In our experience, creating a website is simple. Either you build it yourself through a clever pre-built template from companies such as Wix or Squarespace or you can hire a web designer to create something that suits your needs. The end result is often a difficult project with limited experience.
Though where things get really tough is building up a loyal user base that will drive revenue from your sites’ traffic monetization.
After working with publishers of all sizes across the world, we’ve come to understand that what helps publishers achieve an effective monetization strategy and subsequent revenue flow, is building a visitor base through consistent and persistent content creation and publishing.
Without a frequent stream of original published content, your site will not attract and retain enough visitors to monetize.
The goal of this post is to underscore the importance of using your published content to push your website to new levels of financial success. The planning, execution, and evaluation of your content strategy will influence the eventual success of your monetization strategy.
In this article, we will dive into why content is the core driver of web traffic and how increasing your web traffic from unique content will be the primary catalyst for your website’s monetization growth.
If the idea of earning $20,000 USD or more per year from one ad unit on your website is your goal, read on so you know how to begin planning and executing the necessary steps and understandings to reach your financial goals with your website.
The Importance of Content
It is our belief that content is the gasoline that drives your financial growth in the long term.
The decision to embrace a content-first strategy reflects an effort to have your content be at the center of everything you do and how your company/website aims to attract new customers/readers.
Everything your website represents will be displayed through your content and subsequently, will be amplified to attract visitors to your website that will view and potentially click on your ad units. The more updated and interesting your content, the more visitors will come to your website, and the more valuable your CPM prices will be for purchase via direct sales and through programmatic markets.
For your Ad Units to be Financially Valuable, Your Content Needs to be:
- Published on a frequent basis
- Relevant and unique to your target audience
- Well-written and grammatically correct
- Original in nature – meaning not aggregated from third-party sources
- Timely and self-aware of its purpose
- Useful to explaining, solving, or demystifying a challenging or popular/interesting topic.
- Properly referenced
The Key Benefits of Excellent Content:
- New traffic to your website through SEO (Google, Bing, etc.)
- Higher CTRs
- Establish your website as a thought-leader on particular topics
- Each new piece of content will act as a separate revenue stream for your website
- Content influences and converts visitors into paying customers
- Higher CPMs for your ad units
- Social engagement – Shares on online social networks
Focusing on Your Content Strategy
Creating content for your business is a large part of an effective marketing strategy for attracting your target audience. The central goal of good content creation should be to publish posts which fulfill the needs and interests of your current and ideal readers/customers.
Through your content, your company will have an excellent opportunity to connect with interested individuals who are seeking influencers to enrich their interests and potential business needs.
The trick is to finely tune your content marketing strategy in order to build out a plan of content that is specific and repeatedly clustered around particular subject areas. The core benefits here would be to publish on a consistent schedule and to begin being categorized by Google’s search result algorithms as an influential and focused publisher for user search results.
Google will eventually pick up on your content’s subject consistency and begin aggregating your posts in search results relative to your content’s topical focus. If you achieve this, you have a winning content creation strategy.
If enough people begin clicking on your content, well, then the good times start to roll:
- Higher search rankings on your posts in search results
- Better status in your industry as an influencer on your subject matter
- Higher CPMs for your website’s ad units
Your New Monetization Strategy
Once you have the content strategy in place, now you have to think about the monetization strategy. There are a number of ways that you can monetize your website. It is obvious that first, you must define the appropriate ad slots on your pages, decide which areas will be sold at a premium rate and which ad slots can be secondary for lower prices.
Your monetization strategy will most likely be a combination of direct and indirect selling. For the sake of this content, we will focus on the indirect channels method, specifically, through Google AdSense or DoubleClick AdExchange.
When going indirect, you must keep in mind the platform policies of monetizing your content through various platforms. Each platform allows a certain ratio of ad units placed on your pages vs the content around it. Google, for example, requires over 50% content on the page. In addition, one must take note of ad placement policies of each platform which will determine the success of your monetization strategy as well.
Earning $20,000 a Year Starts from an Ad Unit Yielding $55 a Day!
Let’s say that you have gotten your content strategy and monetization strategy all lined up. What would you specifically need to do to reach $20K from one Ad Unit through indirect/programmatic channels? What should be your expectations?
First, we should break down the bigger goal into smaller goals. So if the number you are going for is $20K/year, what would it be on a daily basis?
$55 per day in revenue is what we are looking to achieve ($20,000 per year / 365 days)
In order to earn $55 per day, we’ve created a set of plausible scenarios of what would have to happen:
- 55 pages on your site earning $1 per day
- 110 pages each earning $0.50 per day
- 220 pages post each earning $0.25 per day
There is one additional parameter that you should track, and that is how many pages your visitors view per each visit – # of page views.
Let’s say that your website has 220 pages, each of which features one ad-unit of ADX, for you an average Cost per Mil (CPM) of $0.25. In addition, your visitors visit on average 2 articles per each visit – 2 pageviews per visit.
With the above in mind, in order for you to reach your daily goal of $55, you would need to generate 220K impressions per day to your website. This translates to 110K visits per day at 2 pages visited per user.
Now, you may think that it sounds like a pretty big number. You may wonder how you drive 110,000 visitors to your site on a daily basis. The good news is, that by altering any of the components of the above equation, you are able to achieve your goals quicker and easier.
It should be pointed out that the CPM rate of your website ad units will fluctuate based on your core topics and the geographic location of your visitor traffic.
If a majority of your visitors are from a tier-one market (North America, Western Europe, etc.) and your website’s content is featured in a competitive vertical, it’s likely that your CPM would be higher than featured in this example.
Let’s look into what happens when your CPM rate is increased from $0.25 to $0.40 through good traffic, intelligent content, and expert ad optimization.
$55 per day / 0.40 CPM = 138 x 1000 = 138,000 page views per day (50M per year)
Keeping the 2-page view average per visit, you will be able to achieve your goal with just 69,000 visitors per day.
This is an interesting example because it shows that with just a small $0.15 increase in average CPM, from $0.25 to $0.40, you will arrive at your goal much faster and with fewer visitors.
Consequently, you will earn much higher monthly revenue if your visitor base remains the same as in the original example, 110K. Within this scenario, your site will earn a massive 160% increase in profit because the $0.15 bump will reward your site with an additional $12,000 USD annually from the consistent stream of visitors that you’re already been receiving. The beauty in this is that the same traffic, arriving at a 60% increase in price per CPM, would be $12,000 USD more profitable, compounded, and advantageous for your financial goals.
Strategies for Increasing Your Revenue
We would like to advise you to diversify your monetization sources. Publishers are not limited to only using AdSense on their website. You are free to add new monetization channels in parallel within your monetization strategy!
By adding additional channels of monetization or re-organizing/optimizing your ad stack into your ad waterfall, your goal of making $20,000 a year from an ad unit can be easily overachieved due to additional monetization revenue.
Furthermore, with the push to produce more content (hopefully you’re already thinking about adding unique video content as well) on your website, matched with the monetized posts with direct and organic site traffic, your revenue growth will be compounded with every impression that occurs on every one of your website’s pieces of content.
While at first, it may feel like taking a deep dive into the unknown with so many intriguing options available to publishers, we completely appreciate that adding new monetization solutions to your website is not a straightforward and simple process. Regardless, you shouldn’t be hesitant to press forward and try to do whatever you can to improve your monthly revenue.
Your website should be a vehicle for making money and we’re here to assist you along the way to amplify your monthly ad revenue. Regardless of the size of your website or your current CPM rate, Total Media can enable your website to add all of these effective monetization streams to your website and then expertly manage all of the complex optimizations thereafter.
We hope the writing of this post has assisted you to better understand the benefits of looking into the ways to increase website traffic from content and how to view the ways it is possible to increase the revenue you can earn from your traffic. We hope that we have empowered you with valuable information which may make your website’s revenue potential more viable than it is today.
Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media. You can contact Brian by email at brian(at)totalmediasolutions(dot)com or on LinkedIn