How click through rate connects with revenue

Wondering why your click through rate is climbing, but your revenue isn’t? We’ll explore the connection between the clicks and the cash on your site.

how click through rate connects with revenue

While publishing can be a great way to earn a side income, the unsteady nature of the business means it can be precarious to pursue full-time. Even though ad bidding happens in a matter of milliseconds, there’s about a hundred different factors at play that determine what you make from each ad or click.

In a perfect world, when your click through rate (CTR) goes up, so does your revenue. A click is more valuable than a view when it comes to ads, because it means a user is taking action toward the product or service the advertiser is promoting. The same goes for affiliate ads, or SEO rankings. The almighty click is king, so if you’re getting clicks, you’re getting revenue. Right? Not always.

My click through rate is great! Why isn’t my revenue?

If your CTR is really high but your revenue is really low, don’t panic. There are a few different factors that can come into play here. Bad bots can be inflating your clicks and causing invalid traffic (IVT, read more about it in our blog here).

A good ad network can see this bot traffic when it begins, and the developers can work to isolate the IVT so your revenue isn’t affected. But if you’re a one-man-band, it might take some serious time and testing to pinpoint where all this bogus traffic is originating from. That’s time away from creating content, and if your advertisers or Google catch wind of IVT, it can seriously negatively affect your revenue for a time.

My click through rate has increased, but my revenue hasn’t.

We’ve seen this more across the industry, so the good news is that it’s probably nothing you’re doing as a site owner. The bad news? Your niche is likely in a bit of a valley. Advertising budgets are being slashed, which means there’s less money to go around for programmatic bidding. Advertisers are still purchasing direct campaigns, which is another reason it pays to be in an ad network that pursues relationships with advertisers. An ad network can push original, creative ads directly to your site, and the payday for direct campaigns vs. programmatic bidding sales can be substantially better.

How can I improve my click through rate?

Chasing clicks for the sake of revenue, or pushing more ads to your site might mean more money in the short-term. But if you’re looking for longevity, there are a few things you can invest in to improve your CTR.

Firstly, the SEO and search rankings of your site are going to serve you well. Make sure that your content is being put in front of relevant users. Don’t chase affiliate partnerships or collaborations with companies your users won’t be interested in. By understanding your audience, you’ll be able to create more lasting, valuable interactions which advertisers will pay more to get.

Then take a look at your content and site UX. It’s never a bad time to make sure your content is still resonating with your users and current. By beefing up your UX, you can improve your user journey and increase dwell time on your site. Revisit your ad stack on your site. Can any formats be dropped or optimized? Is there room to add another unobtrusive ad? All these can have positive effects on your CTR.

We’re always posting industry explainers, updates and tips from our team of publishers and developers. Come back each week for more blogs, and check out our Resources page for downloadables on SEO, website design, and more.