Midlands Business News (MBN) is the number one website for local and regional business news across the Midlands and is an indispensable news and intelligence source for the region’s business decision makers.
Launched in early 2015, East Midlands Business News (EBN) is a website for local and regional business news across the East Midlands. A similar site has been launched for the East of England, aptly named East of England Business News.
The two new sites now need to start generating significant income through advertising, and in order to do so they will both need strong traffic and robust measurement. One of the ways we needed to attract additional traffic was through the generation of ‘evergreen’ content which will have a longer lifespan.
The old sites worked well, due to their WordPress build, robust hosting and the functionality for posting and displaying news stories – but the business needed to move forward, which required a number of changes. The design of the websites needed a refresh to look more up to date in terms of their look and feel. The functionality of the Events section needed to be developed further, so rather than events being posted as a standard page they would be displayed in a number of different ways. For example, visitors being able to view events on a calendar and see lists of different types of event. The client wanted to be able to pin news stories to top of the list or give them a weighting so that they can influence the order of the posts, rather than them being displayed in strict order of posting.
Looking at the SEO of the sites, there was a high bounce rate, so we needed to encourage visitors to stay and look around the site, rather than leaving straight away. One of the ways to keep visitors looking around the site is to cross-reference stories – this means if you are reading about a story in a particular area, then it would be easier to view more stories in that area so the visitor doesn’t have to search for them. SEO was picked out as key to the success of the websites to gain more traffic, so through the redevelopment it was key to think about SEO friendly elements and incorporate them throughout. We also needed to use Analytics so that the client could use the statistics to give to their clients who would be advertising on the site, so they could see how many clicks were made on their adverts.