Increase Revenue By Removing Ads

Written On Day: 27

When you first start a website.  Do not monetize.  Do not put up any ads.  First get a steady traffic base and then put up ads.

That is the recommendation that you will hear often.  I heard it too.  But I did not do it that way.  From day one there have been ads on the website. 

Like B.F. Skinner’s piano playing pigeons, I need to be constantly rewarded to perform a task.  The pigeons learned to play a toy piano by being given a treat when they hit the correct key.  I make updates to the website when an ad is clicked.

For me to create the website, post on forums, answer emails, for months without gain would be very difficult.  Make an update to website, get a treat.  Make a another update, get another treat.  This is the way I operate.  Like a pigeon.

So I put three ad zones on the website on day one.  Graphic banner on the left, unit ad on the top, and text ad on the right.  The website has been up for 26 days with 517 visitors.  Here are the earnings results for the different ad zones:

  • Left Banner Ad: $5.38
  • Top Unit Ad: $2.50
  • Right Text Ad: $15.83

You can see the text ad on the right is the clear winner.  The unit ad on  the top is far behind.  Time to get rid of it.

unit ad

Too Many Ads Increases Bounce

Not only does it not make any money, it also makes the site look cluttered.  The home page looks messy  – smothered by ads.  This is a major turn off for a lot of visitors.  They think to themselves, “This guy is only concerned with making money.”  I am.  But the visitors should not know that.

The clutter of ads on the website might explain the high bounce rate.  Currently 50% of the visitors land on my homepage and without looking at any other pages they leave.  They come in, look at the mess, and leave.

So, I will remove the unit ad.  This will:

  • Make the site look cleaner
  • Decrease the bounce rate
  • Increase revenue

How will removing an ad increase revenue?  By removing the ad, the page will be less cluttered.  The visitor will be more willing to look at the other pages instead of leaving.

More Page Views By Reducing Bounce

Lets guess that had the unit ad not been there from the beginning, the bounce rate would be 10% lower as a result.  10% of all my visitors would not have bounced off the site, instead they looked at more pages. 

  • Total visitors is 517
  • 10% of 517 is 51 visitors
  • Average page views per visitor is 2.83

Therefore instead of these 51 visitor just seeing 1 page and bouncing off, they would see   2.83 pages.  51 * 2.83 =  147 pages.  Now all we have to do is subtract the 51 pages that the bouncers already saw and we have 96 additional page views.  96 more page views by reducing the bounce rate by 10%.

How Does That Translate Into Earnings?

  • Total Page Views: 1445
  • Total Revenue Ads (minus Unit Ad): $21.20
  • Revenue/Page View: $0.0146

So we multiply 96 additional pages by $0.0146 and we have $1.40.  Because of that unit ad I lost $1.40 of revenue.  Does not sound like much until you consider that it represents a 6.6% of my total revenue.  Reduce the number of ads and increase revenue by 6.6%.

Today I removed the unit ad.  In a future post we will see whether the bounce rate has decreased and revenue/pageview increased.   It will.

  1. January 30th, 2009 at 05:53 | #1

    I was just wondering something about this money making website. I noticed that your claim is that it took 157 hours to build it. That seems like an awefully long time for a site with only a few pages.

    Is everything automated or do you have to update the posts with the new figures everyday?

  2. roman
    January 30th, 2009 at 12:56 | #2

    Thank you for your interest.

    Please see the Time To Build A Website post which discusses how the time was spent. Also the Hours Worked table provides a quick rundown of time spent.

    Although it might appear that there are only a few pages, in actuality there are 23 pages on the website. The website was built completely from scratch and I had no experience with CSS and Dreamweaver. Most of the time was spent writing the initial content and tweaking the layout and design.

    The website is mostly automated. All I need to do is enter a few values into the database (visitors, revenue, hours etc). A script then takes the values from database and creates the HTML code.

  3. January 31st, 2009 at 07:17 | #3

    I can believe the 157 hour estimate, especially if you built it from scratch with no CSS experience. CSS is wonderful, but things can go WAY wrong if anything is coded even slightly wrong. There’s a lot of trial and error involved.

    Personally, I like this blog, and I think that as an experiment, it has a lot of potential. Normally, I believe in the rule that you cited, of not focusing on profit for a while, but this site would be a rare exception to that rule, do to its subject matter.

  4. February 4th, 2009 at 21:42 | #4

    This is the other Roman speaking here!

    It looks like your Adsense ads are performing really good. I have about 600-700 daily visitors on but I make way less than you do.
    It’s kind of difficult to see someone making more money during their first month than I made in my 9th month…

    Keep up the good work! I will keep an eye on you!

  5. roman
    February 4th, 2009 at 22:12 | #5

    Roman this is Roman. I am glad that you are keeping an eye on me. Now I just need another 999 more to do the same.

  6. February 8th, 2009 at 18:09 | #6

    It should read >we multiply 96 additional pages by .0146 $ <. I mean Dollars, not Cents!

  7. roman
    February 8th, 2009 at 19:47 | #7

    @nobi A mistake that only someone with the sharp mind of a chessmaster can catch. 🙂 Thank you. Change made.

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