5 Simple E-News Changes to Achieve SUPER SITE Status
As explained in part one of this three-part series, to be more competitive in the immediate future, many B2B sites will need to attain SUPER SITE Status. Five simple adjustments can help achieve that goal. Yet, simple as they are, they may still pose difficulty for those B2B editors seeking to climb on board.
Last week’s article addressed the most demanding challenge—broad improvements in enterprise reporting efforts. While of lesser impact, these five additional changes still merit attention.
The actions outlined here reflect findings from the ninth annual e-news delivery study of 50 B2B websites recently completed by Editorial Solutions Inc. This year’s study showed the best results yet in some respects, with 15 sites reaching or passing the study target score of 60 points. While kudos would seem to be in order, 60 out of 100 possible points is hardly a 4-star result. And 35 sites, 70% of those studied, fell below this threshold target. (In my eighth annual study, when I raised the target score to 80, not one site struck gold!)
Broadly speaking, the scoring breakdown has been similar in each study year. Even the best sites missed the boat somewhere in terms of claiming editorial superiority. Please keep that thought in mind as you read further.
Depth Requires Bigger Spotlight
SUPER SITE status can be earned by those sites willing to go the extra mile. Leading the list of tactics is increasing the number of stories with a round-up format and at least 500–800 words. The current study reviewed 500 articles. Nearly half—231—posted stories between 100 and 299 words in length, while 77 ran between 500 and 799 words. Another 21 reached beyond 800 words.
Here are four other approaches to content that might help earn SUPER SITE recognition:
Links. Each e-news article should include at least one embedded link. Only 10 of the 50 sites studied met this standard.
Authoritative sources. As much as possible, be sure to gather direct quotes from recognized authorities as opposed to rewriting content and picking up quotes from press releases.
Variety. It’s okay to depart from a single format—varied formats liven up the news section. Consider including Q&A columns, original research results, blogs from authoritative sources, quizzes, and other items.
Fog-free editing. Most sites passed muster in terms of headlines and on-target lede sentences. However, 13 sites exceeded the 25-word average sentence length limit, and a few sites were wall-to-wall fog, with sentence length averaging 30 to 40 words.
My SUPER SITE final list and scoring system will be presented next week. There’s still time to send suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.