Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:02 pm
Yes, thanks for starting this great thread - and to all the contributors for a high-level discussion.
Regarding your initial question...
Has anyone experienced a significant relationship between the length of the page and the traffic / income that it generates?
It's worth separating that into 2 questions...
1) Is there a relationship between page length and organic traffic?
In my experience - yes, absolutely. The bigger, the better. But the BIGGGGG caveat is that I'm in an educational niche (novel writing), meaning my ideal visitor is looking for comprehensive coverage. (A 1,000-word page on "how to plot a novel" ain't gonna even scratch the surface.)
If I were in a niche where folks wanted fast information, then loooooooonnng pages would be a total turnoff.
I used to a have a short page (about 1,000 words) on writing dialogue, together with a bunch of associated TIER 3 pages (again, all of them short). Collectively, all those pages generated a few hundred visitors a month.
A couple of years ago, I deleted most of the TIER 3s, added them to the main page, boiled it all down to keep it concise and ended up with a 4,500-word page.
(Not so long, I know, but it still demands a reasonable time commitment from my readers.)
In the last 30 days, that page had 18,000 Entrances. (19% of all traffic.) So, yes, I experienced a definite correlation between page length and traffic.
(Incidentally, I don't think it's that Google favours long pages per se. But long pages can generate good user metrics (like 5:30 average time on page). And they're probably better at generating organic links, too.)
Bottom line on page length?
The way to generate a ton of traffic is for your page to be 10x better than anything else out there.
One way (but not the only way) to be 10x better is to cover a topic in huge detail (which inevitably leads to a long page).
Just understand that a long page, if it's not to send readers to sleep, must also be concise. (Which is totally different to "short".)
2) Is there a relationship between organic traffic and income?
Yes and no...
Yes because having more people visit a page leads to more people clicking an ad, or purchasing a book, or whatever the case may be. That's a mathematical certainty.
No because a page with a ton of traffic can generate far less income than a page with much less traffic... if the second page is more commercial.
"Writing Dialogue" (the long page I mentioned above) is NOT an especially commercial topic. Yes, it generates the most AdSense income, but only because it gets the most amount of traffic (by a mile).
But in terms of revenue per 1,000 impressions (RPM), the most profitable topics in my niche (by a mile) are the commercial topics you might expect...
- How to get published
- Novel writing software.
In other words, the key to maximizing passive income is to be selective about which pages you choose to "go long" on. No sense getting a gazillion visitors to a page that is NOT fertile ground for ads.
That's why, currently, I'm working on my publishing page. Right now, it's visited by one man and a dog (deservedly so). Once I've given it the "shock and awe" treatment, I hope to watch the traffic rise AND benefit from much higher AdSense earnings.
The final thing to say is that passive income is NOT the way to make the most money. But then you know that already, right?
I used to sell membership subscriptions, but it took up too much time (dealing with pesky customers and creating a constant stream of new content for them).
After that, I took the "easier" option of selling everything I'd written in ebooks. Sales were disappointingly low, though. And I still had to help 1 or 2 people a day who'd purchased the ebooks but couldn't sideload them onto their reading devices (despite detailed instructions ).
That's when I decided to publish everything online for free (an extra 200,000 words of material), monetize through AdSense & get on with the thing I REALLY love (writing fiction ).
So although passive income is definitely NOT the way to go to get rich, it IS the way to go if you have something more valuable to do with all the time you save.
Or if you can't stand dealing with customers.
All the best,