Money From AdSense — Calculate How Many Visitors You Need
Learn how many visitors your website needs to attract to make money through Google AdSense.
Google AdSense is one of the quickest and easiest ways to monetize blog and website content. Once you’ve been accepted for an account, all you need to do is generate some AdSense code, insert it into your site and then start making some money.
A crucial part of any website that wants to make money from Google AdSense is to understand exactly how many visitors are needed to create a reasonable revenue. Until you get a significant number of visitors though, AdSense earnings can be quite low.
The information that you will need
This easy to use, step by step article will show you how to use readily available information to work out the number of visitors your website needs. I have also created and linked to a Google AdSense calculator that you can use to work out your visitors.
If you want to calculate how many visitors you will need, you’ll require some information from your AdSense account and your Google Analytics account. If you don’t have either of these, you will need to set them up and start gathering data before you can work out your visitors numbers.
When you do have this information, you’re going to use it as follows:
- Decide how much revenue you would like to earn on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
- Understand how much advertisers pay for a click on their ad in the niche that your website operates in
- Work out how many different pages an average visitor to your site will see
- Work out how likely visitors are likely to have ad blocking software installed
- Establish how likely visitors are going to be to click on an ad
- Calculate how many visitors / page views you need to earn your income
We’ll cover each of these steps in detail below and then link to a calculator that you can use.
1. Decide how much revenue you would like to earn on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
Determine how much you want to make on a daily, weekly or monthly basis; ideally, this should cover the operating cost of your website, together with paying you for the time you spend developing, writing and promoting content.
You can start here with a low figure, for example $20 a day and recalculate based on different amounts.
Write down the amount that you want to earn on a daily, weekly or monthly basis; be realistic.
2. Understand how much advertisers pay for a click on their ad in the niche that your website operates in
Some keywords and the ads related to them pay much more than others, for example, insurance, online courses, health, law and other similar topics typically pay much more per click than areas like food and recipes. The more you get per click, the fewer visitors you need to make your income.
Once you have some historic data in your AdSense account, you can easily find out what the average ‘cost per click’ is. If you don’t have an average cost yet, a good working amount would be 20 cents per click.
If you do have an AdSense account, go to Google AdSense > Performance Reports and click on ‘CPC’ (cost per click). You’ll want to take the average CPC over a reasonable period of time.
Get your average CPC (cost per click) from your Google AdSense account.
3. Work out how many different pages an average visitor to your site will see
The more pages someone visiting your website goes to, the more likely they will be to see and click on an ad that they are interested in. Getting people to stay on your website or blog is a key part of earning revenue.
Assuming that you have Google Analytics or similar measurements setup on your website, you can easily find out the average number of pages per visit. Go to Google Analytics > Audience > Overview and look at ‘Pages/session’.
If you don’t have this information, you can assume a typical ‘pages per visit’ as between 1 and 2 pages for a non optimized blog and between 2 and 3 for an optimized one.
Get your average pages/session from Google Analytics.
4. Work out how likely visitors are to not have ad blocking software installed
Ad blocking software is common on many computers and web browsers; this type of software prevents your visitors from seeing and clicking on your ads. Because of this, you will need to take this into account.
There isn’t an easy way to work out the percentage of people that have ad blocking software installed, but a reasonable estimate would be around 25% to 30% of your visitors will. Once you have an assumption, take the number away from 100 to give you a percentage of people that do not have ad blocking software installed.
Make a reasonable assumption on the percentage of people with an ad blocker installed; if you don’t know, assume 25% to 30%. Then, take this number away from 100 to get an estimate of the number of people without (e.g. 70% to 75%)
5. Establish how likely visitors are going to be to click on an ad
This is known as your ‘Click Through Rate’ or CTR — In other words, if visitors are on a particular page, how likely are they to click on an ad.
You can find your click through rate from your Google AdSense account; typical click through rates range between 1.5% and 3.5%. If you don’t have this information yet, a typical CTR would be around 2%.
You can get your click through rate by going to Google AdSense > Performance Reports and looking at ‘Page CTR’. You should look at a reasonable timescale to get a good average CTR rate.
Get your average page CTR from Google AdSense.
6. Calculate how many visitors / page views you need to earn your income
Once you have these figures, or reasonable assumptions, you can calculate how many visitors you need, as follows.
Number of visitors needed = Desired income / cost per click / click through rate / percent of people without ad block / average pages per session
If you don’t want to work this out yourself, I have created a simple to use calculator that will let you input your own numbers. You can find it here.
Although this looks complicated, it’s very easy to work out, as follows:
- Take the revenue that you want to earn from step 1 and turn it into cents
- Divide the number of cents by the average cost per click; this will tell you how many clicks you need to get your desired revenue
- Next, divide the number of clicks you need by the average click through rate and the percentage of people without ad blocking software installed; this will tell you how many page views that you need
- Finally, divide that number by the number of pages/session to get the total number of visitors that you need
Here’s an example of how this works, based on some reasonable assumptions.
- Desired revenue = $10 a day
- Cost per click = 30 cents per click
- Average pages/session = 1.5
- Percent of visitors without ad block = 70%
- Average click through rate = 2%
This would work out as follows:
- Take the revenue that you want to earn ($10) and turn it into cents: 1,000
- Divide the number of cents (1,000) by the average cost per click (30); this will tell you how many clicks you need to get your desired revenue: 33
- Next, divide the number of clicks you need (33) by your average page click through rate (2% — 0.02) the percent of visitors without ad block (70% — 0.7); this will tell you how many page views you need: 2,381
- Finally, divide that number (2,381) by the average number of pages/session (1.5) = 1,587 visitors
- This will give you the total number of visitors that you need to earn your revenue ($10) = 1,587
As you can see, you will need a sizable number of visitors to earn good money from AdSense, but using this formula you can plug your own numbers in, tweak your website and maximise your ability to make revenue from Google AdSense.
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