There are a number of ways to measure ad performance that will help you determine how your ads are performing. Ultimately, our goal is to help you earn the most money possible overall, so we’ll outline two ways to measure your ads so you can make the best business decisions for your site!
RPM: Revenue per 1000 pageviews. This is the most effective way for most sites to measure overall ad performance and earnings.
Ad technology isn’t perfect, and RPM is one of the only metrics that takes everything into account and tells you the straight truth about how much money you actually made for the traffic you earned.
(Did you know? While getting more pageviews means you earn more money overall, it doesn't mean each pageview pays more. Your amount of total traffic doesn't generally affect your RPM. There are a lot of factors that determine your RPM and you can read more about that right here.
RPS: Revenue per 1000 sessions.This is a good additional measurement if your site uses pagination, galleries, or some feature that leads to higher than normal pages per session.
Let’s say someone comes to your site and checks out your recent post, then browses through your related posts, and finally reads through some older categories. That time that they spent browsing your site is called a “session,” and it included multiple pageviews. Each reader can have multiple pageviews during one session.
How do RPM and RPS relate? As the same reader clicks through to multiple pages, each pageview becomes slightly less valuable to the advertiser and ads don’t always reload on the extra pageviews. That means the more pageviews each reader sees, the more your RPM will decrease (because each pageview is a little less valuable) but your RPS will increase (because the session overall earned more ad impressions than if the reader had only looked at one pageview).
No matter what, RPS will always be a higher number than your RPM.
For sites that have a high number of pages per session (over 2 pages per session on average), you’ll want to use that RPS measurement, because your RPM will always be lower than other sites. If you have an average number of pages per session (closer to 1 or 1.5), we recommend using RPM.
(Did you know? Some ad networks also refer to RPS as “session RPM.” RPS and “session RPM” are the exact same thing, so if you’re comparing to a friend’s “session RPM” make sure you’re comparing using your own RPS. Otherwise, you’re comparing apples to oranges. Session RPM (or RPS) will always be higher than true RPM.)
Our goal is to help you make the most money possible for your incredible content by being transparent about how your ads earn for you and providing both metrics. Unless you have a unique situation that leads to higher number of pages per session, we generally recommend focusing on RPM because it is the most common and standardized way to understand the full scope of how your ads are working.