How Non-Ecommerce Publishers Can Optimise Their Website For Valentine’s Day (Or Any Yearly Celebration!)
Now that Christmas is well and truly behind us, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This type of seasonal event is the perfect opportunity for non-ecommerce publishers to increase their ad revenue. If you optimise your site well for Valentine’s Day, you have the chance to earn more revenue, expand your audience, get your content shared, and show up in Google search results. Advertisers will soon begin to increase their budgets in order to reach customers shopping for gifts which presents an opportunity to publishers who can then capitalise on the increased ad spend. Increased ad spend leads to a more competitive auction and higher CPMs for those publishers that are ready to catch the extra demand. We’ve got some actionable tips that publishers can implement to prepare for this, or any, peak shopping period.
“Valentine’s Day is said to be the 4th largest global retail event of the entire year. In 2019, consumers spent a record-breaking $20.7 billion on gifts.”
Mobile is key
More than half of those celebrating Valentine’s Day will use their mobile device to either research, compare or purchase their Valentine’s Day gift. This presents a massive opportunity to publishers but also means that web pages should be mobile-friendly, otherwise a large proportion of traffic could be put off. Publishers should familiarize themselves with mobile user experience best practices in order to build a best-in-class mobile website.
Identify and optimise your top-performing content for search
Updating old content is a sure-fire way to improve your rankings, it is also quicker and takes less work. Use Google Analytics to identify which of your web pages were popular this time last year and consider improving those pages, or see if you can create similar content this year.
For example, if last year your review pages were popular, you know that this year you should focus on publishing more reviews for this year’s hot lines. You should also identify which pages you have created since that appear to match the same pattern and do the same for those. Google Search Console is also a great tool to identify your top-ranking pages.
Use affiliate links in Valentine’s Day-related content
If you are not already using affiliate links in content related to Valentine’s Day, you definitely should be. For example, you might run a blog that reviews city breaks, so you would want to make sure that you are signed up for affiliate programmes with hotel companies, such as Agoda and Booking.com. This way you can earn a commission when users purchase a product as a result of your blog. If you are already using affiliate links, ensure that your Valentine’s Day focused demand is in place and that everything is working correctly.
Make sure your site is in top shape
The longer a user is on-site, the more impressions that will be served which will earn you more revenue. But how do you keep users on-site? The most obvious is to create an excellent user experience. This means having clear and easy-to-use navigation, and knowing what your audience wants to see.
A user’s first impression of your site often determines whether they will continue to surf your website or whether they will become impatient and abandon. You need to ensure that your content is engaging. So this means producing new and relevant content, as well as reviewing and updating any high performing content. Try comparing your key content with competitors key content to ensure that yours really delivers.
Check all relevant landing pages for speed
Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. The longer a page takes to load, the higher the chance that a user will leave the page. According to Google, the probability of bounce increases to 123% for web pages that take up to 10 seconds to load. Try using Google’s Pagespeed Insights to generate a report which tells you your current mobile site speed and suggests optimisations that will improve load time.
Increase your web traffic
The more website traffic you get, the higher the number of impressions that will serve which equates to more revenue for you. As you will no doubt be aware, website traffic encompasses new users as well as your existing audience. With this in mind, increasing pageviews per session is a good place to start when trying to increase website traffic as it is sometimes easier to retain existing visitors than to attract new visitors. Alternatively, you could develop a strategy to increase website traffic from new users by promoting your content through social media channels or producing video content.
Plan new content in the lead up to Valentine’s Day
Seasonality causes certain keywords spike which presents a huge opportunity for publishers to produce content that will accumulate greater-than-normal engagement from your audience. Any annual celebration, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, can always be leveraged to your advantage to produce relevant news and information that will boost your traffic.
More traffic leads to more impressions which equate to higher revenue. You could use Google Trends to discover popular search terms and related queries and create engaging content around those search terms. The graph below shows the top ten most commonly searched terms around Valentine’s Day. This kind of data can be used to pre-plan your content which puts you ahead of the game by allowing you to plan out specific marketing assets, such as blog posts or videos, that will gain traction during a busy period.
Only block categories if absolutely necessary
Blocking entire ad categories can reduce the number of advertisers that are eligible to participate in an auction. In turn, this reduces the competition which can potentially lower your earnings. Therefore, you should only block categories if absolutely necessary otherwise you risk leaving money on the table. We recommend only blocking ads that you feel are unsuitable for your users.
Improve your ad viewability
Advertisers value viewable impressions because they want their ads to be seen, especially around times where consumers are more likely to spend money, such as Valentine’s Day. For publishers, there are many factors involved in delivering and maintaining viewable ad impressions but it is important that you do because this will drive up the value of your inventory.
To start, choose ad units with greater visibility, such as sticky ads and above-the-fold ad units. You could also implement lazy loading so that ads only serve when necessary. Ad viewability also links back to the idea of having engaging content, which will keep a user on a page for a longer period of time. It is also worth noting that you do not have to prepare every page, simply fix top-performing pages.
According to Entrepreneur, 46% of consumers will begin shopping for Valentine’s gifts in early February which suggests that advertisers budgets will be focused in the fortnight leading up to Valentine’s Day. Publishers that don’t act now will risk missing out on one of the largest revenue opportunities of the year. Be quick to implement these tips and you can start the next quarter on a high.