Read vs Search

by Jason Preston on June 4, 2009

A lot of the time people come to your site to read the news. They come to your site because they know and trust your brand, or they like your columnists, or your cartoons, or your political slant (you have one, trust me). These are your readers, and they’re your best customers.

Other people come to your site through search. Sometimes they’re looking for information about an upcoming event. Sometimes they’re trying to find information about a statistic that they remember being published, and they need to link to it.

Regardless, these people are your transients. They’re a page view, and not much more. Search traffic is a great long-tail strategy, but it doesn’t work very well if you have to pay to produce the content.

What you really want is more readers, not more searchers. Once you establish a readership, they’ll maintain a base level of traffic and revenue for you, which frees you from the daily chase for runaway search hits and lets you concentrate on more meaningful content.

So make sure your site and your content are built to develop readers.