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There’s a term being discussed on the ad side of the world, and it’s one you should be paying attention to — viewability. What does that mean? Well, today I invited Amber Bracegirdle on the show to talk about Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers, what it means, and how you can address it. We love to share information on the technical side of food blogging. In fact, here’s Darren Judd talking about Accounting Principles for Food Bloggers. There’s also Kay Featherstone talking about Building Your Tribe. Whatever you want to know about food blogging, we’re talking about it!

Are you earning ad revenue from your blog? If you are then today’s show is a must-listen. If you’re not currently but you hope to soon, then today’s show is still a must-listen! But even if you just love a good conversation today is still in that must-listen category because we’ve got Amber Bracegirdle back on the show. Today we’re talking about Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers, but it’s also a great conversation about food blogging in general as well.

Have you heard the term viewability? The term is so new, even the word itself is not recognized as a word. Trust me, I’ve had autocorrect trying to correct me every single time I type it. So annoying!

Anyway, it is an important term for food bloggers. You will hear more and more about it as the industry moves toward viewability as a metric of value for advertisers. Which means it’s a metric of value for you as well…because it will influence your bottom line!

Amber describes how food bloggers have to provide more than just page views, now what’s necessary is to provide value to the advertisers, in order for them to pay you.

So, what this means, is that ad networks are creating ways of measuring viewability. If you have a high viewability score, the advertisers are willing to keep increasing their bid for your ad spots.

With viewability, what’s important is to look at how your reader is interacting with your site. Take a closer look at your site, and maybe even use an application like JotJar to see where people are going on your site.

You know where your eyes go as you’re reading a blog. Get your ads placed where they’re going to be in view for your readers. That’s it in a nutshell.

Also, figure out what holds your readers’ attention and make sure you have ads in those areas. So, for example, if your recipe card is viewed the most, put your ads there.

Understanding how your audience interacts with your content is step #1.

We also talk about leaderboard ads. You know the ones at the very top of a blog post? The very, very top? Amber said they’ve told everyone in their network to turn off leaderboard ads. Readers will start scrolling before the content of the ad is even loaded, causing a terrible viewability score.

We talk about how all ads are moving in this direction. Google Ad Exchange had the technology first. Think about it. If you’re an advertiser, and you have the option of paying 50 cents for an ad impression that you have no idea whether it was viewed or not or a dollar for an ad that was a guaranteed view, which would you choose?

My guess most of us would agree that we’d rather pay the $1 for an ad that’s going to be seen. It’s a better value over time.

SEO v Viewability

Believe it or not, SEO (search engine optimization) and viewability are not always on the same page. That’s why Amber and I talk about areas where SEO and Viewability are at odds with each other.

Amber explains that they can also be complementary.

For example, for SEO Google will tell you that they want more content above the fold, rather than images. Viewability is the same idea. Because of the way the content loads, you want ads/photos lower, content higher.

Page Speed is another example where SEO and viewability are in agreement. “At the end of the day what we want is a fast web,” said Amber.

Amber talks about AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages, and how it might be a great area to be ready for. However, there’s not enough advertising inventory to switch to AMP, not for food bloggers yet. Get ready for it, but don’t deploy it. Besides, once Pinterest picks up that you have AMP, it sends all your mobile traffic to your AMP site. That would be great, except that if you don’t have ads on there (which you won’t because as she describes above, there’s just not the inventory for it yet), then you’ll be losing money. There’s still a lot to figure out there, but it’s good to be aware so you’ll understand the terminology and be prepared when it comes your way.

Your Site Should be Speedy

If you take one thing away from today’s discussion, it should be this: care about your page speed.

Photos are the biggest offenders amongst food bloggers. If you have lots of large photos, your pages will load slowly. Use a photo shmushing app can help here. See below for a listing of some of these apps.

Your business is built on running a website and technology. At the end of the day, you either need to pay someone to care about this stuff or you need to teach yourself to care about this stuff because it’s the foundation of your business. — Amber Bracegirdle

Amber describes if you have three or four paragraphs starting your blog post before a photo, this will give your content (and ads) time to load. Having interesting things in the sidebar can help here too.

Listen in to today’s discussion with Amber Bracegirdle on Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers for more ways you can optimize your site!

I have a big dream with the Chopped Podcast, to deliver helpful content for he important work you’re doing every day! Here’s to today’s show, Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers, fits the bill! Whatever you do, stay inspired about your dreams!

Featured Content – Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers

There are some high notes of my chat with Amber on Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers. Here are some of the best parts:

  • We talk about Amber’s previous appearance on the Chopped Podcast
  • MediaVine is doing great things since Amber’s last appearance
  • Viewability…it’s more than just a new word in the dictionary
  • Why you should care about viewability
  • Why advertisers care about viewability
  • How you can ad more engagement to your site to improve your viewability score
  • Amber explains how you can use your knowledge of your content and how your readers are interacting with it to better understand and improve your site’s viewability
  • We talk about site speed and ways you can improve yours

Show Notes

This episode on Viewability Factors for Food Bloggers mentions resources you’ll want to check out:

  • Learn more about today’s guest: Amber Bracegirdle of MediaVine and Food Fanatic
  • Give a shout-out on Twitter or Instagram to say thanks for the Chopped Podcast interview!
  • Related Post: Check out Thomas talking about Google Analytics for Food Bloggers
  • We discuss some apps for photo optimization including: Imagify, SmushIt, and Amber recommends Short Pixel
  • We talk about HotJar as a way of understanding how users engage with your content
  • Connect with Chopped Academy Online:  Instagram  | Twitter
  • Connect with Marly: Namely Marly |  Instagram  | Twitter
  • Today’s post production, music, graphic art & sound design by Shawn Beelman
  • Subscribe below to be the first to hear about future Chopped Podcast episodes and get some awesome tips on food blogging. You can subscribe at the bottom of this page. You’ll be glad you did!

Subscribe to the Show & Feedback

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. I hope you found it informative and helpful to the work you do every day. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the Chopped Podcast episodes by heading on over to iTunes to subscribe to the Chopped Podcast. While you’re there, provide a review and rating is a great way to help other podcast listeners find it too! That’s it for today’s podcast. As always, thanks so much for joining in the discussion!

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