We're going to identify and teach you how to fix these three common issues to make sure you are earning as much as you possibly can from that unit, which is one of our best performers. 

  1. Sidebar is too long
  2. Content is too short
  3. Post focal point is up too high

Problem: Sidebar is Too Long

Why it's a problem:

If your sidebar is filled with too many different widget areas, it shortens the amount of time our Sticky Sidebar Ad will be shown on the screen. More time = greater viewability, and a great chance for your reader to be served an entirely new ad using our auto-refresh technology. 

How to fix it:

Remove everything but the most essential elements of your sidebar. A search box, your bio, and a popular post section would be the most important. This will give our Sticky Sidebar Ad the most real estate possible. For more information on how our Sticky Sidebar Ad works, please check out this guide.

As a general rule, your sidebar shouldn't extend down more than 35% of the length of your content. Try moving those other widgets down into your footer, or under your content for better exposure and performance of your ads.

One caveat: If you are utilizing the Optimize Ads for Desktop Pagespeed feature, you may want to place a sidebar widget (or two short widgets) at the top of the sidebar that will effectively push the first ad "below the fold" and out of the first screenview.

Problem: Content is Too Short

Why it's a problem:

Long content is good for Google, and also good for your ads! You'll get your maximum amount of in-content ads (3 on desktop, 4 on mobile), and also maximize the amount of scroll time that our Sticky Sidebar Ad will be visible for your user. 

How to fix it:

Write write write write write! Make sure your posts are at least 300 words long, and you are using lots of big, beautiful vertical photos in your posts as well. More scroll time = more $$, so tell your story and tell it well!

If you already write a lot, but write large paragraphs that are 5-6 sentences long, consider breaking them up to be 2-3 sentences long instead. That way you're not having to write more to get more performance out of your ads. As an added bonus, you may get more engagement from your readers. There's lots of research that says shorter, more scan-able paragraphs lead to better comprehension and engagement from web readers.

Problem: Post Focus is Up Too High

Why it's a problem:

If you are a food blogger, chances are that your readers are there for your recipe. If you have a video there, readers are there for the video. If you have the focal point of the post up too high in your content, there's no incentive to keep scrolling to get to it. That means less viewability for you, and less $$. You are producing great content. Maximize the return on that time investment by placing your focal point as low as possible in your blog post. There are lots of places that people can go to just get a recipe, video, or photo. It is the story and the journey that you specialize in. 

Here is a fantastic post from our Facebook Group's resident SEO expert, Joshua Unseth. It addresses not only the reason why you should post long form content, but also why those "Jump To Recipe" buttons aren't a very good idea from an SEO or advertising perspective.

"Ok, so here's my opinion on "jump to recipe" buttons and other bookmark links like them. You need to ask yourself what the goal of your website is. You might want to consider finishing the following sentences: "When someone comes to my website, I want them to..." or "My website makes money when a person...." The first question is going to be about the experience you're trying to create and the second is going to be about how you can afford to provide that experience. The experience must be in service of the production of the experience. (You go to a broadway show because of the experience, they put on a great show in order to sell more tickets in order to continue providing that great experience).

So this isn't entirely an SEO question. It's a site architecture and site experience question. All Recipes has a bunch of recipes. When people want to go get a recipe, they can go there. When they come to your site, they probably are coming there to be given a different kind of experience - an experience that is probably not funded by them looking at your recipe. It's probably funded when they look at an ad. Giving them a "Jump to Recipe" button is a little bit like giving everyone a free ticket to a Broadway play.

It won't hurt your SEO, but it definitely won't help it. And I'm left wondering what makes your site any different than AllRecipes if all you want people to do is skip straight to the recipe on your site. Didn't you write a whole story and a bunch of content that will explain why the recipe means something to you and why they might want to give that recipe a try? A Skip to Recipe button is just an invite to skip all the work you did. And truthfully, it doesn't provide a better experience. It just gives users permission not to invest themselves in your content, which is the entire purpose of being a blogger."

How to fix it:

Move your focal point down to the bottom of your posts. If you have a lot of posts that feature that at the top, start with your 10 most trafficked, and work your way down the list. This will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck. 

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