Cash Value of Website Content

"Content is King!" is something smart people have been saying about the web (even before the Nasdaq gave everyone a right kick in the nads in March 2000). I've been pondering today the exact value of content. Content is like a capital investment - you invest once and you generate a return on the investment over time - return on cash is about 4% at the moment, property about 6%, the stock market about 11%*. By measuring the return on the investment of content, it should be possible to place a capital value on it.

Specifically, I've been working out the exact dollar value of having a quiz on a website. I host something called 'The Aggression Questionnaire' on-line as a sample - it's been established at the same URL for about a year and it now attracts 600 users per month - not a huge amount, but it's not original content and is available elsewhere. People who use it often locate it using keywords like 'aggression', 'aggression questionnaire', etc.

To put a cash value on those eyeballs, let's compare what it would cost to buy those visitors from Google. Some keywords, like mesotheliona will cost $84.08 per click whereas it might not cost so much to buy a keyword click on a phrase like 'free ways to get free stuff for free'. For a word like 'Aggression', it's not heavily contested, so we'll say it's at the lower end, about 5 cents. So the calculation is 600 (clicks) * 12 (months) * 0.05 = $360 per year.

That's only a dollar a day. It doesn't sound like a lot, but what do you call something that generates $360 a year? Capital. How much would you need in a savings account to generate $360 per year? About $9000. Depending on what kind of return on investment you think content should make, its capital value is around $3000 to $9000.

For the calculation to hold, the keywords have to be the kind of keywords that you think you'd actually buy. The Aggression Questionnaire isn't worth that much to me - I just put it up as a sample. I don't have anything else to offer visitors interested in aggression. But if I ran anger management courses for Corporates with employees that were busy beating each other into a state of non-productive inertia, then that's exactly how to place a value it.

So what quiz or questionnaire could you write this afternoon that would attract visitors interested in your product or service?

* 11% over time. Or so they say. Typically these calculations don't include stock markets that disappear entirely, like the stock markets in Eastern Europe before World War 2. If you'd invested £100 in the Eastern European market in 1930, you'd have precisely nothing to show for it today.

Posted by Alexander at February 6, 2006 09:53 PM

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Yay, Im smart :o) lol nice look at a very tricky subject, good read.

Posted by: Campbell at February 6, 2006 10:34 PM