Let’s begin this 2023 preview post by addressing the elephant in the room: December 2022 was soft, or underwhelming, compared to previous years. Moreover, January 2023 is down as well …
You may have noticed from my recent Go for Teal posts that formatting your content to better reflect how people consume content online is a recurring theme.
Techniques such as writing shorter sentences and paragraphs, using headings, formatting posts like an outline, and adding more images all help keep users engaged.
Today, we’re focused on how you can specifically take advantage of your Most Valuable Content (MVC) to maximize earnings, along with – you guessed it – SEO and user experience.
What MVC is, and Where to Place it
If readers visit your site looking for a specific piece of content, be it a recipe, a sewing pattern, a travel packing list or whatever your area of expertise may be, that’s what they’re after.
For example, if you use a recipe card as a food blogger, or Create by Mediavine® for How to Guides for your DIY or Craft blog, that is going to be your MVC.
Sounds obvious, right? Yes and no. The key is not revealing this MVC early in your post, or even in the middle, as a majority of visitors will consume that MVC and then bounce.
You’ll greatly enhance your RPM and the SEO value of your MVC by placing it at the bottom of your articles, and we’ll explain not only why but how.
Why the Placement of MVC is Crucial
As we’ve probably said more times than we can count, ad viewability and user engagement are both essential to your website’s long term performance.
If users are quickly scrolling, or worse, using a jump-to-recipe style button, then they’re skipping over most or all of your ads. Showing an ad that is not seen by the reader may not seem like a big deal, but over time, a decrease in ad performance will limit your earning potential.
Placing MVC at the bottom of your posts will ensure that users engage with it and maintain optimal ad viewability, but the rest of your content still plays a vital role as well.
Content Above the MVC Still Matters For UX, SEO
While MVC is, by definition, your most valuable content, you can’t just copy and paste it at the bottom and call it a day. If the content leading up to it isn’t serving a purpose, then readers certainly won’t be engaged with the material and may bounce even sooner.
MVC doesn’t mean only valuable content.
From the onset, use headlines and short, impactful paragraphs to make skimming readers consume content that supports your MVC along the way. Use unique images and visuals, not just the same pictures repeating from different angles.
Making sure that any material leading up to your MVC is engaging, relevant and supportive of it isn’t just good for user experience. This practice also offers significant SEO upside in terms of long-tail keyword juice and the improved rankings that follow.
Formatting Content After Your Post
As for items publishers often run after their MVC (calls to action, recommended content, etc.), these are great as long as you properly structure the article so that said items are outside of the CONTENT AREA of the post.
What do we mean by that?
When you mark up your HTML, or the underlying code underneath the post, you tend to designate main content area of your site in your template or theme.
In WordPress, the most popular CMS, this is defined as a div with the class name content-entry or post, etc. You can mark it up in other ways in Schema.org as well, but the important thing is that spiders, like search engines and Mediavine’s own in-content ad logic, learn where your content is.
If calls to action or “related content” items are included inside your post, then you’re calling that your actual content as well. We highly encourage using plugins that properly place these outside the main content area so that search engines know to index it.
As far as our in-content ad logic is concerned, you can always email us if you can’t fix this. We’ll update our code on the back end to identify your MVC, and just stop inserting ads after that.
The end goal of all of this is to make sure you’re not running ads where no one sees them, boosting ad engagement, viewability and long-term income.
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