A few days back I shared a little analysis of my AdSense earnings as it related to sources of traffic and looked at how – for me – traffic from newsletters was actually the most valuable traffic that I get on my photography site.
This dispelled the myth that loyal readers to your site become blind to ads and are not likely to click them – but I wanted to dig down a little deeper to look at the difference between first time visitors and repeat visitors and how they interact with ads. Here’s what I found when I looked at the last 3 months.
On my photography site it is the case the new visitors click ads and earn more per 1000 visitors than repeat visitors.
In addition to those coming from newsletters repeat visitors on my site would include RSS readers, visitors from social media (facebook and Twitter).
This makes sense – those there for the first time are probably clicking around more, exploring and looking for things to click on. They’re also seeing ad units for the first time and are likely to click them.
However repeat visitors are not far behind. I’m not allowed to share the exact figures but the difference in CTR was tiny and the eCPM difference while noticeable was not huge. Repeat readers are still valuable – particularly as many of them are coming back on a daily basis so on a per visit basis they’re not earning as much but over a year they’re earning considerably more than a one time visitor.
update: I should say that one of the reasons that I suspect AdSense is better at converting for repeat visitors these days is that they not only rely upon CPC (cost per click) ads but also use CPM (cost per impression) ads which means that people no longer need to click ads for you to earn anything.