Unlike many other sites that have offer customized content, MarketWatch is not asking users to initiate the personalization. Rather, the site does so automatically, said Maria Molland, MarketWatch's general manager. For example, if a user searches for articles relevant to the South Asian marketplace, other articles about that region will be pushed to a specific personalized section of the front page.
Molland said the company hopes that adding individually tailored content will encourage users to stay at the site longer. "We thought there's a lot of opportunity to increase time spent and page views per unique," said Molland. With the redesign, MarketWatch also will display current mortgage rates on the front page.
The revamped site offers two new sponsorship opportunities: the personalized section of the front page will have a separate sponsor, as will the mortgage rate section. These sponsorships have already been filled by non-endemic advertisers--meaning marketers other than brokerage houses, Molland said. She added that the sponsorship will launch in the upcoming weeks, although the features are already live on the site.
In addition to the sponsorships, the site also includes "cornerstone" units on the left-hand side of the home page, which are user-initiated spots that animate when the reader rolls over them, and ad units placed against the market close and market open reports.