Record Web traffic, online ad revenues for Kiplinger
Not everyone suffers as the economy fluctuates. Kiplinger, the personal finance publisher, has seen record online traffic and advertising revenue over the first half of the year.
Kiplinger announced on Thursday that traffic to its website increased by 45 percent from January through July, accounting for 75 million page views. Unique visitors increased 17.3 percent year over year, averaging 1.56 million per month in the first half of 2011. Online advertising revenue increased 58 percent over the same period, compared with the first six months of 2010.
Kiplinger executives attribute the growth to a mix of factors:
- More collaboration among business development, ad sales and editorial. “We decided that in order to make the most revenue possible, we had to look at advertising and business development opportunities collaboratively to do what’s best for the larger revenue stream,” said Wallace Ryland, Kiplinger’s head of digital business development. “And everyone has to be in sync in order for us to produce. The editor is just as important as the writer, who’s just as important as the web developer, who’s just as important as the salesperson.”
- Expanded content offerings. Investments in both content development and content delivery – through social media and, more recently, mobile offerings – are starting to pay off with increased traffic and a wider audience, including younger and female visitors.
- Better execution by the sales team. Liz Martin, Kiplinger’s national online sales manager, said her team has improved its close rate by 8 percent this year compared to last. “We’re putting together quality RFPs and also improving our ‘waterfall,’ which we use to maximize our CPMs,” she said.
- More effective use of website real estate for advertising and other revenue opportunities. This stems from the collaboration between the ad sales and biz dev teams. “We evaluate each advertising or business development position and work to determine what ad unit or sponsorship offering will bring us the most revenue,” said Martin.
- The introduction of new, premium ad units. Kiplinger has been rolling out some of the large format ad units christened earlier this year by the Interactive Advertising Bureau – and getting premium prices. It charges 50 percent more for a 300x600 unit than a traditional 300x250 unit – but Martin maintains advertisers are getting a bargain because the larger unit has five times the clickthrough rate of other units. “These are sold out consistently,” Martin said. “I wish I had more of them.” The latest addition is a 970-by-90 pushdown unit.
Martin and Ryland are confident the growth can continue. “Online is growing so quickly, there are many more opportunities for growth,” said Martin. Ryland pointed to Kiplinger’s nascent mobile offerings as a largely untapped growth area.
“We want to make sure we’re delivering content to readers the way they want it,” said Ryland. “As we develop more mobile-specific content, we expect it will really take off.”