Get out the tape measure
It's natural to wonder how you "stack up". No matter what your volume of traffic is, you can't help wondering if you are making as much advertising money as you should. With that in mind, I'd like to offer you a very simple formula that will help you calculate how much money you should be earning:
Advertising Dollars Earned = (Traffic Source * A magic number * Unique visitors)
There it is. Simple, right? So how are you doing?
Oh, right. That "magic number" thing. Umm.. I don't know.
Trouble is, a lot of factors go into that magic number. One part of it is simply what your site is about. If your site talks about expensive things, you might attract and get clicks on a ads that pay very well. If it doesn't, you won't. So one site might do extremely well with 100,000 visitors, and another with a different subject matter might do next to nothing.
The exception to that might be the type of site where purchases are implied by the visit. For example, let's say you have a site that focuses on all things Disney; it gives advice about travel, eating, rides to avoid with children, whatever. Airline and hotel ads on that site probably work well with non-search visitors because many of them are visiting with an intent to travel.
Of course the volume of traffic is very important. It's very unusual for ad click through rates to rise out of the low single digits. That means that 100,000 visitors might only generate a few thousand ad clicks. As many ads don't carry much payout (as little as a few cents for some ads), the net result can be disappointing. Of course with the right site running the right ads, the picture changes dramatically.
So the "magic number" depends on a lot of other stuff. If you want to know how you do compared against someone else, you are need to be comparing sites with similar factors, and much of the data you'd need about the other site is probably not available to you.
Got something to add? Send me email.
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