It seems that new trends in digital publishing are popping up every day. Even though they have the right to exist, trying to stay on top of all of them is impossible. Therefore, we’ve narrowed down the list to the critical highlights helping you to get the most out of your website.
Below you’ll find top common sense trends every publisher needs to understand and apply this year to keep ahead of the competition.
1. Adopt a mobile-first approach
Publishers need to pay extra attention to the ever-growing role of mobile. Last year, for the first time ever, eMarketer reported that the switch from TV to mobile finally happened and now consumers spend more time with their phones than in front of their TVs. This means that a larger part of visitors these days will be coming from mobile, and all of the content should be prepared with a mobile-first set of mind.
Websites poorly optimized for mobile will inevitably result in declining numbers of subscribers, a drop-in site visits, and loss of potential revenue. And it’s not just about technical optimization. Creating mobile-friendly content should also be at the top of every publisher’s “to do” list.
We have a lot of tools available for publishers to check the mobile-friendliness of their sites, starting with Google’s mobile-friendly tests. Publishers can make sure they have reliable web hosts, improve on loading times, redesign pop-ups for mobile, etc. There are literally tons of things that can be done to boost a site to mobile-first.
2. Optimize your site for mobile search
This is the year publishers need to renew their focus for mobile search optimization. Mobile search is very different from the desktop one. There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration: people overwhelmingly use voice assistance and IoT devices for mobile search, mobiles are mostly used on-the-go and a large portion of mobile time is spent in-apps. We can honestly state that in 2020 optimizing your business’ site for mobile search is a must. There are heaps of information online to help you to help decide on the best strategy.
But, first and foremost, there’s the very important matter of speed – run your site through a tool like Google’s PageSpeed, there’s no way people are spending time on a side that doesn’t instantly load.
Then, there’s structured schema data that proved to be extremely useful and, in fact, can trump all other SEO efforts by answering a specific user question. Websites should be packed with easily accessible data, with preference given to media rather than text, etc.
3. Create mobile-first content
Optimizing your site for a mobile audience is essential. To convert mobile visitors into customers or subscribers publishers need to start by creating easy-to-read content. Unsurprisingly, just like with desktop, there’s a set of rules, tips, and tricks publishers can follow to make your content shine.
For example, it’s no secret that mobile users tend to look in the upper center part of their screen or that traditional “F-shaped” blog content doesn’t work on small mobile displays. Content should also be based on the way it is consumed. Mobile users tend to scroll through content or read on the go so snappy headlines and one-sentence summaries would work like a charm.
Simple things like making sentences shorter, using bullet points and breaking-up the content into concise palatable chunks will save readers from a wall of text and publishers from a drop in subscribers.
4. Find a way to consistently monetize your traffic
A smart way to go about this is to partner up with a reliable SSP and ad network, Admixer company will help with selling and optimizing ad inventory on your website. You should choose a company that offers proven payment methods, has access to hundreds of DSPs and multiple header bidders. Plus, when choosing your ad network and SSP, remember that effectively monitoring income from all sources, collecting and analyzing data is paramount.
5. Create a diversified monetization strategy
This is a simple one: the goal here is not to put all of your eggs in one basket so that if one of your income streams runs dry you’ll have other things to fall on. Last year was great for new ventures in the world of publishing. We’ve seen that publishing can easily morph into podcasting. There’s a huge demand for online training and courses. Premium content is now being offered only to subscribers and there’s even a very popular site for consulting. Clarity.fm lets anyone who wants to offer consulting set up a free profile. So, there’s a lot of ways publishers can diversify their monetization strategy and not rely on a single revenue source.
6. Pay extra attention to content marketing
If there ever was only one common-sense trend that everyone needs to adopt – this is it. Not exactly new, but always important.
In 2019, The Economist published the awesome white paper “Cracking the Content Code” to shed some light for both publishers and brands looking to boost content marketing ROI. It offers great insights on how to reach a customer that is bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages on a daily basis. We urge you to give it a read. If we could sum it up with one sentence – content marketing needs to become helpful rather than promotional.
7. Make reader loyalty your top priority
It is a known fact that loyal readers consume more content and stay subscribed. We’ve finally reached the point where we can clearly see that finding ways to build habits in the lives of subscribers is the only strong path forward. Every publisher should base their content creation on attracting loyal readership and building strong bonds with the reader.
Time of treating your readers as cookie IDs are far gone. Turning one-time-readers into loyal subscribers calls for quality storytelling, professional visuals, interactive content, etc.
8. SEO, SEO, SEO
Unfortunately, not an easy trend to follow: literally hundreds of changes to Google search algorithms occur on a yearly basis. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay extra attention to what’s what SEO strategies and tactics will work and help publishers earn more revenue in 2020.
For those reevaluating their search engine optimization, a great place to start is the list of top SEO trends.
9. Start a podcast
Podcasting is gaining momentum; it looks like they’ve earned as much popularity as blogs did a decade ago. The latest stats show that more than 70 percent of Americans know what podcasts mean and 51% have already listened to one. Furthermore, 32% have already formed a habit and tune in on a monthly basis, while 22% listen to their podcasts weekly. As of today, we have 850 000 active podcasts with more than 30 million podcast episodes.
Podcasts are hands-down one of the best ways of building a loyal following available for publishers today. You can start it by simply uploading your recordings into podcast platforms such as SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcast.