The parent company, Louisiana State Newspapers has spent the past year working to create the sources needed for their newspapers to disseminate information via the web. It hasn’t been a perfect process and has at times been painful, but the light is at the end of the tunnel and the sites are getting better everyday.
Included in the Abbeville Meridional website, www.abbevillenow.com is the latest news, features and obituaries. In addition, the capability to create an interactive poll has been added. The question of the week is “Should Abbeville General Hospital pass a new tax?”
For now the poll will change on a weekly basis and will be published in each Sunday edition. So log on and tell us what you think.
One might ask the benefit to a website for a newspaper the size of the Meridional. Besides the ability to reach people who have moved away or are traveling, the reaches for advertising go way beyond the Vermilion Parish borders, especially because the group of newspapers from LSN communicate and share much of the information.
One wonderful thing about technology is the ability to track information about readers or users of a website. For the newspaper, it is available through an analytic program to see who is reading what on the website. This information will help to create a better place for information for those particular readers in that the items of interest can be enhanced to keep the reader interested.
From the information generated, the staff can see that 52 percent of online readers use the keywords Abbevillve Meridional to search for the website. Also, the bulk of the readers for the online newspaper are in Lafayette and the average length of time spent on the site is just over three minutes.
In one month, May 8 through June 8, 3,799 unique users visited www.abbevillenow.com, nearly all of the states in country with the exception of Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Louisiana has the most hits with 2,569 and Texas is in second with 457 hits and New York with 132 visits.
Two new features to watch for are a search function and a forum for readers to express their opinions, post new topics and become a part of the LSN family.