Something was bugging Photo Editor Vern Williams. The New Haven Register had published some great photos of a Hamden Hall high school basketball playoff game. They appeared in a gallery on the newspaper’s beautiful new “Media Center” platform.
But it received only 880 page views. Not bad, but not the kind of juice that other galleries were getting from a site that was scoring some great search engine traffic and audience referrals from stories on the newspaper’s main site.
Vern wanted a second chance.
The team’s next game wasn’t assigned by the sports department, but he went out and shot it himself. No photos made the print edition, and the story that appeared on the main website about it received only 107 page views.
This time, the gallery of the Hamden Hall game would do much better.
The sports department promoted it via social media, and linked to it from the story about the game. And Vern followed the right steps in writing a good headline for SEO.
But he also took the time to find out who manages Hamden Hall’s own website. He contacted that person, sent the link and suggested they might want to let their students, parents and alumni know about this wonderful gallery of shots from the big game.
It worked. Page views increased from the previous game’s 880 views to 5,424, and counting.
Direct reader engagement and networking can pay off where SEO can’t sometimes, and your reach via social media is only as strong as the breadth and attention span of your network. By keeping an eye on metrics, and trying new things to see a different result, Vern Williams figured that out.