Research Summary: Whether articles have (2) or (3) active links in the article [resource box], the CTR (Click Through Rate) is identical according to an exhaustive study completed today.
What we studied: Almost a million unique articles were evaluated in terms of how much traffic they attracted (article views), how many URL’s were in the article body + resource box total (# of URL’s), what the distribution was in terms of which article type was the most popular in terms of how many URL’s were included and finally, what the total CTR is as it relates to the # of URL’s included in the article + resource box (ie: How much traffic did our EzineArticles members receive in URL Clicks as a percentage of their total article views).
I didn’t believe it myself until we triple checked the numbers…that Resource Box URL CTR was identical for both the articles that had (2) or (3) URL’s in them. This is significant considering that on June 1st, 2008 the number of self-serving active links allowed is reduced to (2).
Clearly, (2) URL’s included with each article will yield the best amount of traffic attraction for our members.
It was not only identical, but held true on more than 100k worth of articles compared in both categories leading us to believe it’s true with a high level of confidence.
- Because we didn’t begin URL click tracking until June 18th of 2007, we only evaluated the articles from that date through yesterday, May 29th, 2008 for this study. Total # of articles evaluated was in excess of 500,000+.
- Articles evaluated for this study were live articles only and this does not include articles that were not live during this study period (ie: If the article is in problem or suspended status).
We’re not sure why some articles had more than (7) URL’s in them considering that our maximum allowed has been (6) URL’s for many years and we’re researching that further at this time. Most likely it was our editors error in accepting them or we believed the value to the reader was worth allowing the rare exception.
- Updated June 2nd 2008: The articles with 7 URL’s in them were not active; but instead we counted all links (active and not active) in the URL count per article.
- URL CTR is computed as TOTAL clicks received in the study period of time divided by total article views received in the same period.
- Notice that URL CTR falls off at 5 & 6 URL’s included and then falls off even more sharply at 7+ URL’s included.
- We did not evaluate EzinePublisher views against this data yet, but plan to do so in the future.
- This data does not take into consideration what kind of performance your articles may or may not achieve when syndicated by others.
- We did not take into consideration whether URL’s included were self-serving or non-self-serving as we don’t currently track that on a meta-data level.