How Media Brands Can Optimize Their Website
Media brands belong to an industry where the primary mode of operation is direct communication with the users, especially through digital media. So you’d think it would be easier for media companies to optimize all aspects of their communications. This may be true, but media brands also face more pressure and higher expectations in this regard – it is essential for them to have a top-notch website for effective brand marketing and to increase ad revenue and subscriptions.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most important factors for media brands to keep in mind when optimizing their website.
Why is Website Optimization Important?
Some of the metrics that demonstrate that a media brand is functioning successfully include:
- Reader engagement
- Reader loyalty, demonstrated through readers regularly returning to the same brand
- Good ad revenue
- Subscription levels as expected
One crucial factor that makes website optimization for media brands more important than ever is users’ ever-reducing attention span. Studies show that in 2000, users had an attention span of around 12 seconds, which dropped to 8.25 seconds in just 15 years. Optimization aims to increase this attention span by providing them with the right content at the right time, which differs on an individual basis.
Monetization and Optimization for Different Website Models
Some media websites are paid, while others are free. Then there are hybrid media websites, which means that they have some paid and some free content. However, websites cannot work with the same optimization methods. The best optimization methods vary based on the type of website.
Free websites: Free websites typically generate revenue through ads. There are various ad-revenue monetization models, such as CPC (Cost per click), CPA (Cost per acquisition), CPM (Cost per impression), and CPL (Cost per lead). Ad revenue is directly proportional to reader engagement, so optimization is focused on maximum reader engagement.
Paid websites: Paid websites usually work based on subscriptions and subscription levels will directly depend on the value of the brand and the quality of the content. Usually, subscription-based websites use a paywall, which is a payment interface through which the user can make the payment to access the content. The paywall is the online equivalent of the card machines used in brick-and-mortar stores to receive payments from customers.
Hybrid websites: Some media sites use a combination of free and paid approaches with an aim to attract all types of customers. This means that they incorporate both subscription and ad revenue options. Optimizing hybrid websites involves applying the right conversion opportunities, like email sign-ups, subscription sign-up options, social media sharing buttons, among other tactics, and also involves a great deal of personalization.
Optimization Ideas for Different Websites
As is clear from the above discussion, different types of websites have various factors that help with monetization. Hybrid websites generally should use a combination of all factors used by paid and free websites. Here are certain elements to focus on for different types of websites for successful optimization.
Most paid media websites have a paywall superimposed on articles or news stories. The news headline and sometimes a sub-headline is displayed to entice readers to click through – for some media sites, these are the only pieces of information displayed to the unpaid reader. This is followed by a call-to-action prompting the user to subscribe.
The key aspects of optimization, in this case, are mainly the size and font of the headline and the sub-headline displayed, as well as the headline itself, of course. This must be capable of capturing potential readers’ interest.
The CTA message and graphics must also have an impact on the prospective reader. Writing “$1 per week for 16 weeks” may be better than “$16 for 4 months”, even though these are actually the same thing. Additionally, the wording on the CTA button wording is also very important, as well as the image displayed.
The most important goal of a free website is to keep the reader on the site for as long as possible. This can depend on various factors such as text font and size, overall layout, and how the images and text are placed, as well as the preview, highlight, or synopsis. Another equally important factor is social media sharing buttons. They should be placed prominently so that the reader is tempted to share the article with their friends, colleagues, and family. This is a great way to create more readers, which in turn means more ad views.
There are many other factors that can encourage a reader to stay longer on the website. One key factor is article recommendations. It is important to display relevant recommendations with a high degree of personalization. Free websites should optimize their ads as well. The types of ads, their positioning, and the elements they contain can also work to capture users’ attention.
Whether a media website is free, subscription-based, or hybrid, optimization is something you shouldn’t overlook. With millions of websites online today, encouraging readers to stay on your website and read your content can be a colossal task. This makes optimization more important than ever for media brands!
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.