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Feed the Meter: Content Advertising By The Hour

Why Time on Site Is a Rising Metric In Content Advertising

It’s not how many times your content is viewed that matters most, but rather how long that content holds a reader’s attention.

Jon Slade describes our market as an “attention economy.” The commercial director of digital advertising at the Financial Times recently began selling ad space based on viewing time, explaining that now, more than ever, marketers and advertisers are competing for a slice of customers’ divided — even goldfish-like — attention. Clicks are plentiful, but holding a reader’s attention is immensely valuable.

That shouldn’t be totally shocking to those of us in content marketing. We’ve always known that if the content isn’t quality, people won’t hang around to read it. The real news is that content providers are now being paid on that principle. Below are the three most crucial reasons why now is the perfect time to jump on the time on site metric as a selling point for content.

1. Because Google Says So

Historically, there’ve been quite a few ways of chasing that elusive page one placement on Google. However, Google’s stated interest has always been to provide a better experience to searchers by displaying high-quality and ultra-relavent results. They do so by implementing new algorithms to block the least-savory “black hat” SEO techniques, like keyword stuffing and so-called “spamdexing.”

The best way to stay ahead of these updates is to produce the most interesting and accurate material. That’s pretty much the only thing that Google hasn’t tried to code out of the search engine results.

See also: A Brief History of Google’s Algorithmic Updates

2. Good Content Means Good Sales

Getting people to look at your advertisements is nice, but dependably converting those advertisements into sales is better. For a long time now, advertisers have seen content as a brief window to grab a reader’s attention. In this model, content is really just a vehicle to take users to ads. Under this new model users are valued not just as fluttering eyeballs, but invested, engaged readers, and content is not just a vehicle, but a platform readers choose to round out their life.

This new perspective validates high-quality content and more accurately represents its true value. High-quality content means not only money to advertisers, but to content marketing brands as well.

See also: How to Grow an Audience on Facebook that Will Convert

3. Good Content Gets Shared

Sure, a nice picture or clever headline will get you some shares. But in today’s cause-driven world, high-quality content that’s either imminently useful or appeals to a fundamental part of the reader’s belief system — in other words, something they’ll stick around to read — is far more likely to make the rounds.

Now that we’re beginning to get the validation we’ve been seeking, there’s never been a better time to push hard for quality content.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us below. 

To Read More About Content Marketing Analytics, See Below:

Why You Should Ignore Vanity Metrics in Content Marketing
The 5 Most Valuable Metrics in Content Marketing
Evaluating Metrics for Email Marketing Campaigns