Content is and will remain king of the publishing industry! Furthermore, there are types of content that always manage to bring the big bucks, and there are also types of content that will bring nothing more than a view, a glimpse, a regular stat in your Google Analytics report.
However, it’s still surprising to see how many media publishers fail to nail down their content strategy so that they can make higher profits. A lot of them continue with the same old modest traffic and ad revenue, waiting for that miracle viral content piece that will set that bottom line alight.
As a publisher, presumably, you rely on RPM (Revenue per Mille [thousand]) impressions KPI which benchmarks the revenue that one of your pages makes per 1,000 visits! In this article, we’ll provide you with tips that can increase your RPM and help you develop better content that your target readers simply cannot ignore!
1. Determine the Best-Performing Content First
Figuring out which articles generate higher ad earnings is the basis of targeting readers and advertisers that can help you grow your digital publishing business. Tracking the performance of the ad units that you host within your articles can provide you with extensive data about how your visitors interact with the ads and which content leads to more ad impressions.
Before you uncover the content that brings you the most ad revenue, you need to gauge what is the best-performing content in terms of engagement.
You can start with the Behavior tab of Google Analytics that collects information about your pages and posts. Click on Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages
In the columns, you can see very useful information, such as:
- Unique Pageviews
- Average Time on Page
- Bounce Rate
- Page value
Unique pageviews tell you how many visitors saw the page during a session. Combined with how many visitors entered through the page (entrances), this provides you with a better understanding of how many people opened a page multiple times.
The average time on page and bounce rate tell you how popular one of your pages is. If people stay longer on one page, they probably read something they like. If the article has a low bounce rate, it means that readers want to see more of your site.
If some pages drive more traffic than the rest, perhaps you need to create similar content or redesign your weakest pages according to the architecture of the most effective ones.
Furthermore, tracking the performance of banner ads in your posts can provide you with lots of detailed information about what is the best-performing content in terms of earnings and whether the most successful pages match the most read content on your site.
1. To track this, first of all, you need to sign in to your Google Analytics account and click on Admin -> AdSense Linking
2. Click on + New AdSense Link
3. Select the AdSense property that you want to link with Analytics and click on Continue.
4. After that, you need to select the Analytics view and click on Enable Link, then Done.
Once you collect enough AdSense data, you can work on optimizing your content and your ads to boost your revenue. Some suggestions that might work for you are:
- Test Different Ad Placements: Think as your target readers do. Place your ads near the content that people are interested in. With that, you can increase clicks, which in turn increase the ad revenue.
- Use Different Ad Styles: The right ad style can mean the difference between ads that readers click and ads that they ignore. You should place ads in a way that they are more visible so you can avoid ad blindness.
- Use the Right Ad Size: Wider ads can outmatch taller ads due to their reader-friendliness. Test different ad sizes on the ad locations that you prefer, and pick the size that works the best.
From here on in, it’s vital to assess which articles earn you the highest EPMV and why?. Some pages could also make the bulk of their revenue from a single visit. The articles on these pages can attract a lot of readers and engagement, and that can entice the advertisers to bid for space on that particular page.
2. Understand How Advertisers Behave
When you know the highest-earning content per session and the audience behavior, you can start with the development of content that will capture the attention of advertisers.
To do this, you can utilize your Google Ads account. Select the Tools wrench icon and choose Keyword Planner.
Afterward, click on ‘Discover New Keywords’, enter a topic that has brought in the most engagement and revenue for your publishing business, and click ‘Get Started’. There’ll be various filters that you can apply at this stage, and one of them is ‘Related Ideas’.
You can see all the keywords that are associated with different monthly searches, their competitiveness, ad impression share, and top-of-page bid. Even though these are search-based ads, it will paint you a picture of what advertisers are bidding on the most at that point.
3. Perform a Lot of Research
When you find the pages that have the most engagement and ad revenue, the next logical step is to figure out the content ideas that can increase your digital publishing success. This is where research steps in!
Content research allows you to answer one crucial question:
“What do people love to read, and what do they share on social media?”
Before you begin with the research, you need to know your target readers and their interests well:
- Age, sex, demographic?
- What do they care about?
- What influences them?
- What are they interested in?
- What do they love to read?
- How do they spend their time online?
Your research should not be complicated at all and it can start and end with a simple Google search. Google is excellent if you’re after a content that is query-based.
Search for the keywords, associated questions, or topics that are in direct or indirect relation to the highest-earning pages from your GA and AdSense report, and which, can then be formulated into questions that a reader might ask.
Some of Google’s “People also ask” are really rich in content ideas. They’re your chance to insert a blog post in the editorial calendar that will answer questions. You can develop content ideas that you’ll link to your highest earning content and pages.
You may consider writing extra articles on the topics from “People also ask” section or combine them to create really awesome content that links out to your best-earning pages.
If you want to use an additional tool for keyword research, try SEMRush!
With SEMRush, you can examine the keywords that you are already using to assess how well your content performs compared to your competitors.
Navigate to Organic Research > Position Changes and examine the New, Declined, Improved and Lost keywords for your or competitive website.
The Organic Research > Positions tab will show you the keywords that you’re already ranking for.
SEMRush will automatically show a list of relevant phrases and keywords that you can group according to Volume, CPC, Competition, Trend, and Results.
If you go again to Organic Search > Overview and scroll down, you’ll also get a list of the Main Competitors for the domain that you research for.
The competition is presented according to the number of overlapping keywords.
SEMRush has another trick up its sleeves for successful keyword research in the form of the Keyword Difficulty Tool. Navigate to Keyword Analytics > Keyword Difficulty.
The tool is amazing because it’s simple to use and it will display a percentage (between 0 and 100%) which tells you how difficult it would be to beat your competitors in organic search.
4. Learn from the Best and Emulate
If you want to successfully win the digital publishing game, earn the attention of your target readers and improve the earnings in the process, you must learn how the best in the industry use content to reach audiences and advertisers.
This is vital, not only for discovering your real ranking in the marketplace, but also to examine if you have potential content opportunities that you can use to win over your target readers’ attention.
Run a Content Audit
This audit will provide you with the best info on how you compare to your best competitors’ content creation efforts. The factors that you need are:
- Quantity of Each Content Type: How many blog posts has the competitor published so far? How many videos, galleries, quizzes, and so on?
- Frequency of Each Content Type: Does your competitor publish blog posts twice a week? Quizzes every day? What about videos? Make sure that you’ll gauge their publishing frequency for each content type so you know how active their current content development team is.
- Topics Distribution: You should look at the topics discussed on your competitors’ blogs in order to find opportunities they aren’t capitalizing on and develop a stronger readership for your site.
Run a BuzzSumo Analysis
BuzzSumo is an excellent tool that can give you an overview of how interactive content is from a given website.
BuzzSumo allows you to easily analyze your competitors and the engagement performance of their content. For example, you can see how their content performs when it comes to social sharing, what is shared the most, what formats work best for your competitors, and who are boosting their content online?
By being aware of where you stand compared to your competitors’ content, you can decide which steps to take in order to keep up with them, and beat them in both readership base and ad earnings.
Bottom line, if you focus on collecting incorrect data you can’t create the content that can bring in greater revenue. The topics that you write about, your current readership, and the popularity of your site will establish the revenue that you earn from ads, and the behavior of your readers.
By using data, you can understand which posts earn the most revenue, and then capitalize on them by developing similar content for your readers, which is the most powerful method for higher overall website ad earnings.