22 Jul 2024 01:53

Print & PR Tech & Start Up The Latest

Google commends the success of SRMG’s digital transformation strategy with Hia as example

Under the title “SUCCESS STORY… Quality over quantity: How a shift in focus boosted inventory value 7x for SRMG”, Google Ad Manager has published a report on the importance of the growth and digital transformation strategy rolled out three years ago by the Saudi Research and Media Group, led by CEO Jomana Alrashid.

Applauding the reader experience and access to the rich content provided by SRMG across its platforms, the piece cited Hia Magazine as an example of this success, after the value of its advertising was boosted significantly.

According to the report: “In today’s competitive news landscape, standing out is crucial. For Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG), publisher of leading Arabic women’s magazine Hia, this meant fundamentally rethinking the group’s advertising strategy to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Performance data showed that despite abundant inventory, Hia’s website was struggling with low ad viewability and clickthrough rates. Slow load times and weak scores in other Core Web Vitals further hampered user experience. But with new leadership at the helm, SRMG saw a full site revamp as an opportunity to reinvent Hia’s ad experience, making it more engaging for readers and more attractive to advertisers.

Shifting focus to ad quality necessitated a significant change, both technologically and culturally. So Google’s account management team offered high-touch help throughout the transformation, providing SRMG with custom reporting, consulting services and implementation support.

Overhauling such a high-profile site is a major undertaking, but data from Google Ad Manager gave SRMG confidence and a clear direction. Based on these insights, the Google Ad Manager team helped SRMG define a wide-ranging set of improvements including: adopting best practices for ad formats, placements and setup, as well as comprehensive website optimisations to improve organic search ranking.

The results were impressive. Hia’s total ad fill rate soared by 500% while viewability nearly doubled. Website performance improved significantly, with faster ad loading and fewer users scrolling past unfilled ad spaces.

Readers responded positively to the changes, with the site’s ad clickthrough rate increasing by 245%. This translated to a significant rise in the value of Hia’s inventory, with the eCPM for ad requests increasing by 711%. Combined with lower ad serving costs due to infrastructure upgrades, SRMG’s strategic shift to prioritise inventory quality in a saturated market has proved to be highly successful.

What’s next? Choosing quality over quantity takes courage in any media business. But bolstered by Hia’s strong results, SRMG is planning to roll out a quality-focused ad strategy across their other properties. And with GPT simplifying the process of rolling out publisher-provided identifiers, the brand is also looking with confidence towards the post-cookie era.”

It should be noted that Hia Magazine has successfully led an impressive array of high-profile global campaigns, including collaborations with top brands and platforms such as Dior, Loro Piana, Tod’s, Pomellato, Bulgari, Graff, Bottega Veneta, Messika, Mytheresa, Next, Shein and many more.

Last year, Hia was honoured with the award for best website in the Middle East, after launching its new look and feel, to continue empowering the Arab women of today and providing them with exclusive news and features on what interests them most. Moreover, the promotional campaign for Hia’s Saudi issue in September 2023 came in second place for best use of video at the global WAN-IFRA awards.

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