Rethinking the Sidebar: Less is More For RPM & UX Alike | Mediavine

The sidebar is always one of the most obsessed-over components of web publishing, but as with everything else in the blogging world, times are changing. Ten years ago, the original iPhone had just been released. In 2018, desktop traffic is hard to come by. Upwards of 80% of your readers likely do so on mobile devices. In this mobile-first world, it’s time to rethink the sidebar once and for all. Mediavine has been at war with the sidebar for years. When we entered the ad management space in 2014, most sidebars were millions of widgets long and loaded with ads. We get it. Publishers and ad management companies alike were obsessed with desktop. More screen equals more ads, and websites would just keep adding widgets in a bid to balance the length of the sidebar with the length of their content. However, it’s time to […]

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Mediavine Up Next

We’re excited to announce that an oft-requested feature is coming to the Mediavine video player, one appropriately titled Up Next.

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Optimizing your most valuable content for ads, SEO and user experience

You may have noticed from my recent Go for Teal posts that formatting your content to better reflect how people consume content online is a recurring theme. Techniques such as writing shorter sentences and paragraphs, using headings, formatting posts like an outline, and adding more images all help keep users engaged. Today, we’re focused on how you can specifically take advantage of your Most Valuable Content (MVC) to maximize earnings, along with – you guessed it – SEO and user experience.     What MVC is, and Where to Place it If readers visit your site looking for a specific piece of content, be it a recipe, a sewing pattern, a travel packing list or whatever your area of expertise may be, that’s what they’re after. For example, if you use a recipe card as a food blogger, or Create by Mediavine for How to Guides […]

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When writing for the web, remember that readers will be skimming, not reading every word. On average, your users will read only about 20% of the content on your page. We’ve talked about online audience behavior at length in the past, and it’s why both Google and Usability.gov encourage you to use headings, or H tags, when writing content.   Short, web-friendly sentences and paragraphs are a great start, but heading tags are essential in organizing content and directing your users where to go while they’re skimming. In fact, in Google’s SEO Starter Guide, they recommend you think about your content in terms of writing an outline. If you do, the headings you’re writing will begin to make sense. The above link includes a list of things to do and things not to do; For example, don’t overdo it with headings, don’t use H tags […]

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Nearly a year in the making, Mediavine’s new ad tech, or Script Wrapper 2.0, is officially live! Uh… What the Heck is the Script Wrapper? The script wrapper is our core piece of advertising technology, allowing us to deliver billions of ad impressions across thousands of websites and continually optimize them. In the simplest of terms, it’s what optimizes placements on your page, runs real-time auctions, and ultimately tells our ad server, Google Ad Manager, what ad to serve and where. Mediavine’s Script Wrapper also does a lot more behind the scenes. We won’t divulge (or bore you with) the details of the secret sauce, but it lets us simultaneously optimize ads on individual site, placement, and user levels. In short, it’s a pretty complex and important piece of code, and after three years of serving ads, we determined that our old Script Wrapper, 1.0, […]

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If you’re signed up for Google Search Console, you may have recently received an email from Google pertaining to mobile-first indexing. First, if you haven’t signed up for Google Search Console, do so IMMEDIATELY. Previously known as Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console allows Google to communicate with you directly and offer awesome free tools to improve your rankings! Now that we got the GSC plug out of the way, on to the questions everyone has: Why did you get that email, what do you do, and what the heck does it mean?     What is Mobile-First Indexing? Mobile-first indexing was actually launched in March of 2018 by Google. The premise, put simply: Before this product launch, the Google crawler would download the desktop version of your site and use that for the indexing of your content. Now, since a vast majority of Google users are on […]

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Just last week, we talked about the advantages of writing shorter paragraphs and shorter sentences when it comes to producing content that will maximize your RPM. But to be clear, that doesn’t mean shorter articles. If there’s one pitfall we often see on the content front, it’s that publishers simply don’t have enough of it. More is more when it comes to words. If you create only short form content, you’re not going to have the same level of user engagement — or opportunities for ad placements — than you could with long-form content. So how long is long form content? This is not an exact science by any means, but amazingly, high school teachers and SEO experts alike generally agree on a minimum of 500 words. 500 words? That’s way too many! If this 500-word goal seems too daunting, then you may need to rethink […]

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If you’ve been following my recent articles on how to improve your RPM, then hopefully by now you have a nice large, mobile-friendly font size and line height. Now that your increased font size and spacing have optimized your text for readability and earning potential, it’s time to do the same for the content itself. What do we mean by that? Writing for the web is not the same as writing for print, and so unless you’re really, really young, that means it’s a lot different than what you were taught in school. You may be surprised to learn that according to usability studies, when presented with a 500-word article, users will read at most 28 percent, but more likely 20 percent. So what do you do if audiences are skimming and only reading 20 percent of your content? You write and design your content for an […]

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line height

I know what you’re thinking. Another post about optimizing the words and spacing in your content after last week’s novel on why you should increase font size?  Yes. Line Height is worth its own article. Another oft-overlooked aspect of CSS and website design, line height can have a big impact on your site’s readability, user experience and monetization. It also goes hand-in-hand with font size, as you’ll need to make sure your line height matches your new font size if you made that adjustment last week. This is crucial, as increasing font size alone, without taking into account line height, can potentially backfire and hurt your user experience. What is Line Height? Line height is what it sounds like: The spacing between lines of text on your site. Much like font size, in CSS, line height can be measured in multiple units such as px, […]

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One of the simplest, fastest, and most effective tweaks you can make to simultaneously improve your website’s user experience, SEO and RPM may surprise you: Increasing your font size.   We say it’s quick because it should require one easy change to your theme’s settings page, or a few adjustments to your stylesheet, to make this site-wide improvement. Much of the advice we normally give publishers is on a per-post or a per-page basis, which could require a lot of work on a lot of content over time. This site-wide tweak is quick and easy … relatively speaking. We can’t just tell you what settings to change, as font size is a little more technical than one-size-fits-all. The Internet is very different than the world of print or word processors in every respect, and fonts are no different. It’s important to define font size in […]

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