Three steps publishers need to take to make quality a habit

Contributor, August 31, 2022

Three steps publishers need to take to make quality a habit

Takeaways:

  • Quality should be at the core of everything a publisher does – from content and ads to website performance and beyond.
  • Whether an ad model, subscription model, or a hybrid, audience loyalty and growth hinge on the quality of the onsite experience.
  • Quality isn’t a ‘one and done’ deal; it’s an ongoing process.

 

While we’re all living differently with varying lifestyles and budgets, one constant remains true for most — the importance of quality.  No one wants their groceries to go off after a few days or for holes to appear in clothes after just a few washes.  We examine, we touch, we compare, and we deliberate all in order to find the best quality we can afford.

The same goes for publishers. Audiences want to visit websites that run well, look good, have great content, and that, ultimately, they feel they can trust.

As we approach uncertain economic times and the specter of recession looms, it is natural that publishers will be beginning to look at where they can save money in order to weather the storm.

But any publisher willing to sacrifice quality is setting themselves on a path for disaster. Quality should be at the forefront of every decision that a publisher makes, and without the constant drive to maintain a high level, standards will slip – and with it – profitability.

Here are the steps you can take to ensure quality stays high:

Back to basics

First things first for publishers is making sure they stay compliant with Google’s rules. Simple stuff, we know, but the loss of revenue if you are found falling foul of their rules can be hugely impactful. Better safe than sorry, we say!

The other two essentials are maintaining high-quality ads and content. Every publisher knows that content forms the backbone of everything they do — it is ultimately why audiences visit. Audiences can see through click-baity content and loyal visitors may desert you. And while the extra revenue from high-traffic posts will seem like a positive in the short term, it is not an effective long-term strategy. Keep content at a high level and true to your niche.

When it comes to ads, publishers need to make sure they are safe, relevant, and do not overwhelm users. Advertisers also expect high-quality traffic from their ad investments, so ad placements and types need to be well-designed, with invalid traffic kept to a minimum.

Looking under the hood

Henry Ford said, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” For publishers, this means making sure everything behind the scenes is as optimized as possible so the user experience is seamless. No one likes a slow-loading site, and few visitors will return if they have a bad experience their first time.

One way to ensure that website performance is kept at the highest quality is by enhancing its Core Web Vitals (CWV). Set out by Google, CWV consists of three core metrics — how long a main page takes to load, the visual stability of pages, and the time between a user’s first interaction and a browser processing that action. Focusing on these metrics will help you boost the quality of your site.

Again and again and again

Did you know as soon as workers painting the Golden Gate Bridge finish a fresh coat they have to start all over again? Quality is just the same. The job is never done. 

Quality should become not only a strategic decision, but a habit. Publishers need to be constantly ensuring high levels of quality are maintained, making adjustments where needed, and enhancing the onsite experiences. 

Ultimately, slipping standards lead to slipping site visitors, which lead to slipping CPMs. Putting quality at the core of your strategy, even as economic forces make things hard, will not only help ensure survival but will help you come out the other side stronger.

 

Wondering how you can make your site the highest quality it can be? Why not speak to us and find out more?