by Durant Imboden, Europe for Visitors
At Europeforvisitors.com, we tend to publish long, in-depth destination guides, how-to articles, and cruise reviews instead of newspaper-style teaser stories or Examiner.com-style fillers. You may prefer a different editorial model, but if you do choose a "long-form" approach, the following information may be helpful:
Detailed articles, divided by subtopic
To help readers find the information they want, and to make our editorial content more digestible, we break longer articles into subtopic pages.
For example, our article about Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport ground transportation, which attracts nearly 60,000 page views per month, is divided by subtopic into four pages:
- An introduction
- Trains (RER)
- Airport buses
- Taxis and shuttles
This logical article structure has several benefits for us, our audience, and our advertisers:
- It makes information on a specific subtopic ("Paris CDG airport trains") easy for readers to find, use, and (if wish) copy or print out;
- It works with our standard page design, which uses a photo related to the topic or subtopic at the top of each page;
- It minimizes excessive scrolling, but without forcing readers to click through to another page every 10 seconds;
- It offers more points of entry to the article (and our site) in Google and other search engines;
- It provides an adequate number of ad views while ensuring that display ads have a chance to register with readers.
There's nothing magic about a four-page length, and our CCG ground-transportation article could just as easily have been divided into even smaller chunks (such as a page for each type of bus, and individual short pages for taxis and shuttles).
Still, we felt that four pages of reasonable length--each on a transportation theme like "trains" or "buses"--was more user-friendly than forcing readers to click constantly.
Bottom line: In Web publishing, as in other media, editorial judgment is often just another term for "common sense."
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