Maximizing Digital Revenue Using Often Neglected Insights
If you’re a creative type, it’s easy to get into the groove of writing, publishing, publicizing, and repeating. We’ve been told for many years that content is king and that more content = more traffic. The problem is, just like a book author who never reads reviews and never listens to feedback from readers, not paying attention to feedback is a bad idea; especially when it comes to maximizing digital revenue.
Imagine how much better a book author gets when they listen and learn from their readers. Now, picture how beneficial it is as an online publisher to do the same: analyze your site traffic, identify which topics resonate the most with your visitors, and see which ones are really contributing the most to the bottom line.
This is not going to be some boring old post about analyzing traffic or CPM’s (or RPM’s). In the text below, I’ll highlight some metrics, math, and insights that most publishers fail to take into account when they create new content, try to maximize the value of their existing content, and think strategically about the future of their site. Continue reading “Maximizing Digital Revenue Using Often Neglected Insights”
Data Science & Artificial Intelligence In Digital Publishing
It’s been said that marketers ruin everything. I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but am willing to admit that modern marketers can certainly make it difficult to fully understand nuanced subjects on sophisticated topics like artificial intelligence and data science. Digital publishers are now starting to see just how muddy these waters are getting…
My good friend John Cole was on a recent AdMonsters panel with Google discussing the growth of data science and emergence of artificial intelligence in the digital publishing space. The conversation got quite interesting when they really started to define what these terms actually mean (vs. what marketers will tell you they mean).
Below, I’ll share a couple of things that came up during that panel, as they were interesting and bring to light some of the issues I think a lot of digital publishers are struggling with. I’ll also highlight some examples of how these technologies and concepts can be applied to modern digital publishing operations.
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Common Causes for Google Traffic Drops
One a weekly basis, I talk to digital publishers that have seen a major drop in either traffic or revenue (commonly both). They’re trying to decipher why they’ve experienced the sudden shift. In many cases, the seemingly unprecedented change leads publishers to assume that the problem is related to Google traffic drops (search mainly) and that the corresponding drop in revenue is directly tied to this change.
What I’ve come to learn from hundreds and hundreds of these cases over the years is that every problem is relatively unique; however, there are usually some pretty easy ways to zero in on the exact issue causing the drop in traffic and revenue.
The secret to quickly solving these problems is approaching them like a puzzle. You cannot start with an immediate, blind assumption. You have to start with the data first and work backward. In this article, I’ll help you start with the most common ways you can start this analysis.
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YouTube SEO Tips & Tricks
As a publisher, there are a lot of different channels you can use to get the word out and reach your audience. Lots more than yet another blog post, that’s for sure. It’s more work, but I’ve become quite a fan of video and have a thriving YouTube video channel where I produce and share consumer electronics reviews every week to thousands of viewers and fans. You can have a quick peek: AskDaveTaylor on YouTube.
Most YouTubers will tell you that producing even a fantastic video is only half the work required to have good results on a popular Google-owned site that’s been the #2 most popular site on the entire Web for many years.
You also have to approach posting a video as a search engine optimization project too. Yup, YouTube SEO is a thing, and not just for Google search itself. In fact, YouTube SEO applies to everywhere your customers might be searching for your product, service or information. Including Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest descriptions and Pinboard names.
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Best Video Production Gear Choices For Digital Publishers
Last time we talked about video production gear, I explored a couple of important factors: audio, tripods, and lighting. As anyone who spends time on YouTube knows, you can get away with pretty poor video quality (think “shaky cam”) if your audio is good, so that might be the top thing you should work on improving for your own videos.
We’re not done talking about video production gear, however, because while you can definitely get started with a smartphone, better video recording gear is definitely going to yield better, more viewable results. You don’t have to go get a $250,000 4K broadcast rig, don’t worry, but it’s surprising how much a good camera can improve your end product.
At the end of the day, quality will help you stand out. Having a the right setup can help you deliver this level of quality, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.
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When A/B Testing Your Website Is A Bad Idea?
A/B testing has been a valuable tool for marketers and researchers seeking to improve digital properties for well over a decade. Today, publishers are leveraging new testing technologies to conduct A/B tests on everything from site layouts to brand imagery. I’m willing to bet that more A/B tests are being conducted on websites across the globe now than ever before.
Unfortunately, A/B testing is often used as a gold-standard for decision-making in instances that it actually is sort of a blunt tool. How can data-driven decisions be anything but good, Tyler? That’s a great question. The answer is that you can never go wrong by following the data; however, it’s easy to be misled by what we think is intuitively the right decision.
Below, I’ll highlight some of the common ways that A/B testing is often used improperly, and highlight a model that can be used more effectively.
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Native Ads, Good or Bad?
If you’ve browsed the web at all in the past 5 years, you’ve likely come in contact thousands upon thousands of native ads. I’ll spare you the explanation of what native ads are — also known as recommended/sponsored content ads — and get right to the part everyone wants to know. What does the data tell us about native ads, and are they good or bad for your website?
It’s kind of a loaded question. Good and bad are a little subjective in this instance because it really depends on what we’re measuring. For the sake of this article, I’ll be spending my time digging into the data and learnings we have from publishers and websites that have run different experiments with native ads within the context of how they’ve affected user experience and monetization.
I’ll highlight what publishers should think about when considering native ads, how we’ve seen them used successfully, and the known risks associated with displaying them on your site to visitors.
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How To Become A Video Publisher & Grow Your Website
We’ve talked about the importance of video for your Web site, both from the perspective of catching your visitors attention and for improving your search ranking. Let’s go a bit more hands-on with the actual specifics of how to create a pro-quality video, from gear to lighting techniques, and become a first-class video publisher.
The good news is that video recording and editing tools have are better and more easy to work with than at any time in history, and you don’t need much more than a good, modern smartphone or laptop to get started! In fact, there are plenty of people who are using their iPhone, Galaxy S8 or similar to not just record and edit video content, but to go live on Facebook or Periscope/Twitter.
Below, I’ll share some secrets that publishers are using to grow their brand, visitors, and digital revenue using video.
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User Experience Metrics That Are Correlated With SEO
Organic search has a evolved a lot over the past decade. One of the most sophisticated ways search engines have changed is in the way they evaluate pages and content. User experience metrics have become more and more important as technical HTML structure (tags and the alike) have become less and less important.
This is something most content creators have familiarized themselves; however, many actually still struggle with measuring and understanding how user experience affects their overall organic search traffic.
Below, I’ll show you some of the fundamental user experience metrics that are most closely correlated with improved search rankings. I’ll also highlight the errors that digital publishers and website owners make when trying to improve user experiences and measure their organic search marketing progress.
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Why Video SEO Strategies for Digital Publishers Make Sense
Plenty of Web publishers hear the phrase “SEO” and think about page titles, keyword research, and incoming links. Is your sitemap accurate? Are you producing what Google considers thin content? Lots to worry about and the worst part of all search engine optimization effort is that there’s so darn much competition. Are there ever less than a million pages shown as the result of a Web search nowadays?
This is why video SEO is becoming such a hot topic among top publishers, bloggers, and website owners. There is a lot of value in having a strong video component to your publishing efforts, and I’ll show you why.
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