Key Takeaways

  • Know Your Audience: Understanding your custom audience's interests, pain points, and needs is essential to creating a content strategy that resonates deeply with them.
  • Prioritize User Experience: Website development with a user-centric approach, optimized layout, structure, and ad placement will enhance user engagement and customer satisfaction.
  • Utilize Data-Driven Insights: Monitor key metrics like pageviews, engagement time, and bounce rate to evaluate your content's effectiveness and make informed optimizations.
  • Partner with Experts: Consider partnering with a monetization partner, leveraging their expertise, resources, and network to maximize your ad revenue while maintaining a positive, engaging user experience.

The digital world is packed with content. So, how do you stand out?

Of course, it’s about more than just making your mark. Skilled publishers understand that an unbeatable, personalized experience for the user is the foundation of brand loyalty and long-term success.

To get it right, you need to understand your custom audiences inside and out. 

Crafting compelling content is only the beginning; layout, structure, and ad integration are equally important.

To get an expert's perspective on what it takes to build a custom user experience that engages and wows, we had a conversation with GTPlanet Owner, Jordan Greer, in one of our Playwire Live sessions.

Alongside Playwire COO, Stacy Willis, and Director of Partner Success Operations, Ashleigh Respicio, Jordan, a 23-year veteran of online publishing, explores some key ideas and how you can act on his advice.

Content Strategy: The Backbone of User Engagement

Before you develop your content strategy, you must understand your audience. What are their interests and pain points? Consider what they might be searching for and the obstacles they might face.

Your goal is to craft content that directly addresses those needs and interests.

Stay timely with your content, though. Keep up with current trends and news in your niche to stay ahead. You want to be the go-to source for breaking news and updates. But don’t skimp on the storytelling power; it’s fundamental to all good content.

Here are a few other factors to consider when developing a content strategy:

  • Quality is Non-Negotiable: Investing in well-written, informative, engaging content is critical. 
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your site's speed and performance and implement schema markup to help search engine crawlers. Oh, and don’t forget other SEO best practices.
  • Personalization: Offer personalized content recommendations based on user interests and behavior. For example, if you own a recipe site, consider incorporating hyper-specific, personal cooking tips and tricks that visitors can’t get anywhere else.

If you can keep all these plates spinning, you’ll have the content side down. But don’t think that’s all it takes to keep your audience engaged. 

Let’s dig into another topic Jordan and the Playwire team touched on: layout and structure.

Website Layout and Structure: Optimizing for User Experience

It takes around 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website. First impressions matter.

To ensure your site looks its best, start with a user-centric design. By this, we mean consider how your audience will interact with and navigate around your site and use those audience insights to guide design. You want to help them reach their goal quickly, whatever that might be.

With a good layout and design comes an essential element of monetization, such as ads

Strategic ad placement is critical. Integrate ads in a way that complements, not disrupts, the user experience. Always consider the user's journey, placing ads where they will most likely be seen and clicked, while also being cautious with your placement; nothing is more frustrating to a user than an unexpected content shift or accidental click.

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There are also page-specific optimizations you should consider. 

Each section of your site should have a clear purpose and target audience. Ad layout and ad placement should cater to each page's specific needs. It’s all a bit of a balancing act. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts and ad formats to find what works best for your content and resonates best with your audience.

Data-Driven Insights: Measuring and Optimizing Engagement

Okay, you’ve got the content and the design. Now it’s time to watch the monetization engine purr. But how can you know your performance is optimal? That’s where monitoring metrics come into play. 

Here are a few of the metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed on your site. This gives a broad overview of traffic but only reveals a little about user or customer engagement.
  • Pageviews per User: The average number of pages viewed per session. This metric digs a little deeper into user engagement, indicating whether users are exploring multiple pages or bouncing quickly.
  • Engagement Time: The average time users spend on each page or your site overall. This reveals how captivating your content is.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of users who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate suggests a disconnect between user expectations and content.

Using reporting tools like Google Analytics is essential. This powerful free platform can help you track traffic and user behavior.

Once you have the right metrics on lock, it might be time to experiment with audience segmentation.

Divide your audience into segments based on demographics, interests, behavior, or traffic sources. Analyze each segment's performance to tailor your content marketing and ad strategies accordingly. From here, it’s all about finding what works.

Leveraging A/B testing, where you compare two unique page versions or ad placements, will help you test headlines, layouts, ad formats, and more. 

The Role of Monetization Partners

As Jordan and many other successful publishers will preach, you don’t have to go it alone.

The right monetization partner can make a world of difference. They’ll stay up to date with all the latest industry trends and give you access to the specialized knowledge and resources you might not have as a publisher. 

As Jordan explains, “The monetization so complex...I can't do it all.” So why struggle?

A monetization partner can help you navigate your content and ad strategies. The right partners will have insights into the ecosystem, access to a plethora of brand-safe demand for your inventory, and can even help negotiate direct campaign deals with premium advertisers.

Partners like Playwire have established relationships with a vast network of industry players, and are much more than just a powerful voice at the negotiating table, they’re the streamlined connection to demand sources and premium, personalized campaigns that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Oh, and remember those data-driven audience insights we just touched on? Some partners provide valuable data and insights on ad performance, audience demographics, and industry trends in-house (hint: Playwire has its own proprietary Advanced Yield Analytics solution). 

This can help you further understand the right direction for your content and the decisions you must make to reach your audience.

Getting Ahead with Playwire

An engaged and loyal audience isn’t some mystical beast you must conquer. It should result from a good content strategy, an incredible user experience, and monetization best practices. 

Jordan’s experience building GTPlanet shows publishers that creating a thriving online community that benefits their custom audience and bottom line isn’t just possible; it’s accessible to anyone. You just need the right approach and partner.

With Playwire’s suite of ad tech tools and industry expertise behind you, it’s just a matter of time before you find your ad monetization nirvana.

Connect with the team today for more information on what we can offer.


Are you interested in catching a future Playwire Live episode? Please join us every other Tuesday on LinkedIn and YouTube where we’re joined by a variety of guest speakers across digital media, ad tech, and content creation to have important discussions centered around helping you drive more revenue for your business.

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