Welcome to our optimization guide. At Mediavine, optimizing your content is paramount to your ads' success.
You might be asking yourself: "Why does Mediavine care about my blog’s content? None of my other ad managers or networks had an opinion, why do you guys?"
Call us crazy, but we don’t think of ourselves as just an ad management provider. Every website we work with is important to us, on a holistic level. The healthier your site is in Google’s eyes, the more you’ll rank in search results.
And the more you rank in search results, the more traffic you have. And quite plainly, the more traffic, the more money we all make. We’re in this for the long haul. Your success is our success.
So, let’s talk about how content length affects your SEO and your Mediavine ad placements.
There are THREE things you can do to make your content more ad friendly, and at the same time, SEO friendly:
Break that writing up into shorter, more frequent paragraphs.
Here's an example from a Food Fanatic post:
I could easily become a fast food junkie; I think it's probably in my best interest that Sonic is not just around the corner from our house. It is perfectly handy to stop by when we head into town for groceries and banking. A Route-44 Strawberry Limeade, a giant cheeseburger and tater tots are my favorites. Those darn tater tots are highly addicting. I've been making a fantastic version at home that I like even better. They are oven fried and so easy! Bacon is a staple at our house. We don't eat it every day, or even every week, but at least a couple of times a month. I save my bacon drippings religiously. Please don't tell me that you are not in the habit of it. Throwing out bacon drippings is a terrible waste in my book!
After editing for optimization:
I could easily become a fast food junkie; I think it's probably in my best interest that Sonic is not just around the corner from our house.
It is perfectly handy to stop by when we head into town for groceries and banking. A Route-44 Strawberry Limeade, a giant cheeseburger and tater tots are my favorites.
Those darn tater tots are highly addicting. I've been making a fantastic version at home that I like even better. They are oven fried and so easy!
Bacon is a staple at our house. We don't eat it every day, or even every week, but at least a couple of times a month.
I save my bacon drippings religiously. Please don't tell me that you are not in the habit of it. Throwing out bacon drippings is a terrible waste in my book!
What the what? What does any of this have to do with SEO and my ads?
Google has said repeatedly that they reward “good” content by placing it higher in search results. But what constitutes good content?
There’s a lot of theories on this. Read a dozen SEO blogs and you’ll get a dozen different answers. But one thing almost all of them tend to agree on is content length. The longer the content, the more likely Google is to see it as “good."
The general consensus seems to be making sure your post is at least 700+ words. Longer is better.
But 700 words gets you a decently sized post with a fair amount of information, and a good balance of “story," while also giving you enough time to mention your keyword phrase once or twice without it appearing as “stuffing."
Google is very interested in making sure that what you’re writing about is flowing organically – so make sure to use your keyword phrase once or twice, but don’t do it more than that.
There are lots of articles about the research done around web reading, even Apple got in on the game, and the truth is, people tend to scan web articles, not read them word for word.
A way that you can increase the likelihood someone will take in more of what you’ve written is to break the writing up into shorter, more digestible chunks; i.e. shorter paragraphs. No more than 3 sentences long.
See how I’ve written this entire article? Each paragraph is no more than 2-3 sentences in length.
Yeah, yeah. What does this have to do with my ads?
Think of your website as “zones”. You’ve got advertisements in two zones on your website. In your sidebar – that’s one zone (let's get creative and call it the Sidebar Zone).
And you have all your content in a separate area – that’s a second zone. Again, let's be innovators and call it the Content Zone.
Readers who visit your website are always more concerned with what’s going on in your Content Zone – they’re scrolling to read about how to make a craft, or reach a recipe card.
They want to see all the pictures of your beautiful trip to Bali, or read to the end of the article about your best Disney tips. Their movement on the page is from top to bottom, almost always.
This means ads that appear in either the Content Zone or the Sidebar Zone will be especially valuable, because your reader almost always has their eyes there, at least for a while.
We know - they break up the flow of your reader reading your content, and there's not a lot to love about that.
But, these ads being "in your face" is exactly the point. These are as intrusive as we like to get at Mediavine, and here's why: The more a reader "sees" an ad, the more likely they are to click on it. And when they click on it? You make ALL THE MONIES.
We are very aware that ads are always going to be a balance between user experience and income, so we have done our research to make these in-content ads as palatable as possible.
We make sure that they are appropriately spaced to keep all of us in line with the Coalition for Better Ads guidelines, while also placing them as frequently as we can to earn you the best amount of money.
How do we do that?
We calculate how tall your post is in pixels, and then place ads based on the site settings you've chosen in your dashboard. The Coalition likes to see no more than 30% ads to 70% content, and Google uses those same guidelines for its Ad Experience Tool.
If you ever want to turn up or turn down the frequency on these units, there are settings available for you anytime in your Dashboard Settings area.
There are separate settings for Desktop and Mobile, and plenty of options for choosing how your ads show.
The dashboard defaults to 28% advertising density for Mobile, and 20% density for Desktop. You can adjust these up or down at your discretion. Changing the setting to "Low" or "Very Low" will result in fewer ads and lower earnings.
Once you make your selections and hit "Update Settings", it updates immediately on your site.
We're also happy to answer any questions you have and offer advice and solutions to whatever concerns you have that arise.
If you don't want ads specifically in one spot in your content, you can use <div> tags to make sure a certain block of content is not broken up by an ad. If you'd like to make sure an ad appears in specific spots in one of your blog posts, you can use content hints to place it there.
THE STICKY SIDEBAR AD
One of the best-paying units is our Sticky Sidebar Unit (in your dashboard as "Sidebar Sticky"). This unit is the very last thing in your sidebar.
The logic of it is that it comes into view when a reader scrolls down the page enough to reach the end of the sidebar. (This is when it loads — it won’t load before then because this ad is lazy loaded.) Then it stays with the reader as they scroll down the page, viewing everything in the “Content Zone."
The longer a reader has the sticky sidebar ad loaded and scrolling with them down the page, the more valuable it is to advertisers.
Therefore, the TALLER you can make your content in the Content Zone, the longer it’s going to take a reader to reach the end of the blog post, and the direct result is that ad will earn better money for you.
This ad also refreshes every 30 seconds (per ad policy), so the longer it is in the screen, the better it performs by refreshing for additional ad impressions.
Writing more content, in shorter paragraphs, does the following:
Makes Google happy by giving them more content to read.
Makes readers happy with easier to read content.
Gives you more screenviews to allow more in-content ads within your content.
Gives your sticky sidebar ad the best possible performance by making your content is as "tall" as possible.
Other Top Tips:
Make sure there is no content below your "most valuable content" card - readers rarely scroll that far, and if you're loading something like a related posts plugin that adds to your pageload time, that's not worth having.
Include vertical images where possible. They're taller, adding more pixel height to your overall post, and readers/Pinterest seem to prefer them.
Don't hide your featured Pin. Put it above your most valuable content. This lengthens the post, puts the pin where readers are likely to see it, and quite honestly, readers are more likely to pin something they actually see, rather than something that only shows up if they choose to pin.
Skip the pagebuilders. The HTML they output is terrible, causing potential SEO issues, and definite ad issues. You can read this help article on Why Post and Page Builders Can Be Bad For Ad Performance to get more details.
If you have any questions, email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.