Why Does a Pakistani Website Earn 32 Times Lesser than any American Counterpart?

This is no mystery that a website with Pakistani traffic earns in pennies as compared to hundreds of dollars for website with US or western traffic.

When compared the numbers of visitors and revenues for several Pakistan targeted websites and similarly the ones with US traffic (can’t reveal the names, owners asked for anonymity), we came to a conclusion that a Pakistan targeted website/blog earns 32 times lesser than a website of same (traffic) size that serves US audience.

We spoke to several Pakistani webmasters, who are serving local and international traffic, they were of the opinion that advertiser is the real cause behind this extremely low return for Pakistan targeted websites.

Haris Nadeem, who runs a successful blog for international audience from Lahore, opined that low number of advertisers in local market is the main cause. He said if companies start advertising in Pakistan, which they should, local webmasters will earn lot better than what they are earning now.

On other side, Hamad Dar, who covers Music Industry of Pakistan at Koolmuzone.com, said that even if advertisers’ issue is resolved, Pakistani webmaster will remain deprived of Digg and Stumble effect, social media websites. He claimed that he attracted 1 million visitors in just one month on his newly started blog Smashinglists, thanks to Digg – which was otherwise not possible. “I don’t see Digg effect coming to Pakistan any time soon”, said Hamad.

Zeeshan Shafquat, a leading Digger from Pakistan commented that we should not wait for Digg or Stumble’s arrival. Instead Pakistani webmaster should realize that it’s a third world country, with half million broadband users at most. We must realize the ground realities and should produce results with available resources, instead of comparing ourselves with Americans.

Saad Hamid of Sizlopedia, a renowned blogger from Islamabad commented that the fear of our local brands to advertise online deeming to receive unsatisfactory output along with the lack of awareness in people to use online ads effectively are two of the many reasons.

He suggests Pakistani brands to understand the value of online ads and the people should become more diverse in their thinking of searching for products and services through online ads.

So what stance should we carry? Should Pakistani webmasters sit and wait until advertisers start flowing in? Should they keep rolling with these low revenues?  Should they give up the hope and wrap up their businesses?

What is the solution? What’s the Future?

Though things are not very positive, but don’t worry guys we are not going to disappoint you. You are definitely not watching a talk show where politicians come in, they speak and then they leave with no conclusion, decision or direction.

Here is the solution to all these problems (of a Pakistani webmaster), and in fact a potential for hundreds of other businesses of all domains. And the mighty solution is called “Ecommerce Infrastructure

Let me explain you why

No Ecommerce Infrastructure means, no online business – means no affiliate marketing, sales and transactions at all for any webmaster.

Let’s assume we have Ecommerce Infrastructure in place, and people can buy products via credit card / ATM card.

In such a scenario, let’s take an example of ProPakistani, which serves 95 percent Pakistani audience, it serves around 10K unique visitors a day, right?

If ProPakistani partners with Service Shoes, and help them sell 50 pairs of shoes each day (that’s 0.05 percent of traffic) through special discount coupon, for instance, out of which let’s say ProPakistani get Rs. 300 commission for each pair – how much ProPakistani would make?

PKR 15,000 per day? That’s correct.

This amount counts for one affiliate partner, and it may not stop here, ProPakistani would sell mobile phones, SIMs, top up etc. ProPakistani may keep hunting for best margins on affiliate programmes, and will partner with top paying companies.

As you can see, this won’t benefit ProPakistani only, but Service Shoes would sell 50 pairs with no cost at all. By the way, commission is given to company distributors/retailers as well.

Now, Service is not partnering with ProPakistani only, they are partnering with, let’s say, 100 other webmasters too. Let’s recalculate the equation; it suggests that Service Shoes may end up selling roughly 5000 pairs per day – with no retailer involved.

If question arises in your mind that how in this world, Service Shoes can sell 5,000 pairs each day? Then let’s go to them and check numbers of pairs they sell through their shops – you will be amazed to know that they are doing even better. Moreover, Internet will take their online shop to those far flung areas, where they won’t reach otherwise – meaning that more prospects, more business.

If businesses serving in Pakistan do realize this potential, then they will have to, and they must, push the Government, PTA, State Bank and commercial banks to get us Ecommerce Infrastructure.

Getting back to webmasters, let’s again assume that Ecommerce Infrastructure is in place, meaning that there are several dozen businesses selling their products online, and each sale earns them money – they will pay higher for Adwords, its natural.

As of now, advertisers in Pakistan are paying for clicks; in return they get visitors but not the sales. Imagine, if each click has a potential of converting into sales, won’t these advertisers bid higher for Adwords? Meaning that more CPC (cost per click) for webmasters?

When will this Dream Come True?

In 2 years, at most. We got Raseen and PTA working on Ecommerce Infrastructure, but looks they are pretty sluggish in that. Raseen had plans to deploy and execute their gateway last year, but they couldn’t.

On other hands we don’t see much of development on PTA’s end, as of now. Though they have met the banks, but usually they talk about Mobile Banking, and not the internet banking. PTA is for sure aware of the dire need of Ecommerce Infrastructure, but you know its Government Body, things take time.

Nevertheless, I see this happening by 2012/2013 at most – by same time, there will be around 5 million broadband users in the country, meaning that tons of traffic.

So guys, this is the recruitment time, keep focused and don’t lose the hope. Keep serving the local audience as rewards are going to be huge, very soon.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK