Make Dashboard 2.0 Work For You with Eric Hochberger and Heather Tullos: Mediavine On Air Episode 8

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We live by the idea that knowledge is power and there’s not a better place for Mediavine publishers to go for all the knowledge about their site performance than their Dashboard.

Our amazing engineers joined forces with the Support team for a total Dashboard revamp in spring 2020 and so of course, we had to have Director of Support Heather Tullos and Mediavine CEO Eric Hochberger on a live to share strategies for making the most of all the new metrics. 

From page-level data to revamped health checks, plus enhanced accessibility features and ad unit reporting, we cover it all on this episode of Mediavine On Air.

Helpful Resources

What is CPM? — Why is CPM important and how does it play a role in publisher earnings?
Page-Level Reporting in the Updated Dashboard.
Website Accessibility — What it is, and why everyone benefits from it.
Open Marketplace — The foundation of programmatic ads.
Updated Ad Reporting — More ad data at a higher accuracy!
28 Ways to Improve Your RPM

Transcript:

[MUSIC PLAYING] JENNY GUY: Happy Thursday, guys. It is the seventh day of the month that we are for now and forever more calling meh. Today is episode 16 in the second season of Teal Talk. I’m your host, Mediavine director of marketing, Jenny Guy, what up. Say hi in the comments and tell us what you’re doing for the moms in your life this Sunday.

That’s right it is for anyone who missed it, mother’s day on Sunday. Corona can’t stop Moms. Moms, grandmas, aunts, any of those special women in our life that care about us and shape us and deserve our love and gratitude. We also recognize that it’s kind of a shitty day for some people, so please take what space you need and be gentle with yourself.

And speaking of all of the gentleness, how are you guys doing out there in the upside down. Are you still isolating? I’m in Oklahoma, and we’re opening our state up some. So what have you been occupying yourself with during this time? I am basic and unashamed about it, so I have been making myself sourdough starter. And I’ve made the best brownies and waffles of my life, and a loaf of bread so big that it could take over the city. Speaking of all of those things, what about my guests. I’m guessing one of them has been baking like me, and the other has probably not. You guess which one is which. Eric Hochberger, again, you’re with me again, Eric. What’s up.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I am obviously the baker, so I could not.

JENNY GUY: He’s baking all the time. He is obviously the Mediavine co-founder. He’s the CEO. He’s a computer programmer, as you can clearly see from the degree on the teal wall behind his head. And how are you doing today, boss?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh, good. How you doing, Jenny?

JENNY GUY: I’m living the dream, every day. And then we have a beautiful new face on Teal Talk. We have Mediavine’s director of public support, Heather Tullos in her car. How are you today, Heather?

HEATHER TULLOS: I’m good, hello. I have definitely been baking like my life depends on it. Also currently hiding in my car, because quarantine means that I cannot escape my house full of dogs. So we don’t need to talk to them right now. I’m here to talk to you.

JENNY GUY: Which is such a bummer, that we can’t talk to the dogs. Will you give everybody a brief who are you and what you do, since it’s your first time on Teal Talk?

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes. I am the director of support. So I’m here to help answer questions and work with our whole support team. I’ve also been blogging since 2011, and I was the Mediavine publisher before I worked in the support department. So, yeah.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, and she’s just got some–

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

JENNY GUY: We’re so glad you’re here, this is amazing. Today we’re talking about a new development in the Mediavine world that we’re pretty excited to talk about, which is dashboard 2.0. Who doesn’t love a glow up, to be honest. And those are hard to come by these days in corona times. And our dashboard got a serious makeover in this new version, which is currently available to all publishers, correct? But it’s in beta. What does that mean guys. Eric, talk to us about what is a beta?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So a beta test is where we basically warn you guys that it’s not going to work completely as it should, and it’s time to get feedback from our publishers. So beta means again, it’s an open beta, as we like to call it. So it’s available to everyone. Anyone can use it right now. You just go to dashboard-beta.mediavine.com. We’ll put that in the comments so people can actually– yep. And you can go there with your existing credentials, or your same login information you have from the regular dashboard. Use it, abuse it, use all the tricks we’re going to talk about today. And let us know what’s working, what’s not.

JENNY GUY: How long has this been in the making, this dashboard 2.0. Quite a while, yeah?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah. Way longer than we probably want to admit, I don’t know. Six months going on now? I feel like we’ve been talking about this thing for a while. When was Austin? I don’t even remember anymore.

JENNY GUY: Austin was the November when we were all able to still go outside.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh, that’s what it was like then. The outside world, yeah, that was fun.

JENNY GUY: We could touch each other and eat food in restaurants. It was a different time for us all.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So in the before time, yeah. We were definitely developing it back then, I remember. So it’s been a while coming.

JENNY GUY: OK, we’ve got Amy Cat saying hi. Michelle Palin said, Heather’s perfect for their support department because she’s always been supportive of bloggers, very kind. And Rachel Ballard says Heather will talk you off ledges and keep you rational. Love that, always good. Who’s tried the new dashboard? Post about it the comments. What’s your favorite feature.

If you’ve got questions for Heather or Eric on dashboard 2.0. If you’re a user, go ahead and post in the comments. I will make sure that we get them those questions. But let’s start kind of from the top. We talked about we’ve been working on this quite a while. Talk about the biggest changes in 2.0. What are we most excited about, top features and capabilities. And then when is it no longer going to be open beta? When is it just going to be the dashboard? Eric, start us off there.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so I am personally– again, I think I’ve said this even in Austin. What I’m most excited about is all that’s going to come as a result of the new dashboard. So everything’s been handed off to the new development team that helped build create. We’re using the same exact framework to help build the dashboard. That’s why it looks so pretty. We’re going build a build so many cool new things.

For the geeks out there, it’s known as a single page application, a SPA. It’s built on react, whatever you want to call it. It’s basically developed to make better user experiences. Things like the ability to create playlists is going to be a lot easier with the new dashboard. So I’m most excited about what’s going to be coming, but there’s a ton of really cool features I think that publishers are enjoying now with it, whether it’s page level reporting, country level reporting, date comparisons, so much stuff that we love about the new dashboard. So it is awesome. And when it will be out of beta, sooner than Trellis beta. How does that sound for a date. Too soon? Too soon?

JENNY GUY: I was wrong. I mean, you broke the seal yourself. I thought we’d at least go like 15, 20 minutes into double digits before we brought that up.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Same mentality as Trellis. We want to make sure we’re delivering a good product. I think the good part is this is now in open beta, which is obviously further along than Trellis, which is still in a closed beta. So once we have enough feedback from our publishers, and they feel that this is delivering the experience that they would be happy to have as their first dashboard login, then that’s what we’re going to launch this thing.

JENNY GUY: Oh, Eric. I’m going to cut you, but I can’t because we’re not in the same state or allowed to touch each other. Steve, co-founder says he likes the page level RPOs. That’s his favorite feature. Little known fact, he is a blogger himself on the Hollywood Gossip, so that’s his favorite feature. Sherri Short says I love the page level RPM.

Ashley Cavalli says, I’ve looked at the new dashboard, but every time I try to dig in, I get interrupted by my 8-year-old. Struggle life. Melissa Greeley Olive Gary says, loving it all. I feel like I’m missing things, though. So I’m excited to get more in-depth info on how to use all those awesome reports, yes. OK, Elizabeth Adia says, why should we switch? Heather, I’m going to let you take that one. What’s the point?

HEATHER TULLOS: Well, you should switch because it’s going to be the default eventually, so you might as well jump in the deep end. But also, our engineers have been really, really good about taking all of the feedback. Obviously, the support department is fielding those questions, and we take all of the things that you send us in emails and put them in the right places. I think if you’ve had the chance to poke around a little bit, you’ll see a lot of features that you guys have asked for, starting with the page level reporting, but also there’s some fun things with the video section.

All of those are little details that people have requested over the years. And the engineers have been really, really good at listening and incorporating everything that you asked for into what they’re building for you. It makes it really, really easy to figure out ways to make more money. The page level reporting for me is kind of life altering. Because you can look at the data and see how your readers are using your website, which means that you can blog better and make more money.

JENNY GUY: And Heather has been the best for me personally explaining that– just drilling the concept and the way that we use our websites and the way that your users use your websites are completely different things, and you can actually see that in the dashboard.

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes. I just put together a help article today on the impressions per page. Because I think that’s the thing that I’ve gotten the most questions on. But for me, I think that’s the best metric that lets me know how readers are using your site. If you’ve got a lot of impressions on a page, it means that people are spending time there. They are consuming your content.

And for me, I got a little bit nerdy about it. So I was looking at my top posts, and then I looked at the pages that had high views, and also a high number of impressions. And I went into Google Analytics, and I toggled to look at the demographics of those users. And they tended to skew older, which kind of lets me know a little more about how I need to tailor my content. There are so many good insights there. It’s really a lot of information, and I love it.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. All right, we’ve got a question from Teri Jacobson. Can you tell the difference between RPM and CPM, and which one we should be using when determining how excited to be about a post. So if you have a post that is doing well and not making as much money, how to change it so that it will make more money. Eric, will you first talk about the difference between RPM and CPM?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so RPM is kind of a summary metric. So we love it here, because it can show you the big picture. But it doesn’t show you the individual pieces that are making everything up. So the RPM is how much revenue you’ve made divided by their sessions or page view, depending on whether they’re doing page RPM or session RPM. In this case, it would be page RPM, because a single page view. So revenue divided by the total number of pages times 1,000. We multiply it by 1,000 so the number sounds better.

And that’s not Mediavine does that, that’s the entire industry. Nobody wants to talk about an RPM of 0.017. It sounds much better to say $17, hence the revenue per million exactly. Make it rain with the RPM. But CPM is actually kind of more of a zoomed in view of how you’re actually earning your money. So RPM is an after the fact calculation. CPM is how you’re actually getting paid. So that’s the real number that matters.

CPM is cost per mille, so it’s the same concept instead of being revenue per 1,000, it’s cost. So that’s what the advertisers are paying. That’s why it’s called cost. You’re not paying– don’t worry– as publishers. So you take the total amount of money, again, divide it now by impressions, and then times 1,000. Again, same reason, nobody wants to talk about 0.0017 pennies. So that’s what CPM is. It’s how much you’re earning per ad, and then you just multiply that times your number of impressions. And that would equal how much money you made, how many impressions you served.

So RPM, again, overall big picture summary of everything. CPM is what you’re actually making for every single ad that shows on your site. So CPM is probably the more useful one to celebrate, because it’s a lot easier to add more impressions on a page. That’s everything we try to teach you guys how to do here on Mediavine. Write more engaging content. Everything that Heather has in her awesome guide she talked about earlier.

It’s a lot harder to make a higher CPM. That is literally what our entire company focus is, and that’s challenging, to make you more CPM. So if you have a high CPM, awesome. You can solve the other part. If you have high RPM, also awesome. That means probably both sides of the equation– the impressions and the CPM– are looking good.

JENNY GUY: So I want to kind of shift to what Michelle says. And we’re going to keep coming back to this, because this was my last question of the day that I have set out there. This is the continuous question of the day. Because all this data is amazing, and obviously, the dashboard is gorg, thank you Kat. You designed it. But the point is making more money. The point is increasing performance, increasing revenue. Michelle Palin says, I like the new dashboard. I would love to understand how best to apply that individual post data. Can we do things that affect fill rate or viewability. Heather, talk about that.

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes. So some things you can change and alter, and other things you probably don’t want to. I think the example I sent Jenny earlier when we were just running through data is I have a– yeah, I have a recipe that I wrote in 2013, I think. So it’s old. And it is called kickass chicken lasagna. And it is a really good recipe. It also gets a lot of search traffic.

The URL is kickass chicken lasagna. So even if I changed the title of the post, I don’t really want to make a change to a post that is sending– such a significant change to a post that does well with search traffic. You can see in the screenshot here, and that the page level RPM for that post is lower than it is for my others. And the CPM where advertisers are spending is also much lower. So that’s not a thing that I’m actually willing to change.

If you look two lines lower, there is a post that has probably about eight fewer impressions per page that I’m getting. So that would be a place where I really could focus and make a change. And again, I tend to use Analytics to make those decisions. So I’m going to click through to that post that has lower impressions per page. I’m going to optimize it. You guys know all the good tips. Make sure that you broke up your paragraphs.

So I’ve been with Mediavine since October 2014 as an employee, but I’ve been a Mediavine publisher since 2015. And I know all of the correct things that I am supposed to do. However, when I have an older post that trends, I will look at it and be like, what in the world. They’re just two paragraphs, one photo, and a recipe card. So sometimes, we forget that there’s content that needs our attention. So that would be the first thing I’d do. And then I would use my Google Analytics to tell me more about my readers from there. And maybe add more things to that post so that it is useful, and also earning more.

JENNY GUY: That is an awesome answer. Yoori Noh says, Heather is the best. Tara Jacobson says, can you hook the page data to source and tell us where the traffic is coming from. For example, if you have a good revenue generating page that is coming from Pinterest, you would know to make more pins. Eric you want to– Heather, anyone?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So we would recommend you use your own Google Analytics for doing that. We have limited data access, I should say. We pull on your data once a day into the dashboard. Sometimes a couple times a day, but it’s static in there. We’re not browsing it in real time. In Google Analytics, you can browse all of your data in real time. So you can plug in a URL, and you can actually browse by traffic source.

As Heather was saying, you could literally look at the demographics if you have that turned on. You can look at the age of the users. You can do all that and drill down. So I would actually do all that stuff in Google Analytics. For us to add that to the dashboard would be very challenging. We would have to basically be Google. We would have to build our own Analytics.

HEATHER TULLOS: And I’ll just add to that. What I like to do is have my dashboard open in one tab and Google Analytics open in another. And if there’s a post that has my attention based on the actual earnings information that I’m looking at in my Mediavine dashboard. I will go to Google Analytics, and then you just go to behavior, and then you look at that post specifically.

And then you can use secondary dimension to look at all those little details. So like you’ll narrow it down so you’re just looking at that one post you want to work on. And then you could use secondary dimension to see what is your primary source for that post. And then you can use that information to know like yes, Pinterest is my top source for this post. I should make five more pins. That’s my approach.

JENNY GUY: I also think it’s pretty awesome that you implied that there were only two windows open, or two tabs, whereas opposed to I, who have 7,000 tabs open, and can’t find anything ever.

HEATHER TULLOS: You see anybody in the support department. I have more tabs open than any human on earth.

JENNY GUY: It’s awful when you’re on a call, and you’re like, I’m going to stealthily open all the things that I need. And then you’re like, I can’t find it. And you’re just clicking and clicking and clicking and clicking. It’s awful. OK, this is a controversial question. We’ve gotten it a lot. We have a blog post on this, and we’ve talked about it many times in the Facebook group. What do you consider, quote, “high,” as far as CPM or RPM.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Can I say not it and point to Heather?

JENNY GUY: Yeah, go ahead, Heather.

HEATHER TULLOS: I can answer that question. It’s very site specific. So like what’s good for me might not be good for Nicole. I use her site and my site. We’ve been blogging for similar amounts of time, and also she’s like my co-pilot at work, and in most things. But we both write food content. She writes about grilling, so she has a lot of really high value keywords. Grills that cost a lot of money. Her readers are super different.

And all of that stuff matters to advertisers. So the idea is to make sure that the numbers are good for you. You can always email support. And we can tell you gosh, that looks low. And then try to figure out the reasons why. We can talk to our add ups department and do other things to help troubleshoot.

But those numbers are pretty– they’re pretty site specific. So I think it’s good to kind of look at your data overall. Look at last year, look at this year. Look at last month, look at this month. If you’re trying to figure out what to project for Q3, look at last Q3, and then factor in coronavirus. Knowing what your numbers are for you, I think, is the most important part.

JENNY GUY: And then learning all these things, like learning that Nicole has high value keywords and has grilling stuff, but you both blog about food. But that’s not something that you’re going to use. That knowledge is useful knowledge, but not in that you’re going to go target Nicole’s people. It’s not that kind of thing, right, Heather?

HEATHER TULLOS: Yeah, correct. I’m not going to suddenly like, be an expert in grilling. Because I’m not. And my readers do not come to me for that. So I’m not going to change my content to game CPMs, because I think readers are smarter than that. And advertisers are here for your readers, not for you. They’re trying to sell things to the people on your website. So I think that if you’re always creating content that is relevant to your readers, the money will follow. And then using the data in your dashboard and in your Analytics should get you there.

JENNY GUY: Perfect. So Michelle says, OK, so increasing impressions will increase CPM? Is that accurate?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: That’ll increase RPM. Your revenue will go up if you increase the number of impressions. It won’t actually increase your CPM. If anything, the additional ad units per page after a certain point have diminishing returns. And you start to see lower CPM. So increasing impressions won’t increase your CPM. But it’ll increase your total earnings.

JENNY GUY: Word. OK, Michelle Palin says, OK. So she didn’t want to say ass. I’m going to say ass. In your kickass one you think is lower– ass, ass, ass– is due to the words. She would guess similarly that her hot cross buns were a lower RPM due to religious content, potentially?

HEATHER TULLOS: No, I would need to look at the post specifically. If you are serving a similar number of impressions on that post, as you are on other posts, then it might be something to do with the keywords. But we’d probably just need to look at the post itself to kind of– it’s not always the words. Sometimes it’s the formatting. Sometimes it’s that you worked with a brand six years ago and you totally forgot that you had some sort of weird eye frame that is not serving any ads in the middle of your script. There’s all kinds of reasons.

JENNY GUY: So email publishers at mediavine.com and be like, my buns are low.

HEATHER TULLOS: My buns are low.

JENNY GUY: If you put that in the subject line, it would get attention probably like super fast. Tara Jacobson says, I knew it. Just a pipe dream to have it hooked to source. Thank you so much for all the great data. It makes my marketing heart happy. Noreen Rogers says, I used the new dashboard last week to focus on my top 10 highest RPMs and created new pens for them. One of them is an early post that has never gotten much traffic, and it took off like crazy over the weekend. It was actually number one for page views on Sunday. I never would have done that without the new dashboard. Thank you.

Awesome. Everyone is also coming in and saying– mainly Mediavine in plays– that they have all the tabs too. Fantastic. Ashley says, Elizabeth said my RPM was $4.91 yesterday. It’s plummeting with this pandemic. Yeah. Christine says, I was noticing that the URLs of my pages in the beta dashboard are HTTP, not HTTPS. Does that affect anything, or that’s not a big deal since it’s only in the dashboard, Eric.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So that’s only the way it’s being displayed in the dashboard. That’s not how it actually is being calculated. So we store what would be called a relative path that we only store the actual page URL, not the domain, not the HTTP or the HTTPS. The dashboard just showing you that, so you can click on it and take you to your page. We don’t know if you’re secure or insecure. Your site should hopefully redirect it. But that’s not how we’re storing it. That’s not how we’re calculating it. Don’t worry. It shows everyone as having HTTP. Nothing to worry about. Something we should fix, though, in the future.

JENNY GUY: Pay attention, engineers. Click on one of those tabs.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: You’re welcome, Jordan.

JENNY GUY: You know he’s lurking because you’re here. Is there going to be a way to export the page data so you could easily search for a specific post to see how it is performing versus trying to click through page by page to find it, Heather.

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes. I know for a fact, that’s one of the little details that engineers are still working on. The old dashboard obviously has an export option that gives you some info, but not a ton. The new dashboard is– I think it’s– correct me if I’m wrong here, but it will have an export option right there where the page level data is. So you can grab it and put it in the spreadsheet and do your thing with it. Yeah?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so each individual report is going to have its own export in the new dashboard. So you can export your country report if you want that. I’m not sure you’re going to do with it, but you could. But yeah, the page level’s going to be exportable.

JENNY GUY: I mean, you could potentially provide stuff like that to really, really, really engaged brands to ask them if they’re wanting to look at super specific, blur out some of the figures. OK, Rachel says, I am sure you have all done this in some form somewhere. But maybe in the future, we could see a before and after case study of how to take a page that could be performing better then see how it was changed and how it improved. I have a hard time looking at my page level data and identifying what posts are good candidates for improvement, so I’m not doing anything.

HEATHER TULLOS: So I would say one, email support. Because I’m with you. It is always much easier for me to troubleshoot other people’s sites than it is for me to do my own. I can only do my own in the context of teaching other people how to use it. So it’s hard to be objective about your own content. So that’s the first thing I’d say. And the second thing I would say is that I love that idea. And I probably have 1,000 examples, but not actually in an aggregated piece of content somewhere. So thank you.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, love it. Adding to the list. Steve says, Heather has even more tabs open than dogs barking. A lot of tabs.

HEATHER TULLOS: That is accurate.

JENNY GUY: Luke said, I can see that the CPM for the US is 10 times higher than CPMs from India. It’s cool that I can see this, but what can I actually use this information for. Heather, you want to jump in? All right.

HEATHER TULLOS: I can answer from my perspective. I want to hear what Eric thinks about the country data. Because I remember him being really excited when we added that.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So I’m excited by country data because I think a lot of publishers don’t necessarily understand why if they have a certain RPM, and another publisher has a different RPM, how much demographics fit into all of this. And the reason I was most excited to be able to bring country reporting in there is to show this is why publishers that have 80% US traffic are earning more than someone that may have only 40% US traffic, and a lot of traffic coming from India.

So you can use this to help you understand why maybe some of your RPMs are lower. There’s not necessarily action items you can take from it. Clearly, you can’t just say I want more US traffic and less Indian traffic. That’s not how traffic works. You are writing content. I mean, you can do what Heather was saying. You could look at individual posts in Google Analytics. You can really see, oh, that’s weird. This particular piece of content is drawing more people from India than from the US. Maybe you write fewer posts like that, and you focus on the ones that are bringing more US traffic. I think it’s just really more about giving you a big picture. How your site is earning per country. Not necessarily giving you action items.

HEATHER TULLOS: My answer is pretty much the same. I think the question that we get most often on that in the support department before we had country information just not at such a detailed level in our admin view. Because it helps us troubleshoot when people ask us questions, so I was excited to be able to have that in the publisher facing context.

For me, like Eric said, when you go into Google Analytics, it helps you decide your marketing strategy. Sorry, the light in here is getting weird. If you have a piece of content that is seeing a lot of traffic from India, maybe don’t focus your promotion strategies on that. Instead, focus at the content that is resonating with your US readers, just so that you can balance that traffic a little bit and bump your earnings up, because you know that advertisers are going to pay more to reach your readers in the US.

JENNY GUY: Perfect. Tara says, oh, I get it now. The CPM is the right number because it doesn’t count the impressions. Thank you, I was confused about that. Christine Cook. I was noticing that the URLs of my top pages in the beta dashboard– she already did that one. OK, Elizabeth, following up on this question. Why is US traffic prioritized? We’re a global market.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So I don’t know if it’s necessarily US traffic is prioritized. It’s not that we are prioritizing one piece of traffic compared to another. First off, it comes down to country economics. What’s the GDP of a country. How much money is there in that country? We can’t help the fact that certain countries are going to be richer than others. I don’t know how to even best to say that. So a lot of it comes down to literally just some countries are worth more. And it’s really the maturity of the programmatic market.

So it’s important to note that we do programmatic advertising here at Mediavine. We’re listing your ad inventory for sale on ad exchanges. In certain markets, people buy more traditional methods, such as direct sales. In other markets, they buy almost exclusively programmatic now, like in the US. If they buy exclusively programmatic, there’s a lot more competition. They pay more money. There’s all these weird nuances, like what are the privacy concerns of the citizens.

I know Germany, you would think should be doing better. But Germany doesn’t do as well, because citizens there are much more concerned about privacy. It’s very nuanced. Let me just put it that way. It’s not our choice. We wish every country could monetize as well as the US, obviously. And we’re doing everything we can. We treat countries differently here from a pricing and flooring strategy. We work with partners that are better at different markets. We do what we can to try to improve your earnings in every country. That’s the Mediavine stance. The rest is just the market. We can’t control.

JENNY GUY: Why can’t we control the market? I’m kidding

ERIC HOCHBERGER: One day. One day.

JENNY GUY: All right, thank you. Alissa says, Eric, you said that you start having lower returns with more ads. Should I set my ads to a maximum to avoid lower returns.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So I think that’s just letting you know that there will be a slight difference. If you ran five ads versus– I’m going to throw out an astronomical number– 100 ads. The 100 ads are not going be equal to the same amount CPM as the five ads. The difference between, I don’t know, ad five or six, are not that big of a difference. That’s what I mean by diminishing returns.

Hopefully, you’re running within reasonable limits here. If you’re running Mediavine, chances are you are. Because we have maximums we’re going to let you run in terms of density. So don’t worry. Just don’t assume that two posts– if one has twice as many ads as the other, they’re not going to have the same CPM.

JENNY GUY: OK. Michelle said, I had a post that had a low RPM and CPM, and it’s a very popular post. The dashboard made me go and take a look. Gutenberg conversion was wonky, and no ads were showing. It’s all fixed now, thank you. OK, Michelle, I have two requests for the video reporting area, which is an excellent segue because I want to talk about the video reporting area.

First, the video names show longer. It won’t let me post a pic here in the comments, but since every video is titled gluten free recipe name, my list of videos just shows gluten free, gluten free, gluten free, gluten free. That’s tough. And could you include the length of video somewhere right there. I think it would be interesting to be able to take video link into account when we’re studying individual video earnings. Thoughts. Just throwing that out. But on the whole topic of video, I’m scrolling to the video section of my notes, which all look the same right now. Apology on that.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So we should note that we have a fixed coming, by the way, for video length, if you have a longer title. I think the cat had a really cool design coming up to make sure. Maybe it was our Ethan from UI. Somebody had something where we have a view, where you’re going to be able to see the full title. We’ve heard that feedback.

HEATHER TULLOS: It was definitely a piece of feedback that we got from publishers, as well as the support department. But I did see that Rachel posted a very good clip, which is switch to the other view. Because it’s got all the same information.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: And it also has length in the other view.

JENNY GUY: So the video section of dashboard 2.0 has really beefed it up a lot. There’s a lot of new information there. So what is new, and how come publishers use it to improve their video performance. Heather, will you talk about that for a second? Talk about what all we added. And then I’m going to take a second. I might disappear. I’m going to fiddle and look for a screen share. Just give me a second.

HEATHER TULLOS: OK. Well, the first thing we added is that it is very pretty. I really, really like the way the video interface looks. The library’s really pretty. It’s easy to navigate. My favorite thing, which I definitely know was also another piece of customer feedback is that it shows you the priority of everything right there when you’re looking at it. And it also shows you the length of your videos, so when you’re setting up your playlist and you’re deciding priority. What you’re going to boost, what you’re going to exclude, and you are looking at all the details to make sure that you’re earning the most. All of that is available for you, so you can make those decisions. And those were all important pieces of feedback that we got from publishers.

So when I am trying to help people curate their playlists and decide what to put and where, we look at CPM. We look at fill rate. And then we look at the length of the video. And then we work on setting the priority from there. So you can kind of order things in that way. Eric, did you have anything you wanted to add to that?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: No. We’re back. Sorry, I wasn’t even there and I was starting to talk. No, I think you said it perfectly. And I realize now that I guess the question before was about the video reporting section at the bottom where the title is getting cut off. And that is 100% being fixed. Yeah. Ethan confirmed.

JENNY GUY: He jumped in, yep. OK, the other big thing that– and then we’re going to talk a lot about this next week– that is kind of on the minds of many people right now is accessibility and the ADA. And we actually have some new options specifically related to video and dashboard to point out. Eric, will you talk a little bit about that?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so in 2.0 when you go to edit a video. You’ll see there’s a little section down below where you can upload the closed captioning for your video. So if you have spoken word, you can now add captions. And it will automatically start playing if the video is muted. It’ll just show the captions in the language of that user. So you can upload multiple in even different languages.

We support the web VTT file. Want to preface that, not SRT. I see a whole bunch of threads going, and I’m hopping in so many of them. But yeah, you can get that actually pretty easily, I think, from YouTube. You can export them. I know people are trying to figure out where you get these things from. Or you can pay a service like 3Play Media, who actually transcribe it for you. So there’s ways you can get closed captioning if you have spoken word, and that is amazing for the hearing impaired to be able to finally see what you’re saying.

And plus, it’s a great user experience, because we mute videos by default for them to be able to auto play. That’s a Coalition for Better Ads standard, so we have to do that. So videos start off muted, and now you can let them know what you’re saying. And if you’re not talking, I know there’s a big movement for people to do a little closed caption that says music playing. And you can do that as well with these.

JENNY GUY: OK, speaking of the ADA and the accessibility. We just added a live that we’re doing next week, next Thursday. Andrew Wilder of NerdPress and Jamie Lieberman remain of Hashtag-Legal are coming to talk about the ADA, accessibility, and your website and what the actual law is, and what you can do about it to make– action items you can take. So we’ll talk a little bit more about that later, but we’ve got more questions. Amy Pelsner on video. Is there a way to actually make a playlist versus just boosting and excluding videos. Eric’s grinning, so I feel like he’s chomping at the bit.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So we have that feature coming very soon. I know actually engineers are actively working on it. The ability to create your own playlist and be able to embed playlists. So not just using the up next, but the ability to curate your own playlist on pages. It’s coming soon.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. OK, Lawrence Nora just said, he knows this isn’t related to the dashboard. He posted a Marketing Week article on advertising supply chains, and none of us have read it. So we will respond to you later, Lawrence. We appreciate your support, but we can’t derail right now. OK, Lorissa says, will you ever add SRT files.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: As soon as they– no. I’m sorry. We won’t add support for adding them into the video. I realized I was phrasing that wrong. So we want to add support for playing them back. So WebVTT is actually the successor to SRT. It was made by people like Google. It is the future of captioning, and it has been for eight or 10 years.

The reason why you see SRT files is because that’s from an old program, Windows program called SubRip. You can’t make this stuff up. That’s where the name comes from. That’s the old way of doing it. The reason why places like Facebook and Twitter might use that is because they probably created their video players prior to WebVTT existing. So that would be the old way of doing it.

What we would be building is a converter to help you convert your SRT files over to VTT. So you should be working in VTT whenever you can. That’s what you should be uploading to places like YouTube. I know probably Facebook still doesn’t support them, because why would they update their player eight years later.

JENNY GUY: We got the care reaction. That’s what they’re working on, obviously.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Priorities. So what we’ll be doing is probably giving you a converter. So if you upload SRT, we would just convert them automatically to VTT for you. And that’s a feature we’d love to be able to add. It’s just there’s a lot of features we’re working on at the moment, so I can’t tell you where that’s prioritized.

JENNY GUY: Excellent, OK. Luke said– and this is a question that kind of leads back into something I wanted to talk more about– I would love to see quick comparisons, like earnings this month versus last month. Earnings yesterday versus last week. This year so far versus last year. Heather, is that possible?

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes. Yeah. You can change the date range 74 ways from Sunday. I feel like I do that on every single ticket at work. I look at this week versus last week, and I look at changes. We’re always looking at ways to compare the data, especially if we have to make changes on your site. I agree with you. I think the reason we don’t have any just set, like push this button for this week over last week is because different people are looking at different data sets.

So if you ask me about things that I’m looking at for my own website. I don’t ever look at those things. I’m approaching it from a really different way. So the custom date ranges lets you look at whatever details you want to. And then the drop down menu does give you some sort of standard features. So it’s easy to say, compared to last period, or compared to last year, which can help you project and make decisions.

JENNY GUY: Larisha says she’s laughing so hard based on Eric’s reaction of stutter stutter, no. We were laughing hard too.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Eight years old, why have they not– OK, sorry.

JENNY GUY: What do you guys think the care emoji looks like? I mean, it looks like blood to me. It does. You guys, what does it look like to you?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I’m trying to figure out when it’s appropriate to use it, even. I don’t understand, versus love?

JENNY GUY: Is It less than love? Is it more than love. What does the care equate to. Is it a hug? What’s happening. And the big thing is there was a whole– many, many people who decided to spend time on that. This was their response. They were like, you know what the world needs right now. It’s this.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Middle reaction.

JENNY GUY: I don’t really love you, and I don’t really like it. It’s more than like, but less than love. It’s caring. OK, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much are you guys out there liking page level reporting. Those of you that are using it. Post it in the comments for us. OK, in terms of the page level data, which seems to be the thing that is changing everything for dashboard 2.0 in terms of their reporting. It’s the greatest thing since sliced sourdough bread made from my starter. What value should people be looking at? And Heather, you started talking about impressions being the most impactful metric for you. Can you talk about what people can really zero in and look at to actually make a difference for themselves?

HEATHER TULLOS: I mean, that’s the thing that you have the most power to change. You can change settings in your dashboard. You can change formatting in your posts. You can use that information to see if your readers are using your jump button every single time, and you should maybe add a second add in your recipe card, or in your DIY content. It tells you so much, and also you have the most power to make changes there.

I also think it is important to know what that number includes. Like it includes all of the ads that you’re serving. Like if you’re scrolling through your website, and you’re counting, like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Those are the ads that I see. Those are ad slots. Those are just opportunities for you to be served ads. Not all of those are going to be filmed for every reader in every spot on every page. And also, that’s not how your readers are using your site in any way, shape or form.

So I think the impressions level data is really helpful. I was looking at one earlier, and it was a really popular piece of content. And if you scroll through the post– and we counted the number of ads– there was opportunities for 10 impressions plus the video player. But she was only averaging like six, and when I use the jump button, and then chilled out in the recipe card for a few minutes. That gave me a couple of refreshes in the adhesions spot. And it gave me a couple of refreshes in the recipe card spot.

So my suggestion for her to increase her earnings was to let us help her add an additional recipe card ad. Because that’s where her readers were spending their time. And it’s not like that on every post. So I think knowing how to apply those numbers is the best. If you’re looking to increase DPM, I know that’s a harder thing to go at. But look at your per post viewability. if you’ve got a post that’s got really low viewability, go test the site speed and see if there’s something weird happening there that is not happening on other content. There are all sorts of little action items that you can pull out of there, and all of them will help increase your earnings.

JENNY GUY: I don’t know if you can hear me or not. No one can see Eric.

HEATHER TULLOS: I can.

JENNY GUY: When you said page speed, Eric started nodding. You couldn’t see him. OK, Eric, I’ll throw this to you. What if you do see that one of your posts just for some reason has something messed up with the page speed. What do you do then? First, how would you find that out. Second, then what would your action items be.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, I think as Heather said, viewability is normally one of the biggest indicators of a problem with– the site speed is generally the biggest indicator would show up in viewability. So if your site is really slow, it’s going to slow down the ability for a lot of your ads to load. They’re never seen. That’s one really strong indicator.

There’s other things that can cause low viewability, such as maybe your readers are skipping through their content too quickly. You ever jump to a recipe that there’s too many ads right before it. They get loaded before they click the jump. There’s a lot of other factors, but if you determine its page speed, what can you do? Plugin audit is one of the most important things you gotta remember. Different pages will load different content in your plugins.

So a lot of times, you might have a plugin running that won’t slow down all of your pages, and just happened to slow down this one because you’re using a page builder, and you put in all sorts of funky stuff on a page. So using a good healthy plugin audit when you’re testing an individual page is going to help. You can run that individual page through page speed insights. You can look. It will show you what’s slowing down.

You can even try turning off plugins one at a time. I’d do it on a staging site, not your live site. And then you can find out what is slowing down that page. And sometimes, as Heather said earlier, it might literally just be an iframe or some junk you threw in for a brand you are working with years ago. You might be able to remove one line of code and suddenly speed up your site.

JENNY GUY: So if I happen to see something as screwed up with one page, or it’s just very obvious that something is not right with this one page. E-mailing in to publishers, running it through PageSpeed Insights. You said doing an audit tool. Is there a specific tool that you’d recommend, Eric, or a couple?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: No, in general, I always just stick with PageSpeed Insights as my debug tool. The one made by Google itself is probably one of the best indicators for page speed. Also, the great breakdown, and we’ll show you what’s slowing it down, if that’s not really readable for you. You can look at just the number at the top, the score, and literally try testing it. Email your host. If you have a managed host, they can probably set you up with a staging environment. And in there, you can go and you can turn stuff off and figure out what is slowing down your site.

JENNY GUY: I don’t think it’s going to come as a surprise to any of us that there are a lot of strong feelings, both about the page level reporting and about the care emoji on Facebook. There’s just a lot of feelings. Jennifer Stuart screamed at us, it looks like someone shot the emoji and he’s bleeding out. He kind of does, Jennifer. And then she said, sorry, not meaning shouting caps. But I think you did, Jennifer. I think you did mean that.

OK, we had a lot of people talking about how amazing and how much they love the page level data, and also that they want an eye roll emoji, which truly, yes. April says, on the multi-site dashboard, it looks like we lost the ability to set the date range. I love coming in and setting the date to show this month to date, and also just revenue for the previous data check in common status across all my Mediavine sites. Any way to add that as a feature request.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I believe that feature request has already been logged. So yeah, it should be coming.

HEATHER TULLOS: I think I’ve seen that.

JENNY GUY: April also said, I know you guys do a lot of great articles to help us check things and optimize stuff. Do you have– or are you planning– an article with how best to utilize the data provided in the new dashboard to optimize sites and ad rates. Like all of this awesome stuff you guys are saying here, but in an easy to reference form. Aren’t you writing down while we’re talking?

HEATHER TULLOS: No, I actually published one right before we did this. Like I said, I usually moderate our Facebook group. And I think the most questions that I’ve sort of seen that I couldn’t easily give an answer to without getting too specific with their own personal site data were about impressions in RPM at a page level. So I’ve been turning out help articles to sort of address those.

So I just published one earlier that explains more about the impressions per page. I did another one maybe a week or two ago, that explains the page level data and how to use it to increase performance. And my plan is to go through every little bit of our cool new dashboard, and make sure that there’s a help article that explains what it is and how to use it.

JENNY GUY: And then I can say from the blog what we could then do is do a roundup post that references all of the help docs, and then gives you an easy way to have all of those together and click through. So yes, we can do that. We can make that happen. Michelle says, is there a viewability percentage to aim for.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: 100%, just go for the– no. I would say 70% is generally the magic number for most advertisers. They want to see an overall site level viewability of 70%. What’s really tough is they’re actually looking at it like a per device, per domain, per ad unit, all this little stuff in the back end. And you’re just kind of looking at your overall viewability. Go for 70% if you can in that little page level. If you have above 70%, you’re generally in a good spot.

We see a lot of very successful engaged audiences can get above a 70%. Going much above a 70% gets very, very challenging. I don’t think we’ve seen too many sites even above 80%. But if you’re there, that would be amazing. 100% is actually impossible, so ignore that bad joke I said at the beginning.

JENNY GUY: You’re like the Michael Phelps if you’ve got an 85%, way to go, gold medals. OK, Amy Puzder says, I don’t know if you said this, but what would you consider a high impressions per page versus low. Just wondering which ones to focus on first below 10. Heather, will you field that one?

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes. So this is another one that’s pretty site specific. But you can click the little arrows that are next to the– well, basically, next to every little–

JENNY GUY: I got you.

HEATHER TULLOS: Thank you. In the tables there. There’s little arrows next to revenue and RPM and impressions per page. And you can sort highest slowest and lowest to highest. But then I would caution you. Sometimes if you sort by not views, so like if you sort by impressions per page lowest to highest. Because we’re probably in your top 100. So you’re going to get a few that are kind of like your home page. That’s a different sort of page. You’re not really going to be trying to optimize there.

Or like for me, I get print pages sometimes when I’m looking there. So also have an eye on that views column, just to see how to compare. But yeah, you can sort. And then just decide. I tend to sort, and then look, and then look at which page has the most views, and then start with that. So if I’m looking at lowest impressions per page and highest, it’s going to be super site specific. If you write crazy intense long content and it goes on for an eternity, look at what your average is and go from there. If your content is all kind of the same length, then you might get a different answer.

And then also it’s like I said, it’s because it’s including refreshes in those numbers. It can kind of indicate how long readers are staying on your page. So for mine, which is in the screenshot that we’ve got here, I tend to have about the same numbers of impressions per post. And I can tell in my posts if I sort differently, and I go highest to lowest. Those are my posts where people are like leaving it open while they cook. And they’re just dwelling on the page longer.

JENNY GUY: They’re dwelling. They’re dwellers. OK, Cheri says, could we start a thread in the Facebook group for folks to share the way they’re using page level RPM data? Could we do that, Heather? You’re in charge.

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes.

JENNY GUY: Great. Thank you. Camilla says, I see there’s a new area where we can write a video headline. What is this? Does it go next to the title or on our page? Eric?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Sure. I would love to field. So that’s individual video headlines. So right now in the past, you’re able to do a featured video headline. So when we insert the featured video, which means you didn’t have another video on the page. We would stick that headline above it. So you can give context to your reader. Hey, this is my featured video. You could say, best of recipes, whatever it may be. Top places to visit.

So you can kind of give them a headline. You can now do that with videos. The idea being because we do optimized placement for you, we’re going to move the headline and the video as one piece. So now you can write it and know that wherever we stick the video, that headline will go before it. So it’s a great new feature.

JENNY GUY: Heather, anything to add to that one?

HEATHER TULLOS: No. Just that I think it exists because it was a customer request, and so we added it.

JENNY GUY: I think that that’s– from what I heard, isn’t that everything? Pretty much everything that– well, like a ton of the stuff in the dashboard has come directly from people saying, can you do this thing?

HEATHER TULLOS: Yes.

JENNY GUY: Yes.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: That’s why one day we’ll add SRTs, I promise.

JENNY GUY: I love it when he starts promising things on the live. It’s his favorite thing to do. Ashley says, I just wanted to say thank you for all you guys do to help us with this stuff. I had my one year Mediavine anniversary this week, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t apply sooner. It has been so great working with you. We like it too, Ashley.

Michele says, OK, mine range from 64% to 76%. I’ll see what I can do to get those viewability numbers up. Not sure I totally understand how, other than what you said about page speed. I’ll read heather’s help doc. It’s a good place to start. We’re almost out of time first, which is depressing, because this is fun. And also I’m liking to watch the progression of the sun on Heather’s beautiful face.

HEATHER TULLOS: Thank you.

JENNY GUY: OK. I’m going to give you guys a second to think about her question, because it’s exactly how I wanted to finish. OK, so if you’re overwhelmed by all this– fair enough– where is the first place you’d start with the new dashboard. So I’m going to have both of you guys think on that for a second. And then we’re going to come back. Larisha said Eric has jokes. Yes, he does.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Not good ones. They are jokes, yeah.

JENNY GUY: It’s not really a quality assessment, but they are, in fact, jokes. Drew Carey even asked. OK, if you guys think about those for a second, and then I’m going to come right back. I have a couple of announcements. OK, as I mentioned earlier, our next live is next Thursday. That’s May 14. It’s 3 o’clock eastern time. We are having Andrew Wilder of NerdPress, and Jamie Lieberman of Hashtag-Legal. We’re going to be talking about the Americans with Disabilities Act and website accessibility.

What are your responsibilities, what are you actually liable for, and what are easy adjustments that you can make right now to be in compliance. And speaking of lives, it is almost the third annual Summer of Live. Hard to believe it, which means that we’ll be going live every week for the whole summer. All the awesome guests, all the incredible information and education, all absolutely free and available to everyone.

This year, we took our speakers from our canceled Baltimore conference, which is a sad face. But our event coordinator, Meghan Meyers, worked really hard to come up with some amazing speakers. We had so many applications, over 200. And we chose them incredible speakers. And we’re going to give each one of them an episode a week during the Summer of Live. Our schedule is hot off the presses and ready to share.

It is going to all kick off the week after Memorial Day, that Thursday. So get ready, we’re going to be showing that tomorrow and promoting, so you can look and see which episodes you absolutely want to catch. But for now, let’s talk to these overwhelmed people, Larisha and all of them out there. Eric, we’ll start with you and then finish up with Heather. Where would you tell people to start with the dashboard?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Maybe not everyone should be diving into the pages of RPMs right away if we’re overwhelmed. I think one of things that Heather mentioned is we’re working on all the help documents. So maybe wait until some of those help documents come out. Because it does sound scary to see 20 impressions per page. People probably think wow, Heather’s running so many ads. But again, she’s not. She just has engaged readers, and we refresh. And that just means they’re sitting on her page for two minutes, or four minutes, or however long it may be.

But anyways, I think wait until those help documents come before you do that true deep dive. And for now, just use it as you would the regular dashboard and take advantage of the new health check center. I don’t think we talked about that. Oh, man. Go to the health check center. It’s now its own page, and not just– oh, we’re going to pull it up as I’m talking? Yeah. Cool, we have a screenshot of it.

JENNY GUY: We spent a lot of time on this yesterday.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: You can zoom in on certain days now in the health check center. You can go back in time and see what’s happened with your health checks. You can zoom in on a particular day. And it’ll even show you the pages that are causing that, your top pages. So yeah, I think the health check center is probably the easiest place to digest. And that’s where I would recommend starting.

JENNY GUY: Heather, same question to you.

HEATHER TULLOS: So the screenshot that you just showed is like the site health overview. If you click there, it will take you to another page for each ad unit that you’re trying to optimize. And I think that’s a great place to start, because it’s a metric that you are all familiar with, like optimizing for and looking at. If we were to click on desktop and content ads to figure out how we can improve there, it’s going to take you to a page where it lets you compare.

A lot of times, we get questions like, my site health is yellow, and yesterday it was green. There is a compare graph in there. You can change the date range, but it defaults to the last three days. And then if you scroll down, it automatically will give you a list of all the posts that are influencing those health scores. So you don’t have to push a whole lot of buttons or figure out where to start. You can just have a list of the content that you need to have eyes on and start there. And then as always, if it feels overwhelming, and you don’t know which button to push, email support. That’s always my tip.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic, and I just want to grab one more question before we enter. You guys OK? Do you have to jump somewhere real quick if I get this? OK. Camilla says, why are RPMs for a specific post so erratic. Last night, my highest RPM recipe was over $18, and today it’s just over $5. It makes it hard– sorry, Steve just wrote care emoji. It makes it hard to optimize posts if the goalposts are moving. That’s a very serious question.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I’m just hopping in, sorry. So there are so many factors that go into your RPM. Again, that is a zoomed out view of how things are doing. That’s a summary metric. I would really be looking at those impressions per page, as we mentioned. See are those wildly swinging, or is it your CPMs and fill rate. If it’s your CPMs and fill rate, then there’s probably something weirder happening. It may be, I don’t know, you have a suddenly a different breakdown of traffic that are coming to that post.

Maybe one day, it was Pinterest, and then the next day, it was Google search. Google search traffic is generally worth more than a Pinterest user. That’s just unfortunately the way that this works. And so it’s really going to come down to there’s so many factors that can be applied. So as always, email in to publishers at Mediavine. And we have a lot of insight into this stuff, because this is what we live and breathe everyday.

JENNY GUY: And with that, I’m going to read a final comment from Hilda, who says, thanks for all you all do to help us earn more. Celebrating today’s second year anniversary, and can’t believe how much we’ve grown because of this amazing place. I’m glad to hear that. And care emoji to both you guys. Thank you, Steve. And thank you guys for being here. Heather and Eric, it’s been a great time.

HEATHER TULLOS: Thanks for having me.

JENNY GUY: All right, go back to the dogs. Bye, you guys.

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