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Martha Stewart Site Becomes an Even Better Thing April 12, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.

Earlier this week, Martha Stewart revealed a website overhaul. As you’d expect, it’s gorgeous and does a good job aligning with online media trends. Prior to the re-launch, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia execs outlined their objectives to Jupiter:

– Weave video content more gracefully across all sections of the site
– Re-orient search and nav to a category rather than media approach, and better integrate the various MSLO properties
– Add personalities — not just Martha — by featuring section editors
– Switch back-end infrastructure from a commerce server to a Vignette content management system, with Autonomy search

As noted, the site is still great-looking (it always was) but is now better at exposing more content, and supporting user tasks. The site designers are conscious of what we call website deconstruction (treat every page as a landing page with Google as your search engine): They’ve added a lot of tweaks to hold onto users once they’re in, and encourage further exploration in any given session. MSLO redesigned and is still re-indexing the site for SEO with search marketing agency 360i, and is doing paid search for the first time (though fairly primitively: e.g., buying their brand keywords, and some core categories).

The site is very advertiser- and sponsorship-friendly, which always helps. This is a very competitive category, with a slew of new entrants and re-designs (iVillage, Yahoo Food, Disney’s new Family, DivineCaroline.com, etc.)

Martha Stewart is pretty light on social media (“Our Favorite Sites” include some semi-pros), but community’s an action item for 2007.

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