Sam Wilson, Editor-in-Chief of Women24.com
notes: "Women24 aims to provide its 275 000 unique visitors with a visually rich and user-friendly platform to interact. To achieve this, we needed to shrug off the last of our wintry Web 1.0 design and completely embrace Web 2.0. Our new-look site provides South African women with a voice, every day, by capitalising on the user generated content trend. By providing more opportunities for visitors to contribute and comment, we've also noted an increase in stickiness to the site."
The Women24.com site targets working women who are trying to balance careers with home, family and social life. The new site went live at the end of October 07 and boasts a host of new features, better integration with 24.com services such as blogs and albums and nine easy-to-access content pillars.
Wilson continues: "We're finding that our visitors appreciate the depth of content we now offer and are spending more time on the pillars that interest them. Our advertising partners will undoubtedly benefit from the redesign too as campaign targeting and relevance becomes more efficient with less wastage. Partners such as Clicks and Dove have already noticed an improvement in campaign response rates."
Supporting online campaigns were launched to introduce visitors to the new Women24 features which include, amongst others:
* Comprehensive content areas including Love & Sex, Fashion & Beauty, Pregnancy & Parenting, Careers & Money, Wellness, Home & Away, TV & Gossip, Books & Astrology, and Chat & Win.
* A panel of experts for the Love & Sex, Wellness, Fashion & Beauty, Careers & Money, Pregnancy & Parenting and Home & Away. These are all specialists in their respective fields and dispatch free advice online to reader-generated dilemmas.
* Most pages of the site now have a 'Daily Snackbox' that provides readers with cartoons by visual columnist, Hannah Morris. These light yet delicious content snacks take a satirical look at everyday occurrences. Further quick synopses of the week's 'soapies', as well as horoscopes are showcased in the snackbox.
* Enhanced user interaction, such as celebrity 'hot or vrot' and 'nice or not' voting buttons as well as dedicated sections on each article to comment. Furthermore, the 24.com blogging service has now been integrated into Women24.com for its large active blogging community, and within 3 months, are already garnering over 50 000 page impressions. Some of the best blogs make the site's opening page.
With over 15 000 comments already posted on Women24's articles, hundreds of active bloggers and profile-building, face-to-face workshops around the country, the increasing popularity of Women24 is cementing its position as one of South Africa's most visited websites. Since the redesign, Women24 has attracted at least a further 10,000 unique users. Recent statistics published by the Online Publishing Association placed the site among the top ten most visited sites in the country.