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For those that are monetizing their websites through PPC, now is a very difficult time to do just this, mainly because of the issues surrounding COVID-19. If businesses are closing and furloughing staff, or struggling with finances, one of the first areas that are cut of funding is marketing. Less PPC campaigns means less competition, resulting in a low revenue per thousand (RPM) generated from adverts on a website.

There are many reasons how an RPM could be affected, though. In this current climate, the biggest factor affecting ad rates are, no doubt, the coronavirus. However, there are still plenty of other factors that can influence the RPM that a publisher achieves. With this, here are 3 potential causes of low RPMs, talking from experience of having to tackle and understand this over the last few years.


Web user location

By far the biggest factor, I have found, to affect the RPM you achieve is the actual location of your web traffic.

This is because there are many factors which help advertisers determine how likely web users are to convert for a PPC campaign: one of these is the location.

The majority of PPC campaigns come from the United States, followed by the likes of the United Kingdom. This generally means the highest RPMs will be achieved with these countries, and similar.

On the other hand, the value of advertisers to target customers from the likes of India and other countries, where generally people earn less per head than US, UK and the EU, is less because of this. This means, for advertisers, they are less likely to target such countries, reducing the RPM publishers achieve for such websites.

From experience, I found that the RPM of the US is always the best, followed by the UK, then the UAE strangely enough, then EU countries, and with the likes of India, Pakistan and others over 60% less in RPM than the US.

This does mean, if you are comparing RPM to another time, make sure the percentage traffic amongst locations are roughly the same too to remove location as a variable.


Ad locations

Ad location is everything in PPC. This is why you see the likes of Google and Ad partners, such as Ezoic, use machine learning to determine what placeholders work best where and when.

Placing ads in the wrong locations can greatly reduce the RPM, so it’s best to let Google or Ezoic (or alternatives) use their AI to determine this for you.


Website Load Speed

The speed of a website loading significantly plays a part in the RPM a publisher achieves. The longer the website loads, the lower the RPM you achieve.

This links to the user experience, where a quicker loading website also has a lower bounce rate, longer time spent on the website and more.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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