Mark Potts, formerly of BackFence, has some great ideas for how newspapers can get back in the game by learning how to go after the small business market.

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6 Response Comments

  • Stever  August 3, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I shake my head every time I go on my local newspapers website. They are not only doing it wrong, they are doing ALL of it wrong.

    -Identical title tags for every page of the site
    -Only showing a few featured articles from the print copy
    -Not Archiving any content (yes, the next day its all gone)
    -Piss Poor classifieds display (some ancient script from 1989 or somthin)
    -The lamest “internet directory” of local businesses I have ever ever seen in my life (A single jpeg image from the print version that appears in print classifieds, probably converted from PDF, and using map coordinates to place links to the “advertisers” within the image. How frikin’ brutal is that!)
    -from source code I see they are using BBedit to built the site. That’s not a CMS but an HTML editor for building static pages. OMFG!!!!!1!!!

    Granted I’m in a small city and empires are not at risk like would be the case for the LA Times or other big publications, but it floors me how much like a deer frozen in headlights that entire industry is refusing to adapt their business models to the new reality that is the internet.

    hellooooo, the interwebs, perhaps you heard of them.

    An entire industry on the verge of utter collapse and they all have their heads buried DEEP in the sand.

  • Andrew Shotland  August 3, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Stever, I think of all the problems I have seen while working on newspaper and other traditional media websites, the lack of archives is perhaps the most amazing.

  • Andrew Shotland  August 4, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I have noticed the Playgirl ad pages getting pretty thin lately, er I mean a friend told me that she noticed… 😛

  • seobro  August 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    I tried two methods of getting leads for a rental property, they were Google Adwords and the local newspaper. With Google Adwords I was paying $150 per lead, but with the community newspaper I was paying 20 cents per lead.

    I consider a lead a prospect showing up at the properety and filling out a credit form. A phone call does not count. Many people call and do not show up.

    Needless to say with Google I was paying two dollars per click and most of my clicks came from people outside the US.

    This is in spite of “geo-targeting” and using the name of my small town in the adwords ad. For finding renters small newspapers rule. BTW craiglist produced zero leads it was filled with spam.

  • Stever  August 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I find it curious that with geo-targeting you’re seeing most of your clicks coming from outside the US.

    Try targeting to state or city, not country.

    In using geo-targeting in adwords I’ve not seen a single click from outside US. I’m targeting to cities. I do see a small volume from outside the targeted city, but it is rather low.

    AND, have you turned off the content network ads?