A lot of bloggers decided to start blogging so that they can make money from it, and while there are lots of ways to make money from blogging, a popular way of monetizing a blog is to display ads on your blog. Therefore lots of bloggers are always looking for ad networks that pay publishers well, which has made Google Adsense one of the very popular ad networks if not the most popular.

Many bloggers favour Google Adsense because of the belief that they can quickly make money from it, while this may not always be true, it can be true for some people depending on a number of factors like the amount of traffic the blog is getting, where the traffic is majorly coming from, the kind of content the blog is offering and many more.

In making use of Google Adsense and even other ad networks, a major metric for measuring the performance is called RPM. However, before I go into discussing it fully, let me quickly define some acronyms that would be used here

  • CPC: Cost Per Click – The average amount earned for every click on ads displayed on your blog.
  • RPM: Revenue Per Thousand Impressions – The estimated amount that would be earned when ads are displayed to visitors of your blog one thousand times.
  • PV: Page views – The cumulative number of pages viewed on your blog by visitors.
  • CTR: Click Through Rate – The percentage of ad clicks with respect to the number of page views. That is, (Number of Clicks / PV) * 100%
  • PPC: Pay Per Click – The amount an advertiser pays Google for every click on his/her ad.

On a good number of occasions, I’ve had people complain to me saying my “My RPM is too low, bro. What should I do?“. However, I beg to differ from the notion that it is the RPM that is low. No, your RPM is not low. It is something else that is low. Your RPM is actually a reflection of the value of those other metrics. So, when those other metrics improve, your RPM automatically takes a leap.

So, what’s it about RPMs?

Like I said when defining RPM, it is actually an estimate, so, it is not an “Exact Science”. However, it is very much close to the actual.

RPMs depend majorly on the following two (2) factors

  • CPC &
  • CTR

However, because CTR depends on PVs and the number of clicks, we can expand the list above and safely say that RPMs depend on

  • CPC
  • Number of Clicks and
  • PVs

Now, how are they related?

This simple mathematical formula shows how RPMs are calculated

From the definition of RPM

RPM = Revenue/Earnings per Thousand Impressions

Therefore, we can safely say that Earnings = (PVs / 1000)  x  RPM

Rearranging that would show that

RPM = (Earnings x 1000) / PVs

By the nature of fractions, the bigger the numerator (the number at the top in the fraction) and the lower the  denominator (the number at the bottom of the fraction), then the higher the value of the fraction. Therefore, if you can increase your earnings for a low value of PVs, then your RPM would automatically skyrocket.

If you have ever used Google Adwords (Google’s program for advertisers), then you would know that it is the advertiser that sets the amount that he/she is ready to pay for each click on his/her ad, and it is this amount that Google would share with Adsense for content publishers  by giving the publisher 68% of the amount the advertiser is paying. So, the more the advertiser is paying per click, the more you are getting. That simply implies that if you are able to attract ads from high-paying advertisers and high-paying keywords, then you would be able to earn more.

Furthermore, having a high CTR would ensure that a higher number of clicks are generated for the same number of PVs. For example, if your CTR is 5%, it means that you for every 100 PVs on your blog, you get 5 clicks. However, if you are able to increase your CTR to about 10%, then it means that you would be getting 10 clicks for every 100 PVs. This increase in CTR alongside a high CPC would definitely result in much higher earnings, and not just a higher earning, but high earnings gotten with the same number of PVs (or even lower) that you have before.

What your RPM tries to say is that if your CPC and CTR stays the same, then for every one thousand (1000) impressions, this is what you are going to earn.

In conclusion, when your RPM is low, check your earnings and you would see that it is also low. Therefore, I would say that, it is not your RPM that is actually low, it is your CPC and CTR because these are the metrics that directly determine your earnings. Therefore to have a high RPM, work on the following

  • target high-paying keywords
  • target traffic from high-paying countries. eg. United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, and many more.
  • use ad sizes that would stand-out in the eyes of users
  • modify your ad placement to get the highest CTR

Do all the things mentioned above and you would see not just your RPM jumping up, but your earnings as well, which let’s face it is the most important metric on your adsense dashboard.

For you to be able to estimate your RPM and your earnings and for you to be able to look at the kind of target (as regards CPC, CTR and PVs) to set for yourself, I’ve written this small Javascript code to help you. Simply enter your current or targeted Earnings and PVs, then this RPM calculator would help you do the required calculation.

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