This is one of the most frequently asked AdSense questions and also one of the hardest to give a valuable answer to, as there are a lot of variables in play. Average earnings per 1,000 ad impressions are said to be around $1 across the whole of the global network, but that isn’t very indicative of real results for most.
The short version of the answer is that, if you want to find out what AdSense could earn on your website you need to run AdSense. You also need to be prepared to put some work in to optimise it and achieve your earnings potential.
For the long answer read on. I’ll walk through the variables, starting on the assumption that a site is hitting that $1 average:
If you earned $1 impression CPM, what would 1,000 visitors a day earn you?
If you know the CPM then the remaining variables are:
- Ads per page : The average number of ad units displayed per page impression
- Pages per visit : How many pages the average visitor views
- Pages per visit X Average ad units X Impression CPM = Revenue per 1000 visitors
A website serving an average of 3 pages per visit, each with 2 ad units and an impression CPM of $1 would therefore earn $6 per 1000 visits.
But your impression CPM probably isn’t $1. Prices paid on AdSense are dynamic. They are fixed by auction rather than being standard across the network and the value of every impression changes. Here is a quick run down of the important factors:
Major factors affecting CPM
The majority of AdSense bids are per click, so the Click Through Rate of your ad units has a huge impact on revenue performance. Units that are in positions where they attract few clicks will have drastically different performance to those with high CTRs.
Advertisers are willing to pay differing amounts to reach customers in different regions. Customers in the so called “tier 1” countries; USA, Canada, UK command higher prices.
- Your niche
The majority of AdSense ads are contextually targeted. This means that AdSense will select ads that are related to the content of your page. Due to the auction nature of AdSense different niches will attract different levels of bid. For instance, content about holidays and flights is likely to attract higher bids than content about your pet hamster.
- Choice of ad unit size
Advertisers prefer certain ad sizes . Less common formats tend to attract less bids, and large formats tend to attract higher bids. The same ad shown to the same user can achieve very different final rates across different ad unit sizes due thanks to the effect of upwards price pressure in more competitive auctions.
- Visitor behaviour and demographics
In addition to contextual targeting, Advertisers can target by user demographics and behaviour (retargeting). Having a valuable audience who shop online can push up rates thanks to the extra bids and auction pressure these methods introduce.
- How good your site is
If you have a site that advertisers want to be see on, then you might also attract placement targeted ads. These ads, specifically targeted at your website, can be very effective in increasing demand and help pushing up rates.
As you can see, lots of factors . In fact there are a lot more than can impact auction pressure and change the rates you see. This all makes is hard to give a general “what can I make?” answer. I’ve worked with sites that have reached their full potential at a few hundred dollars a month and those earning in the millions. It is all down to the website.