November 2, 2019

October Stats

Will Hankinson @SimianLogic

Gross revenue: up 21% to $1,564.
Traffic: up 30% to ~1,031 sessions/day
ARPU: down 10% to ~$0.049 per visit

Ad revenue was slightly up on a per-user basis. I've been testing Ezoic ads... they're a bit pushier, so I'm not sure I'll stick with them. In a head-to-head they perform about 60% better than just Google Ads (which could be an incremental $200/month in "found" revenue).

My kneejerk reaction to ARPU being down is that the new ads were leading to a worse UX and hurting the funnel. I decided to prove it before changing anything, though, so set up a server-side test through Google Optimize. It does account for some drop, but the overall effect is actually +10% when you line up the drop in sales with the boost in ads.

The overall ARPU decline appears to be more traffic related (ranking went up for a few "free intro maker" style posts), and would likely be more pronounced if I turn off Ezoic ads... so this gets kind of existential.

Do I want to be in the ad business or the intro making business?

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