Why Do Calculator Websites Have Low RPMs?

So your website has a popular finance calculator, BMI calculator, tax bill calculator—any kind of interactive calculator—but it generates a pittance in ad revenue? Join the club…

Indeed, if your site is built around a calculator, the revenue per thousand impressions (RPM) will be depressingly low in what feels like a huge slap in the face for creating a tool that people find useful.

Thankfully, there are steps you can follow to reverse your fortunes. But first, let’s take a look at why advertisers are giving you the cold shoulder in the first place.

Your users are stuck “above the fold”

For the uninitiated, content at the top of the page is what visitors see first when they land on your site, and this is called above the fold or first screen view.

If your calculator is above the fold, which is often the case, then users have little reason to move around and explore the rest of your content.

More specifically, they are unlikely to scroll or discover links to new pages, which means less ads can be served and therefore the probability of them being clicked on is reduced.

Sure, ad units which are placed above the fold will be working very hard since this is where your visitors are congregated, but ad networks want eyeballs on all kinds of ad units in all kinds of locations.

Nobody wants to bid for ad space on a one-trick pony. The goal is to get users moving around, so that the user journey doesn’t start and end with your calculator or web tool, pushing up the RPM in the process.

How to increase RPM for a calculator site

More scrolling and more page views per user is key to becoming more attractive to advertisers. You can achieve this in one of three ways, or a combination of the three, or by doing all three.

1. Move the calculator lower down the page

A lot of website owners have realized that longer content has a positive effect on ad dollars earned, but they miss the fact that your most valuable bit of content should be at the end to get users scrolling.

I see calculator websites making the same mistake. They tack on some text below the tool to increase the page length, which makes no difference to user behavior because the tool is still visible as soon as they land on the page.

Don’t be afraid to inconvenience your visitors by moving the calculator further down the page—today’s browsing experience has got them used to doing a bit of searching in order to find the information they need.

2. Link the calculator to other pages

Don’t just output a result and send the user on their merry way! The calculator should be utilized as a gateway to your text-based content.

Let’s say you have a tax bill calculator—if the user’s tax bill is high, drop a link to a long-form informational post about reducing your tax liability.

Written content does wonders for your RPM because it means Google can serve contextual ads alongside in-content ads, so the more traffic you can send to this type of content, the better.

I understand that adding results-based links to a calculator may be challenging from a technical standpoint, but ChatGPT is something of a coding whizz. Plus, you can use the chatbot for your textual content so long as you remember to humanize it.

3. Move the calculator to the homepage

If you insist on placing your calculator above the fold or your attempts to shift users below the fold have failed, it might be wise to place it on the homepage.

Why? Because everyone views it as a navigational page anyway. It’s the one page where advertisers fully expect users to hover above the fold, and thus it shouldn’t ‘spook’ them like it would if users displayed the same behavior on a regular web page.


Calculator websites attract low RPMs because user interactions tend to be limited to the tool itself. Advertisers want to see site-wide interactions as this generates impressions and clicks for a wider range of ads.

You can improve your RPM by moving the calculator below the fold, adding internal links to the calculator results, or by displaying the tool on your homepage.