This week, The Search Agency published its most recent edition of the Mobile Experience Scorecard report, focusing this time on the print news and media industry. Thanks to The New York Times Innovation Report release earlier this year, we were clued into this industry’s effort to not only digitize, but also mobilize their content. Using a list of top visited print news and media sites from Experian Marketing Services, we scored these news outlet websites on both user experience and SEO factors, measuring their successes and failures accordingly. Here are a few key findings:
- Page Speed Matters: None of the most visited print news and media sites scored were able to pass Google’s recommended 5 second load time threshold, though 30% served Google-encouraged responsive web design (RWD) serving sites. This indicates that while many brands are attempting to answer Google’s call for RWD, those that are reformatting still struggle with proper implementation – resulting in long page load times and, therefore, a poor mobile experience.
- Social is a Struggle: The shareability factor is key for print news and media sites to best serve both user experience and PR needs of news and media today. While 100% of the websites we reviewed exhibited some level of social markup, only 56% provided social media functions directly from on their homepages.
- Meta Data Matters: Of the 45 sites the spider was able to crawl, 89% were missing meta descriptions.While the absence of a meta description will not necessarily directly affect where on the SERP a site ranks, it absolutely undermines user experience and click-through rate, which in turn impacts rankings.
- Large Page Size Handicap: Of the 45 sites the spider was able to crawl, 51% showed large page size warnings, indicating that over half of these crawlable sites exhibited pages with source code larger than 250k. These page size issues most likely contribute to why our page speed test proved so difficult for websites in this vertical to pass. Content of this nature takes longer to load, consequently increasing the overall load time of your website and potentially increasing user bounce rate.
For more on these insights, plus other key findings, download your free copy of our full report here.