Modern Infrastructure for Digital Publishers 2019/2020

Bruce Dou

6 min read

Think about the important factors for digital publishers as of 2019/2020: SEO, Audience Growth, Audience Re-Engaging, Managing website speed, Diversifying Revenue, Ad Operation, Monetization, New data regulations like GDPR and CCPA, AMP, PWA, Facebook IA, Apple News, Google News, Video player and adverts, Paywall, Membership and subscription, Header bidding...

Unlike tech giants or large publishing group, most small-medium digital publishing businesses are laking the access to advanced technologies. Transfon was started in the vision of modernising the tech infrastructure SMBs, for digital publishers and marketers. What tech infrastructure should be built or have for a modern digital publisher?

Multiple Channel Modern Headless CMS

The CMS provides news feed and video feed which can be rendered by multiple distribution channels such as responsive website, mobile application, Email, PWA.

Ideally the CMS is able to provide content feed with GraphQL which can be consumed by all these different distribution channels.

A publisher should start to invest in multiple channels and not only rely on search engine or news index. Think about the channels can be used for publishers: Mobile app, Social account, Email list, SMS, Mobile pushing messages, Browser pushing messages.

But the key to taking the advantage of multiple channels is personalised, provide a user the message and content they want and they like. A first-party data management system is required to manage the 1-to-1 message on a large scale.

Identity Management System

The cost of user acquisition is more and more expensive. It is worth establish a first-party relationship with the audience, convert audiences to users.

As a publisher, you have to store and manage the users identity in a secure way.

Build a profile of the audience, own the relationship with your audience, it is the real value of a publishing business.

Membership System

Publisher's business can not only rely on advertising, but you can also open multiple revenue streams such as sponsored products for your audience base. Provide premium content for the users. Think your website as a community but not only a static news or media website. Provide more value for the community members.

Personalisation and Recommendation

Based on the user's behaviour and visit history etc user data you have, provide the user with a personalised user experience to improve the user engagement.

Like Google or Facebook, a modern publisher can provide different content for different users. Different users see the different content list based on their interest.

The content relevant to the main article should be display to a user to increase the overall engagement time.

Users should also be able to subscribe or choose their interested topics.

PubSurge is a system allow publishers to have personalisation and recommendation features on website.

Safety, Privacy Protection and Compliance

Only collect or use users' data based on users' consent. A consent management system like UniConsent for GDPR/CCPA is required if you are running a business in the EU or have audiences in the EU countries, or California.

Another perspective is from the advertising supply chain, keep your website secure and safe for your audiences. Because of the nature of real-time bidding and header bidding, the adverts and content which are displaying on a website are dynamic. It is difficult to trace the supplier of a specific advert. An advertising protection system should be applied to manage the secure environment of your website.

If you have multiple content suppliers, have to make sure the content quality and safety. This is important for inventory buyers and also for Search Engine Optimisation.

Fortunately, if you have integrated with a first-party data management system like PubSurge, your content and user's behavior data can be used to analysis and identify the low quality content.

Application Layer Firewall

It is challenging for a digital publisher to protect themselves from the content being copied or duplicated on the internet. An application-layer firewall is needed to protect the website from large scale data crawling and spidering. The spiders not only stealing the data from your public website but also drain the server resources and harm the overall website speed and user experience. It may also damage your ranking score in Google's index system because you have a slower website.

First party data management System

Third-party cookies and data are dying. A publisher needs to start to build or own a first-party database including the first-party data of your audiences, user's behaviour data, user's interest etc. The first-party data can not only help you provide better content if you can understand your audience better, but also increase the traffic, revenue by adjusting the advantage of the first-party data.

The other part of first-party data is about your content, you will be able to identify the quality of your content based on the user's behaviour. Catch and amplify the trending articles gaining traction to multiple channels or across your network.

A first-party data management system enables a publisher to provide detailed marketing and adverting service packages for marketers and brands.

Paywall and Payment System

Paywall or paid content may or may not work depends on the nature and type of your website. But you should provide users with more choices such as tip the article or topic they like.

Pubpayment is a addon system enable publishers to issue ad-free pass, provide premium content etc to audience.

User Experience and Performance Management

Manage the user experience for your large scale audience is complex, a performance management system like PubPerf is necessary to keep tracking the speed of your website and identify, predicate the potential issues of your website, mobile applications.

Real user monitoring system should be used to monitor the uptime, reliability, performance of your website.

Transfon UXP is a group of addon systems to modernising the tech infrastructure for digital publishers and marketers.

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