Reuters.com

Advanced data insights and technical SEO ensured Reuters.com not only maintained traffic after moving to a new platform, but increased it by over 260%

Focus area

  • Advisory
  • Tech

Industry

  • Technology

Overview

As an internationally renowned source of up-to-the-minute news articles and pictures, Reuters has an unrivalled reputation to protect, as well as an immense archive to capitalise on.

The organisation needed to consolidate its existing diverse online estate into one consistent central source of information, which would also allow them to shift their revenue model away from hosted advertising to subscription services. This involved merging the numerous global ‘editions’ of the website into one www.reuters.com site, while maintaining their online authority and presence in search engines.

91.6%

increase in organic search sessions

+263M

organic sessions

260.9%

increase in mobile
organic search sessions

80.7%

increase in registrations
from organic search

WON

UK Search Award – Best Large SEO Campaign

StrategiQ were appointed to collaborate with their engineering team on two key issues: a consultation on the impact of replatforming on SEO visibility and organic traffic, and the launch of a new registration/paywall for their newly-centralised content.

Our brief was to benchmark organic visibility, provide insight into which editions, content and countries were driving traffic to Reuters, devise an efficient migration strategy and then perform it with as little loss to traffic as possible. The key challenges were:

Damage limitation: Assessing the impact of removing all articles from the new CMS older than 24 months, with a forecasted loss of 22% of organic traffic (6.8 million sessions per quarter).

Keeping paywalled content visible: Even if articles and photos were only available to subscribers, we still needed to ensure they could be seen by Google and show up in response to a search. 

Redirecting traffic and authority: With 15x global site editions – and all their linked articles – closing, their potential traffic and online authority needed to be retained. 

Volume of content: Reuters.com was, and still is, host to an enormous amount of information and images. This would present a huge challenge to even the most experienced digital engineer.

Reuters website
Reuters website

We knew we could do more for Reuters than simple traffic damage limitation around their replatforming. Building on our benchmarking and focusing on a few actions that would see the biggest results, we modelled the impact on SEO visibility of closing 15 global editions and archiving legacy indexed content, but then also revealed how content could be paywalled while still being visible to Google. Key results were: 

Improved visibility through targeted content: We saw a number of opportunities for the consolidated site to gain more visibility by migrating just 1,200 high-traffic/linked articles, which constituted 50% of organic sessions.

An SEO-friendly paywall: Through flexible sampling of structured data and upgrades to the website’s URL format, we ensured Google could continue to crawl all article content without triggering cloaking issues.

Maintaining presence in search: We delivered a clear 301 redirection strategy to consolidate authority into the single www.reuters.com global edition, migrating their website from existing CMS platforms to ARC XP. The site’s Sistrix Visibility index score (US) climbed from 22 to 40 in the 5 months after launch, the highest position in 5 years.

Increased number of users: In the 5 months from the new website launching, the number of average daily users totalled 631,180, an increase of 269% on the same period the previous year. This was excellent news for a website reliant on display advertising preparing to transition to a paid subscription revenue model.

Ongoing SEO advice: Post-migration, our SEO specialists presented guidance to the Reuters staff on best practices for headlines and structure to allow their articles to rank highly in search, giving them an ongoing advantage in this area.

Supporting the global engineering team at Reuters.com with their replatform and paywall introduction was an incredible project that spanned almost 7 months. Rather than auditing all of the potential opportunities or challenges that the migration posed, we instead focused on a handful of key areas that would have the biggest impact. I’m absolutely delighted with our team’s collaboration and the subsequent results, which were rewarded by winning Best Large SEO Campaign at the UK Search Awards in November 2021.

James Bavington

CXO

Reuters photography 2

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