UPDATED: November 18, 2021
Black Friday is a crucial time as a content creator. We looked to see how different the numbers were in Q4 compared to the rest of the year, and it’s… big.
But in order to capitalize on Black Friday, it’s not just about the content you’re putting out. Your site has to be optimized too.
In Mediavine On Air Episode 1, originally published in April 2021, CEO Eric Hochberger shares his top optimization tips for maximizing earnings during Q4. In this episode you’ll hear about which posts to prioritize, the easiest site-wide changes to make, how ad density works and so much more.
These tips are always relevant, even outside of Q4!
What is Q4? — Learn what Q4 is and why it’s a crucial time for many website owners.
RPM Challenge — A 3-part optimization challenge for your top blog posts.
Holiday RPM Trends — A holiday focused Behind the Numbers with Brad.
How to Capitalize on Holidays as a Content Creator — Key tips on how to make the most of Q4.
[MUSIC PLAYING] JENNY GUY: Today is Thursday, November 19 and you’re watching Mediavine’s Teal Talk: the show about the business of content creation. I’m your host, Jenny Guy, director of marketing, and so thankful for you, our audience, all year round. Hello, everyone. OK. What isn’t up for debate is that we are only– oops I meant to say– I skipped a paragraph in my intro. Next week is Thanksgiving, guys. It’s a huge national holiday. We could easily spend an hour debating the wisdom of large gatherings and masks, but that is not the show. Also, please wear a mask.
As I was saying, though, what isn’t up for debate is that we are only a little over a week away from the biggest revenue days of the year for content creators, Q4, and in particular, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are known as a magical time for RPM’s. And my guest today is here to ensure that your content is fully optimized and ready to perform from next week through the rest of Q4, and beyond. That’s right, it’s our CEO, Eric Hochberger, joining me live from beside a palm tree in Florida. Hey, Eric.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Hey, Jenny.
JENNY GUY: OK, everybody let’s say hi to the Mediavine commander in chief in the comments, and let us know how optimized you’re currently feeling with your content. Have you already gone for teal, you’ve done the RPM challenge and you’re just waiting for the money to start rolling in? Or are you feeling a little overwhelmed, hashtag 2020, and you’re wondering where to start. Tell us where you are in that. And Eric, OK. Before we dive into all the moneymaking talk, do a little Scrooge McDuck from Ducktails, let’s give a little background information. Why is Q4 such a big deal? Why does everyone love it so much, why is it such a huge thing for revenue?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, we actually have an awesome blog post on this that we can link to in the comments that will better explain this, but basically there is more people trying to buy ads during Q4 than any other time of the year and that’s for a few reasons. One, it’s the end of a lot of people’s fiscal budget, so a lot of companies tie their fiscal year to end in the end of December, same as the calendar year. And most importantly, because of the holiday known traditionally as Black Friday is the day that most retail businesses turn profit, so it’s going from red to black, it’s where the name comes from. Literally that’s when they start making money. So same thing kind of happens on a lot of digital internet is that a lot of retail and sales all hop in then, and it happens to coincide with people are buying like a lot of holiday gifts.
And so when more people are trying to buy ads, it’s an auction. So they have to end up spending more money in order to buy the same limited ad spots on your website. So it just increased competition for more people in the real world trying to buy ads, and it just happens to come at a beautiful time, especially for food bloggers right around Thanksgiving. And it happens to start right after Thanksgiving, so that same kind of Black Friday all the way through, basically right before Christmas. So about a week before Christmas, or as soon as people can stop getting gifts shipped.
JENNY GUY: So tell me what the actual time is, because people sometimes hear magical Q4 and they go, oh my God, it’s October. Why aren’t my RPM’s amazing yet?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Right, so what actually ends up happening is everyone thinks it’s all of Q4, and the same as any other. So we have the by the seasons blog post which we should also link to. But basically every single quarter is like the reset of a budget, every single month is the reset of a budget. So the start of any quarter is actually going to be worse than the previous quarter ending. The beginning of any month is going to be worse than the previous month ending, and that just happens. So the beginning of Q4 is actually worse than the end of Q3. That happens every single year. October is always going to be worse than September. And that seems like a shock to people because they think of Q4, but Q4, as much as we wish it were the whole three months, is really, I think it’s like five to six weeks, depending on when Thanksgiving falls. It’s basically the end of Thanksgiving to just a few days before Christmas when people can no longer purchase gifts online and make them shipped in time.
JENNY GUY: OK, fantastic. I’m going to read some comments about where people say they are. OK, Chaucey says she’s Teal and waiting. Tara says, hi, Eric. Feeling good, I’ve gone back and even more optimized my content. Diana says, hi, Teal but not optimized. Michelle says, all teal, but I need to do the RPM challenge again. I have all the tabs open, but bring me the money. Although this month somehow have already earned more than any month in history for me, and we have over a third of the month to go. And Morgan Smith McBride just said, I don’t know election RPM’s we’re pretty fire this year. So that was a new thing that was kind of throwing us off there in the mix.
So you said, interestingly that when it just means that people are bidding more for each ad space, for the same ad space that they normally would. What does that do in terms of our dashboard? Where are we going to see all of that fall? Because I know we talk a lot about RPM, but that’s not actually how people are making money, right?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, no. The best thing you should always look for as a publisher is what CPM you’re earning, because that’s how you’re actually getting paid. So the CPM is what advertisers are paying for every 1,000 ad impressions. So if you see that you’re making a $3 CPM, which is a great number and a number you can make here at Mediavine, that means somebody is paying $3 for every 1,000 ads purchased on your site. The what RPM ends up being is you’re actually looking at just overall how the ads are performing, and this is an after the fact calculation. You add up all of your revenue, you divide it by your sessions, or page use, depending on how you’re figuring either session or page RPM, then multiply times 1,000.
A lot of people like to use that as a barometer to see how things are going, but that’s not actually the full picture. There’s a lot more detail you should be diving into, and one of those things is CPM. And that’s what we like to reveal to you in the dashboard, and that’s where you’ll see the biggest change. So you might notice that if you’re running fewer impressions but a higher CPM, you might make a lower RPM, and you wouldn’t have been able to catch that if you were only looking at RPM. So you really want to track the impressions per page, which is what we show you on the per page level thing, and then as well as the CPM you’re earning. And those together are what you’re actually getting paid by Mediavine and by the advertisers.
JENNY GUY: OK, so we’re looking at those things in the dashboard which we now have the ability to do. You get a lot more metrics, a lot more data. So let’s say that happens. Let’s say I look at that, and I see that I’m getting a lower CPM for a specific unit. What do I do at that point, how do I try to fix it?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So we have a little by ad unit report section in the dashboard. And you are going to see varying CPM’s between the different units, that’s actually expected. That’s a good thing. Because we are going to different ad units will perform at different levels, and we’ll charge different amounts. So an in content ad it’s going to have a lower viewability than let’s say the sticky side bar or the adhesion at the bottom. So advertisers are going to pay more for your adhesion or your sidebar ad, because it’s no secret advertisers like when their ads are seen, that’s viewability. So adhesion and sidebar, the sticky side bar, are going to have a higher CPM than in content, that’s expected. Recipe CPM’s are typically going to be higher than in content. You’re going to see video ads are always going to have the highest CPM.
So if your video ad has a lower CPM, then you would have a problem. But you can expect the CPM’s are going to be relative to their different positions. So don’t look and necessarily compare them on a per ad unit level, but a great spot is to look at them per page. So we have that awesome section of the dashboard since we launched, I think it was around the same time last year. So it’s been around for a little while now, so hopefully you guys have been using it. Maybe early in the year, I’m thinking–
JENNY GUY: I don’t know, yeah. No, we launched this year.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: It was this year, OK.
JENNY GUY: It was–
ERIC HOCHBERGER: 2020, let’s just make a 2020 show. The longest year of our lives.
JENNY GUY: Yeah, it was like– And it’s still happening. I think it was right before we started summer of live.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Then this is awesome, this is the first Q4 to use it. So I should have led with that. So you should be using that page RPM, because what that’s going to show you– or the per page, not just RPM, but CPM and impressions per page. That’s where you can really dive down and see, OK, this post is underperforming or over performing. If it has a lower CPM, that might just be due to the traffic that’s coming to it. So remember, different traffic is also going to be worth different amounts. So a user that comes from Google, might be more valuable than a user that comes through Pinterest or Facebook, and that’s pretty common.
And so you might have a post that has a lower CPM, and you might think, I don’t want to boost traffic there. That’s not necessarily always the case. You might want to be able to rerun that post if it’s well optimized, and well optimized means you get a lot of impressions per page. So users are sticking around for a long time, they’re engaging with the content, so that’s actually the more important number for you to look for. A lower CPM might be more indicative of other problems, and a lot of times you can’t even fix them. So worry about the impressions per page there. And if it’s something that’s blowing up, maybe you want to dive into your Google analytics, or you want to reach out to Mediavine for us to be able to help you figure out how to do some of these things.
JENNY GUY: OK. Sarah just said, it’s weird, but my category pages have higher CPM’s than some content pages.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so a lot of times what you’ll see with categories is that they’re going to get a lower number of impressions per page. And every single time you run an additional impression on a page, it’s worth a little bit less than the one before. So the 10th ad is not going to be worth as much as the first or the second ad. So what you might end up seeing is your category pages might only have a few ads, and therefore you’ll see a higher CPM, but you’re going to still have an overall low RPM.
That’s because you have that lower in pages impressions per page. That’s why I’m saying. What you should really concentrate on, impressions per page. That’s the thing that you can optimize and do the most with. So don’t freak out at the fact you might have like a $4 or $5 CPM on your category page and be like, this is my moneymaker. Because it’s probably not serving that many impressions, because we don’t run typically a lot of impressions on category pages because they’re not super engaging to a user. A user’s going through those to find another piece of content that they will be engaged with.
JENNY GUY: So, yes, exactly. So let’s, before we abandon the background information topic, we had a great blog post come out today by our VP of ad ops, Brad Hagmann. He’s talking about seasonal RPM and all of the things that go into helping determine that. He also wrote our OG blog post that we always reference when people ask questions about programmatic advertising, which is ad revenue by the seasons, that’s up higher. But we’re about to share Brad’s post. It talks about the COVID effect. What previously has happened, and then what might happen this year. We can’t make any promises, because like everything else this year who knows? Really, who knows. OK. With Black Friday a little over a week away, like eight days, is it too late to do any good for our RPM through optimization?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Well, I think definitely not. This is the best time you can be doing it, and there’s still plenty of time. With a week left I’m sure you’re busy probably preparing for your Thanksgiving feast, however you may be celebrating it this year. But I would still say it is worth your time right now to prepare your top post.
JENNY GUY: Where would you focus your energies and how would you determine that?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So, I would use your own Google Analytics and go through previous, go through this time of year, last year or the year before. See which of your posts typically do well, and then you’re going to want to try to optimize those as well as the posts that are trending in the last 30 days.
JENNY GUY: As Eric was saying, do year over year, and then do last 30 days to make sure that you are getting both of those pictures. The most recent content that’s performing well, as well as historical content that’s performing well. How can you use the Mediavine dashboard as well as your Google Analytics?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: In the Mediavine Dashboard just go to the By Page section, and by default you’re going to look at the last 30 days, that should be the default. If not, just make sure you’re looking at the last 30 days. And that’s a long enough picture to see what’s kind of trending right now. And again, it’s automatically going to be sorted and based on number of page views that those pages are getting. So that’s a great place to start. Look at your top 10, top 20, top 30 if you have time, spots to see where to optimize. And anything that’s been doing well in the last days, chances are you have another probably a week or two of those doing well. And again, balance that with going through old stuff through Google Analytics.
JENNY GUY: And while that’s happening, yes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which according to all the predictions is supposed to be the biggest Cyber Monday ever because no one’s going anywhere. It would be a good idea then at this point to then go from that, then to optimizing into December, correct? Finding all of your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah content, yes?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: If you have time to do all that in this upcoming week, 100%. Start going not just November, but going through everything that trended well in December as well. Absolutely. Finish up this whole year strong because again, remember it’s not just Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the goofy re-targeting Tuesday that our industry came up with. You don’t just want those three days, you want straight through remember to right before Christmas. So, December.
JENNY GUY: Sorry, Julia just put a really funny comment in and it’s, re-targeting Tuesday? That’s a thing? It’s giving Tuesday, everyone. Gross.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Gross. I think Criteo or Credio for the re-targeting Tuesday, I think. They are the ones.
JENNY GUY: OK, Morgan Smith McBride said, if I have a popular post with a way lower RPM I have found to check the page speed. Sometimes if it’s low you get a way lower RPM, and once you fix the speed the RPM jumps up. Eric, I’ve just opened a huge door for you and your eyes–
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So that’s why we always encourage you when you’re running page speed insights to run it on individual pages, never run it on your home page. And a great place to start is always with your top 10. And run it on a variety of your posts. If you see something trending, that’s a great tip. Run the page speed insights to see if there’s anything wrong with that page in terms of page speed. Because if you’re getting 90s everywhere else because you got to be running Trellis. And then you have another page that’s not hitting a 90, that can be a very big bearing on what’s going to happen with your viewability and your ad performance in general. That can have a big impact.
JENNY GUY: OK, we’ve got some comments. First of all, Steve, one of our co-founders here at Mediavine, also did not know that re-targeting Tuesday was a thing and finds it as hilarious and repellent as I do. Julia Jordan said, I like the Mediavine Dashboard better than Analytics. Can you make Google change it? Eric. Yeah, well.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Mr. Google.
JENNY GUY: Let’s– Yeah, Mr.– I’ve got him on speed dial, Mr. Google. Tell us something very exciting did happen with Google this week and our relationship with them. So I would love to talk about that for a hot second.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, that’s an awesome chance to celebrate our team and our publishers win. That we had the Google certified publishing partner, Summit. So the GCPP program as we call it, is basically the most elite of Google’s channel partner program, so it’s the top earning monetization partner for Google. The people that help them basically make money through offering services like Mediavine to publishers. So GCPP already an elite program as is, and Mediavine for the second year in a row was the most award winning, so they give away awards. One of which is for whoever has the top health score. And so health score monitors basically how we’re doing as a partner. What’s the quality of our inventory, what’s our viewability like, what’s page speed like. They’re monitoring everything they can to see how well that our publishers are doing. And Mediavine scored a perfect score every single week that it was being measured in 2020. We were the only partner to do that. So we took home that prize.
In addition to that, there were three categories that you could nominate yourself for, and we nominated ourselves for the DEI, DEI driver. Diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. And we have been doing some pretty amazing things here, and not just at Mediavine, but within the community at large through our We Stand With You PSA, as well as everything we’ve done to try to bring equity up. Am I freezing again? Diversity and inclusion– OK, great– to our teams as well internally. And so we were really proud that we won that award as well. So those are two unbelievable awards that Google has bestowed upon us. So we’re really excited to be the most award winning. And again, we couldn’t have done that without not just our amazing team, but our publishers. That’s you guys listening to lives like this, following this advice is why we’re outperforming the competition. And it is everyone that you can think of on the internet that would be the top of their game is in this program. So we’re not just beating the people that aren’t in this program, but now the people in the program. So that’s unbelievable, and that’s a testament to all of us.
JENNY GUY: Yeah, there’s 54, right, globally?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, 54 globally in this program. And it’s been expanding.
JENNY GUY: And you would recognize the names, we’re not going to name names, but you would recognize them. And yes, it was very exciting, and something that our publishers have a hand in. And we almost have 100 team members here at Mediavine now, and we’ll cross that threshold pretty soon. So, yes, it’s a group win. OK. I want to get to Marjorie’s question, and then I want to hit something else. But she said, any tips for picking your featured post? Of course, making sure it is relative seasonally, first.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Featured post or–
JENNY GUY: I think it says on our homepage, probably. Or Marjorie, are you talking about, like, your featured video?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, because I’d be curious. Because they’re going to be two different strategies. Similar. I would do a similar thing, I’ll just go over either your featured post or your featured video. Great excuse to talk about both. So featured post, definitely recommend that if you have on your home page, I love people that run static home pages, so you can feature a few posts and not just one. And, of course, in a sidebar on your desktop site it’s a great place to showcase some of your other top posts. Those are great. Make sure that you are featuring things there that are well optimized in addition to things that are getting traffic. So remember, that is a spot where you can control these are my things that have higher CPM. So maybe you have content that that’s really resonating with advertisers, and maybe it’s also resonating with users. High impressions per page on your page level RPM stats. And you see it doing really well, those are great pieces for you to highlight, obviously as long as it’s seasonally appropriate.
JENNY GUY: Right. Halloween showcase, not right now. Don’t do it.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Right, I don’t care how well they’re doing, you probably don’t want to run them.
JENNY GUY: Because it’s so optimized. No, still no.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So optimized. All right. Featured video, almost the exact same advice. But you don’t have to worry– I know people really focus in on CPM there and fill rate. That’s a little less important. Because once it becomes your featured video and gets played a whole heck of a lot more, it’s going to have a lot different of a CPM and a fill rate than it did when it was on just on individual posts. So I would not recommend that you pick based on CPM or fill rate, but rather, you actually want to go for whatever is the most appropriate, whatever you think is going to get people engaged, and you want to err on the shorter side. Remember, short form content does a lot better on the web than long form. We did recently add mid role support, so we will run ads if your videos are eight minutes or longer. Most of your users are not on your site for eight minutes. And that means they’re not going to be eligible to get a lot of different ads between videos. So short videos means they’re more likely to be able to watch another video and get another ad. So short, think like 45 seconds. Under a minute, if you can.
JENNY GUY: 45 to 60 is our sweet spot, yeah?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, definitely.
JENNY GUY: OK, all right. So Marjorie did clarify that she was talking about featured video, which you did just explain. OK, Terra Moore said, did you say on your home page? I think she’s talking about featured post. I mean, that’s not really anything we can do with Mediavine, right? We don’t do a featured post.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: No, so that’s not something that you would use Mediavine for, but in your own site. So if you run WordPress, I always recommend a static homepage and running something where you get an opportunity to showcase more than just one post. So there’s a lot of stuff you can do with the Gutenberg will that you show your top post via a widget. So you really want to highlight like four, six, whatever you can. Not necessarily just one. But that’s something you have to control as a publisher, it’s not something Mediavine can help you with.
JENNY GUY: Excellent, I want to talk more about static homepages sometime. Actually, aren’t we going to get a blog post on that soon, maybe, possibly? Static homepages? If I ask you now, you have to do it. Sarah said, by any chance is Eric going to write about the new Google Analytics, I’d love some of his insights.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so I actually have to take the time to sit down and play with Google Analytics 4 before I can write a blog post, but I absolutely have that on my list.
JENNY GUY: OK, and Julia just said, how do you create a static homepage?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Great question. So that is actually one of the things we’re going to be working on a guide for. So one of the things that we are encouraging with Trellis, and I actually did this on my latest SEO blog post talked about it. Is for you to do a static homepage in Gutenberg. So if you’re running WordPress it’s already built it. You can change on your regular settings, I think it’s under General or Reading, I can’t remember. And you can choose instead of showing your most recent posts or regular feed, which is the default of WordPress, you can choose a static page. And you just build a page. Don’t use a page builder, you can just use Gutenberg using the built in blocks or use, there’s a lot of cool plugins that offer a lot of different blocks you can do.
I’m going to give a shout out to Skylar and Feast. If you run the Feast plug-in he has an awesome guide on what’s called the modern homepage. That’s another great way to do this. We’re actually give you a template. And if you use his plug-in. He has a lot of blogs, so Feast has some great options for that as well. So there’s a lot of ways to slice this. We’ll be coming out with a guide for Trellis static homepages soon. But there’s plenty of them on the internet, and I think I froze again.
JENNY GUY: We’re going to come out with a guide, period. Michelle Price says, are you recommending that we all move to Google Analytics or hold off a bit until it’s not quite as new. Yes, she knows it’s been months.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Well, I generally, this is just my rule of thumb with any software. Like, I don’t even update my phone or my computer until the latest Mac or iOS. I wait for everything else to be worked out by other people first.
JENNY GUY: The world’s professional right now.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I know. Meanwhile, I’m a software developer who will always tell you to run the latest toys of ours, but no. Give things a little bit of time to shake out, especially something as important as your Analytics. Let other people test it first.
JENNY GUY: I would also say, if you have time to learn the latest Analytics now and play with it, great. If you don’t, like many of us don’t have time during the holidays. Focus that attention on optimizing, not learning new Google Analytics at this moment. OK. Sarah says, interesting about static homepage. Looking forward to reading more, everyone’s saying looking forward to that guide, Matt Howe, you’re –. All right. So we know what we want to optimize, we know that there is time to get it done. Let’s talk about quick wins for next week and beyond for those site wide changes that we can make quickly as well as post specific changes that we can make quickly.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So, given you don’t have a ton of time. Biggest site wide changes that I would encourage people to do are always going to be your font size. So if you haven’t already done this, we shout about this from the rooftops all the time. It’s great for accessibility, it’s great for SDL, and it’s great obviously, for your readers because of the accessibility. And it’s great for your ads. So increase your font size to a minimum of 16 pixels. In the body on mobile you can go bigger. And that’s pixels, not points. You can also go 16 point, which is typically bigger than 16 pixels. You can check now on the Mediavine blog, I think we did 16. It looks much, much, much better on mobile. My eyeballs thank the Mediavine blog for that alone. So go bigger, it will help your readers wherever they are on the spectrum of visual and parody. Whether they have perfect eyes or not, it doesn’t matter. On a mobile phone it’s a small, small device. So increase your font size.
And with that you have to do your line height as well. Especially because normally line height hopefully it’s set to relative. If it’s not, if you have a smaller line height and big font, they’re going to overlap and it will look just terrible. So we have great guides on the two of those. And a lot of those are pretty easy to do within your theme itself with a little bit of CSS. You might need a little bit of help. And if you’re running Trellis, little shout out to Trellis, we default to bigger than 16 pixels, but it’s really easy with a dropdown to change it to even bigger or smaller. So definitely that is a great site wide change. It should only take you a couple of hours at most, even if you’re not technical. If you’re technical, it will take you a few minutes. And it’s worth your time.
JENNY GUY: OK, so those are site wide, let’s talk post specific.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I mean, the biggest advice we’re always going to give you with any post is– well, first I have to say video– the obligatory video. Make sure you’re running featured video, and if you ever can embed a more related video inside of that post. If you have a video specifically attributed for that post always put that in. It is the highest earning thing you can do to any page. The other thing is going to be hitting Enter a lot. Short, web friendly paragraphs. This is literally also an accessibility thing, a user experience thing, and heck yeah, it’s going to help with your ads, because it’ll help with our in content logic to be able to insert ads into better locations on your page.
So that doesn’t necessarily mean more ads, just better locations for them. So hit Enter, think one to two sentence paragraphs, not three to four like you might have been taught or you think is correct, it’s not. You can read a ton of studies about– and we have a blog post on it– for accessibility it is much better to have shorter, web friendly paragraphs. Hit Enter, it’s one of the easiest things you can do. Hit Enter after an image when you’re in the– or use the new Gutenberg editor and just put your images in their own blocks. That will make sure you have better, again, better HTML and better for things like our ad inserter and better for SEO.
So hitting Enter is weirdly one of the best pieces of advice I can give people. And then always, this is a little bit harder, don’t just write a lot of words, but for the sake of words write more content. We always say a minimum of 500 words, 300 to 500 words, but make sure that there are actual useful content for your reader. So if you want to go through and update some of your blog posts that might be a little bit on the shorter side, add some useful content. I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two since you wrote that blog post a year or two ago. And add it, and even say, this is when you update it. Tell your reader this is my November 19 update, this is what I’ve changed about this post. People love fresh content, so does Google.
JENNY GUY: Yes. If you’re wondering what you can write, what you can add, like you said the updates that you’ve learned. You can also incorporate reader feedback questions, things that other people are asking, if you’re making a recipe for pecan pie or pecan pie. I don’t know where you fall on that and we’re not going to get started on that debate, but people want to know a gluten free alternative. People want to know if you have to use bourbon if they don’t drink. There’s all sorts of things that you can add in there just based on what your readers need. And the goal that I always describe is that you don’t want people to have to leave your site for any questions that they have. You want to answer all the possible questions, anything they could encounter while trying to do or make or have any sort of experience on your site. Keep them there by answering all those questions preemptively. I’m scrolling back up.
Jacqueline said, you guys are amazing and greatly appreciated. Well, thanks Jacqueline. That’s very kind of you. Karen Gibson said, you can create a separate view in Google Analytics for Google Analytics 4 and play around in that view before converting. That’s cool. Julia Jordan said, love, love, love Trellis. I can’t say enough good things about it. We love to hear that. And if you share more about that experience we are happy to hear more about that, Julia. Any time. Nikki says, will you be getting Feast design child themes with Trellis?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So, I think you’re going to have to wait to hear a little more from Feast. I know they’re planning on building it on a timeline of when that will come out. But yeah, that is the goal. That a lot of those child themes are going to be like ported over. So Trellis at the day is a different framework than Genesis. So there is some work to do by Feast. But Skylar has announced that he plans to do it. And a lot of the stuff has been moved into the plugin over the years, which as a WordPress geek I would agree is the better way to do things.
Less things should be in the theme. Themes are meant for styling. So child themes the way that we’re looking at Trellis should be super lightweight. So hopefully the lightweight child themes can come over, use that plugin pretty easily, and people should be pretty smooth sailing. We’re hoping early next year. I’m guessing most people aren’t really moving that much during the holidays, unlike Mediavine who likes to release lots of fun things in the holidays. That’s not pretty common. So I would assume early next year, hopefully.
JENNY GUY: Awesome. Yeah, I got an email earlier– I think it was this week that I shared with my team– that said, let’s have a nice, quiet week. I’m like, do you work for me? I’m like, because no, that does not happen around these parts. The other thing I wanted to– I wanted to actually bring this up when we were talking about background stuff, but I’m going to bring it up now because it’s still applicable– when you’re talking about pressing Enter more, I think that sometimes I have a hard time remembering and realizing that the only way that you’re able to monetize really on mobile, which is where all of your audience is, is through in content ads. Answer that question for me, please. Can you explain why–
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So on mobile– and this is in particular why in content ads are so important. On mobile there’s no sidebar. There’s literally barely room for a header, right? On mobile there’s only one spot for ads. On that it’s in the content itself and a little tiny adhesion at the bottom. So all of your money– whether you make money or not– will come from how long your content is and how well it’s formatted on mobile. And we can only insert ads between paragraphs. We’re not terrible people, we’re not just going to break up your sentences for you, we’re not going to slap ads on top of a paragraph. It has to be between paragraphs.
So hitting Enter makes another opportunity for an ad to come in. Remember, we don’t just insert ads every few paragraphs. So it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to get more, we use the CBA, or the Coalition for Better Ad standards. So we’re going to measure it based upon what’s called density, basically. And you choose that in the settings of your dashboard, you choose how often we’ll insert it. So we’re not going to insert necessarily more ads because you hit Enter more often, you’re going to more opportunities, though. So it’s not going to overload your site with ads, it’s actually going to make it more balanced where the ads appear. Hitting Enter will be a better user experience and better ad performance.
JENNY GUY: OK. Let’s talk a little bit about those settings, those in content settings for a second. And I know that with the disclaimer that the reason why those settings are in there is because we believe that every publisher knows the best way for their audience and the right balance. But talk about what the settings are, because I think sometimes people think, oh my God if I turn it on high density for the in content ads I’ll be out in violation, I’ll be overloading, so talk about that for a second, please.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So we air on a very cautious side even in the way that we’re calculating that density. So if you go with the maximum, which is 30%, you’re still not going to get flagged by Google for having too many ads. That’s not a concern, because as long as you’re running our content logic and you’re not putting manual content into yourself, you’re in a pretty good place with Mediavine and you don’t have to worry about those things. So running 30% is not a problem. That is literally a study that Google found is an appropriate number of ads. Anything 30 or does not upset users.
And they ran massive user studies on this. And if you go throughout the web you’ll see that most sites actually go above that 30%. I’m sure you experience it yourself as you’re browsing other sites. In other news sites you maybe like, I can’t even read the site, this is so terrible. I’ve never felt that way about a Mediavine site, and I’m sure you guys have not about your own sites either. So I promise you any setting you put on is not going to be as bad as you think it is. If you’re individually counting the ads, that’s not how readers use the web. Think last time you were on Facebook and you scroll through a feed, how many ads you see?
Quick quiz, no one has any clue. Even if you’re browsing your feed, you would get bored counting because the number would be so insane. So don’t worry about it is what I’m going to say. The settings can be higher than you think they can. That’s why our default, I think, is 28%. I can’t remember what our default or our recommended setting is. But go with 28 or 30 and you’ll be fine on mobile. And again, that’s the only way you’re going to make money on mobile. Desktop is a little less aggressive. Our default and you don’t necessarily need to go significantly higher, there’s money to be made on other spots on desktop and desktop ads pay more than mobile ads anyway. So if you want to run a lower percentage there you’re OK.
JENNY GUY: But you would recommend if people feel like their audience would be fine with it to go ahead and go to a high density on in content ads on mobile? Especially right now, when everyone’s making their holiday baking or holiday decorating, they’re on their phone, do it now. I mean, there’s really no reason. You’re not getting in trouble.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I can guarantee if you track your bounce rate or your session duration, either of those things, in Google Analytics from when you make that change, you’re not going to see a difference. I know everyone freaks out. This is going to ruin their user experience because they’ve got one angry email from a user once, it’s not. Try it. The Hollywood Gossip gets insane traffic, just insane, and it runs every ad it can at Mediavine Has every setting cranked to the max and gets a ton of organic traffic. It’s not a fear, because I promise you the most aggressive you can get at Mediavine is still less aggressive than most of the web runs its ads.
JENNY GUY: Love all of that. OK, I’m going to go to user questions in just a second, but there was one more thing. You were talking about shortening the sidebar and I think this is sometimes difficult because there are a lot of things there that bloggers we feel like we have to have. And sometimes we don’t necessarily know that users are interacting with it, we just think they are. So if you’re ever wondering that we have an awesome post. Our director of support, Heather, is incredible at talking about making business decisions based on data and so figuring out exactly what people are actually interacting with in your sidebar and then what you can ditch. If they’re not using it, then it doesn’t need to be there, you’re just throwing money away that it’s sitting there in your sidebar for no reason. So that’s just that. OK, question. Marjorie said, do ads and gift guides generally do well, so even if you don’t sell anything at least you get ad revenue?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So the only caveat I’m going to say for why you might want to consider either using content hense or putting a limit we have per page ad settings on an individual post would be if it’s a highly earning affiliate post. So we have a lot of people that make a lot of money from affiliate in particular. I know a lot of finance bloggers, as you were mentioning like gift guys. If it’s highly converting and you know you’re making a lot of money on that page for affiliate, that’s probably the only excuse that you might be OK with a lower RPM.
If you’re worried about a user clicking on an ad and not clicking on the affiliate link that you might make more money per click on. That’s going to be your choice. If you know affiliate well and you have a particular post that has great user intent and it happens to convert really well on affiliate I could understand that’s a good use case for when you’d want to run fewer ads. But yeah, I mean I’m going to be honest with you. Amazon runs ads on their own site. Go to the bottom of any Amazon landing page. If the e-commerce site who makes all of the money, all of the money, has–
JENNY GUY: All of it.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: They make more of it than anyone can comprehend, and yet they still run ads. So let’s put it that way. Walmart’s the same way. Any of the big e-commerce players all run ads on their own site and it doesn’t necessarily hurt their conversion. So maybe experiment, that’s the best we can tell you. Try it out. If you’re an affiliate wiz you know how to track this stuff already, try. See what it does to your conversion. Try it for a day with ads on, try turning the ads completely off. See if it makes a noticeable impact. And a noticeable enough impact that it’s worth not running ads.
JENNY GUY: And even if it’s something that you don’t feel great about year round, turning up that density doing things like that, do that for right now, for the next four weeks. And see when you have the most traffic, the most ability to really boost your earnings. Marjorie said, yes, you guys are awesome. Thanks, Marjorie. I think that my five-year-old niece is watching on her mom’s phone because she wrote pumpkin in the comments. So really, very astute. Sarah said, I love that, Jenny, keep them on your site by answering other questions preemptively. Rose said, from our support team. I happily run Mac settings on my own site without reader complaint. Bloggers deserve to be paid for our time, expertise, and talent. Amen. Michelle Price says, apparently I’m off to go change my mobile right now. Sarah said, how do you define quote insane traffic? Can you give us a peek at the Hollywood Gossip members?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: If I could remember them at this given moment.
JENNY GUY: Steve, Steve’s watching.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Steve will give you a good number. I know we sometimes go up to 30 million page views. Pages views are a weird one to measure, but the Hollywood Gossip gets a lot of them, a lot more than they get per session. So we get a high page per session just because we encourage readers to keep reading, it’s that kind of content. It’s not necessarily that one and done from Pinterest, people are coming and we’re real easy to get them on to that next article and before you know it they’ve read way to–
JENNY GUY: I’ve got to know what else those Duggars are up to, it’s important.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Exactly.
JENNY GUY: OK. Andrea says– this is a good question, I’m really glad she’s asking it– she says, what should we be doing with the optional ads interstitial GumGum? I have all of my in content maxed out, but don’t have any of the optional ads on.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, that’s a great question. So right now I think GumGum, a lot of people like to run them just during Q4. So GumGum in image ads do really well with direct sold campaigns. And the way direct sales works is traditionally– and they also do a lot of programmatic, not to say GumGum doesn’t also do both. But in Q4 they happen to earn a disproportionately higher number, they’re like almost always sold out. So it’s a really good time to turn in image on. You might see like a $3, I think a $3 or $4 RPM boost is something that I think Nicole is from our VP of support is the one who I think wrote that blog post. I don’t know, check that message out, I think it’s $3 to $4 RPM boost. So try GumGum. Give it a day or two, see what it does to your RPM. You may be pleasantly surprised, you don’t have to run it all year long if you don’t want to. GumGum would love for you to, but try it out during Q4 and see how it does. Interstitial though, is a little bit different because it has a ramp up period. If you read my blog post, you’re going to get the most insane CPM’s if you leave that thing on for a few weeks. You might see a $30 plus CPM, we’ve been seeing people say $40. But remember, you’re only going to be eligible to show an interstitial if a user clicks on an additional page. And that’s because that’s the Google Search standard, so these are SEO friendly, mobile interstitials which means they don’t appear. When a user first gets to your page they have to go to another page, which means if you have something that is Pinterest traffic and everyone is one and done, it might not earn you that much money. But if you can encourage your users to click on a second page view, that interstitial will pay for itself and get a several dollar RPM boost as well. And then–
JENNY GUY: Which is– sorry you keep going. No you go, you’re the CEO you know more than me.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: No. You, please.
JENNY GUY: What I was just going to say is that wanting people to stay on your site, increasing that duration is something you should always go for. And that one of the things when you’re looking at optimizing that existing content is to include new links and really beef up that interlinking which Eric, I mean that is most of the SEO strategy in a nutshell, is just really linked to yourself. Can we talk about that for a hot second?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so internal links, so just in the text itself, is a great way to get users to consume more content. Another trick I see a lot of bloggers do and we took this into account with the Grow.me recommended content is inserting recommended content before the recipe card and before your how to guide. And that’s just because a lot of times readers get to your recipe card and then never continue reading, they never scroll past that. So you might have lost your chance to get a second page view out of them. So think about ways to get people to consume a second page view maybe before they get to that recipe card. There’s a lot of creative ways. So I know it’s a struggle if you’re a food blogger or a craft blogger getting your traffic from Pinterest. That traffic is just very tough to convince to read another article, but you’ve got to get creative. And then of course, there’s celebrity gossip bloggers like the Hollywood Gossip that it’s a little bit easier and we recognize that.
JENNY GUY: And speaking of that, seven to 10 million monthly million sessions and 15 to 20 monthly million page views for the Hollywood Gossip, which everyone says it’s completely insane and crazy. My niece is now having a conversation with other people in the comments. Hi, Jackie. All right, I’m going to go down. Sarah says, interstitial CPM is legit off the charts after two weeks of a test. That’s exciting. Michelle says, I think I gave up too soon on interstitial, but with the new inline related stuff via Grow, in addition to interlinking should improve that performance as well, right? Speaking of which, what a great segue into something we were wanting to talk about anyway. What is Grow.me and why isn’t everybody running it yet?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: That is a great question. Why they’re not running it yet I can’t answer, but I can tell you what Grow.me is. Grow.me is going to be what we’re calling a user engagement framework, really a way to help you get first party data. So as many of you are aware, third party cookies are going away sometime next year, according to Google and Google Chrome. And once third party cookies go away, we’re not going to serve personalized ads anymore. So what Grow.me is about is offering experience to your readers to encourage them to log in order to get a more personalized experience, both with content and with ads. And so that’s the goal of Grow.me.
How do we convince a reader there’s enough value exchange for them to sign in, authenticate, and start getting both back personalized ads after the cookie goes away. So it’s going to be the way that you’re going to hopefully be able to continue to make the same amount of money you’re making today or even more after third party cookies go away. But even aside from all that, right now we should also mention Safari already blocks cookies. So anyone who’s on an iPhone or an Apple device isn’t even getting personalized ads on your site as is because of their aggressive what’s called ITP, Intelligent Tracking Protection. And it’s even come to Safari desktop, and it’s super aggressive at stopping personalized ads. But guess what?
Grow.me plays by the rules. It’s a privacy compliant way of getting readers to agree very explicitly saying, hey, sign in. We’re going to serve you personalized content and ads. They say yes, and that is Safari compliant. Today you can start earning more money from Safari today by running Grow.me, and in the future on Chrome. But beyond that, Grow.me is also just an awesome reader experience. We have a feature we launched yesterday called Recommended Content, and that’s actually using AI or machine learning to figure out the most related content it can show for that individual user if they’re logged in. Or if they’re not, it’s going to be based upon the context of the page when other readers have clicked on. So similar to Netflix. People who watch this also watch these shows or Amazon. So the same kind of idea. You’re going to have that same power on your site through Grow.me by just clicking a checkbox, turn on recommended content.
JENNY GUY: And there are a lot of things I want to get into a little bit more about this. But the first thing I want to say is the disclaimer that I’ve seen a couple of comments of people saying they’re not loving some of the recommended content, that it’s missing some of their posts. Talk about that.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah. So first off, it’s important to note that with any machine learning or AI it takes time. I don’t know, if you look at the craziness it is like, I don’t know, Tesla self-driving cars. They have just millions upon millions of hours of people driving before it is even remotely close. Obviously, this is not as complex as a self-driving car, but it takes time is my point to train something like this. So you’ve got a wait time. That was a terrible metaphor.
JENNY GUY: I was really wondering if you were going to work in a Tesla driving car into this live, and I knew you were wanting to do it and you did it.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Perfect. One day it will drive me. So anyway–
JENNY GUY: We know.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: We know. I don’t want to drive anymore, it’s exhausting. So anyways, the point is it’s going to take time for it to learn your site and most importantly, what your readers are clicking on. So yeah, it might really suggest some silly things at the beginning. And I should note that we’re working on better filtering. I know right now, like a lot of categories are showing up and that’s not necessarily ideal. We’d rather be recommending articles, articles perform better. And that’s probably what the user will make you more money if they click on. So we are working on it on our end, in addition to it’s just going to take time. Same as the interstitial took time to make you more money and I promise you it does. The same thing with this. It’s going to take time, and it will get better over time on your site.
JENNY GUY: OK we’ve got so many Grow.me things. Also one of the questions is that people are wanting to see sites that are running Grow.me, so if you are running Grow.me drop a link to your site in so people can see it, take a look at this. Ciotti says, I love the placement of the recommended content in Grow.me. Teresa says, speaking of second page views I have seen a little more of them clicking once I activated recommended post yesterday. That is nice. Terra Moore says, I love it. Michelle is always here to help me segue, what would I do without you. Lizzy says, does Grow.me affect page speed?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So right now it’s actually because you’re running it exclusively for a Mediavine publisher it’s behind our optimized for speed settings. So as long as you’re running the optimized for speed settings at Mediavine, it will not impact your initial page load. And then we are working super aggressively on Grow.me speed tweaks, so it uses a lot of modern web development to make sure it’s only loaded as needed. So it’s lazy loading to the max, it lazy loads itself as it’s needed. So–
JENNY GUY: The laziest, the literal laziest.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: The laziest code you can imagine. No, but seriously–
JENNY GUY: You want to fire it, but we can’t.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Exactly. So if it is impacting your page speed today, let us know. First off, turn on the optimized speed right away if you aren’t already doing it for your Mediavine ads, both desktop and mobile. If it yells at you, you might want to email in to check on your sidebar if your sidebar ads go away, but that’s about it for optimized for desktop. Optimize for mobile, 100% run it, no impact. But also run desktop, and then it should not impact your page speed Grow.me. But again, we’re going to be working on even more aggressive tweaks because it’s a Mediavine product.
JENNY GUY: Yes. OK, Terra says, I enabled all of those last night. Ciotti says, also love the search feature on Grow.me. Sarah says, y’all, that recommended content is a sexy feature. Beth, we are getting you example after example of sites running Grow.me right now. OK. Andrea said, oh, so should we turn off the other recommended content widgets that we have?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So, recommended content widgets in general that are running through a plugin are notorious for slowing down your server. So remember, on page speed there’s two sides. There’s the front side and then your actual server speed, and there are super unoptimized ways of calculating things and not things that your WordPress server should be doing. Our Grow.me servers, very good at doing this. Your WordPress server, not built for that. So if you’re running a plugin definitely consider removing that and switching over to Grow.me. It will be significantly faster. And if you’re running another third party that’s running this on your site, like the way that Grow.me is, definitely consider switching to Grow.me. Ours is free and it’s very fast, and it’s going to long term help you make more money.
JENNY GUY: So if you are a Mediavine publisher how do you get Grow.me?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So that’s the awesome part. For Mediavine publishers Grow.me is free, and while it’s in beta it’s actually only for Mediavine publishers and it’s right in your dashboard. You go into your dashboard, under Settings there’s a Grow. It’s got our Grow logo, and then you click on that and then there’s literally just an Enable. You just toggle it on, and it’s running on your site. And then you can turn on various settings right from there, click Save, and they’ll be live and instantly on your site. So recommended content is literally two clicks away and you could be running it today.
JENNY GUY: OK. Christie says, how can you track what people are clicking on the Grow.me recommended content widgets, is there any way to see what people are clicking?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So we are working on a Grow.me dashboard. But in the meantime, we use Google Analytics. So you’ll see when someone clicks on something it goes through our URL shortener, and then it pops them on with a UTM code. Universal, or I think it’s Urchin. I think it is from before it was even Google Analytics, a product they bought Urchin Tracking. I think that’s what it stands for, who cares. UTM codes are basically how you send information to Google Analytics to say this is the source of where it’s from. So we pop those on. And so if you go under your traffic sources I believe Grow is listed as a social network, and then you could see all the stuff that people are clicking on. In addition to that, there’s also events that will fire, so you can see where people are clicking. On what pages, and to where. So using a combination of– what’s that?
JENNY GUY: This is the hack for now, we’re developing more.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: And I should note again, this is what you have to do right. We always want to leave this on, because Google Analytics is awesome for power users. So we don’t want to take that away from power users, but we also want to give you a dashboard so that you don’t have to dive into Google Analytics. So people that love the Mediavine find dashboard, they’re going to love obviously the Grow.me dashboard. Same concept will be on there.
JENNY GUY: And we’re working on it. Teresa said, after activating recommended post I was able to get rid of another plugin. Dindo says, I love Grow.me. Hopefully updates in the future will include ability to resize the font and width, also the ability to disappear the share count button.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Share count, so share count is already, so you can already set a minimum in your settings when the show counts, so we can get rid of the count for you. So if you don’t like it showing your social counts, just set a really high number, I don’t know, a gazillion, and you’ll never have that many shares, and therefore the count will never show. You can already do that today.
JENNY GUY: Sarah asked, how do we enable the recommended content in Grow.me? Another Sarah answered her, go into your dashboard to Grow.me beta and it’s a few toggle switches. Michelle says, geek alert, UTM equals Universal Transaction Monitor. I know, I am that person who loves acronyms. You should meet Phil. Marissa says, when enabling recommended content in Grow.me, is there a way to opt out of the photos that only show text or links.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I don’t know if that’s currently an option, but as I emailing the girl at Mediavine.com we are literally, your feedback is what’s driving this product. Nobody knows your audience as well as you, and this is entirely about your audience this product. So email in.
JENNY GUY: So turn it on now, give us your feedback. Before we leave this topic, and I do have a couple more questions, but I want to just say what else is on the roadmap for this right now? What’s going on with Grow.me that is on our horizon, other than the amazing dashboard, which we do know is coming.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So a couple of things coming to Grow.me me are going to be well, first some really cool integrations with recipe card plug-ins, particularly one that Mediavine makes, Create. And we’re hoping to then bring it to other plug-ins. So kind of become a little bit of your recipe box. And that one is really exciting and in testing it’s doing unbelievably well. So we’re excited so people will be able to start saving recipes direct from your recipe cards to grow, do it very well. We plan on doing integrations with Grow Social Pro. It’s no coincidence the two have the same name, they’re going to play very well together. They already do. Grow.me pulls in social counts from Grow Social. They’re going to work together in even better ways on the social side. So those are some cool things I can tease. We’re adding things like the concept of following publishers and giving people feeds, and I think one that everyone wants is going to be opt in. That will be sometime next year. We want to help you be able to grow your email list with Grow.me, because that was the overwhelming feedback we have heard from publishers. So we’ll be able to do both. Help you grow your authenticated traffic, and as in your first party data as well as helping grow your opt in list. That you will own.
JENNY GUY: We are working to give your audience, give your users the ability to curate their internet experience. That’s the goal. And it’s all these different features. And like what Eric said is it’s a value exchange, meaning we’re going to give them more and more things so that they are enticed to interact more with you, become users, super fans, all the different things that we’ve had people refer to. And then talk about the relationship between all the different sites using Grow.me.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah. OK, so something that we have to note is that a lot of the internet right now is going to be changing to what’s called a free wall, which is going to be you’re required to log in order to consume content. You already see this on sites like the New York Times. You get a certain number of free articles before you have to log in, and if you’re like me, you hit back and go to the next suggestion from Google News, because who wants to log in. So that is literally the entire purpose of Grow.me. We want to make sure that none of our publishers have to do that. That is a terrible experience.
If we have to do it and you want to do it, we will help you do that, because that is unfortunately one of the ways you have to do this on the internet, especially for news sites. But if we can avoid it, we’re going to avoid it at all costs. So what Grow.me has become is going to be what’s called a single sign on. So super easy to do if you’re on one site and you logged in with a Grow.me account and you go to the second site. Hopefully, with third party cookies you’re automatically logged in, but when third party cookies go away you’re going to re log in. But guess what, it’s going to be one click. You click, you pop through a Grow.me URL, and suddenly you come back and you’re logged in it.
And it was this pretty seamless experience versus if every single site, all 8,000 Mediavine sites had their own login. That would be terrible for readers. So what we’re trying to do is give them a seamless experience between all Mediavine sites, and soon non Mediavine sites, because Grow.me is going to be opening up beyond Mediavine. So a single sign on for as much of the internet as we can have, that would be our goal. So that it is a better experience, readers are incentivized to log in so that they get a better experience, and not necessarily have to be forced to log in. So we want to make it a good value exchange.
JENNY GUY: And we love that. And part of why we debuted this feature early is that we want the feedback from you, because you know your audiences better than anyone else. You know what’s going to entice them, what they really want, what they’ve been asking for, and Grow.me has the ability to deliver that to them. So it’s really exciting. OK. Laurie says, so glad you mentioned the recommended content feature. Had Grow.me enabled, but didn’t know about that part. Gary Hild said, I came on late, love Grow.me and the new recommended content. For the interstitial ads is there some way to increase the impressions? I’ve only got less than 1% impressions. The CPM is great, but need more impressions. We agree. Eric, why is that not possible?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So, one thing I should note is we’re also going to be adding a desktop version of the interstitial for people that want to run it. So you’ll be able to choose, don’t worry, if you want to enable the mobile or the desktop or both. So that will be able to increase your impression somewhat by also adding in your desktop traffic. But in addition to that, it’s really about getting a second click from your readers. And Grow.me recommended content is a great way to do that. We’re seeing as the engine gets better and better you can have 1%, 2%, 3% of your users clicking on an additional article.
Which in addition to getting money from them going to another article, you’re now going to make that interstitial $20, $30 CPM which might be more than you would have made from that entire second page view combined. So now you get both. So yeah, Grow.me recommended content is a great way to help with that, but it’s not the only solution. We’re thinking internally to come up with other tools to help you be able to do that, but again, like I said, it’s not super easy for a food blog with people coming from Pinterest. It’s going to be a lot easier if you’re a celebrity gossip blog and you can show them that second Duggar article that they need to consume. But we’re coming up with tricks and solutions for blogs of all types to come up with advice.
JENNY GUY: And tell us what you need, tell us what will help you get that second page view to happen. And Ciotti says, that single login is valid for what time frame on Grow.me?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So how long is single sign on good for? On your particular site it’s going to depend on the browser, so I think it’s up to a year if they came on Google Chrome or whatever the lifetime of a cookie is. And then if it’s on Safari, cookies are only good for seven days. So it’s for a week. So they come back to your site within a week they’re still logged in, otherwise they have to re-log in. That’s just a browser limitation. And that’s going to be across the board, whether it’s Grow.me or your own solution.
JENNY GUY: Marjorie says, I re-looked at it yesterday and I love the way that Grow.me works. Are there other people working on competing sign in widgets that might hurt us down the line because people have opted in there and not Mediavine?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So the entire internet will be building what Grow.me is in about a year, they’ll all be scrambling. That’s why we’re really excited the rest of the industry is talking about solutions, but we’re Mediavine so we build them. Grow.me will have many competitors in about a year. The good news is we’re hoping because we’re building it now and not scrambling in the 11th hour like our industry loves to do, we’re going to have a great user base and users are going to know and love Grow.me. Within a year’s time, well the other ones are going to be, what is this new widget showing up. So I think you’ll be fine running Grow.me the sooner you do it, the sooner we can build this together.
JENNY GUY: Steve said, it’s easier if you can show them that second Duggar article that they need to consume, sentences only spoken at Mediavine. Hashtag truth. Lizzie said, come up with a way for my readers to taste or smell my recipes. Engineers, tune in. Sarah says, not going to lie, I’ve been telling my audience not to use Safari.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: That’s the solution —
JENNY GUY: Cut right through the extraneous stuff, don’t use it. All right. Eric, this is probably the last thing we have time for. But is there anything else that we are doing behind the scenes at Mediavine to help boost earnings in Q4, and what do Mediavine publishers need to make sure that they are doing to take advantage of it all? We already know about Grow.me, anything else that we need to know about?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh man, there’s a ton.
JENNY GUY: I know, I’m sorry.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: One last thing. Again, I mean I hate to just keep beating the video horse. I mean, video is one of the best things you can do. We recently had a new version of Mediavine control panel that makes it a lot easier to integrate your featured playlists or your playlists that you custom create. Those are an awesome opportunity to be able to create, especially if you’re a multi niche blogger, you can create a playlist for each individual category. And now show that through our WordPress plug-in Mediavine control panel on those pages. And showing a user more related video is always going to be better. So that’s an awesome new integration that is out. I think that came out last week, we’ll have more news on that soon. Of course, there’s always Trellis. We can not wait to release the stats. We feel guilty releasing them because they’re just so awesome and not everyone can install it yet.
JENNY GUY: But they’re real.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: But they’re real. And the reason why you see everyone raving about it in the Facebook groups because Trellis is really delivering those kind of results. Significantly improved earnings, page speed, viewability, everything that’s going to set up your site for success. And if you didn’t get in for it on this Q4, don’t stress. We think we’re going to make 2021 even better, not just because it’s not named 2020, but because we have a lot of technology coming between Grow.me, Trellis, some really cool new Create features that are coming out, and everything else we’re working on for our ad tech. There’s so much coming in 2021. It’s going to be a good year.
JENNY GUY: And we are planning an extravaganza for Trellis when that’s all open. We will have an all hands on deck AMA where everyone can ask all their questions about Trellis when it’s finally out. OK. Julia Jordan says, my video income has made up almost 25% of my income this year. She says do the videos. OK. Michelle says, when where you’re talking about the Create recipe index in beta any updates on the external beta deadline?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: We’re still thinking December is when that’s most likely going to hit. I know we have taken a very cautious approach when it comes to any WordPress plugin because WordPress plugins, unlike the nature of Grow.me and our ads which we can test out in the wild and hold back and release new features and do all sorts of really cool things, WordPress plug-ins is once you release it it’s out there. So we are very cautious with everything we do, which is why we have a very long beta period. So we have an intense internal QA, then it goes internal beta, then it’s external beta. So we’re hoping by the time you get indexes, even though it’s going to be external beta, it’s going to be pretty much ready to go for your feedback. So that’s December, and they are going to be pretty cool. We’re excited for people to get their hands on them.
JENNY GUY: We’ve got people going crazy for Trellis in the comments. Andrea says, I’m in for the beta but haven’t made the switch yet. Better to wait until after Q4? Eric, what do you think?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I am biased and I will say that you should run it now. We have literally not seen anyone that hasn’t had an improvement in revenue. There’s maybe, and honestly like even traffic, I know there’s a couple people that have maybe run into issues that they thought was related to Trellis. I don’t think it is. Trellis has hands down been improvement across the board on almost every traffic measurement, and that’s something that we were tracking during the entire external beta. We had everyone give us access to their Google Analytics, and we tracked across the way, and it was overwhelmingly successful. And if you’re nervous, go for the concierge service. I know it costs money, but if you’re nervous that is normally worth it for your peace of mind and you will make back the money with Trellis pretty quickly. It is the product that pays for itself.
JENNY GUY: We’ve got people saying waiting not so patiently some days for my Trellis invite. Lizzie said, even coming from Feast will that be the improvement that you see?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I mean, even the most optimized of Genesis framework based themes are still based on Genesis.
JENNY GUY: We’re still confident that you will see improvements with Trellis with whatever is out there. And all the things that Eric said, plus almost everyone who’s come on Trellis has been able to get rid of a lot of their paid plugins that they’re running. So you’re saving money right there, right now, right off the top, just immediately cutting off those subscriptions. So there’s a lot happening here. OK. I think we have to go because we’ve been talking for a really, really long time. What’s the one thing you would tell everyone to go do right after the live, like immediately if they haven’t done it yet?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Again, the font size or go into your top post and just hit Enter. That’s the best advice we always give. Hit Enter. And email in. That’s actually the best advice I didn’t even say. Our support team isn’t just here when things are blowing up or things are wrong with your site. They love hearing from you in a good way. Reach out and be like, hey any advice? Can I get an audit, can you take a look at all my posts? They’re here for you. I don’t mean everyone should email them this second, but email them. They’re here to help you. They’re a reason we keep winning awards at Google events is because of our support team. Email them. Let them help you as well.
JENNY GUY: Absolutely. OK, guys this has been amazing. Our support team is incredible, please make use of them. Every publisher is entitled to an audit at any time, of course. Our next Teal Talk is Thursday, December 10th at 3:00 PM Eastern. We are doing everything you ever wanted to know about working with brands but were afraid to ask, 2021 edition. Mediavine’s director of influence and marketing, Stephie Predmore, and influencer marketing associate, Danielle Spiesman, will be here. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, and if you want to check out a really awesome place to keep track of what’s going on with all of our lives, we have a new landing page where you can add the calendar items to your own Google Calendar. What? Happy Thanksgiving, it’s a cornucopia. Bye, Happy Thanksgiving.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Bye.
Subscribe for Updates
Stay up to date with the latest from Mediavine