SEO Case Study: Play Party Plan

Do ads impact speed and and SEO? 

That’s a question we answer a lot over here. 

The answer is complicated. Sure, ads can slow down a site. Since the Internet became a thing, we’ve all experienced a slow down, and probably a bad pop-up or two! 

But at Mediavine, we’re not about those kinds of ads. Search engines and social media sites like Pinterest have said time and again that pagespeed matters when it comes to ranking pages in search results. 

Search engines are what drive much of the traffic to Mediavine’s O&O sites, so every new ad unit, product or idea we work on here needs speed. We would never want to jeopardize that for ourselves nor our publishers. 

That’s why we do things like work with quality ad partners, lazy load our ads and our video player and develop settings for optimizing pagespeed. It’s why we devote time to writing pagespeed blog posts and help guides for our publishers.

It’s also why we publish our Case Study series, because we want you to see for yourselves that SEO and ads can coexist. 

Today we’re back with another one, and we’re excited to welcome Britni Vigil of Play Party Plan to the Mediavine blog. Britni shared with us her story about joining Mediavine and how Mediavine has enabled her to take her website to the next level, without compromising SEO or speed. 

What made you come to Mediavine for full service ad management?

I felt like I’d reached a point with my previous ad provider that I no longer had any other options to optimize, grow, or increase my revenue. A few of my friends had previously switched to Mediavine and were raving about their experiences, so I decided to try it out for myself.

What was your experience with digital ads before Mediavine?

I’d worked with various digital ad providers both for desktop and mobile ads.

How is working with Mediavine different?

For me, the biggest change has been the personalized service that Mediavine provides. On previous ad providers, it felt like I was just part of a big group and answers provided about improving my ad revenue and optimizing my site for ads were generic – you’re doing great, there’s nothing you can do.

When I ask for input or help from Mediavine, the answers are personalized, well thought out and researched for my site individually, and always helpful. There is always something I can do to improve and Mediavine is regularly helping me to figure out what those things are. I’ve never received a you’re doing great, there’s nothing you can do answer.

What impact, if any, have Mediavine ads had on your site speed?

I’m honestly not sure because I’ve done so many things for site speed in the past few years. As far as I can tell, Mediavine ads have had neither a positive or negative impact on my site speed. The work I have done in response to Mediavine’s instructions and guidance has significantly improved my site speed.

Describe Mediavine’s support. Is there a specific instance where Mediavine Publisher Support has gone above and beyond for you?

I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel like Mediavine goes above and beyond every time I ask for help or recommendations. Instead of just providing me with generic information, they do a deep dive into my ads and site to provide me with specific things to work on that are personalized to me, not just general industry guidelines.

One instance in particular was during the middle of the Halloween season when my RPMs dropped significantly over the weekend, and I couldn’t figure out why. After looking at my site and the RPM drop, Mediavine pointed out that one of my most popular posts was actually going to a 404 page without me realizing it. That post going to a 404 page (with no ads) was what had led to the significant drop in RPMs.

Not only did helping me solve that issue save me from losing thousands of dollars on that post, it also helped me to recognize that I had a larger issue on my site with a redirect plugin removing all of my previously setup redirects.

Do you use the Mediavine video player to monetize your videos? If yes, what features do you enjoy the most? How has incorporating video impacted your ad revenue?

Adding videos to my site through MV’s video player has significantly helped me in terms of increasing my ad revenue (since video RPMs tend to be extremely high). It’s also given me a huge boost in terms of SEO and increasing in the Google rankings, or at least it seems to be.

I love the new feature where you can put the video just a bit down on the page and play it when users scroll, so it’s not at the top and the first thing readers see. I also love the automatic play next feature because it gives me the chance to feature more videos that readers will love but may not have necessarily seen otherwise.

Do you take advantage of Mediavine’s educational resources, like the blog and the Facebook Lives? 

I typically read Mediavine blog posts but very rarely watch Facebook lives, unless they’re transcribed and written up in a blog post. The blog posts have been extremely helpful in understanding more about how my ads work, how to optimize my posts to increase my revenue and better user experience, and how innovative and forward-thinking Mediavine is. They’re constantly developing and offering new technology and options I never would’ve dreamed of that make the ad and user experience so much better.

Has your ad revenue from Mediavine changed your life in any way or enabled you to do anything more for yourself and your family?

Where do I begin? As of [February 1st] my husband has officially quit his full-time job as attorney to join me in this blog business. He’s been an attorney for the past 8+ years making a nice income of his own. Last year my income was high enough that we felt comfortable making the leap into depending on my blog income alone. Over 60% of my total blog income was from Mediavine ads on my site, so it definitely played a huge part in being confident in making that decision.

I can’t even put into words how excited I am for this opportunity for my family to have my husband home to help out with the blog, around the house, and just to spend more time with the family and less time commuting or working outside the home. We’re also relocating to be closer to my immediate family for more game nights, cousin time, and just a more relaxed pace of life in general. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect since a second little boy joined our family in June.

None of these things would have even been a thought without the ad income I’ve made over the past few years.

Do you track any metrics that might be specifically interesting to someone considering Mediavine (like what portion of your income relates to videos since enabling them, or how much your traffic has grown)?

I track a lot of different statistics but not sure any of them are necessarily going to help anyone considering Mediavine, but I’ll include a couple of them below. I’ve done a lot of work on SEO as well as optimizing my content for ads in the past two years, which has led to some major growth and an increase in revenue.

My organic search traffic went up over 175% between 2017 and 2018.

Even though my pageviews only increased about 25% from 2017 and 2018, my Mediavine income increased by 125% through optimizing my site, optimizing individual posts, adding videos, etc.

The Mediavine company mission statement is building sustainable businesses for content creators. Have you seen this enacted in your dealings with Mediavine and how has that impacted your business?

I think one of my favorite things about Mediavine is that I really feel like they put their content creators first, even though this is obviously a business for them to make money as well. By putting the control of the number and type of ads in each content creators’ hands, providing resources to improve our sites and businesses, and providing personalized service to everyone – it really feels like they have our backs.

And I haven’t mentioned it anywhere else but the fact that they give their top impression earners more money back and provide everyone additional percentage of the ad cut as a loyalty bonus – seriously just amazing. It definitely makes me feel like they care more about their creators than the cash.