processes integrated:  

Install Google Analytics

Start tracking basic website traffic data every day to see how well your website is performing. The most important factors are: how many visitors visited your site, how many unique, how many returning, on what devices, how much time they have spend on your site, where they left, what’s your bounce rate. Once you develop this habit you’ll understand what to improve.

Set Up Goals on Google Analytics

It’s useful to get deeper and set up goals on your analytics account so you’ll see the numbers that really matter. Set up any new subscribe action as a set goal and track your progress. Try to get this number up by playing with your technical toolset and perfecting your user experience factors.  

Build Strong Onsite SEO

Optimize your digital publication and issue archive as this will become your “flagship” organic traffic magnet. Do research on what people in your niche are looking for. Develop valuable, well-thought-out content regarding each of those subjects. 

Integrate long tail keywords to your content, including in the page titles and meta data.  When writing your page description for a page or post, consider how useful this will be for the search engine user upon discovering your search result. And then insert the most important keywords where they naturally fit in.

Integrate structured data

Create structured data templates on your content management system to help Google understand your content, improving the chances it ranks by improving both visibility and accurateness.

Use rich card and other microformats to help fill in all possible uses for your page or post’s content. Use the tools. Never abuse them, however. It’s still ultimately all about UX — the end-user experience.

Integrate the Right Email Marketing Service

Think about your email marketing strategies and chose the right tools that are capable of helping you achieve your goals. 

Create Landing Page Templates

External services can be used to run your landing pages and funnels, but once you find the pages that work in your niche you’ll use them for years. In fact, those pages will be quite simple and having them as a part of your CMS is very useful and cost efficient. 

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There are many essential tools and steps needed to build a high performance website, which is critical to your company’s ongoing success. From choosing the right website structure to developing quality and optimized content, and picking the most effective conversion-oriented widgets, there are many considerations that go into building a high performance website. Once you build the website, your work doesn’t end there. It’s time to start tracking your website’s performance and optimizing accordingly.

A multichannel publishing network flowchart

Bonus: a basic scheme of the multi-channel content distribution system that should be created using high-performance website.

Hiring an Expert to Build A High Performance Website

Do you want to attract and convert more visitors on your website? Or, maybe you’re not sure where to start when it comes to building a highly-optimized website. Fortunately, Flip 180 Media can help.

As experts in the digital marketing industry, we can help you build a high performance website that leads visitors through a buying journey to ultimately convert. Our knowledge and expertise has ultimately helped numerous company’s experience unmatched growth, an increase in website conversions, and boosted Google rankings.

Contact us today at 818-855-7603 to learn about our services and how we can help you build a high performance website.

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Vee Banionis
at General
Vee Banionis
at General

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