According to a new Hitwise report, 25% of the traffic coming to newspapers Web sites arrives from search engines. This comes on the heels of a custom Nielsen//NetRatings study for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) showing record traffic numbers of 59.5M unique visitors to these web sites in March.
1) Monetization is not happening as fast as that traffic growth. “While online ad revenue has been growing, our share of that revenue is not in synch with our reach into the audience,” said Randy Bennett, vice president of audience and new business development for the NAA.”
2) User fragmentation. “Info from the Hitwise report revealed that news consumption is beginning to fragment, with the share of visits to the top 10 News and Media Web sites (which include newspapers like The New York Times) declining by almost 4%.”
“According to Bennett, building awareness of that reach and making it easier for advertisers to buy bundles of local and national ads are key steps toward securing more ad revenue.”
What it means: as Martin Nisenholtz of New York Times Digital said this week at the YPA Conference, the “walled garden” era is dead. Search engine optimization is a key strategic element if you run a media operation. Search engines are entry doors to web content and because of their extensive reach, you want to be found in them. But SEO is not enough. You need to have a specific syndication strategy to disseminate your content, your brand and, hopefully, your business model throughout the web.