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Newsnight and the soft zone
2010-12-20: A new client of mine was featured on the BBC2 late night serious politics and news show Newsnight a week or so ago, causing a 42x rise in keyphrase searches on their company name on the day. Nice, of course, but what I found interesting was that the bounce rate for their name dropped by 30% (and for a reason I haven't discovered yet, this client has a very high bounce rate around 45%).
So I just wanted to make a point about pre-selling. The visitors coming in after the Newsnight piece had basically been pre-sold. They knew what to expect and had already decided they were interested in the company based on what they had seen on Newsnight.
That's the same effect that a blog attempts to achieve, or a YouTube channel, or PR. It's delivering the company message to a reader or viewer before they decide whether to engage with the website itself .. the equivalent of looking in the window before walking into the shop where you know you could be directly sold to.
It provides just another reason for building out a layer of news and information as a soft zone around your website, in which people can find more engaging stories and information that relate directly to them, their experiences and the problems they want to solve, so you can meet your people half way and guide them back to your site which then takes on the functionality more like the till in a shop. It's a place where people want efficiency and clarity and to be able to buy and pay for what they want.

By John Allsopp
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