Reuters.com

Reuters.com

How Advanced Data Insights and Technical SEO not only maintained traffic after moving to a new platform, but increased users 111% year-on-year.
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“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 that our team's collaboration and the subsequent results which were rewarded by winning the BEST SEO CAMPAIGN: LARGE at the UK Search Awards in November 2021.”
James Bavington, CTO StrategiQ

One of the world’s largest international news organisations, Reuters needed to consolidate their existing diverse online estate into one consistent central source of information. This involved merging their numerous global ‘editions’ of the website into one www.reuters.com site.

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

Our brief was to benchmark organic visibility and provide insight into which editions, content and countries were driving traffic to Reuters. Building on this benchmark, we modelled the impact on SEO visibility by closing 15 global editions and archiving legacy indexed content while also revealing how content could be paywalled while still being visible to Google.

111%
YoY Increase In Organic Users
104%
Increase In Sistrix Visibility Score
94%
Increase In User Registrations
Won
UK Search Awards - Best Large SEO Campaign

Client Story

Defining An Award Winning Strategy

Insights & Objectives

The first step of this project was to thoroughly examine Reuters.com’s existing organic traffic and visibility. Their key objective for this replatforming project was to keep the anticipated drop in traffic to a minimum so that they could maximise their potential for revenue from their newly-centralised paywalled content.

However, we knew we could do more for our client than simple damage limitation. Reuters’ own strategy was for StrategiQ to assess the impact of  removing all articles from the new CMS that were older than 24 months, forecasting a loss of 22% in organic traffic (6.8M sessions per quarter). However, we saw a number of opportunities for a consolidated site to gain more visibility by developing a formula to migrate just 1,200 high-traffic/linked articles, constituting 50% of organic sessions.

News Worthy Expertise

Strategy

With careful planning to ensure we didn’t bury the engineering team under volumes of best practice, but simply collaborated on a few actions that would see the biggest impact. Our technical strategy identified the key tactics that would not only protect the website’s visibility but improve it.

We consolidated 15x global editions with 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 with an SEO-friendly paywall that seamlessly leveraged upgrades to the site’s URL structure, XML Sitemaps and use Structured Data to provide Flexible Sampling to content.

Outperforming Expectations

Results

Spanning 7 months, our SEO strategy did far more than mitigate a partial loss in organic traffic. It drove greater organic growth for reuters.com, more than doubling traffic to a website reliant on display advertising and preparing to transition its revenue model to paid subscriptions.

At the time of launching the new site, the Sistrix Visibility index score (US) was 22. This climbed steeply to 40 over the next five months – higher than at any point in the past 5 years. In the time from the new website launching on 15th Apr up to 17th Sep 2021, average daily users increased by 269%.

Shifting The Balance

Looking To The Future

This campaign forced us to challenge our client’s expectation that loss of organic sessions was an inevitable consequence of their strategy to consolidate sites, change CMS and switch revenue models from advertising to paywalling content.

While the most complex area of the project was supporting the shift in business model from advertising to subscriptions, all parties are excited about the levels of traffic and confident that this will be a growth area in future.

We can only imagine how this new business model can grow for Reuters over the next few years. Through carefully maintaining their SEO practices and expanding their outreach through targeted paid and organic campaigns, their aim to grow revenue through the resources they own and manage is truly set up for success.

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