In three short months, Google will release a new algorithm called the Page Experience algorithm. It will take older signals, like secure servers and no interstitial pop-ups, and combine them with new metrics like Core Web Vitals. SEO will, of course, remain the best way to improve a user’s page experience. Many of the strategies discussed in this article also improve the publisher’s (aka, your) RPM. But first, a quick refresher on what RPM is and why publishers should care.
RPM stands for “revenue per mille” (mille means thousand in Latin) and is defined as the estimated revenue you make for every 1,000 sessions received. You can read more about it here, but in short, for every thousand sessions on your website, you will make a certain revenue. This metric is the RPM.
It’s a well-known fact that bloggers compare their RPMs, but even within the same niche, this is close to impossible (and never a good idea!!). There are many factors that impact your website’s average RPM, including:
- Content topic
- Bounce rates
- Ad format
- Content format
- Number of ads units
- Time of year
- Ad sizes
- Device type
13 Ways to Improve Your RPM
There are proven benefits to quality video content and you don’t need a production crew to make this happen. There are lots of easy yet affordable ways to build a short relevant video for your posts. Find a DIY video maker like Animoto and get creative with highlighting your brand, events, social accounts, or top-performing content.
Video content is an excellent way to increase your user’s time on site and their engagement with your page.
2. Increase Font Size
This is a big one and publishers are making this change left and right. Particularly on mobile, a larger font makes a huge difference to the overall experience of the content. We’re seeing SHE Media Partners upping their fonts to the 16-18pt. range. When a user lands on a page and the font is large and spaces appropriately, it’s so much more inviting on the eyes. When readability improves, a user is more likely to stay on the page longer.
3. Increase Line Height
With the increased font size, you’ll then want to add a buffer of spacing between the lines. Just like font size, in CSS, line height is measured in multiple units such as px, em, etc. The preferred method of setting line height actually isn’t with those complex units. It’s within the CSS by setting a line height as a number. This adjustment makes it much easier for the eyes to read through text, and encourages users to stay on the page longer.
4. Add Headings to Content
Digital readers are more like skimmers. You’re on your phone, you know what you’re searching for and you weed through content until you find what you need. I don’t know about you, but when I land on a long block of text that’s hard to digest, I’m less inclined to continue on the site. Make your paragraphs short by adding line breaks after every few sentences. That, paired with larger font size, will make your content much easier for the user to read.
If you’re writing long-form content, use heading tags throughout your posts. From an SEO perspective, the purpose of heading tags is to add hierarchical structure to the page, indicating to Google what the main point of the page is and then what sub-topics or supportive themes occur beneath. Heading tags appear in a range from H1-H6, H1 being the most important topic on the page, then H2, H3 and so on down the line.
5. Shorten the Sidebar
Ever notice a blog sidebar that scrolls… and scrolls? Stuffed with anything from links to past posts, Twitter feeds, IG pictures, webmaster bios/pics, newsletter signup forms, the list goes on. You can increase your RPM just by shortening (or even just rearranging) the number of links/content appearing there. In the sidebar, either the first or second placement should be an ad unit. Users land on your page at the top and the faster the user sees the ad, the more money you make from it, so simply by moving the ad up in the sidebar, you’re likely to see a higher RPM. So check your sidebar to see if you can free up some space.
And it’s ok to have more than one ad unit in your sidebar, especially if you have other modules (newsletter subscribe box, links to popular posts, etc.) breaking up the ads. But no matter what, the last ad unit placed in the sidebar should be a sticky unit. Sticky units have a higher RPM than a normal one and you can find instructions on how to do that here.
Users are much more likely to remain engaged with a page that has more than just words. Make sure you’re using interesting, high quality images throughout your content. Most articles have feature images, but if you are publishing a long-form article (800+ words), add images into the body of the post also.
7. Publish Long-Form Content
Increasing the amount of content on your blog posts not only can help increase your RPM. There are SEO benefits as well. Make sure your posts are at least 500 words, but when you’re covering more in-depth topics, the average first-page organic search ranking in Google has between 800-1,200 words. If you’re thinking this sounds like way too much to write, I encourage you to lessen the number of blog posts you’re publishing each week by one and taking that time to put more time and effort into the others that you’re posting.
8. Shorten Paragraphs
While you’re increasing the overall length of your blog post, break up the paragraphs every 3-5 sentences. This helps users feel less intimidated when they see the length of the post. The heading tags will help this aspect as well, as they will feel more comfortable scrolling down to the area of the post that most applies to what they’re looking for. Shorter paragraphs are more digestible for the reader.
9. Put Essential Content at the Bottom
Grabbing the reader’s attention from the very beginning is crucial to keeping them on the page, but you also want them to read the full piece. One strategy you should try is to put some of the most important content towards the bottom of the page. You’ll also want to add links to related content at the bottom in order to naturally guide them on to the next page.
10. Internal Links
Blog posts should typically have 3-4 internal links to related content. Where you add them can vary from hyperlinks within the text, in-line lines that break up paragraphs, or at the bottom of the post. Making sure the user has an easy path to the next piece of your amazing content will increase time on site, pages per session, and bounce rate.
11. Increase the Number of Ads
If you’ve been conservative with the number of ads on your site, adding a few more will help increase your RPM. If you’re a SHE Media Partner, you can check your dashboard to see how your units are performing. If you see that some aren’t getting the viewability numbers you like, swap it out and add a few additional ones in placements that are working, to increase your RPM. Unless you’re ultra-conservative with the number of ads on your pages, we very rarely make the suggestion to add more. Users first is the name of our game, but in times like this, even temporarily adding another unit or two to the page can help your revenue.
12. Go Outside of Basic Banner Ads
If the only ad type you have on your site is display, now is the time to look into some other types of ad products. For SHE Media members, some of those additional monetization offerings include social embeds, the Outstream video player, our recipe card ad integration, and our commenting platform tool. If you’re open to any of these ad products, reach out to support today!
13. Updated Ads.txt
If you’re not using our Infuse plugin, reach out to our support team to make sure your ads.txt file includes the most updated lines. This, matched with optimizing viewability rates across all ad sizes and placements (such as the adhesive footer placement), will ensure you’re exposing as much inventory as possible to premium demand.
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