A few months ago, Joe at Dappered.com asked me to do a site audit to see if I could increase his advertising earnings. His revenue per 1,000 pageviews (aka. the site’s RPM or AdSense eCPM) was $1.74 in February — not too great. Last month, June, his RPM averaged out to $3.10 — not too shabby at all (an 80% boost). Here are three simple changes you can make to replicate our success:
- Focus on higher-paying ad sizes. The 300×250 ad size is your friend. The one above the fold on Dappered.com is the best performing ad slot on the site. Thankfully, the Arras Theme Joe uses has room for a 300×250 in the sidebar. In addition to the 300×250 size, we use a 728×90 in the footer. There’s no 728×90 in the header.
- Add text ads where text ads make sense. For Dappered.com, that meant below the post, under our share buttons. Text ads are relevant to the content on the page, so it makes sense to put them under the post where they will be in a reader’s line of sight. Text ads off to the side or in the footer are never going to get clicked (which means they’ll never earn you any money).
- Remove poor-performing ads. 200x200s, 125x125s — don’t waste your time (unless you have some sort of direct deal). Don’t slow your pages down with extra ads. If an ad unit isn’t performing (like a text ad in your footer), get rid of it. Your readers will thank you with additional pageviews (because your pages will load faster and they’ll come back more often), which means you’ll get more ad impressions.
What about pop-ups and pop-unders? Probably not worth it. If they annoy you on other sites, they’ll annoy your readers on your site. Instead, create a good experience and become so valuable that advertisers will seek you out directly.