Preparing for Q1 with Brad Hagmann and Amber Bracegirdle: Mediavine On Air Episode 2

episode 2 preparing for q1

Every year, Q1 rolls around and high Q4 RPMs drop. Brad Hagmann and Amber Bracegirdle are here to help with advice on how to mitigate the damage. Learn why this RPM drop occurs industry-wide and how you can turn this negative into a positive by planning your content for the following year. This episode is packed full of tips for your optimizing your blog.

Helpful Resources

Ad Revenue By The Seasons — Learn when your ad revenue will likely be the highest.
What is Q1 — A guide for the best practices for dealing with the Q1 slump.
Why All Traffic Doesn’t Monetize the Same — Find out what you can do to monetize your traffic better.
The Mediavine RPM Challenge: A 3-part optimization challenge for increasing your ad revenue.
Create by Mediavine — A Plugin for recipes, lists, how-to guides and craft instructions.
Best Days of the Year (2021): Ad spend insights, includes a printable calendar!

Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] JENNY GUY: [LAUGHS] Kicking off with that fun sound, we are here, everybody. It is December 12. So it’s 12/12/2019. This is Teal Talk. I am your host, Jenny Guy. I’m Mediavine’s Director of Marketing.

And we are excited for a very fun show today. I have two incredible guests from the Mediavine staff here to talk about maybe not our most fun topic, but one that is necessary and that we can do everything possible in our power to protect against, and mitigate the damage.

So, right now, we’re in the midst of Q4. It’s the happiest time of the year. We’re making all the money, all of the dollars, all the advertisers are spending. And then we go to January 1. And it feels like we take a leap off a cliff.

So I brought a couple of experts in here to help us get prepared for that, to winterize ourselves from the scariness that is Q1 1st. We have meet our Mediavine Co-Founder. It is Amber Bracegirdle. She is the Managing Editor of Food Fanatic. And she is here with us.

Hi, Amber. Welcome back.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Hello, thank you so much. Good to be here, guys.

JENNY GUY: We haven’t had you on in so long.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I know.

JENNY GUY: I don’t know why it’s been so long, but it’s so good to have you.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Well, I was supposed to be on that one this summer that Josh jumped in for me because I wasn’t feeling well. And, I mean, we got the Beanie Babies out of that. So–

[LAUGHTER]

JENNY GUY: I could never forget that, the Beanie Baby Live. It was a special time for us all.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It really was.

JENNY GUY: And then for his first time ever on a Mediavine Live appearance, we have BRAD HAGMANN, Brad from the Internet, B-rad, our Vice President of Ad Operations.

Brad, welcome.

BRAD HAGMANN: Hello. Thank you for having me. I’ve been begging to get on this show forever.

JENNY GUY: You have.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: He lies.

BRAD HAGMANN: So it’s is lovely to be here.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: He’s lying.

JENNY GUY: He’s always– always trying to get on this show. And I had to say no so many times. And, finally, I said, fine. You seem to know something about ads. I’ll let you on the program.

BRAD HAGMANN: There you go.

JENNY GUY: Brad, so you’re something– we’re going to start here because you’ve never been on. And I’m going to capitalize on it. You are basically Mediavine royalty. So if you could tell us what does the Vice President of Ad Ops do? And what kind of your trajectory was at Mediavine? Because your job has been a little fluid over– since we’ve become full service ad managers.

BRAD HAGMANN: Royalty, wow.

JENNY GUY: Yeah.

BRAD HAGMANN: That’s a great introduction.

JENNY GUY: Yeah.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I agree with that

BRAD HAGMANN: I mean, so honestly, the answer is, like, most days, I don’t even know. It’s sort of a joke, but not really. But, you know, with the speed of change in this industry, I don’t really know what when next week or my next month is going to look like.

Really my main focus here is our ad exchange partner relationships. So at any given time, we’re all connected 10 to 15 separate ad exchange companies. And each one has their own unique setup.

So when any new industry initiatives, like, Sellers.json rolled out in October, or CCPA, which we just talked about on your last Teal Talk happened. They not only affect Mediavine, but they affect every partner that we work with.

So my job is sort of to make sure that the necessary communication and connections are in place, to make sure that any changes like that, that roll down, those pipes stay open between our ad exchange partners, and ultimately our publishers.

And then, like you said, I’ve worked here forever. So when you can come aboard very early in what is a true startup company, you just sort of fill whatever gaps are necessary. So, as a result, I’ve worked in Publisher Support, Ad Ops, obviously, marketing–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Launching.

BRAD HAGMANN: –at conferences and events, dabbled in sales, launched a ton of sites. So, as a result, I know a little bit about a lot of things here. So I try to be a resource to every one of them I can.

And then, of course, most importantly, I write blog posts for Jenny and beg her to come on Teal Talks. So–

JENNY GUY: Yeah. Yeah. And so, Brad, I’ve heard the rumor that you onboarded– was it the first one thousand sites? How many of the first sites did you–

BRAD HAGMANN: I don’t know. I lost count. I think it was–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It was least half.

BRAD HAGMANN: It was it was like 2,500 or something. But who’s counting? I don’t know.

[LAUGHTER]

JENNY GUY: You weren’t. And you worked really–

BRAD HAGMANN: We have a launch team that does a much better job now. So–

JENNY GUY: Oh, Brad. Brad of all trades. That’s right, Stephanie. OK, Amber, can you tell us a little bit about what it means to be a Co-Founder of Mediavine? And what your day-to-day looks like? Although, as from working with you more closely, I know that it also changes day-to-day, as well.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. As Brad described his day-to-day, I was like, oh, take the words right out of my mouth, man. What’s really funny is Brad and I have been, like, working together in the early days of Mediavine.

Like, we both just handled the support stuff and the launching together out of a Gmail inbox. So we’ve been– remember those days, Brad? Me yelling at you for double-spacing?

[LAUGHTER]

BRAD HAGMANN: I do. I– I will never do it again.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: I got that same thing, by the way, when I started.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I was like, we’re an internet company. Don’t do that. Yeah. So, day-to-day is really crazy. You know, it’s everything from dealing with potential, like, marketing issues, or what events we’re planning.

Earlier today, we were deciding speaker stuff for Baltimore 2020. But I was also dealing–

JENNY GUY: It’s not decided.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It’s not decided yet.

JENNY GUY: Not decided.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Don’t freak out. It’s not decided yet. We’re still discussing. But also was dealing with a potential situation with someone who needed their ads turned off for a specific reason. You know? And things like that.

So it really comes down to what’s needed from me on a daily basis. So, yeah.

JENNY GUY: I– that answer– Chef Dennis just popped it and said, “Oh, Brad, damn it Janet,” and it made me snicker in the middle of what you were saying. And I’m sorry.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: OK. I knew you weren’t laughing at me. I saw it, too.

JENNY GUY: I wasn’t. Hi, Chef Dennis. Good to see you. Glad you’re here. Hi, everybody. Yes, Brad is here. OK.

So getting to our topic at hand, just for those of us who are able to just join us, and joined us from a watch party, welcome. If you have questions for Amber or Brad, please chime in, and I will make sure they get asked.

But what we are basically overall talking about today is Q1, and how that is impacting us, and how we can potentially winterize or prepare our sites to not have that hit us so hard and brutally after Q4 is over.

So, Brad, one of the greatest hit blog posts that we share and reference all the time is your Ad Revenue by the Seasons. If you’ll give us the TL;DR version here, that would be most appreciated.

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. Sure, yeah. When I wrote that, it was really to better understand the trend myself. So I’ve been in the industry, like, 10 to 15 years, which is ridiculous to think about. And I know that the trend is universal across the industry.

But I wanted some actual Mediavine data to put behind it. So, yeah. Really the Too Long; Didn’t Read version is there’s quarters like, Q4, where there’s a perfect storm of things happening that lead to great earnings. And then there’s things that happen after that were coming upon very soon that caused RPMs to go down.

So the first part of the perfect storm is surrounding consumer habits. So I can bet the both of you, and probably every single person watching this in some shape or form, has been preparing for the holidays by doing a lot of shopping, whether it be food or gifts.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Spending money.

BRAD HAGMANN: Exactly. Or whatever. So because of this increased spending, we have a massive pool of advertisers out there willing to pay really good money to get in front of the perfect audience. So having a huge pool of advertisers with deep pockets leads to a lot of high pressure in the auctions that we’re running on your ads.

And then the second part of it is just around budgets. Companies are setting their budgets earlier in the year. And December is a time of the year where those budgets have to be spent.

So they need to be used before the end of the year, which means they’re willing to spend a little bit more to get rid of those budgets. So all of this leads to the kind of earnings in RPMs our publishers and we love during this time of year. But, sadly, it’s–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It’ll coming to an end.

BRAD HAGMANN: It’s coming to an end shortly.

JENNY GUY: So, OK. We’ve talked about why it’s so awesome. Now, what happens on January 1? I mean, what goes on in the crapper?

BRAD HAGMANN: [LAUGHS]

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So I’ll answer it, just because Brand and I have been doing this a long time. So the thing is, is that the companies that are behind the digital ad spend are still brick and mortar, old style companies. So they operate to think of it like a magazine calendar year, right? They operate to that, where they’re closing out their budgets for the year.

And then, in January, everything resets. And they are trying to figure out how much money they want to spend each month, each quarter, knowing that the big events where consumer habits are going to have people spending more money and needing awareness of certain products and things like that will be at the end of the year.

When January comes, they are very, very conservative about how much money they put in the market and how much they spend on an individual ad, for example.

Whereas Q4, not only do they have whatever surplus they had leftover from each quarter of the year, they know that if they don’t spend that money, there’s the possibility that the company that they work for will decide, oh, we didn’t need that much money. So we’re going to lower your budget.

And nobody ever wants that, right? Nobody ever wants their department to lose budget. So they just dump it all into the market Q4. And then Q1, it all starts over.

JENNY GUY: So, basically, much like what happens to all consumers who spend a crap ton of money on Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever it is, they are then like, I can’t spend any dollars in January.

So I’m going to now drink ice water and–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Peanut butter sandwiches.

JENNY GUY: Common for the time–

BRAD HAGMANN: Exactly.

JENNY GUY: OK. So that happens. Does it happen to– and this, Brad, come back in for this one– does this happen to every niche regardless of what they’re focused on in the lifestyle spectrum?

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. I mean, you’re going to see a really similar percentage drop occur across all niches. And I know it’s super unfair to those health and fitness bloggers who would love to capitalize on New Year’s resolution or healthy cooking bloggers. But it’s just sadly unavoidable.

It’s just that advertiser spend is tied directly to consumer habits and budgets, and not to the specific content on somebody’s site.

JENNY GUY: So– and this is going a little bit off-script, but we were talking about this earlier– in terms of those niches, what impact does a niche have on earnings overall? Because we were all– the three of us were talking about this earlier and how that impacts.

Because I’ve heard a lot of people say things, like at a conference, someone will come up to me and say, why do food bloggers make so much more? Why are their RPMs so much higher? Is that something that just is intrinsically the truth? Or are there other factors at play?

BRAD HAGMANN: Absolutely not. I think there’s a ton of other factors at play. I don’t think we could point at any one niche and say it earns better than any other one. I think, as long as your content is there, it’s good, clean brand-safe content, and you have an audience coming from great sources like Google and social channels, the opportunity is there, if you put in the work and aim toward proper Mediavine goals to earn just as well as any other site out there.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. I mean, I would say that it’s more about the way that your content is formatted and how your audience is consuming it. So, for example, food bloggers might have step-by-step photos that make their posts longer. And they obviously will have a recipe card that presents additional opportunities to advertise.

For example, DIY and craft might have step-by-step photos. But if they aren’t using Create with a How To Card– which is a fairly recent development, right? We’ve had DIY blogs for decades. But the How To Cards is brand new with Create. That was released in October.

So that’s a really big opportunity for advertising on your site that you haven’t had before. But the other thing is that you then have to teach your audience to look for that. So, like, food bloggers have the advantage of their audiences have been trained to scroll to the bottom of their posts to find a recipe card, which is what they’re there for.

We always say, “All roads lead to the recipe card,” right? So with Create, the thing is, now you can add those things. No matter which niche you’re in, you have the opportunity to add something like that.

But then you’ve also got to train your audience for it. So, like, for me, I would suggest a DIY blogger add those things, but then also add a Call to Action at the top of their post. If you’d like a printable instruction list and materials list of this craft, scroll all the way down. You’ll find it-type thing.

And so, for me, I think it’s really about training your audience to interact with your content in a similar manner, if that makes sense.

JENNY GUY: It totally makes sense. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think– yeah. Having that and let’s post a little bit of Create love in our comments showing about creative uses for Create, which was by one of our engineers that had some great ideas in there.

We’ve had people do incredible things of Create. And share us. Tag us in those posts. We love that.

So when you guys are using Create and you found a cool way to use it that’s monetizing and your audience is responding to it, please tag us. We love those posts. And we love to share those posts.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. And I will point out that part of the reason that Create is not just a recipe card plugin is because of our DIY bloggers. That is one of the main reasons that we pivoted that plugin a little bit to include more types of schema.

We had DIY customers that were using Recipe Cards to offer this opportunity for advertising and also for user experience for their readers to have a printable. But the problem is that if you’re using Recipe Card, it’s marking all that stuff up as food, and edible food. And that can result in a manual action by Google because you’re telling their search engine that things like Popsicle sticks are edible. And that’s not OK.

JENNY GUY: You didn’t hear that on Teal Talk. Thank you.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. So that’s why we pivoted that and wanted to provide them with something that they clearly need, and no one else was offering.

JENNY GUY: So getting a little bit on to that, Brad, you mentioned something that I am curious about, and I’m always curious. This is a huge, hot button topic that I’ve heard people talk about. You said, “brand safety.” And I know that that term is big and can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But it definitely has impacts on earnings for our publishers.

BRAD HAGMANN: Right.

JENNY GUY: Can you talk about what brand-safe content is and how people can maybe adapt their content to become more brand-safe?

BRAD HAGMANN: Sure. I mean, for the most part, I think all of our publishers are very good about writing brand-safe content. Brand-safe content is just writing content that would be considered PG. If your kid was looking over your shoulder while you were reading it, it would be OK for them to read, you know?

And this is exactly what our advertisers are looking for. So it can sometimes be a little bit of a tricky thing. And I’ll tell one of my favorite stories on brand safety right after this.

But you sometimes use words in your post that are going to be picked up by advertisers. And they’re not going to want to place their ad against it. Even if it’s used in a completely safe context, they’re still not going to want to be next to it. Their systems are going to detect it and avoid bidding on inventory on that page.

And my favorite story on this one– I tell it all the time– is someone is writing a completely– it was really great relationship advice–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Relationship.

BRAD HAGMANN: Exactly. And they were talking about having sex with– or increasing your sex life with your partner. And instead of using the word “sex,” we changed all of the words in that post to “make love.” And they saw huge– huge– increases in their RPM because it was one of their top posts. And we took a post that was not brand-safe and made it brand-safe.

JENNY GUY: Has that been a thing to where– what about words like “chicken breast”? If they’re saying “breast,” is that a thing?

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. That’s– I don’t know. Amber, what do you think about that one?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: This is a question for Phil maybe.

JENNY GUY: I’m just curious.

BRAD HAGMANN: I think–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I would hope that they have the ability for context, especially given how long recipe and food bloggers have been around. But I know that even at our conference, like Rubicon was saying things like, if you– you know how the word “murder” has become a bit more facetious? Like, “I’m going to murder that– I murdered that recipe,” or, “I killed it,” or whatever.

Like, she was saying during their talk at our conference that there absolutely are times where you probably shouldn’t use that slang. That if you’re not getting an RPM you want, and you have slang like that on your blog, maybe change it and see what happens.

And it’s not that they’re trying to censor you. It’s just that these brands need their ads to be next to content that they trust. And so they have to have some fail safes for that, right? They have to have some detection.

And they’re not going to get it perfect. The internet still doesn’t get it perfect, right? Even Google doesn’t get this perfect, the contextual stuff, perfectly.

And so it’s just one of those things to play around with. If you’ve got a top post that mentions murder, or sex, or killing, or whatever, maybe consider changing those words and see what happens.

JENNY GUY: Maybe don’t say, “I’m going to murder those nachos,” when you’re really hungry for those nachos.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. That kind of thing.

BRAD HAGMANN: Or I made this dish for my family and it killed, or something like that.

JENNY GUY: Yeah.

BRAD HAGMANN: Just being mindful of the slang that you’re using inside of your post.

JENNY GUY: This dish killed at my reunion. Literally, killed someone over.

[LAUGHTER]

So with Q1 coming– and it’s not just spending on the brand side, it’s also traffic, right? We have a lot– a lot of our lifestyle niches are seeing a pretty big drop in traffic, as well, after the Q4 holidays, correct, Brad?

BRAD HAGMANN: They probably will. Yeah. I mean, people are done printing their recipes. People are done researching all the gifts. So there could be a downturn in traffic. But I think one of the goals that you have to aim for is shifting your focus and making sure that that downturn in traffic doesn’t happen.

I think people aren’t done staring at their smartphones after the holidays. There are still people– you know, same internet audience is out there. It’s just, how are you going to get in front of that audience now, now that Q4 is over and the holiday recipes or holiday travel is over, where can you shift your focus to grab that audience?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So did you see he’s here?

JENNY GUY: I know. I was waiting until you finished answering this before I acknowledged that the Hochberger was lurking about. Amber, do you have an answer for the question that I just asked about traffic after Q4? Do we see a drop there?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I mean, we do. Like, well, it depends on your niche, right? So we’ll have bloggers– Pinch of Nom comes to mind, Sorey Fitness comes to mind. We definitely have bloggers who will see– suddenly they’ll see their surge of traffic in Q1 because their focus is on the things that people are caring about in Q1.

If you’ve got a blog entirely devoted to Peloton, I think you’re going to see–

JENNY GUY: I mean, yay!

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yay! I think you’re going to see a big influx. But, unfortunately, I think these fitness companies weirdly are still operating their budgets to the rest of the advertising world’s whims.

So I also will correct myself. Eric says that he would not assume that most advertiser keyword detection uses context. So perhaps if you talk a lot about chickens breast, change it to chicken cutlets or something similar. In the UK, they say goujons. I don’t– [LAUGHS]

So maybe, yeah. Maybe change that stuff. See if you get an increase in RPM. I mean, I’m up for anything that will help you earn more money. So if something as simple as finding and changing the word “breast” throughout your blog results in that, then let’s do it, right?

JENNY GUY: Yeah. Might as well. OK. So we’ve kind of started to delve into this a little bit with Brad’s response about refocusing, changing your focus. So what do we do moving into Q1? What are the things that we need to shift that focus to and try to pivot from all the things that are happening in Q4? Let’s start with Brad.

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. I mean, I think now’s the time to start looking ahead in 2020. I think use this time when revenue is down to look back at 2019. What worked in 2019? And what can we improve upon for 2020? You know?

I think as soon as Christmas decorations start coming down, Valentine’s Day and Easter decorations go up in all the stores. So it’s time to shift your focus towards maybe more content geared toward that.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: [LAUGHS] I’m sorry. I’m laughing at Chef Dennis.

JENNY GUY: I know!

BRAD HAGMANN: [LAUGHS] He’s so funny.

JENNY GUY: We’ve got to better at not reacting to the comments. Brad, so immediately start looking at next big seasonal curve that’s coming, the next big popular content that you need to optimize?

BRAD HAGMANN: Absolutely.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. And, to be honest with you, so the thing about the holidays is a lot of bloggers work ahead, right? Because they want the content available before people are looking for it. And so, for me, like I’m seeing posts left or right from bloggers that are in my friends’ list that are saying, “I’m so sick of the holidays. I don’t want to– I don’t want to see another thing about a turkey, or a Christmas tree, or whatever.”

And so I would actually say, like, even though Q1 is a big downturn, there’s still money to be made there. And so maybe the thing to do right now since you’re now coasting– like, there’s not a lot of point in creating new content before the end of the year that is specific to Christmas, or whatever the case may be– use some of this time to look in your analytics for what was popular last Q1. And make sure it’s optimized.

Use the RPM Challenge. Or just go through it yourself, and make sure you’re happy with all of it, and that it has as much good content as you want. [LAUGHS] We’re really bad at reacting to the comments. Oh, you brought it up, Jenny!

JENNY GUY: I said, “Chick–” OK. Look, I’ll say all the words. Chef Dennis suggested we should call it “chicken boobies,” which I don’t know that that’s going to make it any more advertiser safe. I don’t know that brands will–

BRAD HAGMANN: I don’t think so.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I don’t think so either.

JENNY GUY: Boobies.

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. I would probably avoid that word. Yeah.

JENNY GUY: Glen Hill– also, do you want to eat chicken boobies? I don’t that doesn’t appealing.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: No.

JENNY GUY: Glen Hill said, “Perhaps call it ‘chicken white meat.'” I think that’s an excellent suggestion. Elizabeth Barbone said, “chicken ta-tas.”

[LAUGHTER]

So now that we’ve really maxed out on our synonyms for “breast”– thank you, audience– so you were saying, doing the RPM Challenge, the RPM Challenge– ah, yes. Kerry, we do know that the Amber’s name is apparently changing in size over and over again. V LIVE cannot decide what size it needs to be. So it’s changing it. We apologize for the distraction.

Is it less distracting than saying “chicken boobies”? I don’t know. We’ll let you decide. So refocusing, doing that RPM Challenge on what we know is going to historically perform well in Q1. What else? What if we– so let’s quickly do a rundown of what the RPM Challenge asks.

When we say optimize content that we know is going to perform well in Q1, what precisely are we talking about, Amber?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So I’m saying go into your Analytics and look and see what your top 10 posts were last January, last February, last March, by focusing in on those specific dates in Google Analytics. So you make your list.

And then you go and you actually look at those posts. Make sure that you have paragraphs that are only one to two sentences long. Make sure that it’s hard returns between each paragraph. If it’s not, your paragraph tags will not separate them. And so there still– it doesn’t improve your ad performance because there’s still not a spot for us to insert our ad code-wise.

So make sure that there are hard returns between your paragraphs. Make sure that you have lots of good photos. You know, if you have the ability to add more photos, that’s never a bad idea, so long as they’re well-optimized and they make sense to the post.

Can you create a video? Can you create a video using Animoto? Can you create a video using your own stuff that you have? I think that’s exceptionally helpful and can add tons of schema to your posts that helps– you know, it’ll show your video in enriched snippets. So that’s great.

Are there ways– what is a hard return? So, Dennis, you have the ability on your keyboard to either do a soft return, which is when you hold down the Shift key and hit Return, or a hard return, is just hitting the Return key.

So the reason that people get into the habit of doing soft returns is things like Facebook sometimes will submit your comments or your post before you’re ready if you hit the hard return, if you just hit Enter. And so you get into the habit of hitting Shift-Enter to create a new line so that you don’t get cut off, or post your comments or your post before you mean to.

And then people get into the habit of that in WordPress because it respects the same thing. And so it’s basically like making a line break without making a new paragraph tag, code-wise.

Yes, Eric. Has a good point. Also make sure that you’re doing hard returns after images because again that’s another thing that people will accidentally Shift-Enter after.

JENNY GUY: So what will– Michelle has a question here.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: What will a hard return look like in the HTML code?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: A new paragraph tag. So the line before it will have a closed paragraph tag, which is the brackets slash p. And then the next line will have an open paragraph tag, which is the brackets with the p.

JENNY GUY: Brad, same question to you. So we’ve got kind of an overview of what the RPM Challenge means. But I wanted to– no, that’s not what I wanted to ask you. What I wanted to ask you was about video.

I was going ask my questions and I got dis– I started thinking about chicken boobies, and I started– I got a little sidetracked and I went down a rabbit hole.

But I wanted to ask you what have you seen? Because you get into the analytics. You see when the earnings– what happens with RPM– and I wanted to hear it from Brad from the Internet– what video does mean to RPMs and earnings of our publishers?

BRAD HAGMANN: I think video is probably the number one way that you could help stem some of that drop in January. I pulled some stats prior to this just because I’m a data nerd and I want to have the stats in front of me.

So coming into January, we’re going to see– you know, January RPMs, on average, are going to be somewhere between 40% and 50% lower than December. So we’re going to see a massive drop. And that’s what it was last year. There’s no way of knowing what it’s going to be like this year. But it’s going to be something similar.

But we also see that, when you add a video to your site or a couple of videos to your site, your RPM increases by 15% to 20%. So right there, you can take a huge chunk of the RPM that you’re losing and gain it back by adding some videos onto your site.

JENNY GUY: And I will say, you have to be running the video in all the ways that we offer.

BRAD HAGMANN: Right, exactly. Yeah. It can’t just be embedded in a single post. It has to be inserted into all posts via the video settings in your Dashboard. So, yeah. I mean, that’s a great way to take a chunk out of that RPM that you’re losing and gain it back.

If you’re only running one video, make another video so that you can take advantage of our Playlist setting. With that setting, we will run an ad before your first video. Your video will run. And then between your first and second video, another ad will run. And it will have an opportunity to run another ad.

So if you have a really great, engaged audience, it’s another way to get really high CPM-paying ad in front of your user.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: And the thing is, video can add great user experience, too, if you’re offering a way for them to consume how you’re telling them to make your craft, or showing pictures of the places that you visited in Bali. That is helpful to your audience. And that’s what I think all advertisers are looking for is video that people can actually engage with and want to watch, whatever format that takes, whether it’s using the photos you have or recording a live video of yourself, those count.

So just in terms of what you’re creating in video, you have to put yourself in your readers’ shoes and make something that helps them and engages them. So long as you’re doing that, you’re good.

JENNY GUY: And it’s not just what the readers are liking or the viewers are liking. It’s not just what the advertisers are liking. It’s also what Google is liking. It’s what the search engines are liking.

You’re going to help yourself with SEO and perform better in the search engine results by including video. I mean, that’s what they’re saying.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

BRAD HAGMANN: Mhm.

JENNY GUY: So standing back and waiting for a video to be more than it is now, I don’t– I mean, it probably will. It probably will continue to grow in importance. But–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: –there really is no– it’s conclusive. There’s no doubt that maybe this is–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Now that lazy load the video player and stuff, there’s really no downside to adding video to your site. Like, it won’t slow your site down very much. You know, it’s not going to be obnoxious to your reader because it auto-plays with muted.

BRAD HAGMANN: Mhm.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So, like, it’s not going to destroy your user experience the way that maybe it used to with the old rules before there was research into what actually is best user experience, right? The rules used to be that they had to auto-play with sound.

And then it was realized that that’s actually really not a great user experience. And so the rules changed. So I really think there’s not a downside to running video these days. If you can create it, create it please.

JENNY GUY: Michelle Palen said, “Tip– do a Top 10 Posts or Top 10 New Recipes of 2019″ blog posts with a simple 35 to 50-second video that goes with it. Very helpful in January especially.”

She said, “I made $3,000 just on that slideshow this year,” and it took her less than an hour in Animoto to create the slideshow.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That’s amazing.

BRAD HAGMANN: There you go. Great job. That’s awesome.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Fantastic, Michelle.

JENNY GUY: So 35 to 50-seconds, is that an ideal time? Talk to me a little bit about why we need what times we need with video? Brad, will you start on that?

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. It’s an Ad Policy thing. So most video ads that run are somewhere on 30-seconds long. And Ad Policy requires that the video be longer than the ad that runs before it. You know? It makes sense. It’s great user experience.

So the minimum that we want to create is at least 30-seconds. But I think aim for that 45-second to a minute minimum. And if it’s really good content, don’t rush through it just to try to get to that one minute. Don’t worry about going over. That’s not going to harm you at all.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

BRAD HAGMANN: You just really have to focus on getting at least to that 40, 45-second mark so that you stay within the limits of Ad Policy and don’t get dinged as far as that goes. Because nobody wants to be dinged by Ad Policy. It’s a hard thing to work through. And that’s certainly going to affect your earnings if that were to happen.

JENNY GUY: So Ad Policy, you keep talking about getting dinged by Ad Policy, which kind of sounds festive like, I was dinged by Ad Policy. But it’s not.

BRAD HAGMANN: It’s not.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It’s not.

BRAD HAGMANN: It’s not.

JENNY GUY: So could you explain what it is and what would cause us to be dinged?

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. So Google sets forth what they call “Ad Policy,” which is the policy that they want their ads basically not serve next to or serve next to it, depending on how you want to look at it. So things like the video thing that we just talked about, or having guts and gore on your page, talking about firearms or other weapons are not things that they want their advertisers served next to.

So they put forth what they call “Ad Policy.” And they just simply won’t serve ads on pages that have words and content like that. And then if you have enough content on your site like that, and you’re breaking Ad Policy on the majority of your pages, there’s a potential for Google to just say, we’re not working with this site at all. And we’re just going to shut it down completely.

And, at that point, it’s very hard to get off that blacklist. It is possible, depending on the policy. But it’s incredibly difficult and it takes weeks or months.

And during those times, you’re not going have Google running on your page, which is for most publishers 50% to 60% of the ads being bought on your site are bought by Google.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right.

BRAD HAGMANN: So you want to talk about an RPM killer, that is something that would do it. And your RPMs are going to be down in Q1 anyway. So you don’t want a policy violation on top of that to bring it down even more.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. And I wanted to circle back real quick just to one thing with regards to video and what Michelle said, is that you need to make sure that you create a post. If you’re making a Top 10 Video like she described, she also made a post, right?

That helps with context for which video ad buyers are going to buy into that. And we actually require that you have a URL that goes to the video so that we have context, both for ad buying, but it also helps SEO for that video.

So you would– just keep in mind that you want to be creating these things with the mindset that you’re also creating a post that goes with it, like a meaningful post that goes with it that’s good content.

JENNY GUY: So we had a question from Lynn April. She was asking about– I believe what she’s asking about, she said that a fan– she’s asking about a logo. This is an app. Yes. It is the icon turquoise with a fan image. So when we’re talking about Animoto. That’s what Michelle is mentioning.

And it’s a company that– it’s an app– it’s a program that helps you to create video using existing content that you are to have– pictures, images, paired with music, text overlays– that you can easily do and create to get video on your site quickly.

We did do a Live with them. We did have a coupon code. And I believe it’s still active, if you want to try that out. So we can share that Live link with you so you can watch it and get that code.

We have– she got it. Great. OK. Sylvia Martinez says, “January is another month with high traffic for me since Mexican families celebrate Christmas season all the way to February 2.” Girl, I’m in.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That is amazing.

BRAD HAGMANN: [LAUGHS]

JENNY GUY: “So I’m optimizing and adding video already to these posts, hoping that helps. I use iMovie for my videos. Super easy.”

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Fantastic.

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. It’s a great idea.

JENNY GUY: So–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: And that’s– honestly, that is such a perfect example of knowing your audience, and knowing how they’re going to interact, and how they’re going to come at you, right? And it’s one of those things– I say it all the time when I’m talking to people about this– is make sure you’re zooming out on how your traffic does, right?

Because you think you know what’s happening because you’re zooming in day-to-day. But if you zoom out, you might get a completely different perspective. You might think that your traffic drops off a cliff January 1. And the truth is, it doesn’t stop until January 15 because one of your top posts is about something to do with champagne, right? And people are still doing New Year’s stuff.

And so, yeah. That is a perfect example of knowing exactly how your audience is going to behave for you.

JENNY GUY: How would you zoom out? What do you mean by “zoom out?”

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: By “zoom out,” I mean look at the entire year of traffic in Google Analytics to see what your patterns are. And then you can zoom in a little bit more. Like, look at your quarter, and then look at your month.

You know, you can even look week-by-week if you want to get that granular. But, usually, looking month-by-month is enough for you to know what you’d need to optimize.

JENNY GUY: And year-over-year, right? If you’ve been doing this for a long time, you’re wanting to do year– and that’s the same way you’d want to compare– I just kicked my table. That was the same way you’d want to compare your earnings. And we’ll talk about that in a minute.

We just had a question from Ellen Folkman. She said, “How do you feel about Lumen5 for videos?”

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. I think it’s fine. I have an account. One thing I don’t think is a good idea is I know Lumen5 will automatically pull in the images from your post and make a video for you. I don’t think those are valuable.

I think that you really need some context and some good content to your video, rather than just it being a slideshow of images. We’ve never really encouraged just that slideshow aspect. So whatever they’re automatically making for you, kind of ignore that and think about what’s going to be useful to your reader. And create something there.

JENNY GUY: Brad, you’re concurring there?

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. I agree. As long as you’re making content and not allowing a program to make it for you– I don’t think having a program to make it for you would be considered original content whatsoever. As long as you’re putting your hands on that program, and making that content, putting images in, and maybe some music behind it, and some text that is relevant to everything, and tying it all together, I think that’s a much better user experience, and really what you should be aiming for, no matter what program you use.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Mhm.

JENNY GUY: So I’m going to pivot a little bit away from video and ask about– we were talking about the RPM Challenge. We were talking about preparing with content. And that’s all about optimizing existing content.

What about creating new content? And how do those things play together in a strategy? Which is more important? Especially heading into what we know as going to be a low spend time, like Q1, is it more important to create old content– or create new content– how would you– er. [LAUGHS]

How would you create new content versus updating and optimizing old content?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Well, I personally say I would start with content you know is getting traffic, right? That’s guaranteed that it’s going to get some amount of traffic. Even if it’s less than last year, it’s still going to get traffic.

And so I would start with the optimization. It shouldn’t take you too long, unless you really need to overhaul a post entirely. I would say it shouldn’t take you more than a day or two, at most to do five or 10. And then I would look at creating new content.

And I would look at creating new content using the content that you have. What’s doing well? What is ranking a little bit lower on page one? And how can you support that to push it up, right? So I would focus on creating content that can help the content you already have rank higher, rather than just wiping the slate clean and trying to go after a new keyword immediately. Like, build up to that.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. Brad, did you have anything to add to that one?

BRAD HAGMANN: I don’t. I’m going to defer to the SEO expert on that one. I am many– I am many things. But I am not an SEO [INAUDIBLE].

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. I wouldn’t classify myself as an expert that– I’ll that that Eric, and Matt, and Steve. But they taught me well. So–

JENNY GUY: So here’s a question, Brad. How do ads make money for publishers? How does that work?

BRAD HAGMANN: [LAUGHS] So, yeah. You’re going to have to get the acronym sheet out I think in order to get through this one.

JENNY GUY: Yay! I was hoping that would happen today.

BRAD HAGMANN: [LAUGHS] Yeah. So, I mean, it’s just you get paid a little bit of money every time an ad is being seen. And when I say “a little bit,” it’s typically like fractions of a penny, which is why we price our ads based on CPM. There there’s an acronym for you.

Or cost per thousand, just simply because it’s easier to price something on a $3 CPM versus saying you’re pricing it on, whatever, 3/1,000 of a penny per ad view or whatever.

And then the whole process is used pretty much industry-wide now. It’s called header bidding or real-time bidding. And it’s just basically a massive auction that’s taking place behind the scenes between thousands and thousands of advertisers for every single ad unit on your page.

And it all happens in milliseconds. It’s crazy. So, as your ad management company, we’re doing everything to make them pay the highest CPMs possible, optimizing for viewability and giving you sight speed tips, and setting up special deals with advertisers, and so many other things. But, yeah, that’s kind of the long and short of it.

JENNY GUY: OK. And, Amber, anything to add to that explanation?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Really the only other thing that I would add is you’re going to get paid more the longer an ad is in view. So that is a piece of the puzzle. It’s part of the reason that we lazy load is so that we’re not loading ads that won’t have any kind of view happening.

And so think about that as you write your content, format your content, build your website, change a theme, is when someone is reading this page on a phone– because that’s the majority of where your audience is– how are they interacting with my ads? And how long would they be interacting with my ads?

Like, in terms of is my content engaging enough to keep them on the page? And that’s why we always encourage, like, write long, engaging content. Right? Like, answer questions that people might have that they’ve asked in the comments and things like that.

Because not only does that stuff help your users, and how they consume your page, and what they get from it, it helps your SEO, and it helps your ads. It helps your ads perform better because people are engaged with your content.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. We got a question from Michelle Palen. She’s going back to the question I asked, which is how do ads make money? Or how do our publishers make money for Mediavine?

She said, “I’m hoping you cover the basics a little bit. Like, is there a difference in earnings on an ad if the person clicks on it? Or on a video, does the person have to watch the whole ad for the publisher to earn? Do they earn differently when the audience member is watching five seconds or the whole video ad?”

Brad, can you cover that?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. That’s all Brad.

BRAD HAGMANN: [LAUGHS] I’ll do my best. I think advertisers are looking at click-through rates and viewability on the ad unit level. So if they’re seeing an ad like our desktop sticky sidebar unit that has fantastic viewability, and is engaged with often by the audience, they’re going to kind of mark that in your domain as a place where that happens.

And, yes, they are going to end up paying you a little bit more on average than somebody who, say, has that same ad unit, but it’s stuck way at the bottom of their post where nobody sees it.

So the video question? I’m honestly– honest, that might be a Hochberger question. I don’t know if– I don’t believe–

JENNY GUY: Well, he is here–

BRAD HAGMANN: –they have to watch whole ad for us to earn, I think.

JENNY GUY: –commenting. He’s emojiing. Eric, your time is now. What–

BRAD HAGMANN: I think once it renders, they get paid. But I think I need Hochberger to–

JENNY GUY: Let’s see what comes in and says about that. So can you do a TL;DR while we wait for Hochberger to deign us with some knowledge, to drop knowledge bombs on our comments. What does header bidding mean? You said it means like real-time bidding. What does that mean?

BRAD HAGMANN: So I like to compare it to like– so we’ve all been to an auction, right? Where you go to either whether it be like an eBay-type auction or if you actually go into like an auction-auction where there’s people there and things like that.

JENNY GUY: [INAUDIBLE]

BRAD HAGMANN: So I like to compare it to that where, like, in Q4, if you were to walk into this auction, there’d be a ton of bidders there, right? And you’d know if you wanted something, you’re just– you’re going to have to pay more for it because there are so many bidders there.

Whereas in Q1, the room is going to be more empty. So there’s going to be fewer bidders. But it’s very similar to that. They’re looking at the quality of your inventory, and they’re going to base their bids, what they’re willing to pay for that inventory, on that quality. And the higher quality it is, the more they’re going to pay.

JENNY GUY: That is helpful. I like that. I like that. But Q1, guys, I know what you get paid less. But don’t feel bad. It’s like a really– like, it’s a classy auction. It’s like a art auction.

[LAUGHTER]

So even though it’s quieter, like, it’s still– we’re keeping it classy at Q1, everyone. Don’t worry.

OK. Eric did come in. He said, “As long as it’s rendered and placed for at least two seconds, you’re paid.” then he further–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: qualified

JENNY GUY: Sorry. “Paid at start of play. If it’s two seconds in screen, you’re considered ‘viewed.’ But they continue buying based on ‘completion rate,’ so you want them to finish watching.”

So Michelle Palen says, “You’re paid more money if they click on it? More money if they watch the whole ad?” So he just said, “Yes, you are paid more based on completion rate.” So you do want them to watch the whole ad.

Do we have any units– even video, anything– where we’re paid– where publishers are paid additional if people click on the ads, Brad?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That’s always been my understanding is, yes. But–

BRAD HAGMANN: I’m sorry. Can you repeat the question?

JENNY GUY: If they click on an ad, if they click on an ad, are they paid more?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Are they paid more?

BRAD HAGMANN: That– I honestly don’t know the answer to that one either. I always assumed it was based more on averages. So if your ad in the ad unit as a whole its click rate is higher, it increases its value in the marketplace. And they’re looking at that sort of average click-through rate when it comes time to bid, just simply because, historically, it’s saying that this ad is getting clicked more often. So I’m going to put my ad here.

And they’re going to pay more to be there. So I’m not sure if they get more if an ad is clicked, if they’re going to get a CPM, or paid just a few pennies for that ad being seen, plus whatever, a bonus for the ad being clicked, I don’t think that’s the case. But I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard the answer to that one fully.

JENNY GUY: Eric said, “Same concept as completion rate. CTR means they keep coming back. Some advertisers, like AdWords, pay based on click.” So it sounds like it depends. Our lawyer answer is that it depends.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It depends.

BRAD HAGMANN: It depends.

JENNY GUY: OK. So this–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Shout out to JL.

JENNY GUY: This last question is the big question. And I kind of want to get some time to have some different variations on it and different aspects for it. But when we’re looking at ad revenue– and I know not everybody wants to do this. Some people just want to create their content and get paid what they get paid for ads.

But some people want to dig in and do testing. And some people want to really dig into their Dashboard, and their settings, and figure do A/B testing on what works for their featured video, what doesn’t.

So what are some of the things that we want to track when we’re actually tracking our success with our ad revenue? What are the important metrics to look at in the Dashboard? What settings should we be experimenting with? Is the in-content added density settings, the featured video, things like that. I want to talk a little bit about how we– because it seems like Q1 might be a good time to do some tracking.

BRAD HAGMANN: I would actually say not to get overly hung up on the metrics. I think focus on optimizing your content, and getting those Teal health checks, and the metrics will just sort of follow.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

BRAD HAGMANN: Take a look at your top posts and optimize those for anything else. If you’re writing a new post to grab some of that Q1 traffic, make sure it’s fully optimized before you hit Public. You know, the worst thing that could happen is if you write a post in Q1 and all of a sudden someone grabs it, it goes viral, and it’s not optimized.

So, no, that’s not to say don’t ever look at your RPM. Of course look at it. Look for big drops. And try to figure out– either on your own or with the help of our support team– why that drop happened. But pay more attention to the overall picture. Pay more attention to your health checks and your RPM will follow.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right.

BRAD HAGMANN: Go ahead, Amber.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Part of the reason that we created the health checks was to get people focusing on the right things, right? Because people were getting lost in things like fill rate, and click-through rate, and things like that.

And it’s, like, fill rate is the wrong thing to focus on because 100% fill rate– we have a blog post on that, that Eric wrote years ago about Miley Cyrus. But–

JENNY GUY: That’s page views.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: You’re right. That’s page views. But it was, like, the same time. But, yeah. That’s called 100% Fill Rate Sucks. And the reason it does is that, in order to reach that point, you have to basically give away sort of like the last 20% to 30% of your inventory for a fraction of what the 70% went for.

And that will– overall, that lowers your RPM and your average CPM to just– [LAUGHS] you’ve just sort of shot yourself in the foot by forcing that 100% fill. You’re not going to make as much money as you think you will, which is why we don’t focus on it.

We focus on making sure the ones that do fill are paying you as much money as possible. And so, yeah. That’s exactly why the health checks were created, was to kind of get you focusing on making more content and making good content. And what we found when we first started doing this was that people were focusing on these numbers because, at the time, we had the most detailed Dashboard. I would argue that we probably still do.

But we had the most detailed Dashboard in terms of all these numbers. And so people would focus on them and be so focused on those things that they were wasting time trying to find out why they weren’t reaching what they thought they should be, instead of making more content and optimizing the content that they do have.

And so that is why we implemented those. And I’ll answer Dennis really quickly. “Viewability” means, like, your actual view time.

JENNY GUY: So I’m going to– let me say the question out loud so people know what we’re talking about.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: And there’s a couple of questions ahead of that one.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. Sorry.

JENNY GUY: That’s all right. So Sylvia Martinez said, “Would you please give some pointers about best practices for keywords and descriptions in the video player?”

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: You should think of them in the same way that you do SEO for your post. And fill them out in the same way. So use the keyword that you’re targeting, use other keywords that are similar that you want to target, write a good description that isn’t just, like, “This is banana pudding. It tastes good.”

Don’t do that. You know, write, “Banana pudding made with vanilla wafers, and bananas, and vanilla pudding is easy to make ahead, blah, blah, blah, blah.” That kind of thing, where it’s very specific and describes what you’re doing there.

It will give the advertisers more to work with. And will also give the search engines more to work with.

JENNY GUY: Perfect. Anything to add to that one, Brad.

BRAD HAGMANN: I don’t. Again, that’s an SEO question. I’m going to defer to the SEO person in the room. I mean, my understanding from Eric is that the ad buyers also use it. So the more that you can put there, like, in terms of description, the better. That’s from years ago. So, Eric, please correct me if I’m wrong.

JENNY GUY: I’m sure that he will.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Mhm.

JENNY GUY: OK. Thomas Williams said, “I look at my Teal every day. That is our main focus, to stay Teal at least 98% of the time.” So in terms of going in there and worrying about if we’re going to– let’s say, one of our 2020 resolutions is to pay more attention to what’s happening in our Mediavine Dashboard. The main focus, the first focus, should be on those health checks and making sure that those stay in a good spot Teal. Is that what you’re saying, Brad?

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, the sites with the highest health checks are going to earn the best in Q1, the same way they’re going to earn higher in Q4. So it’s all relative. So, absolutely, always aim for those health checks to be high.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: And part of the reason that we say this is a good time to go ahead and look at, like, what went viral or what had a lot of traffic last Q1 is there’s the possibility that you didn’t ever optimize those. And if you can catch them and optimize them before they start to get a lot of traffic again, you’re not missing out on those impressions.

Whereas what typically happens if your health checks drop off is that a post that is not well-optimized is suddenly getting a lot of traffic, right? And so that’s part of the reason that those are there is so that you can adjust the date range, look and see what’s getting traffic.

And, all of a sudden, you’re like, oh, that’s a post I wrote in 2008. A pin must have gone crazy for it. And now I need to go and optimize that so that I’m making the most possible money off of it.

JENNY GUY: So Erin Rachel Staples said, “I look at my Dashboard every day. I’m all Teal in the health check. Is there a way to get a health check per post? Or is it just per site?” And that was kind of what you were talking about there. So what are the health check lights reflecting?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: They’re reflecting– for the first health check, the sidebar ad, it’s how many times the sticky sidebar ad is refreshing in relation to how many impressions were loaded for the first sidebar ad. I believe it’s still that way.

And we want at least– I think Eric upped those, didn’t he? So it’s like two, now? Two or three.

And then the mobile and desktop ones are how many impressions you’re getting per session. And so what you can do is you can tell that the number of in-content ads you’re getting on a page view, if you take the number of your health check and divide it by your average pages per session, then you get the actual number of ads that are loading on an average page view.

And what we’re looking for there is that people are staying engaged with your content long enough that you reach those goals.

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. I think just when you’re writing a post and after it’s published, go in and look at how many in-content ads are showing inside of that post. And then you want to aim for those numbers that are in the health check. So I think Teal is– I don’t remember right off the top of my head. But I’m going to look at this amazing help article.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I think it’s four and eight.

BRAD HAGMANN: Yeah. You’re correct. On desktop, it’s four. And then on mobile, it’s eight. So you want to go in and look at that as a live post and make sure there’s at least four in-content ads showing up on desktop and at least eight showing up on mobile.

If there’s not, add a picture. Do a hard return. Add a video in there to lengthen that content out and get some more in-content ads in that space.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Look at what other people are asking. Like, if you do a Google search for this topic, and that little box comes up that says, “People Also Ask,” if you can add some of the content that answers those questions to your post, that’s a way to lengthen it and provide value, as well.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. Eric also filled in a little bit there. He shared the Mediavine video details post in there. And he also said, “Title, link, and keywords are used by advertisers.” So those are the things they’re paying attention to.

Description is just use when we output schema.org, so for SEO.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Perfect.

JENNY GUY: So that’s the distinction.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Thank you, Eric.

JENNY GUY: Absolutely. OK. Everyone is saying, thank you. We’re out of time. We’re actually over time

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: We are.

BRAD HAGMANN: That went fast.

JENNY GUY: They do go fast, especially when I’ve got two amazing guests.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Look at that. Brad, it’s like you’re the Petronas. You’ve done it. So now you know you can do it again.

BRAD HAGMANN: Oh, I have to do it again?

JENNY GUY: Yeah. Of course you have to do again. [LAUGHS]

BRAD HAGMANN: I’ll start begging as soon as I get off this line. Because–

JENNY GUY: He’s already messaging, private messaging me right now–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: We’ve already got him scheduled.

JENNY GUY: –when do I get to come on again?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

BRAD HAGMANN: Great.

JENNY GUY: He’s only 17 future lives. So Dennis– Dennis just said, “Oh, my god. That’s what the numbers mean! We’re so glad to be able to–“

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Oh, Dennis, there’s a link next to the health checks that tells you what they mean, my friend.

JENNY GUY: So now he knows the then that’s– you click it. When it’s clickable, click it and see what happens. Everyone’s saying, thank you. Michelle Price says, “Keep going.” Jessie Jensen says, “Encore. You guys are doing great.” Everyone is saying, thank you.

So just quickly, a quick announcement. Teal Talk will be back on Thursday, January 9, 2020. We’ll be featuring Kathleen Shannon of the Being Boss podcast.

We are going to be talking about engineering the decade of your dreams. And I’m so excited to have her on. I think it’s going to be an incredible Live. And we always– she has so many gems and so many things to talk about, really making the year and the decade happen the way you want it to.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Wait a minute. Does that mean this is the very last Teal Talk of the decade?

BRAD HAGMANN: That’s crazy.

JENNY GUY: It is. It’s the last Teal Talk of the decade. We’re so excited about that I had two amazing, wonderful, inspirational people on for the final Teal Talk of the decade. Wah-wah. That was my ominous decade-ending music.

So, in the meantime, please buy yourself the gift of a better business for the new decade with a ticket to MVCon Baltimore. Those are on sale right now. We’re so excited. It’s our biggest conference yet.

And we are going to have incredible speakers, opportunities, brands. As Amber just said, we were looking through some of the applications. And there’s really just– no matter which way we go, we’re going to have just spoiled with great education with this one.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: We’re spoiled for choice on this one, for sure.

JENNY GUY: So, please, buy your tickets now. We want to see you there. And, oh, Dennis said, “We are going to start the decade of Mediavine, while simultaneously the decade of video.” So all of those things are happening at the same time.

Thank you, guys. You have a wonderful, wonderful holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, we are excited that we’re– pleased that you’ve been here in 2019. And we are looking forward to an even better 2020.

So be in touch with us if you need anything. Please be kind to your publisher support staff when your RPM drops. It is not their fault.

BRAD HAGMANN: It’s going to happen.

JENNY GUY: They did not do it. And they can’t fix it with an Easy button.

To Brad and Amber, thank you. You guys have a great holiday season, too.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Thank you, Jenny.

BRAD HAGMANN: You, as well. Happy holidays, everyone.

JENNY GUY: Bye. Happy holidays.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Bye, everybody.

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