Why Typical News and Events Web Pages Are a Missed OpportunityBy Joe Walsh
December 18, 2014
Most likely, your news, articles and events pages of your website are not as effective, impressive or differentiating as they ought to be.
The new and improved versions of these important sections of your site are more like good online news magazines. The new are replacing the old back-of-the-phonebook listing of all things published by your organization. The improved are thought leadership or resource centers that bring content marketing to the next level of sophistication.
Impressive thought leadership is not a new idea, per se. After all, McKinsey Quarterly was launched as a magazine in the 60s and lives vibrantly on today as a well-trafficked “microsite.” It’s interesting to note the Quarterly was first published in response to the commoditization of strategy consulting. Hmmm.
Here are six ideas to make a resource center shine:
- Think holistically about content marketing. Often news, events, articles or publications are separate pages of a site. The best new resource centers are “media-agnostic.” This means they blend the blogs, webinars, e-alerts, white papers and more of what you “publish” into a coherent content marketing whole.
- Apply an editorial mindset to the design and upkeep of the “News.” Ask yourself, what’s hot, what’s trending, what's the lead? Then design your page to have above the fold features.
- Don’t confuse or commingle firm news with content marketing. Newsflash: your press releases about new people, promotions or awards are not thought leadership. Think about separating “About Us” news from “About the Client” thought leadership, if possible.
- Make it searchable by industry, topic, type of media and other filters. This is a courtesy to the visitor that will be appreciated.
- Don’t write the new resource center. Eye tracking studies on the web show that attention goes first to colors, shapes and images and, last to words. The best news centers use imagery, headlines, video, information graphics and other devices to engage the scanning reader.
- Make it mobile friendly. Generally, we create content on our desktops and consume content on our mobile devices. The best new resource centers need to look great and function well on planes, trains and automobiles or any other place where visitors are mobile.
We’re often asked by clients and prospects if a redo of news and events pages need to done as part of a site overhaul. The answer is no. Think of it as a room renovation. You can redo the kitchen without redoing the entire house.
Please find inspiration for these and other ideas to apply to your own site from some of our clients below.
Archer Norris, California-based law firm
Hemenway & Barnes, Boston-based wealth management firm
Ice Miller, law firm
Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors, Southeastern US