13 January 2013 ·
By Bill Adee
New mobile site brings in 30% of pageviews and mobile optimised ads, a glimpse into the news media company’s prediction that mobile traffic will surpass desktop traffic this year.
You’re on your iPhone and reading a tweet from your favourite news site.
You want to read more and click on the link. When that page finally loads . . . waiting, waiting . . . you end up on a full Web site with a tiny story and tinier display ads (or an underdeveloped WAP site).
That scene still plays out too often across the Web despite plenty of good “mobile first” advice.
That was just one of the problems we aimed to solve with the Tribune’s development of a new mobile “device-agnostic” site for the Chicago Tribune.
We knew an optimised, consistent Web experience for users across all operating systems, browsers, and devices would help us in many ways:
So, how’s it going, you ask?
So far, so good.
We have learned a lot since the Chicago Tribune’s mobile site launched in August with other Tribune Publishing markets following quickly.
In December, we had our best month of traffic in 2012. Roughly 30% of the pageviews came from our new mobile site. And that’s coming just a few months after launching our digital subscription programme and tightening access to our best stories and columns to non-subscribers.
Advertisers have appreciated the effort as well. This month we’ll start launching sponsors for individual sections as well as native advertising opportunities.
We’ve also developed a tremendous rhythm with our Tribune developers to make sure we turn user and advertiser feedback into quick action on the site’s development.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll be using some of HTML5 advantages with more app-like navigation, off-line reading, and location-based news, events, and deals.
The knowledge we gain will be used to develop what we will release sooner than later: a fully responsive and adaptive site for all devices, not just mobile ones.
Author/Contact: Bill Adee is vice president of digital stuff (yes, that’s his official title) for the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @bill80.
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The Ideas Blog captures the practical discussions and case studies of news media company to grow revenue, audience, and brand. These case studies are written by INMA members for INMA members. Begun in December 2012, this content previously resided in Ideas Magazine; for an archive of past case studies, click here.
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