How user engagement drives ad revenue

Producing engaging content should be the top priority for publishers at pretty much all times. While it may be difficult to pinpoint what exactly that consists of, it’s without a doubt the make-or-break factor for any digital media business. A lesser known fact among industry circles is that you can actually generate way more revenue with even half the traffic, if you manage to attract an audience with high and frequent on-page actvity. In short, the higher the user engagement with your content, the more traffic your website generates and the higher your revenue opportunities are going to be. 

User Engagement and How It Is Important for Publishers

Why User Engagement Is Important

By producing a piece of content that is insightful, educational or just interesting to your reader, there is a much higher chance that they will engage with your content, meaning they may interact with, comment, like or share your article. The reader may even bookmark your site or subscribe to your social pages where your future content will be prioritized. Other metrics apart from commenting or liking can include the number of page views per user or the time a reader spends on the page. These are all great metrics to measure user engagement.

Engagement can also serve as a great indicator of who your readers are. What they like, what they dislike and therefore you can have a better idea of what future content you can produce.

How Engagement AFFECTS Your AD Revenue

By understanding what type of audience you have based on engagement, you can better market your site to advertisers, brands and merchants. Advertisers are always looking to target their campaigns to relevant traffic, which is a rather difficult task considering they can’t see who the people are behind the screen. Advertising platforms can use data to get a better understanding of user groups but that rarely links to purchase intent the same way content engagement does.

Qualifying your audience will not only enable you to achieve better results when selling on open marketplaces but can also help pitch to advetisers directly. Both traditional deals and programmatic guaranteed campaigns are still one of the top paying sources of ad revenue, because of the added value on both ends. Access to highly involved, niche audiences is the dream of every advertiser and by generating high engagement you are able to provide just that. The more consistent and dedicated your audience is, the better the deals coming your way are going to be.

Last but not least, an audience that’s highly active is also usually a loyal one. That means you don’t have to worry as much about performance fluctuations, traffic loss, unexpected SEO & algorithm updates etc. Your audience is your most imporant asset and when those people are truly invested in whatever it is that you’re putting out, the more safety you will have in the long run. Sure, safety might be boring, but in a business so full of uncertainty such as this one, it’s exactly what you want.

How You Can Make The Most Of This

The first thing you can do is make your content accessible through as many social platforms as you can. For every like, comment or share a reader gives you will help boost its viewability to the rest of the readers’ connections. I.e if you like a post on Facebook, it appears in your friend’s feed too. Make these options are as clear as possible.

You should also try to link related articles in the content or around the feed to get your readers to click on other pages, increasing your ad delivery and revenue through traffic retention and follow-up pageviews. 

Always try to give your users incentive to participate and make your action triggers promiment and easily accessible. Building up your newsletter for one can be an incredible asset, as it accumulates over time and delivers predictable results in terms of traffic every time you send it out. Not to mention that subscribers will be some of your most loyal users overall.

Besides the obvious, there are plenty of other page optimizations you could make to boost engagement. Equip yourself with Google Analytics, a ton of patience, and start digging. Traffic loss is your biggest enemy, so start by identifying areas with highest drop-off and test different options to see what works to minimize it. Respectively, go through all of your page statistics and figure out which posts are driving the highest amount of user engagement. Compare those to your weakest entries and start making optimizations to your lower end. Always use the data to your advantage and don’t be afraid to get it wrong – even the most well-established media platforms are on a contstant testing loop, as audiences rarely remain static.