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Boring Website? Try Running it Like a Magazine!

Dec 08, 2010

One of the things we hear frequently at the Market Research Center is that a company's website is not generating the traffic that the owners would like.  If this fits your situation, one of the first things you need to do is to make sure that your site is being indexed by search engines.  The Market Research Center offers a free web optimization service that provides a report on how well your site functions, how visible it is to search engines and gives advice on how to improve.  If you would like to take advantage of this service contact me at


However, once you’ve optimized your website, you still may not get the number of visitors that you want.  Many times the problem is content.  Ken Gordon, writing on, suggests that many company websites are “incredibly, absurdly, infuriatingly dull.”  A boring site is one that doesn’t get many visitors.  His suggestion to avoid website doldrums?  Run your website like it is a magazine.   Try some of the following ideas:

1. Feature Stories.  These are the main attraction and have content that relates to your website and to what your customers want to know.  If you have exclusive content that is of value, then your website will tend to thrive.

2. “Front of the Book” section.  These are the short articles that tend to be at the front of magazines.  Highlight a new trend, a new product or service.  Make the articles short and fun.

3. Service Pieces.  These are articles that give things like “the five best ways to start a stalled engine”, “10 ways to save $15”, etc.  These need to relate to your company, but can be a great way to make people interested in your content.

4. News.  Include journalism on your site!  Stories should be fresh and should address the “who, what, where, when and why” of an issue.  Interview people, but be even-handed and fair.  By providing true news you can become a trusted source.

5. Opinion.  Go ahead a give your opinion.  Typically this is done on your blog.  Here you can say what you think.  However, it’s always best to make sure that you offer a forum to opposing views.  By doing so, you increase the discussion and relevance of your site.

6. Humor.  Humor is hard work, but if done properly can be great.  If you have someone who is naturally funny…put them to work.


Don’t be afraid to experiment.  With your website run like a magazine, you can add and remove departments, try new types of features and experiment.  Eventually you will end up with content your customers love and that they’ll recommend to their friends.


What do you think of this idea?  Do you do anything like this with your website?

Category: Web/Tech

Mike Lambert

Mike Lambert is the manager of the Wyoming Market Research Center in Laramie, WY.

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