Over 1000 unique views on one article in one day and not a single ad click!

I have got a fairly popular website that sometimes get’s very popular spikes due to digg and other content sharing websites. Today I had well over 1000 unique views for one particular page alone and it did not generate a single cent in ad revenue. The page contained 3 adverts. One banner at top of page, one square banner at side and one text advert in the main body of text.

The ads aren’t annoying and are clearly adverts. Am I being too nice? Should I just make them massive and annoying? I don’t want to, but I don’t see how I can have daily traffic in the thousands but no clicks. There seem to be people with only a fraction of this traffic earning loads. Am I missing something or are people lying?

Annoying ads does not mean clicks and it certainly does not make me as an advertiser want to give you good inventory… forced is rarely valuable.

Traffic alone will not click an ad.

Have you checked the source and behavoir of the visitors? Perhaps it was all from an incorrect link, or outside your advertiser’s target regions, or all bounced off the article in 15 seconds?

Have you checked the targetting of the ads? When you get a suddon influx to one topic it’s easy to see no results because the ads being shown aren’t relevant to those seeing them. People are fairly banner blind so they aren’t going to click just because there’s something to click.

What you’re discovering is relevancy and value. 10,000,000 people playing casual games to see ads for toothpaste is far less potential for profit than 100,000 people out on a shopping site looking to buy boats. You need to put yourself in the seat of your visitor and ask why you’d visit any of the ads you see and in the seat of your advertisers and ask why you’d pay for any of the traffic you’re sending.

The traits of the userbase of the sites that referred the visitors is also important. Users of Digg would be much more likely to be using an ad-blocking extension than your average Googler.