Homes & Gardens
Best Online Brand: Consumer
In 2021, Homes & Gardens has transformed from a UK-centric print magazine to the world’s fastest growing digital-first homes brand. The team were faced with pivoting an established print brand with more than 100 years heritage to a digital success story with a strong footprint in the US. They launched the Homes & Gardens website in June 2019, but minimal investment and editorial focus meant that we only reached 542k monthly unique users by December 2020.
By January 2022, they had grown to just under 5m monthly unique users, importantly whilst maintaining the figures and revenue across their legacy products and platforms. They set their sights on the global market to achieve more significant scale than a UK centric approach.
The team worked to a search-first strategy, identifying their critical terms and building content pyramids around these areas. They saw quick success, and secure#1 rankings in the US and UK. First, they were after ideas, as the topic closest to the values of the brand with significant audience. They then felt confident that they could expand into other areas of interest to homeowners, and launched the Solved channel in January 2022. This delivers how-to content from an expert perspective. In the first month, it garnered 1.49m page views.
The team restructured the business to enable the success of the brand, growing the team from three people to twelve through a digital-first journalists that had worked in a print silo and training them up to be market-leading multi-platform writers. They also engaged many of the world’s leading designers as freelance contributors, in order to deliver Homes & Gardens’ USP as the ultimate source of inspiration and advice directly from the professionals.
Their website is aligned to Google’s Core Web Vitals, and they shoot original photography to ensure that the imagery is unique and on brand. Their e-commerce platform Hawk is an innovative solution that drives conversion by automatically tracking prices from their partners. This delivers the best experience for the consumer. 2021 saw them launch Aperture, an audience data platform that allows advertisers to access Future’s first-party audience data captured across its portfolio of brands, helping them reach high-intent target audiences.
Homes & Gardens is the fastest growing homes website in the world, with a whopping 1,146% YOY audience growth, and a top 20 position in US Comscore and number two in UK Comscore, from 21. They generated significant digital advertising revenue (up 414% year on year) and launched the brand as a global eCommerce platform, generating a whole new revenue stream of significance within a year. All the while, they maintained their ABC print circulation figure in a declining market and grew their print advertising revenues significantly.