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Since I use a very dynamic web applications server, I just made one channel each of my 5 sites and dropped it in the ad serving software. I didn't change anything from a look and feel aspect and overall the aggregate hits have been right on target for this month.
The channel data is WAY off from what I thought
- The biggest site (cars), with over 61% impressions had 43% of the clicks had only 33% of the revenue. Also has the lowest CTR
- The second biggest site (community) with 30% of the impressions had 20% of the clicks and 23% of the revenue. Also lowest CTR.
- The third biggest site (travel) has just 8% of the traffic, with 27% of the clicks and 35% of the revenue. Yup, it earned more than the other two big sites and has a CTR 4 times the other two sites.
Now, to be fair that last site has a leader board and the first two have normal ad banners (468x60) but the CTR is just way out of line.
It is way too soon to tell whether this is the industry, the banner size or the quality of ads, but has made me think about which sites are more "valuable" than others.
What have you learned?
The content list channel is the highest CTR, because the number of impressions is low, and the revenue was 25% of my total.
My forums are very low in CTR, but 50% of impressions of my content. So I had 12.5% of my revenue from there.
My frontpage is very low in impressions, because my main entry pages are content - thanks Google search! - but it's also 12.5% of my revenue.
In summary - keeping AdSense in all these places, because it's a good balance. And I wouldn't give away 12.5% of my total income on the program simply by looking at the CTR. We have to look at the bottom line, as you did too.
I've changed colours in my leaderboards and saw a very small increase in click throughs. But I can't change much in my current layout.
[edited] just a comment: note that I did not disclose any specific numbers here.[/edited]
It makes sense that your travel site should do well. As far as the car channel, that one is a bit of a surprise. As long as it's a content-based site (and not a community one) it should be doing better -- and I would think that the AdWords served on car pages should be more lucrative.
On our site its not just a minor difference, we are talking a factor of 5-6 between general content pages and the above.
Plus it also seems that visitors will read important information about issues that are relevant to them, but won't click on any ads, if the information isn't their core reason for visiting the site. ie. they are just collecting info. as it crosses their path, not pursuing info.
Some channels might generate many page views per visitor before they click on an ad, while other channels may have pages that lead folks to click on an ad on the first page they see.
It may be more valuable to look at the effective CPM per channel when looking at channel data.
I set up one channel on a very small site that gets steady traffic around 600 impressions per day. The EPC has a 15:1 variation from one day to the next (i.e. the highest day earnt 15 times the next day, with the same traffic and CTR!).
For the channels with real traffic, the variations are not so extreme.
It's also confirmed to me the obvious fact that Adsense works best on exit/data pages, i.e. where the user is likely to have finished with your site.
On one site of mine, the search page gets 25% of the traffic - but only 9% of the total revenue. The exit/data pages get 3 times the CTR of the search pages (it would be higher, but each user looks about 7 data pages on average).
Still, 9% of the revenue is worth having...
And AdSense banner ads at the top of the page don't seem to work at all for me... something else I already suspected.
What is *fascinating* to me is that most of my revenue is coming from just one of my sites!
robho: you can not add adsense to exit pages, see TOS
Sorry, different terminology. What I mean by an exit page is a content page that has the content the user is looking for (i.e. on a site that has data sheets for different widgets, it's the page that has the widget they are looking for, so is likely to be the last page they want).
Not a "thank you" page or popup/popunder or exit window - just the last page they are likely to be interested in that session, if they've come looking for something specific (which most of my users are).
Channels reveal that 50% of my income is from one group of pages that represents only 20% of my total traffic. I knew this group was a leader, but the magnitude is astounding.
I learned that where the money is really has to do with who is spending the advertising dollars. Some people are spending a lot more online than others. People considering new high-revenue content should find out who sells high margin products and has the big online ads budgets first.
My content pages are about a theme that is unfortunately not having many ads that are competing.
My possible explanation therefor; I have lots of traffic to the forum via search engines (so if they look and dont find it in the post they maybe find it in the ad?). And the best performing forum is the off topic section.
What I mean by an exit page is a content page that has the content the user is looking for
There's a good point here for those who haven't recognised it. Analyse your stats and see which pages visitors are normally leaving your site on. Use the best Adsense colour/size ad on those pages and give the ad priority of place. If they are going to leave anyway let them leave via an ad.
Likely as not, 80% of that portion of income will come from 20% of those selected pages.
So, give or take, you can expect 64% of your adsense income from 4% of your pages hosting adsense.
Broadly speaking, 80% of your adsense income will generally come from 20% of the pages you have with adsense panels
ronin, the 80/20 rule is bandied about a lot. I'd just like to point out that it isn't a law of nature and isn't applicable to everything in life. And it's not a valid truth for every site.
A site may well end up getting 80% of earnings from 40% of the traffic.... or, indeed, 80% of the traffic :)
Now on what % of sites does that rule hold true? Er, maybe 80% - or 20% :)
one of my sites get's about 90-95% of the content (not file download) traffic on my servers. oddly enough it gets <1% of revenue and ctr. and the clicks I get aren't as high as I would have thought.
one of my top level sites on my server which only gets around 2% of my total traffic is making more than 75% of the revenue with about 40% of the ctr.
odd. not what I expected. I think I'll kill the ads on the site that recieves about 13,000 hits a day and maybe one click at minimum pay.