Getting Started with Keyword Research

Getting Started with Keyword Research

If you’re trying to boost organic traffic to your website, you need to know what types of things people are searching for that relate to your site. And, if you want to know that, keyword research is the best place to start.

According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day. All of these searches start with a user entering a phrase, such as “top project management software” or “best places to eat in Atlanta.” In each case, there is some specific reason that prompted the user to search for that phrase.

Sometimes that reason is just pure curiosity, but often the searcher is looking for information to be used when making a buying decision. As such, traffic that comes to a site as a result of these searches may be more prone to view or click on ads related to that same query, depending on the nature of the targeted keyword. Continue reading “Getting Started with Keyword Research”

Developing a Social Media Strategy That Fits Your Budget

Developing a Social Media Strategy That Fits Your BudgetIn today’s world, you need some type of social media presence to establish your site as a credible resource. It’s not hard to find case studies and white papers that discuss how to build a successful social media strategy, but most of these guides assume you have a decent amount of resources that can be dedicated to executing the strategy being described. If you have limited time and a tight budget, most of these strategies will be difficult – if not impossible – to implement effectively.

Now, social media marketing can be a great tool for growing your site’s traffic and reputation, but it is definitely not free. Even if you don’t plan to spend money on ads or to hire a dedicated social media manager, posting new content and monitoring your accounts for questions, mentions and messages takes more time than many people realize – and, in a lot of ways, time is more precious than money.

So, what should you do if you’re just starting out or if you’re looking for ways to revamp your current social media strategy to get a better return on your investment of time and resources? Continue reading “Developing a Social Media Strategy That Fits Your Budget”

Flattr Plus: Good or Bad Deal for Publishers?

Flattr Plus - Good or Bad Deal for PublishersAs publishers all across the globe are looking for ways to deal with the growing usage of ad blocking software, Adblock Plus is teaming up with Flattr on an initiative that will supposedly help publishers recoup some of the revenue lost when ads aren’t shown to site visitors. But is this effort a true attempt to mitigate losses for publishers who depend on ad earnings to fund their sites, or is it really intended as a means for Adblock Plus to further monetize its own product?

According to a press release distributed on May 3, a beta version of this new service – called Flattr Plus – will launch early this summer. Interested parties can start signing up now at https://flattrplus.com/ to get early access, and publishers can fill out a contact form if they want to get more information about how the service works. Continue reading “Flattr Plus: Good or Bad Deal for Publishers?”

What Is CPM & Why Ad Networks Use It As A Metric

What is CPM?

CPM means “cost per mille” or, more modernly, “cost per thousand”. Mille is the term used for a thousand impressions in the ad business. It’s an everyday metric that advertisers and ad networks use and it has its origins all the way back at the beginning of online advertising. So what is CPM good for if you’re a publisher or website owner, and why do advertisers love to focus all of their measurements on it?

what is cpm

CPM is a bad metric for publishers and website owners

As for online publishers and site owners, you’ll undoubtedly see CPM used by most ad networks and touted as the de facto metric that you should be focused on if you want to earn more money.  However, it was created by ad networks and is often manipulated by them to serve their end goal — to generate more revenue for themselves — which doesn’t necessarily mean more revenue for the online publishers and website owners.

Higher CPMs don’t mean that a website owner will actually earn more ad revenue

What you’ll find is that there isn’t a worse metric available for publishers. Below we’ll highlight why ad networks typically want publishers focused on increasing CPM’s and why it’s in your best interest as a site owner or publisher to focus on a  handful of other things instead if you truly want to increase your total site earnings Continue reading “What Is CPM & Why Ad Networks Use It As A Metric”

How to Use Pinterest Promoted Pins to Grow Traffic

How to Use Pinterest Promoted Pins

Have soHow to Use Pinterest Promoted Pins to Grow Your Trafficme great pages on your site that aren’t getting as much traffic as you think they deserve? If you have a Pinterest account, you may want to use Pinterest promoted pins to give those articles or pages a quick, inexpensive boost. For just a few dollars, promoted pins can help you start to build traffic for an article that will continue to grow long after your campaign has ended.

For growing traffic, using Pinterest is often a more cost-effective strategy than using Facebook, Twitter or other social media networks. This is because of Pinterest’s search-based approach to content sharing. That is, in addition to looking at their home feed, a large majority of Pinterest’s users rely on the site’s internal search feature to discover new content related to their interests.

On Facebook and Twitter, internal search results favor content that has been shared recently. Pinterest’s internal search factors in relevance and popularity a little more heavily. So, when you promote a pin on Pinterest for a few days, you get the benefit of increased visibility during the time of the promotion plus extra “free” visibility after the campaign is over due to the popularity the pin gained during the campaign. Continue reading “How to Use Pinterest Promoted Pins to Grow Traffic”

How Will Facebook’s Latest News Feed Changes Affect Publishers?

On Facebook's Latest News Feed ChangeApril 21, Facebook announced that it was, once again, making a change to the method it uses to decide which stories are shown at the top of a user’s News Feed.

Announcements like these tend to concern many publishers – especially if they have been getting a lot of referral traffic from Facebook – since even minor changes can have a major impact on social media referrals. However, this particular change could be a very positive thing for publishers who focus on high-quality content and creating a positive user experience.

What does the change entail? Facebook will now consider how much time is spent viewing an article after it is clicked as part of its collection of factors to determine News Feed ranking. That is, if all other things are equal and users spend more time looking at Article A after clicking on it than they do with Article B, then Article A will have a greater chance to be shown in a user’s News Feed. Additionally, Facebook states that it “will also be looking at the time spent within a threshold so as not to accidentally treat longer articles preferentially.”

It seems like this update’s primary focus is to improve the experience of mobile users since the announcement made specific reference to mobile web browsers and Facebook Instant Articles. In addition to this change, Facebook also plans to modify its algorithm to improve News Feed diversity “to reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.” Continue reading “How Will Facebook’s Latest News Feed Changes Affect Publishers?”

Image Optimization: Getting Better Search Engine Rankings for Your Images

image optimizationNo matter what type of website you have, images are important. One statistic that gets tossed around a lot is that, on average, articles with relevant images get 94% more views than those in the same category without images. If you go back and look at the original Skyword research results on this topic, you’ll see that this percentage can vary a lot depending on the type of site you have – but the increase in views is significant for every vertical.

On top of making articles more visually appealing and helping tutorials be easier to follow, optimized images can also send you a lot of organic traffic from Google Search and other image-based search engines. But how much work does it take to optimize your images for search engines? Not that much at all. Continue reading “Image Optimization: Getting Better Search Engine Rankings for Your Images”

The Great Comment Debate: Should You Allow Comments on Your Site?

The Great Comment DebateBack in early 2014, Copyblogger made quite a stir in the marketing world when it announced it was removing comments from its site. It was a bold move at the time for such a large website and led to others deciding to turn off their comments as well. Up until that point, it was taken as almost a given that allowing user comments was inherently a good thing and publishers should do what they could to encourage users and make it easy for people to comment on their sites.

Since that time, Copyblogger and several others who ditched comments have reintegrated user discussions into their sites for a variety of reasons. But the arguments that were brought up during the comment debate are still valid. That is, allowing comments can help build communities on some sites, but they can be more trouble than they’re worth on others. So, if you’re trying to decide whether or not to permit user comments on your site, what points should you consider? Continue reading “The Great Comment Debate: Should You Allow Comments on Your Site?”

Ad Trends Publishers Should Know About

The world of digital publishing is fast-paced and constantly evolving. If you want to stay at the top of your game, there are a lot of things to keep track of – including ad trends that could impact your site’s earnings.

Due to growing concerns about banner blindness, ad quality and the use of ad blocking software, publishers are experimenting with different strategies to make ads more relevant for their audience. To make things even more complex, many site owners are still having trouble monetizing their mobile traffic. There may not be a magic solution on the horizon, but there are several opportunities for publishers as we move deeper into the second quarter of 2016. Continue reading “Ad Trends Publishers Should Know About”

Tips for Creating Seasonal Content That Aligns with Ad Opportunities

seasonal content ideasIn the publishing world, a lot of people talk about the importance of creating evergreen content – that is, content that is likely to have a long shelf life and be relevant all year around. While it’s true evergreen content is a good investment for your site, there are also lots of ad opportunities for seasonal content that can be very lucrative.

Seasonal content may only attract traffic for a short time each year, but during that time period it can bring in a rush of visitors that more than make up for the lull experienced the rest of the year. As an added bonus, sometimes the keywords associated with that content can be pretty competitive among advertisers for that time period so the CPC values of ads that target those same keywords will be higher than average. When you combine the potential for high traffic and for high CPC rates on the page, it becomes very worthwhile to invest in the creation of high quality content to take advantage of the opportunity. Continue reading “Tips for Creating Seasonal Content That Aligns with Ad Opportunities”