When it comes to website owners, adaptability determines success. To succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape webmasters should keep an eye on new tendencies in content development, SEO, and monetization techniques. With this in mind, you need to follow the four tips outlined further to keep up with the latest industry trends.
1. Create Content that Matters
Focus on SEO friendliness and reader engagement to create a solid content development strategy. The recommendations from Contently's Dory Fern and Audiencebloom's James Parsons will help you achieve this goal:
- Invest time and effort into creating sharable content that encourages discussion. While text suits better for building loyal audiences, users share infographics and videos more often so remember to use them.
- View descriptive headlines as your top priority. While clickbait headlines produce immediate effect, a descriptive approach ensures long-term user engagement. Moreover, it helps you reduce your bounce rate.
- Find out how often you can post without compromising the content quality. The rule of thumb is that two quality posts a week are better than four fillers. You can further fuel audience engagement with regular and timely Facebook and Twitter posts.
2. Control Your Backlinks and Keywords
Black-hat SEO tactics will become a bigger threat to websites in the nearest future, as Forbes contributor Jason DeMers points out. Although disavowing provides protection against spammy backlinks, Google is yet to discover better ways to combat unfair competition. In the meantime, webmasters need to keep an eye on their “backlink footprint”.
Yoav Vilner in Venturebeat offers a convenient approach to backlink audit. His method comes down to getting a complete list of inbound links (e.g. with Open Site Explorer from Moz or similar tools). The list items are then classified according to their origin: natural ones, guest columns, links from profiles on other websites, etc. Use this information to diversify your backlinks or, in other words, to ensure they are from different sources.
An efficient long-term strategy for keyword selection is to score for long tails and clearly defined thematic groups. An article by Cyrus Shepard provides valuable insights into this issue. You can also find useful ideas on not-so-obvious keyword sources — including Wikipedia, Google Autocomplete, and Amazon — in a post by Neil Patel.
3. Advertise Smart and Keep Your Audience
Webmasters often prefer on-site advertising to other monetization methods, because it is easy to set up and helps you generate decent revenue. Moreover, staying on top of industry news will provide you with valuable insights into how you can increase your earnings.
The growth of programmatic buying and the increasing popularity of video, native, and mobile ads are the most notable trends of 2015, according to PwC. The advance of viewable impression as the key metric is another tendency that influences the state of the market.
It stands to reason that successful webmasters and site managers are mindful of major trends. That said, some of them still require information support from supply-side platforms and ad networks to stay afloat. Given that ad serving companies hold an interest in helping their publishers earn more, one can expect them to update their blogs with relevant information.
4. Decide When the Time is Right to Go Mobile
Mobile devices are becoming omnipresent. According to statista.com, in 2014 smartphone and tablet sales increased by 20.7% and 39.4% respectively, while laptops demonstrated 14.7% growth and desktop PCs dropped by 0.6%. CNN also called 2014 the first year for mobile Internet usage to overtake PC traffic in the US. For these reasons, going mobile is an obvious step forward for any major website.
Yet, the situation may be different with individual online resources. For some publishers optimizing their website for mobile is a big investment, so they need to know if will pay off. Before investing into mobile, compare the current volume of traffic your website gets from smartphone and tablet users to that from the previous year. If the difference doesn’t appear considerable, you can postpone going mobile in favour of more urgent objectives. Still, keep in mind that mobile support will become an inevitable requirement for the majority of website owners in the near future.
Image Credit: Flickr/Long Road Photography