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Online Publisher Dashboard Purpose: Monitor audience growth and engagement to maximize revenue generation.
Who is an Online Publisher Dashboard for? CEO or Founder of an Online Publishing business.
Why is an Online Publisher Dashboard useful? Among the plethora of internet businesses and monetization models, there are online businesses who rely on advertising to generate revenue from publishing content online. The mechanism is relatively simple–create and serve quality content to an engaged audience who visits the website regularly, for a decent amount of time, and view several pages during a session. Ad revenue comes in different formats. Some sites have sponsorship agreements, display banners using Google AdSense or a similar publisher display network, or work with an affiliate network.
Irrespective of the monetization models, as an ad publisher, your focus is maximizing revenue by growing reach and engagement on your website. This dashboard uses key web analytics and ad publisher metrics to give you an overview of these core areas of your business.
If you are just building your online content website and looking for a dashboard to help you monitor audience growth and engagement, this web analytics dashboard is a good starting point.
What Online Publisher metrics does it contain? Successful online publishing businesses are effective at monetizing web traffic. Naturally, tracking ad revenue is the one metric that matters. However, none of it is possible without a substantial inventory in the form of user page views and an appropriate audience which is attractive for the advertisers.
As a founder, it is your duty to make sure you are striking the right balance between producing good content to expand reach and build loyalty and inserting enough ads to pay the bills. This dashboard uses ad publisher and web analytics key metrics to get a high-level overview of how well you’re monetizing your website traffic. It is also a useful tool to identify opportunities for improvement or expansion. On a macro-level, you want to monitor any changes in revenue and troubleshoot threats before they negatively impact your business. For example:
Scenario 1: Has your revenue decreased in the past months, but the number of users has increased?
Action 1: Tracking audience size is essential, but audience engagement is equally important. Since ad revenue has been slowing down, consider tracking how many users you are losing every month, as well as how many pages they view. It is likely that the growth in overall users is masking other issues, such as audience churn and content fit.
Action 2: Review your content to advertising ratio–too many ads can reduce user loyalty. Investigate which pages are lagging behind in terms of ad revenue and consider a new approach to content production and page layout.
Striking the right balance between enough ads and quality content is a core focus area for online publishers. Too many ads may alienate loyal users, while fewer ads, if you own a popular website with an engaged user base, may turn into missed opportunities. For example:
Scenario 2: Has your average CPM per page view decreased?
Action 1: CPM per page view is a key indicator for the overall level of monetization and it looks like there’s room for improvement in your case. Investigate whether the decline is connected to a drop in pageviews, since they are basically your ad inventory. Consider revising your SEO and content strategies to attract enough engaged users.
Action 2: Check which pages are driving the most ad revenue and consider testing new layouts to fit more ads. Make sure you monitor these pages for revenue vs. churn after implementing changes to make sure you have made the right decision.
On a monthly basis, you’ll want to keep an eye on your monetization and audience engagement efforts to identify and react upon any unexpected behaviour. For example:
Scenario 3: Has your bounce rate increased and your new users have overtaken returning visitors?
Action 1: Review your traffic sources–you may have worked on optimizing content to attract lucrative ad keywords, which was successful to bring in new users. However, the style may have felt too artificial, as users bounced off.
Action 2: Investigate whether a particular page is causing the increase in bounce rate. Assess whether it is the layout or the copy which caused the bounce rate to go up and implement changes.
Lastly, you’ll want to monitor your monthly revenue against your goals. Any changes here will prompt you to deploy further tests. For example:
Scenario 4: Are you tracking way behind the previous month in terms of ad revenue?
Action: This could indicate a drop in audience engagement. Check whether there is a change in pages per session and overall pageviews. Each page view is a chance to show users an ad and you may be missing out. If you’ve recently released a new section for your website or deployed a layout test, this could explain it.