5 Ways Publishers Can Use Artificial Intelligence For More Traffic And Revenue
The U.S. is not one of the top three countries for Google search queries.
Publishers can learn from the adblock rates and mobile connection speed averages in Brazil, Indonesia, and India, which enjoy the most powerful “search juice” in Google.
The Moguldom team is sharing our top takeaways from Pubtelligence, a Google publishing partner event hosted Aug. 15 by Ezoic at the Google offices in San Francisco. Moguldom was invited to attend.
Ezoic is a company that focuses on using artificial intelligence to help digital publishers make more money and drive more engagement on their websites.
Ezoic’s machine-learning platform lets digital publishers test content, layouts, and advertising.
Here’s how Ezoic describes itself:
Ezoic is now the leading artificial intelligence platform for publishers. Ezoic can automatically improve a site’s ads, layout, and content based on a users’ actions — on mobile, tablet and desktop. We offer online publishers a necessary tool that makes scientific, data-driven testing effortless. We are venture-backed and headquartered in North County, San Diego, with offices in San Francisco, London, and Newcastle, U.K. Ezoic has over 30,000 sites registered to the platform with over half a billion visitors per day.
Here are some of our takeaways from the conference:
1. AI and algorithms
Publishers need to use the best tech they can find to weaponize AI to make more money and generate more on-site engagement. Essentially, humans should get out the way of deciding where to place ads, widgets, or content organization on the page and outsource this to robots to make efficient and timely decisions on these matters (the latest tech). Ezoic is a market leader and innovator in publisher focused AI techniques and is a company to consider working with. Here is the company’s description of its layout tester product:
Ezoic’s Layout Tester allows publishers to apply automated multivariate testing to various potential layouts. Ezoic will learn what layouts visitors like and deliver the optimal layout to them when they visit. Publishers should be focused on showing different layouts and different content for each user versus putting all users in the same box. For example, users from your Facebook marketing campaign may need to see a different experience than a user from Twitter. The latest technology allows us to optimize experiences based on that individual user’s patterned behavior and habits.
You don’t need to have 50 engineers and venture capital to start making AI work for you. You just need to partner with a quality company who has worked on developing this tech for several years.
2. EPMV vs CPM and RPM
Publishers should consider using EPMV as their primary revenue metric as CPM and RPM don’t cover the whole story. Let’s define these metrics first.
CPM: For a single ad unit, CPM captures your revenue per 1000 ad impressions for that single unit.
RPM: Most publishers have more than 1 ad unit on their pages so RPM adds up the total revenue per 1000 pageviews.
EMPV: Earnings per 1000 visits or earnings per 1000 sessions. The weakness with RPM is it doesn’t give you the full picture of how users are bouncing off the pages (bounce rate) or the pages per sessions (PPS) while EMPV is the most comprehensive metric to use to capture the full picture. Ezoic does a great job explaining why this is the metric of choice for publishers.
3. Mobile SEO
A Google representative shared that Google sees many publishers being SEOd up on desktop but they are missing key things on mobile. Does the mobile site have all the necessary markup? Header markup includes meta descriptions, hreflang (The hreflang attribute tells Google which language you are using on a specific page, so the search engine can serve that result to users searching in that language.)
Does the mobile site have structured data?
Does the mobile site have alt tags set up properly?
Make sure you do the simple and easy things on the SEO front to capture free organic traffic from Google search. In many cases, 80-to-90 percent of a website’s traffic is mobile so if anything needs to have A game on SEO, it is your mobile site before desktop.
4. Beware of Fake UX
What is fake UX? It’s the artificial inflation of page views, reduction of bounce rate, or improvement in session duration that occurs as a result of something other than a good visitor experience.
How does fake UX happen?
Fake UX can be the result of intentional or unintentional actions by a publisher. The most harmful form of fake UX is when traditional user-experience metrics like bounce rate, session duration and page views per visit are artificially high, and actual visitor engagement is actually low.
For example, a new website visitor lands on an article, reads the article and decides to click on some related content at the bottom. As soon as the page loads, the visitor realizes this content was not what they wanted to view, and clicks back. Upon returning to the home page, they quickly decide to close that tab and resume browsing the web on another website.
Fake UX can be harmful to publishers in several ways. The first is simple. If you have visitors that you think are having good experiences, but they are actually struggling with navigation, links, or page speed, you could be hurting your brand and return visitor rate over time. Most publishers genuinely want their visitors to enjoy the experience on their site.
Next, is the financial impact. Fake UX often produces a large amount of low-quality page views with almost no engagement from visitors. This is devastating to publisher ad revenue as pages that are affected by this see much lower CTR, viewability, and campaign performance. This means advertiser bids for ads in those locations will decline over time; reducing the eCPMs of those pages. What’s more, if these metrics get bad enough, advertisers will often blacklist publishers. This means reduced competition and less revenue for the publisher.
Last is web traffic. In our recent case study, we found that Fake UX not only harms revenue but can harm traffic as well. Low-quality pageviews, increases in navigation bounces, and poor visitor engagement has a direct correlation to negative SEO performance and a reduction in organic search traffic.
Fake UX can also be a slippery slope for publishers that believe in testing. If you commonly run tests on your website to improve UX, it’s possible that your “winners” could be filled with Fake UX, meaning you are basing your decision-making off of things that could actually be harming your website.
5. Global Game
The top three countries for Google search queries are Brazil, Indonesia, and India. Publishers should consider the adblock rates and the various mobile connection speed averages in each of these countries. These countries have powerful “search juice” in Google.
You can check out Ezoic’s corporate website here.