How The Telegraph’s SEO strategy led to a Brexit traffic boost

How The Telegraph’s SEO strategy led to a Brexit traffic boost

July 22, 2016 1:06 pm

The EU referendum has delivered a pleasant visitors increase for the UK’s newspaper web sites, based on ABC figures launched this week.

Interest within the referendum was large in June, and spiked on June twenty fourth, the day after the referendum. Yes, that’s the identical day that searches for ‘what’s the EU?’ and ‘what does brexit imply?’ spiked.

eu referendum

This delivered an enormous increase for newspaper websites normally, however particularly The Telegraph and Guardian.

The Telegraph’s progress was greater (up 20% month to month) than the remaining, and I’m betting this was down (no less than partially) to some sensible web optimization work from The Telegraph’s group.

Here’s the expansion figures:

UK distinctive customers, June vs May: 

  • Telegraph up 20% MOM
  • Guardian up 14%
  • Mail Online, no change.  
  • Sun up H%
  • Mirror up P.N%

Global uniques, June vs May: 

  • Telegraph up 21%
  • Guardian up N%
  • Mail Online up H%
  • Sun up 12%
  • Mirror up H%.

The Guardian and Telegraph are two of the extra ‘critical’ newspaper websites (The Times’ paywall means it doesn’t determine right here), which partially explains how they benefitted most from a information-occasion associated spike.

By distinction, The Sun (not a critical supply of stories) was one of many few websites that didn’t expertise a publish-Brexit raise. The spike you’ll be able to see comes after the twenty fourth, and is from the Dream Team soccer app, somewhat than something information associated.

Perhaps, provided that The Sun was very professional-Brexit, to the extent of not reporting any potential negatives, net customers didn’t belief it as a dependable supply of data.

Indeed, when the Sun did speak concerning the negatives publish-Brexit, readers out of the blue questioned why they hadn’t been informed this earlier than.

The Guardian’s progress

The Guardian reported its strongest month ever with greater than B billion pages views for the primary time in a calendar month, and a report 167 million month-to-month uniques.

In addition, because of content material akin to its stay Brexit weblog, itself the preferred article on the location ever, with 10m+ uniques, The Guardian loved its highest day’s visitors ever.

brexit blog

It attracted greater than 17m uniques and 77m pageviews on June 24, the day the referendum outcomes have been introduced.

The Guardian does lots of issues properly when it comes to search engine optimization, and there’s little question this contributed to those figures.

The Telegraph’s progress

The Guardian figures have been spectacular, however The Telegraph outstripped them when it comes to month on month progress.

In charts tweeted by The Telegraph’s Director of Digital Media Malcolm Coles, we will see the Brexit impact:

I suspect than a robust search engine optimisation technique has a lot to do with The Telegraph’s spectacular efficiency. This technique put it in a robust place to profit from additional visitors round such an enormous information occasion.

It recurrently has a outstanding function in Google News outcomes, whereas it ranks properly for key subjects because of a properly-executed technique which incorporates efficient inner linking and touchdown/hub pages for key subjects.

For instance, that is from a publish on Mail Online’s technique, displaying how successfully the Telegraph used linking. It exhibits the efficiency of its ‘David Cameron’ web page:


This web page performs persistently as The Telegraph hyperlinks the remainder of its Cameron content material again to this web page, which signifies to the search engines that that is the web page to point out for that phrase.


This signifies that, as an alternative of getting a number of articles on the them competing towards one another resulting in fluctuation in search rankings, it has one devoted hub web page.

The Telegraph seems to have repeated this strategy for the EU referendum, with a hub web page for the difficulty. As I search this morning, it’s the very best-ranked newspaper website for the time period.

telegrpah eu ref page

Thanks to this floor work and constant linking, when the visitors spiked on June 24, The Telegraph was in a robust place to draw search visitors.

eu referendum

In addition, The Telegraph has been very sensible in choosing up visitors for informational searches round occasions just like the referendum, or Euro 2016 – the place the occasions are, the beginning occasions, the place you possibly can watch them, and so forth.

For instance, this web page comes up for searches across the Tour de France at present, offering info on stage begin occasions, TV protection and so on.

TDF telegraph

This content material offers helpful info for searchers which immediately solutions some informational queries, but in addition helps to showcase the remainder of the location’s biking protection to assist it appeal to additional customers.

It appears that this technique has been utilized throughout a variety of stories and sporting occasions, and is a superb tactic to reap the benefits of ‘who, what, the place’ searches.

I don’t have detailed knowledge on the place The Telegraph’s month on month progress got here from, however I’m betting a sensible search engine optimization technique enabled it to take full benefit of the additional curiosity in information across the Brexit vote.

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