Longtime local news partner Legacy.com is pleased to share the first performance analysis results for its new obituary platform. Launched in test stages starting in mid-2020, the new system combines a streamlined cobranded obituary listing page and search experience with a re-architected obituary design. The goal: to improve page performance and organize the reader experience in ways that drive newspaper growth and reinforce Legacy's role as the go-to destination for local deaths news.
The company reports that load times for both the obituary and cobranded obituary homepage improved dramatically. Readers accessing a partner’s cobranded obituary listing page will now have notices to scroll 2x faster, with a load time change from 1.0 seconds to 0.6 seconds or less. On individual obituaries, content appears 33% faster, with a load time change from 1.2 seconds to 0.80 seconds or less.
As hoped, these improvements, combined with page design changes, encouraged readers to access more content and resources. A 36% increase in obituaries read per session indicates that readers are reinvesting the performance time savings on the newspaper’s website. They’re also engaging more with local funeral homes, a key obituary category stakeholder, with a 20% increase in clicks to access a funeral home’s website from an online obituary.
The company is most encouraged by the impact of a key design update: a new, prominent link to place an obituary with their local newspaper. Thirteen thousand readers now access that link per month. With an average obituary price of $500, this provides local newspapers with $6 million in potential obituary placement revenue. This result reinforces the company’s longstanding position that online notices are key to keeping readers engaged with local news obituaries.
“A better online experience can drive a newspaper’s engagement with its community and positively impact both online and print readership,” says Legacy CEO Stopher Bartol. “Legacy is making this happen for its partners in new and better ways through its continued innovation in the obituary category.”
The platform updates join other locally-focused initiatives as part of the company’s strategy to increase reader traffic to newspaper websites.
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