Google Adsense is an easy way for publishers monetize blogs, but many think it is a poor paying alternative to other networks.
The reality is, it can be a very profitable way to earn money on your blog if you implement it properly!
Since you are here, I am guessing I do not need to tell you what Adsense is. But, I do want to clarify that Adsense is primarily a pay per click (PPC) ad network. Unlike other ad networks, it will only deliver results if a visitor clicks an ad – while other networks will also pay you for what are called “impressions”.
Because of this, Adsense will typically have a higher quality of ads and generally offer a higher level of pay. for each click
But the majority of the bloggers out there don’t make nearly half as much as they could be making from their Ads.
So, good for you for finding your way to this page, because this page will help you make the other half as well.
I know no one likes to hear this because most webmasters are trying to increase their revenue from existing posts but this is an important step and this is the one tip that will increase your revenue by quite a bit.
Look at the approximate CPC of the keywords when you are doing keyword research.
Choose keywords that you know you can gain traffic from as well as get a decent CPC for.
The heatmap below shows what are the most visible areas in a website and the ad placement that generally get the highest CTR. But therein lies the problem, it only show what “generally” happens. Even though this is a great place to base your decisions of ad placement on it is by no means the end game. You have to experiment and try different Ad placements to see which placements give your particular blog the highest CTR.
The key is to put it in a place you know that your visitors will look, and this changes from blog to blog. Generally a place most interested users will look in is the content itself, so placing a square Ad somewhere in the first or second paragraph itself tends to generate a lot of clicks.
Ads should be close to sections that get the most clicks on your site. These sections are naturally the places that get the most visibility, I mean you wouldn’t click on a part of a webpage without looking at it would you? Make sure the Ad isn’t so close to the heavily clicked area that it gets accidental clicks though because that will increase your total invalid clicks and lower your CPC.
Text Ads tent to generally perform better than image Ads but not always.
The following Ads generally tend to perform the best:
- 250×250 Square
- 160×600 wide skyscraper
- 336×280 large rectangle
- 300×250 medium rectangle
Units that form an L shape tend to do well. This is because when a visitor does happen to notice one of the Ads, he or she is more likely to notice the other as well because they are attached in a not so obvious way. Their eyes will naturally be drawn to the other one. So even if they do not like the first Ad that their eyes land on, they might be interested in the second Ad.
Too Many Ads
Do not have too many Ads. It is really simple to follow. Just do not place too many Ads in your blog, it causes your CPC to drop pretty drastically. Stick to 2 or 3 Ads per page. If you have more, remove them now and you will start bringing in more revenue. Let’s not even look at the Adsense revenue for a second and consider the other more obvious reasons why too many Ads are bad for your site.
First of all, a blog/website with too many Ads simply looks spammy and the majority of the people who come to your site will bounce within the first few seconds. You are then effectively blocking all those people from bringing you revenue. Why work so hard to get people to your site only to send them away? Also consider the fact that most of the people who do end up staying and reading the blog content are more likely to come back again if they find that they were not bombarded with Ads.
If you have great content but a high bounce rate, then maybe it is time you start lowering the amount of Ads on your site. Placing fewer Ads will not only give you a higher CPC but a lower bounce rate and make it easier for you to increase your following.
Let me start out by stating that keyword density is one of the biggest SEO myths out there today. Google is a company that made $38 Billion last year alone. It has some of the brightest minds in the world working under it and even applied machine learning with the panda update.
Do you really think that it is going to give you higher rankings because you used a keyword few more times than necessary? The same concept applies to Adsense.
Keyword density and keyword stuffing will never help you, it might even hurt you. However, you can tell your Adsense what your page is about in other ways and help it display higher CPC and more relevant Ads.
You can manually show Google what aspects of your site are important and what parts are completely irrelevant by using HTML comment syntax. Use the following syntax:
<!– google_ad_section_start –>
… your important site content here …
<!– google_ad_section_end –>.
Or, to lower the importance of a section, use:
<!– google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) –>
… your not so important site content here …
<!– google_ad_section_end –>
(Keep in mind Google takes up to 2 weeks for this change to affect your Adsense Ads.)
You may want to tell Adsense to ignore your blog comments or the side bar or other aspects that have nothing to do with what the page is about. This will not only increase CPC but also CTR because your audience is more likely to click on an Ad if the Ad is relevant to the content and hence something they are interested in.
Images Next to Ads.
Remember how we talked about visibility? Well, images are generally draw the eyes and placing your Adsense Ads next to an image or images tends to get them a lot more visibility.
The size of the image does not matter as long as it is next to the Ad. Keep in mind that your Logo and other common images do not work as well as non-specific stock images because your audience tends to be used to these images and will generally ignore them.
This may seem like a bit of an overkill but have a different channel each kind of Ad that you are showing, especially if you are trying different things out. It will show you which Ads are getting the most clicks and which are not. This way you can mess around and experiment with different positions and actually get a bit of data on how different Ad positions and layouts are performing.
Set up different channels for each of your Ad types an see which one is has the lowest CTR. If you have three Ads on that page, remove this Ad and see if the additional CPC that you gain from fewer Ads ends up making you more money in total. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. This is just a start, there are lot more things you can do with the setting up channels.
Let Adsense Fight Other Networks!
Adsense decides what Ads to show on your website by letting all the potential Ads compete with each other and displaying the Ad with the highest CPC. There is a lot more to it than this but this is the basic idea. This is why the fewer slots you have the higher the CPC of the Ads become.
Use this knowledge to your advantage. Sometimes, showing only one Ad ends up giving you quite a big CPC but is not worth it because you would have made more by simply having two Ads with lower CPC since there would be a higher overall CTR. But you can end up making more money than either of these methods by placing your Adsense ads in the highest CTR slots and placing Ads from other Ad networks in the other slots.
Even if you do not want to decrease the total number of your Adsense Ads per page to less than two, you can still try adding other Ads to the mix. In certain niches Adsense alternatives actually end up making you more money than Adsense does. Like always, experiment and find out what works best for your blog.
Many people have no idea that there are actually tools out there that work with Adsense. There are actually quite a few. Here are some of the best:
– Some of the best
Color and Ad Format
I really didn’t want to talk about this one, simply because color and format is about the only thing EVERY Adsense blog seems to talk about and I didn’t want to give you guys information that you most likely already know about. But I decided that I should anyways for the few of you out there that do not actually know about this.
Feel free to skip this section if you have already read about color and formatting of an Adsense Ad.
Since this isn’t exactly my most favorite section, I decided to keep it to the point and use bullet points where possible.
- Do not use borders. BOOM!, simple.
- Make the Ad background color same as that of the page. You would think that setting it apart would draw attention to the Ad but this just ends up alerting people that this section here is an Ad and people tend to subconsciously ignore it.
- Make the links the same color as the links on your site and make the URL and text the same color as the text of the site. Experiment with this. Sometimes it works better if even the link is the same color as the text.
- Switch things around from time to time. Reoccurring visitors develop banner blindness rather quickly, so if you have a lot of reoccurring visitors change the colors and format between your top two highest performing formats every week or so.
Bonus. Increase Your authority
Back when I first started out, I had a small Gaming Site that brought in about $30 a day. I was hardly content. I was greedy, scratch that, I was “ambitious” and wanted to make more so I did a few stupid things and the trust or authority of my site fell quite drastically.
Although this didn’t affect my SERPS all that much, it did drop my CPC across the board. Instead of receiving 30 to 50 cents per click I started making about 1 to 7 cents per click. Needless to say, I was angry. So I did a lot of digging, research and experimenting and found out that when Google thinks your website is less trustworthy (low authority) it only displays Ads from its lower end customers and hands off its high paying customers to more trustworthy websites.
I eventually did come back to a higher CPC and here are a few of the methods that helped me come back.
- If possible get linked to from high authority or widely trusted websites. There is really no substitute to this.
- Contextually link to high authority websites. Often and consistently. Linking to deep pages is generally better than linking to the home pages, seems more natural.
- Do NOT link to link farms or spammy sites. Even if you are not considering Adsense, you really have nothing to gain from this. It will just hurt you in every which way.
- Have an About Me or About Us page and a Contact Us page. Shows Google that you are less likely to be a spammer.
- Page speed tool offered by Google shows what you can do to increase your website performance and speed. It is actually rather detailed and tells you what is high priority and what is low priority and so on. Although web speed may not be the biggest factor in increasing your web authority it is rather easy to improve and there is no reason to ignore it.
If I dive any more into this, this will become a post about SEO, and an extremely long one at that. So I’ll just leave it by saying do not do anything that will hurt your authority even if it helps you in rankings because it will hurt your CPC.
12. Bonus 2: Displaying Ads only for search engine visitors.
There is an advantage to showing Adsense Ads only to search engine traffic. Most reoccurring visitors grow blind to your Ads and tend to click on them a lot less. This is why you might end up making more money if you only show Adsense Ads to search engine visitors and show CPM based Ads from OTHER AD NETWORKS to the rest of your visitors.
This way, even if your returning visitors do not give you any clicks, you will still end up making a good amount of money. Check out http://scratch99.com/ for more on this topic.
Final Note: Experiment!
Do I really need to elaborate here? Go experiment. Now. Try out different layouts and different combinations/versions of these tips and figure out what works best for your blog. Remember, what works best for one blog isn’t what works best for another blog. All these tips will help you increase your Adsense earnings but you have to find the right way of implementing them for your site.
What other Adsense tips and tricks have helped you increase your Adsense revenue?