How many visitors per day does a site need to draw any significant ad revenue?


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Chuck Topinka, Google AdWords Certified Since 2010:…

There are already some good answers on this topic. I didn’t see any that took the $100 a week number in the question details into consideration. So let’s sharpen our pencils, bust out the calculators, and figure out how many visitors per day are needed to get to $100 a week.

First off, let’s get the numbers on the same time frame.
$100/week / 7 days/week = $14.29/day

Now let’s figure how many clicks we’ll need to get to $14.29.
This depends on the cost per click and the publisher/network revenue share. Google AdSense has a revenue share of 68% to the publisher in most cases. That means for every $1 click, the publisher makes $0.68 and Google makes $0.32.

This is where your niche really comes into play. If your site is about financial services or legal, the cost per click is usually pretty high. If your site is about some consumer products (retail, car dealers, real estate, travel) the cost per click will probably be pretty low. We can chart this out by cost per click though:
$21 CPC * 68% = $14.28
$14.29/day / $14.29/click = ~1 click per day

$1 CPC * 68% = $0.68
$14.29/day / $0.68/click = ~21 clicks per day

$0.10 CPC * 68% = $0.068
$14.29/day / $0.068/click = ~210 clicks per day

Now let’s figure how many impressions are needed to get that number of clicks. To get this we’ll need to know the click through rate (CTR) for ads on the site. Generally on display advertising you can expect a CTR of about 0.1%. Niche sites with good ad placement may drive that to 0.5%, but display advertising rarely, if ever, has CTR anywhere near what you would see in search (1%+). Let’s figure both the high and low end of CTR for both the high and low end of clicks needed.
1 click / 0.1% = 1,000 impressions (makes for easy math with CPM)
1 click / 0.5% = 500 impressions
210 clicks / 0.1% = 210,000 impressions
210 clicks / 0.5% = 105,000 impressions

And finally, we can figure how many visitors are needed to get to the required number of impressions. This will depend on the number of impressions per visit. If there is one ad on a page and a visitor tends to visit one page, the impressions per visit would be one. As the number of impressions per visit go up, the CTR will tend to go down, so everything is a balancing act of sorts to optimize the site revenue.

impressions needed / impressions/visit = visits needed

210,000 impressions / 1 impression/visit = 210,000 daily visits
500 impressions / 10 impressions/visit = 50 daily visits

Based on those numbers, the range is somewhere between 50 and 210,000 daily visits.

To sum up…

  1. There are a lot of factors at play to determine how many visitors per day are needed to reach $100/week in ad revenue.
  2. $100/week is probably not going to be enough to attract many (if any) direct advertising buys. This puts you at the mercy of the networks like Google AdSense.
  3. Depending on the niche, content, ad placements, number of ads per page, number of pages visitors view, reason for the visit, and more, the actual answer to this question can vary from probably something on the order of very few to quite a lot.
  4. Using the methodology outlined above, you can calculate the number of visitors needed in your unique situation.


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