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I'm running travel website (destination reviews, forums). I wonder what types of ads do better than others on such websites?
Also, I wonder what is normal CTR and eCPM for travel industry?
I've read about $10-15 eCPM and 5-10% CTR (not for travel industry, but for general websites), but mine are too far from these numbers. Are there any tips to increase them?
I know I can increase CTR, but I'd really like to know what is normal eCPM for travel websites. For example, if my website's eCPM is $4 and I know travel websites have $20-$30 eCPM, I could try to increase it somehow. But if I will know that such websites do $4-$5, I can save a lot of time optimizing my website (experimenting with placement, colors, types, website's design and layout, number of ads etc), which is huge job.
So, what are the normal CTR and eCPM (approximate)?
For example, if my website's eCPM is $4 and I know travel websites have $20-$30 eCPM, I could try to increase it somehow. But if I will know that such websites do $4-$5
But you can't know that, because there's no such rule of thumb. Even on the same site, eCPMs can easily range from the single digits to the high double digits, depending on the page and topic. Plus, if you were silly enough to focus only on the highest-eCPM topics, you'd be limiting your earnings. Take Elbonian tours as an example: Let's say that a page on Elbonian luxury tours has an eCPM of $20, while a page on Elbonian mass-market tours has an eCPM of $5. You might think you were being clever by concentrating only on Elbonian luxury tours, when in fact total earnings from Elbonian mass-market tours could be far higher (even at a lower eCPM) because the mass market is a lot larger than the luxury market. Just as important, if you want to be an authority on Elbonian tours (or Elbonian travel in general), you can't just limit yourself to the topics that pay the highest eCPMs. That kind of strategy marks you as just another get-rich-quick wannabe.
The question of high eCPM keeps coming up; but keep in mind that I'd rather have:
20,000 page views x $5 eCPM = $100.00
500 page views x $50 eCPM = $25.00
But if I will know that such websites do $4-$5, I can save a lot of time optimizing my website (experimenting with placement, colors, types, website's design and layout, number of ads etc)...
You can also waste a lot of time experimenting with placement, colors, etc.
There's a point past which tweaking is not a good use of your time. I have decided that point is reached fairly quickly.
Um, from the tone of the questions, something tells me that is precisely what is being looked for ;). Maybe, maybe not, but if not him/her, then anyone of the other thousands out there lurking to learn "what type of ads/keywords do better". For one thing, G doesn't really give you that option to pick and choose much. If you mean GAd PPC vs Other source affiliate, I will be happy to say, a combination of both, especially if you have been around long enough to be trusted and properly and honestly pre-sale the affiliate.
My answer with respect to GAdsense only, is, if I knew (and maybe I do or maybe I don't) why would I tell a JAGRQW so I would have yet another one to compete against in the apparently ever-dwindling pool of Adsense ads?
[edited by: MikeNoLastName at 1:15 am (utc) on Jan. 29, 2008]
I have developed website which was developed in 7 months. Now, I put it online and get about 100 daily visitors which is fine for just started website. But mine CTR is toooo low. It's about 0.10%. I never saw such a low CTR, even my lowest quality website has 1.5% CTR. But this one is my highest quality website.
I wonder why does it happen?
Google's logic is: make people who click BUY something. Well, in the travel sector BUYING normally means reserving a trip online. Do you really think people who read a review are going to just jump and book a trip based on it? Very unlikely. But Google seems to punish publishers who don't produce IMMEDIATE results.
That seems unfair to me and I think over the long term, you should look elsewhere to monetize your site.
But with only 100's of visitors you're not in the league where you have that much of a choice.
The second reason (this may be getting off-topic, but let me share some thoughts) for my skepticism is the economics of content for travel writing. To write a good review takes at least a couple of hours, not counting the time you actually spent researching and/or visiting the place.
At the levels you seem to suggest (under $5 eCPM) you'd need at least 20,000 page views on that piece over a certain period of time to make $100 (let's assume this is the actual cost of a content piece) - and that's only breaking even!
I've been watching several travel websites' traffic, including the "star" ones like Gridskipper. Let me tell you, it seems that their page views for one piece never get much above a few thousand impressions (then they simply fizzle out). And these guys write specifically to get impressions, nothing else (that's why they switched from writing reviews to writing TOP 10 lists).
Even assuming you know how to write "hit" articles, you need to keep pushing them out like a good conveyor belt - at least a few a day. Is it realistically possible? May be, may be not. Frankly, I predict a burn-out within two weeks.
Forum and other user-generated content may help, but as many have noted, it simply doesn't monetize.
To summarize my thoughts, I think it's an exceptionally tough sector.
If you have a normal site(1) with between 1,000 and 10,000 uniques a day from normal(2) sources you should have a global(3) CPM around 3$ or 4$.
If you have this, you should focus in develop your business model and make your site grow, that's what you've been doing and it's working.
(1) Normal site: what most of us do; a mix of informative articles, forums, a mail list, photos and so on
(2) Normal traffic: what most of us receive; a good portion from Google, some direct hits, some from links in other sites, some from your mail list...
(3) Global CPM is what you receive every time 1,000 pages are open by users and no what you receive every time 1,000 ads are viewed by susers
Where do you get your traffic from? If it's from SEs, check the keywords that the visitors are searching on to get to your site. Make sure your visitors are actually searching for what you are talking about on the site.
IMO 5 to 10% CTR for a 'general website' is high, I would expect around the 2% mark but of course it varies from site to site and niche to niche. However I would consider 0.10% VERY low.
Rather than use the Google CTR I divide the number of clicks into the number of uniques for the same period to give me a CTR for uniques rather than page impressions. It gives me a feel for how many visitors actually click on the ads.
Two things to remember though, this process assumes all visitors, if they do click, only click once and unless your visitors are viewing a large number of pages before making a 'click decision' it won't make much difference to the 0.10% Google CTR, may be give you a 0.50% CTR which means only 1 in 200 visitors click on an ad - as I said previously that does seem extremely low.
I've just read Google Adsense guides and I think the part of the problem is wrong placing of the banners (they're above navigation bar and above "action panel" for users) and in palettes I use.
I'm not sure about what colors to use to both not scare visitors and get higher CTR. I really need advice about this, but I think it's better to create new topic.