SEO for Reader's Digest Redesign

Just about every website undergoes a re-design at some point. Such activities are part of the natural
evolution of a website as the talent behind it changes along with the objectives as set by management. The Reader's Digest flagship website, RD.com, is no exception. In 2005, RD.com underwent a major re-design that aimed to improve the user experience. In particular, more content with more finely-grained categorization and increased topic areas were the primary improvements being implemented.

The Challenge: Attract Users to All Areas of the Site

While a re-design can certainly make a website look pretty in presentations, the re-design effort itself must be measured by how well it does in attracting users. This is true regardless of the goals of the site be they to sell subscriptions to magazines or generate revenue through advertising.

With a re-design in the works, the opportunity arose to examine what had worked in the past and where the current site was falling short. After some analysis done primarily by examining the web traffic log statistics, it became clear that search engines were not giving RD.com its due. Thus, the challenge was to correct whatever it was that was ailing the website and make sure those corrections were implemented with the redesign.

The Solution: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO was key to the success of the re-designed RD.com. For large sites such as RD.com, it is typical for SEO related changes to take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to have an effect. And sure enough, around the 6 month mark we saw doubling of the search engine traffic coming to the Reader's Digest. And since that initial doubling there has been another 50% increase making for a 355% increase in search engine traffic since the SEO initiatives started.

Reader's Digest Search Traffic

Role

Search Engine Optimization Specialist

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