Analysis of Adsense income thru Google Analytics



Are site traffic and pageviews directly related to income?

The formula, they say, to successfully make money from a website or blog is Quality Content + Traffic.

A lot of “make money online” experts — the true gurus and fakes alike — claim that fresh, unique, and high-quality content translates to traffic and traffic ultimately equals online income. By now, it probably is an accepted fact that a website with more visitors will earn more than another site with fewer visitors.

But how related exactly are site traffic and pageviews to the advertising income of a site?

There seems to be no definitive study yet regarding this issue but from what we are seeing in our site, there indeed is a relationship between traffic/pageviews and income but the relationship is not really direct.

We looked at our website’s visitors and pageviews stats in April 2008 taken from Google Analytics. The direct relationship is unmistakable. The more visitors there are on the site, the more pageviews are generated. Simply speaking, more people visiting our site means more pages are being read or viewed.

However, our Adsense income during the same period doesn’t necessarily follow the same trend. Our Adsense income fluctuates daily but is generally within a certain range. A drop in income usually occurs during weekends — which similarly happens in other websites — probably because visitors either are resting on weekends or they access the internet during weekdays in their office.

Interestingly, there appears no direct relationship between number of visitors/pageviews and our Adsense income.

During the first week of April, for example, the number of visitors to our site dwindled but our Adsense earnings experienced a spike before the end of that week. Also during the last two weeks, two major spikes occurred although traffic and pageviews were stable.

How do we explain this? We can’t but we can make a guess.

One factor to consider is the presence of new and recurring visitors of a site. Site publishers theorize that recurring visitors tend to get familiarized with the layout of a site, thus tending to ignore advertisements. This is called “ad blindness,” a phenomenon where site readers don’t click on the ads anymore because they are already “blind” to it.

In the days where our earnings spiked without a corresponding increase in traffic, we saw that the percentage of new visitors is higher compared to normal days. Perhaps the new ones got “click-happy” and clicked on several ads on the site, increasing our income.

The articles published on the days when earnings increased might also play a part. On April 27, the day with the highest Adsense earnings, we had an article about a Phishing email from fake UNICEF. Google ads shown include, among others, job opportunities in the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Many visitors probably got interested in the advertised jobs and clicked on the ads.

In another instance, on April 20 we published an article about Apple iPhones in the Philippines. Many of our site readers probably got curious with the iPhone-related ads. The increased ad clicks eventually led to an increase in income that day.

The inventory of ads in Google Adsense also affect the number of ad clicks. Many advertisements keep on appearing every time and visitors used to these ads don’t click on them anymore. However, when new ads come in, visitors probably get curious and they click on the new ads. Although traffic may be stable, income might increase because of more ad clicks.

We’ve come to accept the notion that more site traffic and pageviews translate to higher online income. But how directly related those factors are, we don’t know.

What we mentioned above are mere hunches and if you have your own take on this, we’d like to here from you so post a comment below.

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14 thoughts on “Analysis of Adsense income thru Google Analytics”

  1. Income is INDIRECTLY related to traffic, which means with more traffic, you have higher chances of clicks. Only a higher chance, but not guaranteed.

    I believe that the factors that DIRECTLY affects income are 1. site layout and 2. content.

    Site layout is related to ad visibility, while content is related to the types of advertisers that would contextually show.

    Layout is important so that your readers can “find” your ads. Even if they are returning visitors, by putting your ad in places where it can’t be missed, the ad will have a chance to seduce and tempt a click.

    Furthermore, if the content keyword has a lot of advertisers, then the bids are usually high. Which translates to higher earnings.

    In my site for example, the posts about personal development would have more adsense clicks than those about business and investing. And yet, the income from the latter content would be three to four times higher than the former article.

    Just my two cents. 😀

    By the way, in the graph above, why is the page views lower than the visitors on April 21? Doesn’t it follow that one visitor automatically translates to at least one page view? It doesn’t make sense to me. How can that happen?

    Reply
  2. Fitz, I agree that site layout play a very major part in the ad-clicking process. It’s true that if the ad is located in a place where it can’t be missed, even returning visitors will click on it. But I still believe that readers tend to get ad blind over time. That’s why I solve this by moving the ads around and by changing the ad format once in a while.

    Re: your last question, Rex has already answered it. Thanks, by the way, for posting your thoughts on this.

    Hi Glenn. PMT is running on a VPS server, our webhost is ModVPS.com.

    BusinessGeeks, very good question. I was actually thinking of that while writing this article and I figured the topic deserves a separate article so I might write about that too some other time. Personally, I don’t think traffic and page impressions don’t directly correlate with income from non-CTR based advertising. However, I believe that any site must have a decent amount of traffic to be able to attract advertisers.

    I don’t remember it right now but I think it was John Chow or Darren Rowse who wrote before that although his site traffic stagnated, his online income continued to grow. The growth, however, was not due to Adsense or other pay per click (PPC) networks, but from paid reviews and direct advertisers. So yes, I can say that regarding advertisements that are not based on PPC, traffic/pageviews and income are not necessarily correlated.

    Reply
  3. There was one time when my traffic supercharged my income in my site Starmometer.com. Last year, May 21, 2007, i posted about Miss USA being booed by Mexicans during the Miss Universe competition:

    http://www.starmometer.com/2007/05/21/miss-usa-booed-by-mexicans-during-the-miss-universe-national-costume-competition/?cp=1

    The post alone generated 21,000 unique visitors within the day and it spiked my one-day income to US$95.

    The next day though, everything went back to normal.

    Reply
  4. @Chris, I had the same thing before. During the FrancSwiss scam saga, a lot of visitors were visiting the site everyday sending our daily income to around $100 a day. When the frenzy died down, everything went back to normal.

    It’s true that a lot of traffic does increase one’s earnings but, on the average, I’m not sure about the correlation of traffic and earnings, because as seen in my experience with the site, the relation is not that direct.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and I’m glad to have found your blog. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Cheers,
    Roy

    Reply
  6. Awesome post and really impressed with your traffic. Just to add, another formula could be : quality content + traffic + conversion = internet profit. By focusing on conversion (right ads, profitable products), there may be less dependence on just bulk traffic.

    Reply
  7. Hi Purevoid, that’s true. Conversion can definitely add to one’s online income. However, if one’s site is targeting the Philippine market, it’s tough to generate conversions because Filipinos don’t usually pay a lot or do transactions online. If however the target regions are the US, Canada, UK, etc, conversion can be higher which also ultimately translates to higher internet profit.

    Reply

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