Spotlight: Traffic Sources that Make You $$

Spotlight: Traffic Sources that Make You $$

  • 14 March 2014

With thousands of advertising partners, who each have their own relationships with large numbers of individual advertisers, Chitika is able to serve millions of different ads around the globe. The aim is to deliver an ad that a particular user is most likely to click on at that particular time.

One question we often get from publishers is how we determine which ads get shown on their site. While our algorithms take a wide variety of factors into account, the exact ad shown to a given user is greatly dependent on the geographic location of that user and how they got to the website itself. In this post, we’ll focus on both of these areas and how you can maximize your earnings with Chitika.

While we do serve ads worldwide, our advertisers generally pay more for U.S. and Canadian Web traffic. Beyond that, users browsing from English-speaking nations will also yield higher CPMs than traffic from non-English speaking countries. In short, increasing your ratio of U.S. and Canadian traffic will increase your overall earnings in almost every case.

Moving on to traffic sources, different sites, even ones focused on the same topic, can have dramatically different referral mixes. Some may get high amounts of search-referred traffic, or have dedicated readers coming to them directly, while others thrive on referral traffic from other sites.

Generally, search-referred traffic performs the best in terms of ad-clicking behavior, followed by traffic coming from outside websites. These users have come to the site often not knowing precisely what they’re looking for, making a relevant ad all the more attractive. So how can you beef up these more valuable traffic sources?

One of the most well-known methods is to focus on SEO efforts. While this can take some time, ranking higher on a search engine results page (SERP) for terms directly related to your website or focus can dramatically impact revenue. If you are more concerned about ramping things up quickly, you can also place an ad on a particular Google or other search engine’s SERP to drive traffic to your site.

There are many ways to boost outside-site referral traffic, with bloggers famously having created communities designed to bring traffic to each other via citation links and blogrolls. In much the same way, by linking to and engaging with your peers in the space (should it be feasible) you can help foster a vibrant environment where users interested in your topic can see many different sources of information and subsequently drive revenue through their visits. On the social end of things, you could look to expand your Facebook or Twitter presence and, if the money is right, invest in an applicable ad on the platform to drive traffic.

Of course, keep in mind that directly “buying” traffic to your site may result in a terms of service violation and a banning from the network, so keep to sources you know and trust. Other than that, it’s worth trying a variety of tactics and seeing what resonates best in terms of driving traffic and the highest revenue increases.

Good luck, and for some more tips, check out our Revenue Optimization eBook!