This is our fourth expanded post from our article on top 10 learnings about the hyperlocal digital publisher market over the past year. Our first three learnings were:
- Local search is a differentiator on hyperlocal sites.
- Make sure you side door looks as good as your front door.
- Don’t Be Seduced by the Quick Wins of Social Media
Our fourth learning is obvious. Now, over 70% of all hyperlocal publisher traffic is coming from mobile devices. And that number is increasing. The world is mobile. Mobile is eating the world.
The main issue (and opportunity) that this presents is how to best monetize your local publishing site. Banner and sidebar ads are not effective on mobile. Ad blockers are more prominent on mobile, and most ad content shows up after the article (where very few readers venture). Another option is to have popup ads or other highly disruptive experiences that annoy readers.
To further complicate matters, Content Management Systems (CMS) are not keeping up with this movement as quickly as the local publisher needs. Simply having a “responsive” website does not make you a mobile powerhouse, or even mobile effective. Finally, building a mobile app is not a viable option, since the scale is not there to be worth the investment.
We recommend three actions for publishers that focus on mobile:
- Focus on “near me” searches. There has been an explosion in “near me” searches on mobile. Many publishers think they can’t offer better answers than Google for these type of searches, but they would be wrong. You can. And you should.
- Provide in-line promotional content. Interstitials, sponsored content, and in-line ads are all examples of providing exposure within your valuable content that people are reading. It’s important to be careful and not overdo this, but if it is done well, it can offer a much more effective promotional experience for your advertisers
- A mobile app. I know, I just mentioned earlier that it’s too expensive for local publishers! This is where Bizyhood aims to assist. Our mobile experience will give our publishing community the ability to reach readers natively on mobile. This is a game changing development that we’re excited to start working on with Publishers.
Any publisher who wants to grow their business must strongly consider mobile. If you aren’t considering it, you aren’t going to succeed. It’s as simple as that.