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Yahoo7 overhauls its consumer websites to improve mobile engagement and usuability

Yahoo7 is relaunching all seven of its consumer websites in a ground-up network overhaul as part of its ‘Reimagine The Network’ initiative.

The network-wide redesign is part of a long-term strategy to optimise its website for viewability and mobile users while providing more opportunities for advertising partners, Yahoo7’s chief revenue officer, Paul Sigaloff, told Mumbrella.

The redesigned Yahoo7 Be website

Starting with the service’s Be website, the revamp will extend across all of Yahoo7’s consumer properties over the next three months: “Ultimately we’re looking at relaunching seven sites over the next quarter,” said Sigaloff.

One of the key objectives with Yahoo7’s revamp is improving usability for both consumers and advertisers as the upgrade standardises the websites’ underlying technologies and eliminates various legacy issues.

“There’s still a lot of flexibility in the sites,” said Sigaloff. “We still have modules that can really give our editors a lot of flexibility in terms of look, feel and how they publish. This will also free up resources from our tech which will help drive innovation across our platforms.”

For advertisers, Sigaloff believes a simpler and less cluttered look will deliver a better return: “There’s going to be greater cut through and less clutter,” with a more aesthetically pleasing look increasing user engagement, he said.

“We are really focusing on ads that are more impactful, we’re looking at introducing content that is contextually relevant, we’re also looking at more sophisticated native integration as we have a big native product within Gemini and what we’re looking to do is integrate better positions that provide high engagement and then we can look at custom formats so we have more native video.

“Video is the heart of our DNA. If you’re looking at Be as an example, that’s got a huge amount of video in that site and that drives a lot of engagement. Then you have your classic display ads and we have our native ads that are powered by our Gemini adtech stack.”

Along with an emphasis on video, Sigaloff said mobile users are the main focus of the revamped sites: “This redesign is all responsive, it’s designed for mobile-first but obviously can be used across desktop and tablet.

Sigaloff: Promising less clutter on Yahoo7’s online properties

“We want to make sure our sites are really being improved for the visual experience for our users,” Sigaloff said. “It’s about understanding those video consumption trends.

“One of the things is dramatically faster loader speeds. That’s something we’re very focused on. Then it’s how we display content in a visual way.”

When asked about whether the redesign was in part a response to vendors including Google, Apple and Facebook flagging tighter rules on displaying advertising, Sigaloff said while this was something they were aware of, the refresh was planned before those announcements: “This is a project that’s been in play for about 18 months. Technology evolves quickly as does adtech.”

The local sites will still reflect Yahoo’s global branding however the local properties will be tailored more to domestic audiences, said Sigaloff.

“We are a joint venture so we have global properties such as mail and our front page driven by global tech that are very in keeping with the global look and feel,” Sigaloff stated. “There’s continuity but there’s also independence as well. Be would be a great example of that where it’s very entertainment and lifestyle focused.”

The first site being upgraded is Be, followed by Yahoo7 News, Sport, Weather, TV Guide, Plus7 and Prime across Q3 – “a fairly comprehensive rollout,” Sigaloff said.

 

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