There are several metrics that help you understand how your ads are performing. While pageviews are important, understanding how a user behaves on your site across their entire session is critical. Like many ad providers, we look at average earnings per 1,000 sessions, or RPM.
RPM is calculated by taking total ad earnings for a specific time period and dividing it by total SESSIONS for the same time period, then multiplying the result by 1,000.
Let’s say someone comes to your site and checks out your recent post, then browses through a related post, and finally reads some older posts. The time they spent browsing your site is called a session, and it included multiple pageviews. Each reader can have multiple pageviews during one session.
The more pages someone visits in a single session, the higher your RPM, or “Revenue per 1,000 sessions” will be. At AdThrive, we are investing heavily in helping our creators grow the number of pages in each session, adding tools like Slickstream, which encourages people to spend more time on your site.
We help you focus on the metric that matters most for user engagement, which is how much money overall you make from someone visiting your site. More pages per session are good for your overall revenue.
While our primary way to talk about RPM is session-based, we know that understanding revenue based on pageviews tells you a lot about how each piece of content is earning for you. To provide you with useful and transparent information, we also report on performance based on pageviews in your AdThrive dashboard. You’ll see ad earnings per 1,000 pageviews reported as “Page RPM”.
Page RPM, or revenue per 1,000 pageviews, is calculated by taking total ad earnings for a specific time period and dividing it by total PAGEVIEWS for the same time period, then multiplying the result by 1,000.
Read more about what goes into your site’s unique RPM right here.
How are RPM and Page RPM related?
Both are calculated using the same root information: your total ad earnings from a given time period and the sessions and pageviews Google Analytics reports for that same time period. So they’re two different ways to break down the same data.
Advertisers tend to bid the most to reach a visitor on their first pageview. As the same reader clicks through to multiple pages, each pageview becomes slightly less valuable to advertisers and earns slightly less. That means as a reader views more pages, your RPM increases (because the session overall registered more ad impressions than if the reader had only looked at one page), and your Page RPM decreases (because each pageview is a little less valuable).
Your sessions will always be lower than your pageviews because every session results in at least one, but often more pageviews. Similarly, your RPM will always be a higher number than your Page RPM.
You can always view and export both metrics in your AdThrive dashboard. RPM can paint a better picture because sessions give you critical information about how visits to your site are earning for you – so as you create engaging user journeys that turn one-stop visits to your site into sessions that explore more of your content.
Additionally, in July 2023, Google is making a huge change from Universal Analytics to GA4, and with it, shifting focus to user engagement as a whole. Pageviews still have their place, but understanding how a user behaves on your site across their entire session is critical.
It can be easy to worry about RPM, but it’s not the only measurement of your site’s success. Don’t forget that you can actually earn more money overall even if your RPM is lower than someone else’s, and an engaged, loyal community of readers can be worth far more than high metrics!
Keep reading: What goes into RPM?