Optimization glossary

Revenue per visitor

What is revenue per visitor?

Revenue per visitor (RPV) is a measurement of the amount of money generated each time a customer visits your website. It is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the total number of visitors to your site, and is a method of estimating the value of each additional visitor.

How to calculate RPV

Revenue per visitor is calculated by simply dividing the total revenue earned during a given time period by the number of visitors during the same time period.

As a hypothetical example, if your revenue for the month of January is $10,000 and your site receives 2,000 visitors, your RPV would be $10,000/2,000 or $5 per visitor.

Why RPV is important

Like other online business metrics, RPV helps you see what is working and not working in your company’s overall sales efforts. The revenue per visitor metric helps you evaluate new visitor acquisition efforts to see which strategies are working. RPV can also be used to determine how much you can afford to spend on paid user acquisition.

A positive trending RPV is an indicator that things are going in the right direction, while a decrease in RPV can indicate an influx of unqualified visitors to your site or an issue with your conversion funnel, like a broken shopping cart or a performance issue on the website.

Drawbacks of measuring RPV

RPV can often be a noisy metric that doesn’t always accurately reflect the state of your online business. Since most website visitors do not make a purchase, they contribute a significant percentage of zero values to the distribution of revenue per visitor.

Thus, a large influx of unqualified traffic may lead to a steep reduction in RPV since the traffic has a low conversion rate. However, this does not mean that there is anything wrong with the site or that this is an undesirable outcome.

Low quality traffic could still drive sales, and lead to an overall increase in value. Traffic that doesn’t convert immediately into sales could still join your email list and convert further down the line. Thus, a reduction in RPV is not always a bad thing.

A good alternative metric to track is average order value or AOV. AOV can be a more meaningful metric to track since it only looks at purchases, and ignore traffic that doesn’t convert, making it harder (though not impossible) to skew with high volumes of lower quality traffic.

How to increase RPV

Revenue per visitor can be increased by either increasing the amount of visitors that make a purchase on your site (your conversion rate) or by increasing the amount of money spent per each visitor (average order value).

Conversion rate can be improved by reducing friction in your sales funnel, building trust through social proof, and creating compelling calls-to-action. Average order value can be increased by having higher priced products, offering incentives for bulk orders, and adding upsells during the sales process.

The exact elements on your site to optimize will depend on your specific business or vertical, but by continually improving your site and using A/B testing to measure the impact of your changes, you will be able to increase your revenue per visitor over time.