More NewsSalon.com Audience Jumps Following Redesign

Salon.com Audience Jumps Following Redesign

Six months after a revamp, the site's heightened focus on food, pop culture, and film content appears to be paying off.

Less than six months after its most recent redesign, Salon.com is releasing internal numbers that show sizeable jumps in its traffic.

Salon.com’s audience is up 22 percent for the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period last year. The site also received 35 percent more users in March of 2010 than it did in March of 2009. Referral traffic is also up 125 percent year over year, fulfilling one of Salon’s primary objectives for its redesign.

“I’m extremely happy with the results,” said Richard Gingras, CEO of Salon.com. Elements of the redesign are still being implemented, he added, so “to see these kinds of results this fast is tremendously exciting for us.”

Salon.com, which is based in San Francisco, underwent a redesign in November of 2009 that was largely intended to increase search traffic. The new site bundles stories based on topic, a tactic designed to appeal to search engines and keep readers on the site longer. Salon.com also debuted a new food section, new advertising products and an online store.

Gingras wasn’t able to say which parts of the site were driving the traffic increase, but he did note that Salon.com’s healthcare reform topic page “was more often than not on the first page of Google search results for much of the last four weeks” and that the site has beefed up its pop culture and film coverage. He called the new food section a success so far, as well.

The online store, in which Salon.com sold items ranging from dog toys shaped like gingerbread cookies to swiveling cognac glasses, seems to have attracted less attention, however. While Gingras didn’t provide sales numbers (he did call conversion rates “very attractive”), he said that “educating our audience about the fact that we have a store takes time.”

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