How UX Optimization Can Also Boost Your RPM

by Lindsay Valdez

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These ux tips double as ways to increase your rpm

Optimizing your website for a smooth user experience is one of the best things you can do for your brand. And turns out, it’s not too bad for your bottom line!

Let’s start by deciphering the acronyms used in this article headline: UX & RPM. UX is short for user experience and is meant to describe the usability, accessibility, and likability provided to the user when they are navigating around your website. Pretty easy to understand, right? The next one is a bit harder to grasp but has become the Queen of all metrics for bloggers these days. RPM stands for “revenue per mille” (mille means thousand in Latin) and is defined as the estimated revenue you make for every 1,000 impressions received. In digital media, this is referring to ad impressions, for every thousand ad impressions that are seen on your website, you will make X amount of money.

What Factors Impact RPM?

It’s a well known fact that bloggers compare their RPMs with fellow bloggers, 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. Those factors can include:

  • Content topic - In certain times of the year, a food brand may pay more for ad spots on a parenting blog than a website about truck parts.

  • Bounce rates

  • Ad format - Video ads have a higher RPM in general.

  • Content type

  • Number of ads on the page

  • Ad sizes

4 Tips to Improve ux & rpm at the same time

SEO is very important to SHE Media. WIth almost 60% of the traffic across our entire network coming from organic search, important is an understatement! Modern day SEO has a lot to do with a smooth user experience. User experience impacts engagement metrics like bounce rate, return rate, time on page and pages per session. If the pages don’t load quickly or the user can’t seamlessly move from page to page, they will likely leave your website. This is a red flag to Google and impacts website rankings. When talking to partners, we always stress the value of their users and the importance of providing them with a happy user experience.

It’s safe to say that most sites are getting well over 50% of their traffic from mobile devices. Mobile traffic has grown so significantly over the past five years, Google shifted from indexing and ranking the desktop version of your site to the mobile version. So when you’re making changes to user experience, it’s the mobile user you should prioritize.

1. Increase your font size

We’ve all gone to websites on our phone only to find that we can barely make out the words. So you try to zoom in but the page reloads or shifts and then you exit ASAP, right? If your font size is less than 16px (12 point size), considering increasing to 16-18px. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes on the page. Increasing the spacing between the lines can also make scrolling through text easier for readers. This is one of the simplest ways to better your UX while boosting your RPM at the same time. And this is a site-wide tweak that you should only have to make once. Here is documentation from Google Lighthouse on font size.

2. Break up your 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 a 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.

Implementing heading tags on your posts will also impact the format of the text. Here is how these tags appear on the front end for this site:

Example of an H2

Example of an H3

3. Shorten your 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 the amount of links/content that appears there. 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 can see more revenue. So check your sidebar to see if you can free up some space. We also recommend using a sticky ad in the sidebar unit to bump up that RPM even more!

4. Add images & video to your content mix

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 on the page as well. Most articles have feature images, but if you are publishing a long-form article (2,000+ words), add images into the body of the post also.

Videos on your pages can have a positive impact on both your SEO as well as your user experience. And don’t think that you have to hire a production crew or appear in the video yourself to make this happen. There are lots of easy yet affordable ways to build a short video clip for your site. Find a DIY video maker like Biteable or Animoto and get creative with highlighting your website, product, brand or top performing content.

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