ALM expands its real estate media group in print and online
According to Michael Desiato, the Real Estate Media Group's vice president and group publisher, the expansionary moves follow from an expectation that advertising revenue is picking up in the first half of 2012. Although he cited several potential challenges that could derail the recovery, from unemployment and consumer confidence to the European debt crisis, Desiato is optimistic. ”There are a lot of external impacts, but it definitely feels better than it has for the last few years," he says. "For the first six months, people are going to be pretty aggressive about picking up market share, and that means advertising.”
Better Buildings, a New York-based regional magazine for the building management and maintenance community in the ’80s and ’90s, is being revamped as a national publication and relaunched as a quarterly print supplement to ALM’s Real Estate Forum magazine. The relaunch, inspired by responses to a reader survey, will see Better Buildings focus on bottom-line challenges of commercial property operations. According to an ALM press release, the new version of Better Buildings will include building profiles, product reviews, expert columns and features exploring such topics as energy performance, construction solutions, adaptive re-use trends and design innovations. It will also include an online component.
The Real Estate Media Group’s online changes will primarily affect its GlobeSt.com brand, which will undergo a site redesign. According to ALM, there will be an increased emphasis on content, with a design that keeps mobile users in mind. The changes include a renewed emphasis on B-to-B outreach through the company's online and print directories. The company has also hired two sales execs and appointed a new digital content coordinator.
The digital content coordinator, filling a managing-editor-like role, is responsible for educating editors about SEO best practices. For example, editors had been referring to “medical office buildings” by the acronym “MOB.“ From a search engine optimization standpoint, results for “MOB” will always be dominated by hits that are more related to organized crime than medical office buildings. Now the editors have abandoned the acronym.
“We felt that we needed people with the skill set for SEO, to really get traffic to the site, not just internal links via our own site,” says Desiato. “We want to distribute our content where the user is.” He added that the online changes are part of an ongoing evolution that has seen organic search results -- those from search engine referrals -- rise 30 percent in 2011. He expects to continue to refine the site going forward. “It’s always a work in progress,” Desiato says.