Publishers could be missing out when it comes to international visitors to their sites, with only 17% of revenue coming from overseas visits, despite international traffic accounting for 28% of visits. 

This is one of the findings from the Econsultancy’s Online Publishers Survey Report, produced in association with the Rubicon Project.

According to the survey, three quarters of publishers (74%) say they are failing to monetise international traffic effectively, while 46% say they get a lower CPM for international adverts, and just 24% get a higher rate.

48% of publishers use their in-house sales team to cover international sales, while 39% use an online advertising network. Two thirds are planning to do more to monetise this traffic.

How publishers are attempting to monetise international traffic:

The figures suggest that publishers are missing out on some potentially valuable extra revenue, and this seems to apply to both the larger and smaller publishers we surveyed.

Just under 20% of publishers with fewer than 250,000 visitors per month feel they are making the most of international traffic, while for larger publishers with more than 10m monthly uniques, this figure rises to just 27%

The figure of 28% of visits from overseas is low compared to some of the UK’s newspaper websites too. For instance, the Mail received 73% of visits from overseas in March this year, according to comScore.

The reasons for failure to monetise this traffic, outlined by the Rubicon Project, include inefficient international ad sales processes, difficulties in monitoring and ensuring the quality of adverts aimed at international visitors, and the fact that brand equity doesn’t always translate to international markets, and may not command the same rates as they do in the UK.