ACBJ papers revamp online articles pages
American City Business Journals has introduced new articles pages across its 43 business journal websites in the past week designed to increase readership.
The articles page now includes popular articles on top, curated content on the left-hand site and articles about similar topics at the bottom. The new page was tested in Washington, Wichita and Nashville about a month ago and then introduced in its other 40 markets this past week.
The changes came after the Charlotte-based company discovered that three-fourths of its web readers were coming in and leaving from an articles page. With the changes, people are reading longer, and advertisements are being clicked on more frequently, said Jonathan Shaw, senior product development manager at ACBJ headquarters in Charlotte.
“People are having a more immersive experience,” said Shaw. “It’s all about the reading experience.”
The new articles page comes in a two-column format and a three-column format, Shaw noted. The test markets are using the three-column format that will likely be rolled out into the other markets later this year because it is a better design for shorter, breaking news.
“What we’ve tried to create is two things,” said Shaw. “Since we knew that over three-fourths of our visitors are coming in and out in one page, we knew we had to make the experience more immersive. And No. 2, we wanted the article page to read more like a home page, giving a better story-telling platform.”
Another reason for the change, said Shaw, is that the new design works better for smaller screens such as mobile — where ACBJ is currently getting 40 percent of its readers — and tablets.
“We wanted to make sure our readers got the same experience no matter what kind of device they’re using,” he said.