From the Editor’s Desk: Why we cross-post articles across our websites
In our latest column, Editor-In-Chief Matt McGee introduces Marketing Land's new home page and explains how and why you'll sometimes see the same headline on two of our sites.
Did you notice? Just this week we launched a new home page here on Marketing Land. You wouldn’t notice it without scrolling down the page a bit. What’s new? The articles on our home page are now separated by source:
- “Latest,” the first section, shows the most recent 10–15 original Marketing Land articles.
- “From MarTech Today” and “From Search Engine Land” each show the most recent five stories that we’ve cross-posted from our sister sites.
Before this change, the home page was just one long list of stories mixing in the original Marketing Land stories with those that are cross-posted from our two sister sites.
Our goal is to help home page readers get faster access to stories that are new and fresh on Marketing Land, while continuing to highlight important stories from MarTech Today (MTT) and Search Engine Land (SEL) that are worth your time.
And that begs a question we’ve heard a few times, including in this recent tweet from reader Rohan Ayyar:
— Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook) February 27, 2017
The crux of Rohan’s question is in the image he attached to the tweet, and I’ll shorten it to this: Why cross-post headlines?
The launch of our new Marketing Land home page is related to that question, but to properly and fully answer it, I have to turn back the clock several years.
Search Engine Land launched in late 2006 to cover SEO, PPC, local search and all of those related topics. Social media wasn’t really a thing then. Sure, there was MySpace, and blogging was becoming popular. But Facebook had just opened up beyond its original college student audience, and Twitter was just a few months old. Neither was a serious marketing option for businesses of any size.
By the time Marketing Land launched in late 2011, social media had become a serious marketing channel. We’d been writing more and more about Facebook, Twitter and other non-search marketing channels on Search Engine Land, so we decided it was time to launch a second site for all marketers, not just search marketers. Marketing Land would cover the entire digital marketing space, from social media to email marketing to analytics and, yes, search marketing, too. Marketing Land was never intended to be “everything except search marketing.” It was (and is) intended to cover all aspects of digital marketing, including search marketing (even though we already cover that on SEL).
MarTech Today came along in late 2016, when we realized the incredible interest in coverage of the fast-growing marketing technology industry. MarTech Today also covers all things related to digital marketing, but rather than focusing on tactics, it’s more about the technology that underpins everything digital marketers do — the SEO platforms you use, the social media management software you rely on, the ad technology that powers so much of the display advertising you do, and so forth.
So we have three sites covering three branches of the digital marketing tree, if you will.
After we launched Marketing Land, our audience engagement team began researching the makeup of our readers on both it and Search Engine Land. That team quickly learned that both sites had audiences that were (and are) more unique than we expected. Sure, there was a group of people who read both sites, who followed both sites on social media and who subscribed to the email newsletters from both sites. But there were much larger groups who only followed one of our sites.
For example, the CMO channel here on Marketing Land has a large readership of C-level executives who aren’t very interested in a lot of the nuts-and-bolts SEO that we cover on Search Engine Land. (And the same is true of SEO practitioners who aren’t too interested in the strategic/organizational material that we publish here on Marketing Land.) This trend of having unique audiences has continued more recently with the launch of MarTech Today; that’s another mostly unique reader audience.
With largely unique audiences reading our websites, we often have to tackle a fundamental question: If we publish an important article on one site, how do we make sure the audience on the other site also sees it?
And that‘s essentially how cross-posting was born.
We developed a system in WordPress that lets us send the published versions of specific articles over to our other websites, making them “Drafts” in the WordPress back end on the other site(s). We can cross-post any article in any direction between our three websites.
As it turns out, most of the cross-posting happens with articles that were first published on Search Engine Land or MarTech Today, and later cross-posted to Marketing Land. And because of that, we’ve decided to change the Marketing Land home page to make sure our original ML articles can be found quickly and separately from the articles that have come from SEL and MTT.
Rohan, thanks for the Twitter question; I hope I’ve answered it here. We cross-post because we’ve found that we have largely unique audiences on each of our three sites, but we also believe that some content should be seen by more than just its primary audience. The CMOs who read Marketing Land should know about any big SEO algorithm updates that we write about on Search Engine Land. The martech audience on MarTech Today should know about any big Facebook ad platform updates that we write about on Marketing Land. And so on and so forth.
And now, we hope the new Marketing Land home page helps make it easier to find exactly the content that our readers are looking for when they browse the stories there.
From the Editor’s Desk is an occasional column where we talk directly with our readers about the work we do (and why we do it) on Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Search Engine Land. If you have a question or topic you’d like us to write about, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to tweet to me (@mattmcgee) or send me an email through this website. Use the contact page and choose my name from the drop-down menu.
Thanks again for reading!