Here are a few ways that content recommendation widgets hurt publishers and helpful tips on how to gain value and minimize cost.
Using content recommendation widgets to monetize website traffic is a growing practice. Content recommendation companies provide third-party content through a widget on websites and then pay publishers for driving traffic through links. These companies always promote the revenue benefits, but publishers need to fully consider the opportunity cost. Many times publishers are not able to recognize if widgets are generating enough revenue to offset what they are sacrificing to have them in the first place.
Consider the true cost of content recommendation widgets
- Enabling visitors to click on content that drives them to another site is sending away pageviews and potential clicks on premium ad units, for pennies. Unless a publisher can make up the loss of engagement with even more traffic, they are only succeeding in eroding value and revenue.
- Publishers lend credibility to competitive sources when content is labeled as “Recommended”. Driving visitors to sites with lesser content, when it has been endorsed by the referring site, reduces a publisher’s own credibility with its audience.
- It’s hard to get unique visitors and harder to keep them coming back. By directing traffic to competitive sites, publishers are prompting visitors to consider other sources and develop new reading habits. The chances that a visitor will click to a competitive site and then return to the referring site are low.
Publishers can combat these issues by focusing on the following.
- Only work with companies that focus primarily on native ads and internal content recommendations, such as Adblade. A content marketing partner must ensure publishers benefit while mitigating the risk of driving away revenue.
- Recommendation widgets have their place, but they should only be used when advertisers pays a premium for traffic. A publisher’s audience has great value, for which they need to be compensated for delivering. Ensure your content marketing partner agrees and actually delivers sustained results.
- A content marketing partner must provide proper disclosures. As we mentioned, keeping visitors coming back is tough. Promoting good engagement by ensuring that they know exactly what they are clicking-on is critical to protecting your relationship with the visitor. If you allow them to be mislead with inadequate disclosures they are more likely to consider other sources for their information.
Although these widgets seem beneficial at first, they can slowly drain a site of its value and revenue without the publisher noticing. High quality, engaged audiences driving lots of post-click page views are priorities for Adblade, which has been built to specifically deliver great benefits, while minimizing costs.
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