The Situation

 

alive magazine is Canada’s recognized leader and resource in the field of health and wellness. It was founded over 40 years ago and today is one of Canada’s highest circulated monthly magazines with thousands of people reading up on all the latest natural health trends.

alive’s website was dated and yet housed a tremendous number (over 10,000) of articles and recipes. Their site wasn’t responsive and was a far cry from best practices seen in the digital publishing space. The alive digital experience was not representative of alives’ leadership position. Knowing their business objectives, we prepared a solid business case which outlined implications including: traffic, page views, time on site, shares, bounce rate, responsiveness across mobile and tablet, and the future of digital should alive stick with the current site. We then compared these implications with the required investment and determined the potential ROI from a new site.

The timing was tight with alive undergoing a company wide rebrand and wanting to showcase the new site to their VIP clients at their upcoming invite only Alive CEO Summit.


The Solution

 

The alive and iamota teams collaborated fast and furiously with alive editors, art directors, publishers and even the CEO jamming with the iamota UX, strategy, analytics, SEO and design teams.  The new structure and UX of the site was rooted in understanding who was coming to the site and how. We conducted a deep and comprehensive analytics review to unearth how viewers were using the current site including what content was attracting, keeping and engaging users.  We established what best in class in digital media publishing looked like by learning from the likes of  New York Times, Upshot, Vox, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Quartz and more.

The result was a rich, visually appealing site built on a WordPress CMS. Newly created topic areas referred to as hubs, housed multiple related articles on topics such as allergies. This was both a strategic SEO play and also meant that viewers had multiple options to get information on a topic area from within a single area of the site. Through keyword tagging, we linked articles to help viewers easily get to related and trending articles.  We changed the article structure so that it was better suited to be consumed in digital media through shorter content, punchier headlines and bylines, subheads, tables and charts. We also created an advertising engine which standardized ad formats, housed and served up advertising tastefully throughout the site. The recipe section was completely revamped and much more. The result has been a turnaround in the performance of the site with more viewers sticking around and consuming more content, and in the process,  positively contributing the ad based business model.