Case Study: Utilizing Define as Embedded Strategists, Time Inc. Experiences Long-Term Traffic Gains

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As Time Inc.’s embedded strategists, Define Media Group has helped shape Time’s audience development strategy since 2007. By focusing on best practices that strike a balance between search and social optimization and UI/UX considerations, Define has helped blue chip properties of the Time Inc. network such as People.com, RealSimple.com and MyRecipes.com take a proactive approach to search and social media. This has allowed them not only to weather the various algorithm changes over the years, but also strongly capitalize on them, as demonstrated by their strong year-over-year traffic gains. And our emphasis on continual search and social media training, along with our in-depth knowledge of recent changes such as Panda and Search Plus Your World, has positioned the Time Inc. network for success moving forward.

Define as Embedded Strategists: Search, Social and Acquisition Advisory Services

Our initial directive was to help Time Inc.’s sites improve SEO across the enterprise. Working closely with individual brand and corporate stakeholders, we identified top action items through our comprehensive auditing process, and then worked closely with the design, editorial, tech and marketing teams to implement the recommendations. Our action items included specific feedback for optimizing the CMS, improving site architecture, increasing indexation, developing SEO-friendly templates, introducing SEO into the editorial workflow and more. As embedded strategists, we were on hand to answer any search-related questions that arose, and we’ve continued to help develop strategies and tactics for new content, design and technical initiatives.

Over time, Define’s scope of work was expanded to include social media, as Facebook, Twitter and others became increasingly important traffic drivers and search signals. And as the established social networks innovate (such as with Facebook’s Open Graph and Timeline features), while new social media networks such as Google+ and Pinterest gain prominence, we continue to advise the Time Inc. brands on evolving their social engagement best practices as well as developing strategies for leveraging the traffic-driving potential of the new sites.

Recently, Time Inc. has also asked Define to provide due diligence for potential acquisitions. Our investment advisory experience allowed us to provide Time Inc. with a clear-eyed picture of the benefits and risks associated with the target site.

Time Inc.’s success can be seen in these results from a select group of sites:

People.com Case Study - SEO Growth


My Recipes Case Study - SEO Growth


Real Simple Case Study SEO Growth


About the Author

Marshall Simmonds is the Founder of Define Media Group, the enterprise SEO company specializing in enterprise search marketing and strategic audience development.

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