How Website Owners Find Publishing News They Trust

How Website Owners Find Publishing News They Trust

Whether you’re just starting out with the adventure of being an online publisher or you’ve been rockin’ the Web for years, we all face the same dilemma of where to get our news and industry-specific information. Making this more complicated, we live in an era of fake news, rumors, and plain-old spin that spreads so fast that it can take on a life of its own. Even if a particular topic is nonsense from the get-go.

publishing news website owners

This means that every website owner is hoping to quash the fake news while being fast and on top of the latest trends and information relevant to surviving in this industry. Yeah, that’s a challenge, all right, and it can be quite hard to try and be first to publish something really interesting!

This week, I thought it would be helpful for me to talk about what sources I use to keep followers of my tech site up to date with news, gadgets and tech, and how I research articles and topics once they hit my radar. I should highlight that the site isn’t a news site, per se, but our social feed includes lots of consumer electronics, tech, and industry news. Gotta feed the beast, right?

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Guide For Content Creators On How To Waste Time

Guide For Content Creators On How To Waste Time

I remember the first time I bumped into author Tim Ferriss. We were both speaking at a conference and he rushed past me; he was running late and needed to get to his podium. Later I saw him dash out and head to his next appointment. Turned out that the author you would think would be more mellow and efficient than any of us — after all, he wrote “The Four-Hour Work Week” — was hustling like no-one’s business.

content creators waste time

That’s because he was dealing with something we all have to manage, whether we’re the CEO of a newly funded startup, a coder fighting a customer fire, or manager of a Website that publishes articles about gem collecting: time wasters.

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Publisher Shares Challenges Ahead For Website Owners

Publisher Shares Challenges Ahead For Website Owners

The future is bright, we’re all getting more connected and people are spending more and more time online, right? Yes, but… but when I look in my crystal ball, I see a future where there are also more technological improvements that will prove a to be obstacles to actually generating revenue as an online publisher.

website owners challenges

How do you circumvent the challenges and stay ahead as a website owner or independent publisher. Let’s have a look at a few of the items on my mind…

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More Google Analytics Reports For Publishers

More Google Analytics Reports For Publishers

Last time I talked at length about the specific Google Analytics information can offer to digital publishers that many often miss. Specifically, I talked about using Goals and Site Search features to get more insight into how pages relate to certain visitors and whatever other goals you set to learn what people seek when they get to your site.

google analytics reports for publishers

This time I want to look at a couple of additional lesser known features of Google Analytics to help Web publishers. Demographics and Engagement, both critically important to ensure that your targeting works and to confirm that you’re producing compelling content that people want to share with friends and colleagues.

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Setting up Google Analytics for Digital Publishers

Setting up Google Analytics for Digital Publishers

Oh sure, you’ve added the Google Analytics code to your site and check your stats to see what’s going on. But as a publisher,  have you configured Google Analytics to best deliver important insights to your goals and objectives? To misquote Janet Jackson, “what has Analytics done for you lately”?

configure google analytics publisher

Let’s have a look at a couple of features in Google Analytics you should have enabled and be analyzing on a weekly basis to better understand your traffic and visitors.

Setting the right goals in Google Analytics

To start, we need to delve into the world of “Goals”. In the world of Google Analytics, it turns out that just about anything can be set as a goal. These are of tantamount importance because it’s how Analytics tracks conversions, and, well, conversions is how you can track valuable actions by visitors.

goals in google analytics

Let’s say that like me, you’ve decided that one important criteria for your site success is newsletter signups. That’s a goal: getting signups. While you’re at it, perhaps time on site is a goal too: every visitor who spends more than 90 seconds on your site is a win. Or, heck, you might also set another goal related to pages viewed per visit.

Three great goals and all valid even if you don’t have a whiff of commerce on your site. Publishers often gloss over goals in Google Analytics because they think they are only for B2B sites or e-commerce businesses. But, all publishers are doing themselves a disservice by not tracking events that are important to them.

goals google analytics

To set up goals, go to the Goals section in Analytics and specify your target URL, target time on site, the target number of pages or similar. Give it a name like “newsletter signups” and add any specific pages or URLs involved in the sequence. For a newsletter signup, for example, that can be measured by the number of people who get to the thank-you.html page.

Now give it a few days and go back to see how you’re doing.

Learning from site search behavior

Do you have a Web site search engine hooked up so that visitors can search your site for specific content? Oh, that’s a gold mine of information and should be studied closely on a regular basis: it’s your visitors telling you exactly what they want to find on your site! It can also help you fine-tune keywords on your site too, of course, if you use one name for a product but your customers are focused on something else.

Did you know that Google Analytics can help you track these site searches? In the Admin area, go to Profile Settings and you’ll find Site Search Settings (below).

google analytics site search digital publishers

As with all Analytics data, now’s the time to go work on other aspects of your site for a week, then go back and check out all the great data you’re now collecting. I always try to answer two questions when I analyze this data on my own AskDaveTaylor site:

  1. What are the most popular searches
  2. What are people searching for that they can’t find?

In both cases, take the data, do those exact searches yourself, then ask yourself “is this right? is this optimal?” You’ll find that you can tweak titles to better match user searches and that there’ll be entire categories of information you could add to your site that you’ve never really thought about. Add ‘em!

Looking closely at visitor engagement

One of the most valuable and important things to measure if you’re a digital publisher is visitor engagement. This is a topic we have researched and discussed a lot recently.

Essentially, the takeaway with much of the research has been that session duration, bounce rate, and pageviews per visit are some of the best user experience metrics that publishers currently have; however, they are easily corrupted. You can track all of these stats currently in Google Analytics in about every way imaginable (by landing page, etc.).

seo and bounce rate

What’s been discovered is that digging deeper into each of those metrics and looking at why a session may be long, or why a user might be visiting multiple pages, can be paramount to understanding the value that visitor has to advertisers. This means that improving traditional user experience metrics in Google Analytics might not be valuable or beneficial on it’s own. Affecting things like navigation bounces, engaged pageviews, and engagement time have a much stronger correlation with higher session revenue and things like SEO.

Getting outside the box

There’s so much more you can do with Google Analytics, but we’ll break some of this information into two parts. If you’d like more information about analyzing visitor engagement, check out Ezoic advanced reporting. Otherwise, stay tuned for more analytics insights next week.

Risks For Independent Web Publishers In The Next 5 Years

Risks For Independent Web Publishers In The Next 5 Years

By: Dave Taylor (

I can’t decide. Is the future so bright that I’ve gotta’ wear shades, or is there an impending apocalyptic nightmare of global warming and civil unrest just over the horizon? This obviously matters to me and my family, but it also matters to my business, and since my web publishing business is the lion’s share of my income, it’s pretty important to plan ahead and avoid future risks.

web publisher risks five years

So what’s likely to happen in the next few years and what can I do about it proactively?

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How To Monitor Your Website Day To Day

How To Monitor Your Website Day To Day

Once you’re done deploying a design and getting everything set up with a hosting company, running a Web site can move into maintenance mode. That’s when you’re focused on the content, not your infrastructure, and that’s good because we all know the mantra content is king.

monitor website

But if you’re not paying attention to the underlying technology that powers your publishing site you could be headed towards disaster, whether it’s a Google or Facebook penalty dropping your site traffic to a trickle, changes in your audience interest, choke-points in your hosting plan, or even hackers sneaking onto your site and wreaking havoc.

As a result, it’s beneficial to get a reminder of what you should be watching on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, so that’s what I’m going to cover in this article. 

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Should Websites Delete Comments, Ignore, or Reply?

Should Websites Delete Comments, Ignore, or Reply?

Seems like such a basic question if you’re running a Web site: do you allow comments, and if so, do you approve them all for publishing or filter them? There are lots of nuances in this area, however, and it’s worth spending some time considering all of your options and how they might affect both your success online and the impression visitors get when they come to your site.

website delete comments

I’ve been at this a while and can share with you some precise criteria for how you should go about handling comments on your site. Below, I’ll highlight when visitor comments make sense, and when they might now.

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Accounting For Your Website Traffic Seasonality

Accounting For Website Traffic Seasonality As A Publisher

It’s back to school time. No, it’s not, it’s coming up on Halloween. Or, if you’re a publisher in a niche about toys, it might just be when you start planning for your Christmas efforts. Just about every publisher faces the challenge of adjusting their efforts to match website traffic seasonality, but how well do you manage the task?

website traffic seasonality

Below, I’ll highlight how a lot of publisher account for seasonality. How to measure against it and embrace it.

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Adapting Your Mobile Publishing Strategy To Fit Your Audience

Adapting Your Mobile Publishing Strategy To Fit Your Audience

There are a lot of things that have changed in the last decade of the World Wide Web, but none are more profound than the shift from desktop and laptop computers to mobile devices. Whether you’re using a smartwatch, a smartphone or a smart tablet (do they sell dumb devices anymore?) the way you access information online has changed significantly with the rise of pervasive connectivity and smaller, faster, and, yes, smarter devices.

mobile publishing strategy

It was quite a few years ago the trends showed that desktop computers — those big, clunky boxes with screens attached by a leash — were on the road to obsolescence, supplanted by more mobile devices with a screen that flipped open, leaving a keyboard for typing and data input. Another couple of years and the keyboard started to seem rather pointless; with accurate touch screens, voice input and so many people focused on consumption of the Web rather than production of new Web content, who needs to type?

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