Publishing websites need traffic. Many rely on advertising as their primary revenue stream and therefore need plenty of views to generate profit, something that is at the heart of any business.
Getting people to your website is a massive challenge. It doesn’t matter how good your content might be, if it doesn’t get the exposure it needs, no one will see it. Traditionally, publishers have relied on methods such as social media, search engine optimisation, word of mouth and paid promotion to drive traffic, but with some of the web’s most recognisable names having released specialist tools for publishers, this is changing.
Facebook, Apple and Google all have services that can help increase traffic and revenue for publishers, all of which work in slightly different ways.
News is a native iOS app from Apple that allows iPhone and iPad users to have a personalised news feed sent straight to their device. As well as recommended curated streams, News also allows users to set favourite publishers or news categories to allow them to get the news they want to read direct.
For publishers, News allows them to serve their content quicker and more direct, bypassing the need for users to find their website through other channels and getting them right to the device. The stripped-back version of an article is fast loading, beautifully presented and easy to read and helps to prolong engagement by encouraging users to view more content.
Apple also provide in-built advertising with News, meaning that publishers aren’t missing out on that crucial revenue stream.
Facebook Instant Articles
Link sharing on Facebook is commonplace. Individuals, companies and publishers alike use the social media platform to drive traffic to their own websites. Facebook on mobile continues to see huge growth and remains the primary source of traffic to the social network, through mobile browsers and apps. As of March 2017, there were 1.28 billion daily active Facebook users, with 1.15 billion of those being daily active mobile users.
Viewing websites on mobile, particularly those that may be content and image heavy or contain lots of third-party advertising features can be a slow and potentially frustrating experience for users. Facebook have sought to address this by introducing Instant Articles, a method for publishers to load their content within Facebook to make it quicker and more engaging.
Of course, Facebook has its own motives for wanting to keep people within its own app, but Instant Articles does provide publishers and users with an enhanced mobile experience. Again, similarly to Apple News, articles are presented using an optimised template and advertising is also supported, both using Facebook’s in-built tools or your own third party tools. Facebook also offer enhanced analytical information to give publishers a better insight into who is viewing their content.
Whilst Google AMP functions slightly differently to the above examples, the emphasis is again on speed and an enhanced, more efficient experience for mobile users. AMP is built into Google’s core search engine results for users searching on mobile. AMP pages are highlighted with a lightning bolt icon to tell users that the specific result has been optimised for faster loading on mobile.
For publishers, AMP-friendly pages are promoted in search engine rankings, giving you increased visibility which can only help in driving more traffic to your website. AMP pages also have additional analytics available and support for advertising and, being a Google product, integrates nicely with DFP, an advertising platform used by many publishers already.
These three products can help publishers and their content consumers in a variety of ways. The recurring themes in terms of benefits to both are that they help provide a faster, more easily accessible experience for users, whilst giving publishers greater exposure, better analytical information and more opportunities to increase ad revenue.
For each party, these are important things and the benefits of using these services are clear. If you are a publisher and you aren’t using Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles or Google AMP then you should seriously consider doing so.
At Ansta, we have experience in implementing these services and many others, so feel free to get in touch with us if this is something you are interested in pursuing.