Publisher Updates is a fortnightly series in which we publish a selection of handpicked posts and updates of specific interest to web publishers. If you’ve got a tip for us, drop us a line at

23 Conversion-Boosting WordPress Plugins

For almost any kind of online business to be successful, two things are essential: A sizeable amount of traffic and a healthy conversion rate. Take out any one of those things and the whole stack of cards comes crashing down.

Over at The Daily Egg blog, Sharon has put together a great list of WordPress popup, social, CTA, and landing page plugins that can help bloggers and online publishers increase their conversion rates.

WordPress rules the web. The latest stats show that:

  • 25% of the top 10 million sites by Alexa rank use WordPress
  • every 74 seconds a new site within that group starts using WordPress
  • 48% of all content management systems tracked by BuiltWith use WordPress (W3Techs puts the figure at 58.7%)

That means if you’re talking about conversion rate optimization (CRO) for a website, there’s a pretty good chance that site runs on WordPress.

One major WordPress feature is the ability to extend it via plugins (whether you want to include user-generated content, related posts or some other functionality. So it’s no surprise that there are lots of plugins to help you with CRO.

With more than 41,000 plugins listed on, I’m not going to claim this is an exhaustive list, but it is a selection of plugins used regularly by conversion optimizers.

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An Open Letter to Bloggers Struggling to Get More Traffic

You spared no time, money and effort in designing and setting up a new blog… you write your very first post, hit publish, and nothing happens.

Let’s say you’ve been persistent with your writing but still, somehow you feel that the effort you’ve put into this endeavor is just not yielding the returns you had expected in terms of traffic. It’s a familiar story.

In his familiar rousing style, Jon from Boost Blog Traffic points to where you may be going wrong and what you can do about it.

It hurts me to write this.

For years, I’ve been “the traffic guy.” Not only because I’m good at getting it, but because it’s the question on the top of every blogger’s mind:

“How do I get more traffic to my blog?”

To some degree, this entire site is an answer to that question. You’ll learn more about getting blog traffic here than maybe anywhere else on the web.

But there’s one giant problem…

It’s the wrong question.

And I’ve known it for years.

And I’ve said nothing.

Not because I’m an asshole (well, maybe). No, the real reason is I felt like we were serving the needs of the market. People wanted to know how to get more traffic, so we created courses teaching them how.

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21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now

Search optimization is an essential step of any content strategy. In fact, historically, a little over 60% of all traffic on this blog came through organic channels. Now that’s a traffic source you can’t afford to neglect.

Beyond the basic hygiene of SEO such as choosing the right keywords, writing the correct meta descriptions, etc, there are many other tips and techniques that can help you further align your content for success on organic channels.

Brian from Backlinko runs us through them.

People that succeed with SEO do two things very well:

First, they identify SEO techniques that get them results.

Second, they put 100% of their resources into executing and scaling those techniques.

But you’re probably wondering:

“How do I find SEO strategies that actually work?”

Well today I’m going to make it easy for you.

All you need to do is carve out a few minutes of your day and tackle one of the 21 white hat SEO techniques below.

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9 Ways to Design the Best Ad Ops Team in the World

Putting together an ad operations team or even just hiring an ad operations professional is never an easy task.

You have to evaluate not just their technical skills but also many other traits such as attention to detail, discipline, and a drive to achieve sustained growth. Ben from Ad Ops Insider has put together this great guide to help make the process easier.

Recently I was speaking with a friend who’s heading up a new digital publishing organization that’s taking their sales in-house, and they’re shopping for all the usual trappings of ad technology, as well as standing up an Ad Ops team from scratch.

At first I thought, “good luck with that!”, but then after some more serious thought, it occurred to me what a unique opportunity he had to build a world class organization.  After all, so many organizations started their Ops teams so long ago, and have entrenched platforms, and business lines to support that they probably wouldn’t work with today if they didn’t have to.

Starting a new team in this day in age still has all the downsides of inexperience, but all the benefits of learning from everyone else’s mistakes.  After all, how many of us in the Ops community haven’t thought at one time or another, “if I could just blow it all away and start from scratch…”, oh how we’d do things differently.

It got me thinking – what would the best Ad Ops team in the world look like?

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Google Adds Programmatic Support For Native Ads

Zach from Ad Exchanger reports that Google has recently made it possible for publishers to open the native ad inventory to buyers on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. The program, which is currently restricted to mobile apps only, will add support for native ads on both desktop and mobile web in early 2016.

If someone asked you to rattle off the big buzzwords in media, it’s a pretty good bet mobile, native ads and programmatic would be somewhere near the top of your list.

Google has just knocked down all three in a single gesture, allowing its publisher customers to expose native ad inventory in their mobile apps to buyers on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

The long-expected move is likely to bring a flood of new advertiser dollars to native ads, observers say, including from big brand advertisers that routinely scoop up IAB standard placements on exchanges, but whose “native programmatic” buys have been largely relegated to Facebook, Twitter and the small crop of ad tech vendors that have sprouted up in this space.

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