Are you interested in earning money with Google? Of course you are! =) But sadly, only very few of us in this world will be actually hired by Google. Don’t despair just yet! Every cloud has a silver lining. Just because you can’t work at Google doesn’t mean you can’t get a paycheck from them ! And this is where google adsense comes in!
Google makes billions of dollars every year from advertising. With AdSense, you can get a slice of that profit. Tempting, huh? =) Signing up to Google AdSense is free and there’s no reason why you can’t receive your first check from Google within 1 to 3 months of opening your account.
I must warn you though that AdSense is not a get-rich-quick scheme and it takes a lot of work to earn money from it. Don’t think that just because you join, you are guaranteed to make big money. How Adsense works is pretty simple, but understanding how to make money with it can take time and a few tests, before it actually generates a passive income.
Before we start I want to be completely honest with you and tell you that you will not find incredible “Increase Your AdSense revenue in just a few minutes!” claims on this page. But what I hope is that you will learn how to use Google Adsense and generate a passive income with it.
After running a few tests on your own website, you will have a better understanding of how it works and you will be able to maximize your earnings.
What Is Google Adsense Exactly?
AdSense is one of two large parts of Google’s advertising system. The other part is called AdWords (this one is not free)
It is a free, simple way to earn money by displaying targeted ads within your online content, especially if it’s mostly content based. With AdSense, you can show relevant and engaging ads to your site visitors and even customize the look of ads to match your website.
There are of course other ways to monetize your website or blog, the most common way being affiliate marketing. The latter has the amazing benefit of not requiring stock. Often though, many affiliates, including myself, will also run Google AdSense on their web sites in order to maximize their earnings. In other words, Google Adsense is a nice alternative, or complimentary monetization strategy to affiliate marketing. It is also very easy to implement.
How Does Google Adsense Work?
Google.com earns most of its revenue by allowing other website owners to advertise on their search results pages. Try it out, make a google research on anything and see the ads on the result page.You will see the ads displayed above the free/organic results and along the right side of the page on Google.com. These are called Sponsored Results, and the advertisers are paying a certain amount of money per click for these ads. All this is managed through a program they call AdWords (again, Adwords and Adsense are two different things, ok?)
Adwords is an auction-based system that allows advertisers to compete for those spots. Whomever has the highest bid and most “quality” ad, gets the top spot and so forth. Now you can earn a share of the revenue that Google earns from AdWords by displaying these same text or image ads on your site. When someone clicks, you earn roughly 68% of the click and Google gets the rest. That’s what google adsense is and that’s how it works.
To sum it up : AdWords is the platform that takes your money in exchange for advertisements, while AdSense is the platform that gives you money in exchange for hosting advertisements on your website.
But back to google Adsense! Basically, you get paid when people click your ads (don’t click your own! Google will know) and you may get paid per impression (or multiple impressions) in some cases. I don’t know for certain. I just know that Google AdWords advertisers have the ability to choose a pay per click or pay per 1,000 impressions model when running their ads, but to my knowledge, the revenue share for AdSense follows just a pay-per-click model.
So if you are one of those people that doesn’t like the idea of paying for a site, this is an excellent way to earn your money back and then some.
Keep in mind that you are giving control of a certain portion of your web site to Google to do what it pleases. You have some control over appearance, size, etc. plus you have the ability to block ads. And you can decide if the ads are text, images or animated. There may be other kinds as well.
How Do You Get Started With Google Adsense?
I was just like you! One day I decided that I wanted to build a website and make money with Google Adsense. What I learned online is that the best way to build a successful website is to build a content/niche website, based on something you love and are very interested in. Obviously it is significantly easier to write about something you know about than to have to spend hours (days) doing research on a foreign or confusing subject!
When you are passionate about something you, writing about it doesn’t feel like work, it can actually be fun. If you happen to write engaging and quality content, you can become an authority online pretty fast!
Then , the more content and traffic your website has, the more AdSense revenue you can earn.
Building a website isn’t nearly as hard as many people think. Ten years ago, you may have required in-depth knowledge of FTP, HTML, Java, and other web development topics. Today, even someone who can barely send an email should be able to create a website in under an hour! I’ve seen it on Wealthy Affiliate : people of all ages and background or knowledge.
Broken down, the process of earning money with adsense is really simple! See for yourself the 4 basic steps :
Step 1) Buy a domain (on namecheap or Wealthy Affiliate for example)
Step 2) Sign up for a web host (the best platform I have come across and still use daily is Wealthy Affiliate. It’s free to join and awesome, really).
Step 3) Build your site’s content, pages, etc.
Step 4) Sign up for Google Adsense and post advertisements on your site using a plugin or coding.
Now let’s get more into the details !
Step 1) buy a domain
Buy a cheap domain name (on Namecheap for example) and attach it to a free web site creation service (wealthy affiliate is my #1 recommendation).
Fortunately, it’s quite simple these days to “own your own domain name” and create your own web site. And this doesn’t have to be expensive either. You don’t really have to go the route of getting your own hosting and getting a web site built (although that can be super cheap, especially when using WordPress).
Be careful though when choosing a service. Some free web site tools, while they might allow you to attach a domain name to your site, you may not be able to run AdSense. WordPress.com hosted sites is an example of one where you cannot run AdSense ads. To keep it simple and cheap, I would suggest buying a domain from NameCheap, then setting up a quick free site with Wealthy Affiliate.
From there, publish really awesome, high value, content on your new site. Aim for about 6-20 really good articles before applying. Be sure to include a contact and about page for a better chance of getting accepted.
Fortunately you can re-apply to AdSense if ever rejected. Follow the advice Google gives if you get rejected, then re-apply. If you applied with a domain that you can’t add AdSense code too, you still have the chance to re-apply with a different domain name/web site.
Go to Namecheap (this is where you will buy your domain name)
Go to Wealthy Affiliate (this is where you will start building your website and learn how to be successful online)
Step 2) Sign up for a web host
Avoid Free Hosts
I know times are tough economically and a lot of you don’t want to pay for a website. But the facts don’t lie. Successful website owners invest money. Period.
I have yet to open up a magazine and see a successful site featured hosted on Blogger.com or another free host. Never. And I’ve been out here since 1998.
If you want the search engines and people to take your site seriously, you have to own your site. And if you don’t do this, I question your dedication.
Even if it means you have to wait and save your money for 6 months to buy a domain and hosting. I’d rather you do that then take shortcuts with free hosting.
The other problem with free hosts is they can remove your site without warning. This happened to a gentleman just last week who emailed me. There was nothing I could do. If you don’t own your site, you don’t own your income.
I have tried many things online and wasted a lot of money. The one website that has changed my business and life is Wealthy affiliate as mentioned above. You can sign up for free and when you go premium get your domain name hosted on there, have access to the best online training and most helpful and active community you’ll ever find.
Step 3) Build your site’s content, pages, etc.
You’re not going to make anything with AdSense if you don’t have enough traffic. Please don’t think this is some easy, get-rich-quick program. This takes work and it all starts with getting visitors.
Step 4 ) sign up
Applying for an AdSense publisher account – use your Gmail account! (if you don’t have one, create one! it’s easy and doesn’t take long)
Now, to apply you will need to have your web site setup already (with your own domain name and content!). Then, using your Google account (i.e. Gmail or YouTube account) go through the app process.
After Google peeps at your site, it will let you know if it qualifies or not. If so, you just have to place your code. The code will initially be blank after placement on your site. Once an ad shows up, you know that your account is active. After your account is active you can create new ads to run on other sites
The app process could take anywhere from one day to a couple of weeks or longer. Just be patient and wait it out. Google sends emails through each phase so you will know where you’re at. If you don’t see an email for quite awhile it may have got lost. That happens. Have a peek in your AdSense account and you will see messages across the top indicating where you’re at in the process.
When you are accepted, simply copy and paste the provided HTML code into any page that you’d like to show the ads. You can opt to display text ads, image ads, or a combination of both. It’s up to you.
You can either display the ads vertically along side the page like Google does or in a banner-like formation horizontally across your pages. You can even customize the colors to match your site’s theme.
Enjoy your new revenue stream, some people make a living at it!
What Should You Do Once You Have Joined Google Adsense?
1 – Experiment
Test ad sizes, images vs. text… play around with colors. I personally like to have my ads match the background of my site so they blend more. I hate it when it looks too obvious that you’re trying to sell something. But that’s just up to you! =)
Some people prefer to make their ads stand out by using bold/contrasting colors, but that never worked well for me. I think it’s because they look so much like ads.
To display the ads vertically along the right side of the page, just copy this code into your site and paste your AdSense code where indicated.
<table align=”right” width=”300>
<td>INSERT ADSENSE CODE HERE</td>
You can change the width of the table to suit your needs, just remember that it needs to be wide enough to fit whatever AdSense code you selected. You can also switch the alignment by changing the align attribute from “left” to “right.”
2 – Create Channels
Channels allow you to see what units are working best. So if you are adding an AdSense unit to your header, you should create a channel called (name itHeader, for example) so you can track its performance in your reports.
I think it’s important to maximize your click through rate (CTR) so you can attract more advertisers (just my opinion based on logic.) So I remove channels/units that perform significantly lower than others.
Advertisers want to advertise on sites that will give them the most clicks, right? So it makes sense to optimize your account’s CTR as much as you can.
So how do you create channels?
When you are creating a new ad unit, you are presented the option of creating a custom channel on the first screen…
3 – Custom your channel units
When you target your custom channel units, you make them available to Placement advertisers who may want to advertise on your site directly.These advertisers pay more so you earn more per click.
It’s super easy to set this up.
Just click “My Ads” from your account, then select “Custom Channels”. Click the channel you want to target and click the box for targeting as illustrated below…
How Much Money Can You Earn With Adsense?
Some people make hundreds of thousands of dollars per month from AdSense and there are some who make just a few dollars.
The difference between these two people is about more than just traffic – although that’s part of it. There are websites that receive thousands of visitors every day and may only receive $5 in AdSense revenue by the end of the day. Another website might be able to convert that same traffic into more than $100 of daily AdSense revenue.
There’s really no limit to how much money you can make with Google AdSense. Some websites make hundreds of thousands of dollars per month from advertising revenue, while others make only $5 or $10.
The amount of money you make depends on two things:
- The number of clicks your advertisements receive
- The Cost Per Click (CPC) of the advertisements
Cost Per Click is the amount you earn for each click. The more clicks you receive and the higher your CPC is, the more money you’re going to make.
CPCs vary widely in value. They depend on the type of advertisements. Legal advertisements and keywords, for example, tend to be worth a lot of money and the CPC can be as high as $10 or more. The vast majority of CPCs aren’t that high and range between 20 cents to $1.00.
Google takes a cut of every click an advertisement receives. That cut is approximately 32%. If a publisher is paying $1 for each click their advertisement receives, then you will receive 68 cents per click and Google will receive 32 cents.
32 cents may not sound like a lot of money. But multiply that by a few million clicks and you start to understand why Google is one of the world’s most successful and profitable companies.
Why Didn’t I Get Approved?
People also often wonder why they can’t get approved for AdSense. It’s tough to answer because I do not work for Google, so I can only guess.
Many times it’s because there are not enough pages on their website. I tell people to shoot for at least 20-30 pages at the very minimum, and make sure their content is very niche centered around ONE topic.
Google doesn’t like sites that cover too many different topics because it’s hard to target ads. The more focused your content is, the better.
In addition to more content, aim for longer articles (at least 700 words or more). Google does not like “thin” content sites that look as if they were created just for AdSense. Put some meat on those bones and make it look as if you put some effort into your website!
Also, check your grammar, spelling, layout etc. Remember you are partnering with Google and they don’t like to see messy sites with poor/confusing navigation structures.
Why Am I Not Making Much Money With AdSense?
People often wonder why their earnings are so low and there are many reasons for that.
1. Not enough traffic
If your site has less than 500 visitors per day, it’s going to be difficult to make much with AdSense. You have to remember that only a small percentage of people will click on your ads (1-2%) so if you have 500 people coming to your site in a day, that’s 5 clicks.
Also, most clicks will earn you less than $1, so hopefully you can see that it takes a great deal of traffic to build up income with AdSense.
2. Not enough relevant ads displaying
Some niches have more, relevant ads that Google can display. This will drastically impact your click through rate. If the ads aren’t relevant to your content then your visitors aren’t going to click.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your site has a lot of content so you can help Google display the most relevant ads. Granted, sometimes there aren’t relevant ads available, and there’s nothing you can really do about that.
However, just having a few sentences with some images is not helping Google find the best ads because you have so little content.
3. Low paying niche
Let’s face it. Some niches pay more than others. If you have a finance site, the ads will probably pay more than the ads on an entertainment site.
So the niche you are in plays a big role in how much you can make. That’s why it’s hard to estimate how much anyone can earn with AdSense. There are just too many different variables.
4. You don’t have a good Click Thru Rate
Click Thru Rate (CTR) is the rate at which visitors click on your AdSense advertisements after visiting your website. This is the percentage of visitors who click on advertisements and effectively give you money.
The higher your CTR, the more visitors you convert into advertising dollars. Achieving a high CTR is a blend of science and art. It involves split testing and monitoring the behavior of your visitors.
5. You have unrealistic hopes and dreams
Google AdSense is like gambling: everybody loves to tell stories about the times they won big and earned lots of money, but nobody likes to talk about the times when they lost it all.
You don’t have to look far online to find empowering rags to riches stories of new internet millionaires. Every online marketing forum has members posting pictures of their extravagant houses, cars, and other awesome things.
Don’t get too caught up in the success stories of other AdSense professionals. Ignore them or use them for motivation, but understand this most important lesson above everything else:
Making money with AdSense is hard work and only a small fraction of users will ever make “a lot” of money with AdSense
Now here’s the good news: like everything in life, half the battle of making money with AdSense is just showing up. Work on your sites every day, research the latest trends, and contribute something valuable to the internet. If you can do that and stick to your goals, it won’t be long before you’re sharing your success story with the internet too.
What’s the best AdSense Ad Size?
Although ad placement is key, I’ve found that the best sizes are 336×280 and 300×260. These ads tend to fit on most screen sizes and have the best pay rate as well.
As an aspiring AdSense publisher you’ve probably already seen Google’s heat map for ad placement. Well, Google has moved away from that model and has decided to go for one more focused on the user experience:
Find a balance between intrusive and irrelevant, do some testing or better yet: poll your users to strike that balance.
While there are a lot of different ad sizes to choose fromGoogle tells us these three are the most successful:
Why do these ad units perform better than others? Google’s bidding system requires advertisers to create various multimedia ads for placement on their publisher network. Many companies do not purchase slots for all of the different formats so they ultimately don’t even create those sizes. Therefore, if you’re using a more obscure ad type the pool of bidding advertisers is smaller which results in lower revenue for you, the publisher.
Stick to these four ad units and you’ll get a lot more competition for your ad space.
Image vs Text Ads – I’ve heard webmasters swear that their sites make more money when they limit their ads to “image only” or “text only” but in the end, Google’s bidding system places the highest bidding ad onto your page, whether it be image or text. Cutting out half of the bidding pool can only lead to lower returns.
That having been said, all of that means nothing if your own testing can prove a lower number of clicks on your specific site. Perhaps your site design performs better with only text on the page. If this is the case you may need to ask yourself if the way you are placing your advertisements isn’t in violation of the Google Adsense Terms of Service as users may be accidentally clicking on the ads.
Either way it is considered best practice to allow both text and image ads for maximum competition over the ad space.
Blending vs. Contrast – Ah, another age-old AdSense debate. Should your ads be placed and colored in such a way as to blend in with your site design? Or will you get more clicks by having your ads stand out more? Webmasters are divided on this one but when a design feature is more or less a toss-up, in my mind, always go with what benefits the user. As a fellow website user yourself, do you prefer advertisements to “pop out” at you or would you rather they integrate seamlessly?
Trick question, we know you’re using AdBlock plus. Go back to Reddit, smart guy. Unless you come to me with some hard data showing that ugly ads will make us all wealthy vs an aesthetically pleasing one (and I encourage you to do that testing!) it just isn’t worth the eye sore or the user agitation. But even then you spent a lot of money on web design and a lot of time making your site look just so. Don’t sully that over a 0.1% increase in CTR. The blemish would have to have an unprecedented impact to even consider compromising my product: the character, look and feel of the site.
We may have sold our souls to Google’s advertising network but we’re still very much in the “Overall Pageview” and “Returning Visitor” business as well, you know.
What’s the Best AdSense Placement?
This entirely depends on your layout. The goal is to get more clicks, so you want to place your ads in a more prominent spot. We have found that ads within post content towards the top of the screen tends to get the most clicks.
Several users have asked us about adding AdSense in a floating widget because it will be very prominent. We strongly recommend against that because it is not allowed by Google Terms of Service. If you violate their TOS, then you can get banned from the program.
Can I click on my Ads?
Often beginners are tempted to click on their own ads or ask their family members to click on their ads. Please don’t do that. Google’s algorithm is very smart and knows when you’re clicking on your own ad. This can get you banned from the program.
What is Page RPM?
RPM stands for Revenue per Mille meaning revenue per 1000 impressions. This is determined by multiplying the total number of clicks and cost per click and then dividing that by the total number of pageviews.
We hope this article helped you add Google AdSense in your WordPress site. If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask us by leaving a comment below.
You will make more money from AdSense if your website features keywords from a competitive niche.
Advertisers will pay a lot more money for a search keyword like “best lawyer in Los Angeles” than they would for “best free solitaire game online.” While the first keyword might be worth $3 per click, the other keyword may only be worth pennies.
One click on a high-value advertisement may be worth hundreds of clicks on a low-value advertisement.
With that in mind, there are two broad ways to make a lot of money on Google AdSense:
- Get a few clicks on high-value advertisements
- Get a lot of clicks on low-value advertisements
When you read other AdSense guides around the internet, they often toss around 5 figure numbers like they’re nothing. They make it sound like every half-decent AdSense publisher is making $10,000 per month while sitting at their computer playing video games all day.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but most publishers will never make $10,000 per month.
Don’t let that discourage you! But you need to be realistic. If there was an easy way for anybody to sit at their computer making 5 figures, then everybody would be doing it.
Making a lot of money with AdSense takes creativity, intelligence, and, most importantly, a dedication to hard work.
If you have all three of those things, then there’s no reason why you can’t make a lot of money with Google AdSense.
What On Earth Are CPC, CTR & RPM?
If you’re not familiar with these three acronyms then you’re probably new to the wonderful world of AdSense. Here are the quick and dirty definitions straight from Google:
CPC: cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you earn each time a user clicks on your ad.
CTR: clickthrough rate (CTR) is the number of ad clicks divided by the number of page views.
RPM: revenue per thousand impressions (RPM) is calculated by dividing your estimated earnings by the number of page views you received, then multiplying by 1000.
These are the metrics you’re going to be looking at when you’re making decisions about ad performance. Pretty basic concepts, right?
You’ve probably seen the cornucopia of less-than-reputable blogs with big promises of “Unlocking The Secrets to Increasing your AdSense CPC” or “How to Get More AdSense Clicks”. In my experience these posts often advocate risky tactics and at the very least fail to completely demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how AdSense works.
Cost Per Click is a number we, as publishers have little control over. Much of the calculation is based on your domain’s niche (Entertainment, Technology, Marketing etc) and that particular factor isn’t something you can easily change. Check out this in depth report from Google on niche trends in display advertising (and tons of other great info).
Much like Google’s AdWords program, prices can range from a few pennies per click up to five or ten dollars depending on the competition for that keyword. But the higher the competition for that keyword or category the less likely that your domain will be pulling in huge amounts of quality organic traffic around that keyword because of that competition.
Here’s a fictional situation many people run into that may help you get a better grasp on these three metrics and to help answer the question: “What rate is Google paying me at?”
A webmaster dives into her AdSense report for the past six months and sees the following. Up and to the right?! Not really.
How does Google choose which advertisements to display?
Google has made an entire business out of putting targeted advertisements in front of web searchers. They have become exceedingly good at it over the years and that’s why many people accuse Google of “stealing your information” or “selling your personal data to advertisers.”
In reality, Google collects information about your search trends and history and uses that data to decide which advertisements you’re most likely to click on.
If you’re an AdSense publisher, then Google primarily uses two things to decide which advertisements to display on your site: keywords and bidding.
Advertisers can bid different amounts for certain keywords. Google chooses the highest bid and puts the advertisement of the highest bidder on your site. At the same time, Google analyzes the keywords on each page to determine if the page is relevant to the advertisement.
Google also takes many other factors – including the quality of the advertisement and your own personal data – into account when displaying advertisements.
Ideally, Google wants its advertisements to appear in the following situation:
- Someone Googles the keyword “how to fix a computer”
- Google displays a list of relevant search results and web pages
- The searcher clicks on one of the relevant results and visits a webpage that explains how to fix a computer. That webpage has AdSense advertisements around the main content. Those advertisements are for PC software that promises to fix, clean, and speed up a PC. The searcher reads the content then decides to click on one of the advertisements Google has chosen to display.
- Everybody wins in this situation. The searcher solves his or her problem, the website owner makes money from AdSense, the advertiser makes money from software sales, and Google takes a cut of the profit.
Every day, this process is repeated millions of times across the internet.
Why Did I Get Disabled From AdSense?
Recently, a lot of publishers have been getting their accounts disabled for “fraudulent or potential fraudulent click activity.”
This has frustrated a lot of AdSense publishers because many claim they have done nothing wrong and how in the heck does Google define “potential” click fraud?
No one really knows.
Remember, Google earns most money from advertising. The ads that appear on your pages are costing someone money every single time a click is registered.
Google monitors clicks very closely — especially if your account is new.
So if they sense A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G out of the ordinary or feel you are getting traffic from places that may may produce bot/automated/fraudulent clicks, they will disable your account to protect their advertiser’s money.
They used to disable when they confirmed fraudulent clicks, but now they will disable even if they see potential risk with your account — whatever that means.
Then they refund the advertiser their money — which is why you don’t receive a check for money earned if you are disabled.
Unfortunately no one really knows exactly what the threshold is for determining your account has “potential fradulent clicks.”
And to make things worse, their communication when you are disabled is automated and there are usually no warnings — which is unfortunate and frustrating for people who have done nothing wrong. There’s also no way to reach out for definitive answers and appeals usually fail.
Tips & Tricks
Think of ways to attract traffic to your website
I’m going to share a “secret” about building a successful AdSense website: nobody is going to visit your website if you don’t give them a reason to visit.
As simple as this lesson may seem, many early AdSense users don’t understand it at all. They think writing a 400-word post a few times a week is going to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to their site.
Give your visitors a good reason to visit your website. Make them want to come to your site. There are countless ways to do that, but here are some tips:
– Tell your visitors how to solve a problem
– Create unique, interesting content about a popular subject
– Share your content on social media
– Post something controversial
– Use linkbaiting tactics to your advantage
– Create a website about a niche topic where few other websites have gone before
– Try to go viral on social media, or, at the very least, share all your content on social media to see what people like
Use the Competitive Filter
AdSense allows publishers to block specific ads based on a few different parameters: URL (Target.com, eBay.com), Broad Category (Clothes, Cars, Animals), and Ad Network (DoubleClick, AdWords) are the ones you’ll most likely use, if any. You can also choose to approve each advertisement manually but this will require your personal attention and also puts a drain on your overall revenue as it sort of grinds against the entire idea of a bid-based, dynamic advertising system.
Google generally recommends allowing most advertisements through. Advertisers “bid” on ad placements based on keywords, topic areas and inventory. The advertisement that ends up popping up on your domain is the one that paid the most for that spot. Even if that ad looks like crap. Even if that ad is the same one that’s been showing up for months. Google wants to make the most money from that ad unit as it can (hey, that’s the same goal that you have!) so they inevitably advise users to utilize the ad filter sparingly.
In my personal experience working with several sites running AdSense… wait for it… Google is correct. Google is aware of factors such as CTR so it is very doubtful that you have any information about getting better ads to your pages than they do. Perhaps in 2005, when the frontier was new and fresh, the AdSense algorithm was less able to deliver relevant ads to your pages. But we’ve come a long way since then and the ads that appear on your site are not only the highest paying, they’re also the most likely to get clicked on.
You also don’t want to block ads from Target.com, eBay.com and hulu.com one week, forget about it for two years and then come back to your filter wondering why you limited yourself. (yes, this situation happened to me). So if you do use the ad filter be sure to check it periodically to make sure your blocks still make sense.
Having said that there are some situations where using the competitive ad filter makes sense:
Competitor’s Ads Are Showing Up on Your Pages Some Ads Contain Undesirable “Roll-Over for Sound/Video” EffectsMoral Objections (Gambling, Insurance, Starbucks
Perform keyword research
Keyword research is an important part of any AdSense professional’s lifestyle.
Keyword research lets you spot important trends before they occur. It lets you capitalize on up-and-coming keywords and find niches which nobody else is talking about. It also lets you see if there are opportunities in popular high-volume niches where websites already exist.
You can use a number of online tools to perform keyword research. Google AdWords Keyword Planner is one popular keyword research tool – especially since the information comes from Google itself.
However, there are countless other online services and SEO companies which offer powerful keyword tools of their own.
When performing keyword research, there are four things to look for:
– Average Cost Per Click (CPC): This indicates the average value of an AdSense advertisement in that niche. The higher the Average CPC, the more money you’ll make per click.
– Monthly global search volume: Global monthly search volume indicates the approximate number of people searching for a particular keyword in an average month.
– Monthly local search volume: Google is getting more and more local. Just because a search term is dominated by powerful websites internationally doesn’t necessarily mean those websites will appear in first place on search rankings in your country. Look at local search volume to see if you can corner the niche on a particular keyword in your country. Local search volume is the number of people who search for a keyword each month in your country.
– Search trends: Some keywords will explode in popularity over a month and then disappear forever. Other keywords might spike at certain times throughout the year – like tax season or sports playoffs. Don’t get fooled by high or low keyword search volume in a single month – look at the past trajectory of that keyword’s search volume to get an idea of where it could go in the future.
If you’re running a mobile-specific theme then you’ll need to account for this. Make sure that your ads are tagged properly so that you can monitor their performance (see “Monitor Everything” below). You may have already noticed that AdSense ads delivered on mobile devices already look different than their desktop counterparts using the same code. Google has been making some changes recently to make the ads more “touch friendly”. This includes font size changes as well as the addition of graphical, clickable arrows to encourage mobile clicks.
Below is a bit of anonymous AdSense data that was taken over the past year and covers 4.5 million PVs. As you can see the distribution of pageviews across platforms is very similar to that of clicks.
This leads me to believe that mobile users are clicking on AdSense ads at just about the same rates as desktop users these days, if not more so (this data was taken from a site without a dedicated mobile version or a responsive design).
But what does this mean to you? Well first you should be sure to check these stats out for yourself. Results may vary given your setup. Does your distribution of pageviews match up with your distribution of clicks? If mobile is significantly down then you’ve got some ‘splainin to do! There are too many possibilities to dive into here but if your mobile users aren’t clicking on ads then take another look at how you’re delivering content to mobile users and make sure it either matches the desktop experience or compensates for it properly. Just keep an eye on those stats as more and more traffic moves to mobile. This needn’t be a negative development for your site or your pocket book.
If you’ve got a dedicated mobile version of your blog then you might want to consider AdSense’ mobile specific ads. Otherwise your normal AdSense code works just fine these days.
Attract “Quality” Traffic
Google and it’s advertising partners want to reach potential buyers. If the traffic coming to your page isn’t that of people willing to buy or shop online then a click from a user on your page is objectively worth less to them (see notes on CPC, CTR and RPM below).
Google is confident in its own search engine (obviously) so organic traffic is very much considered “quality” traffic. I also suspect that Google favors “logged in” Google users for tracking and re-targeting purposes so referrals from places like Google plus are also desirable.
Since there is the most competition online for English advertisements in the United States then that is the traffic most valuable to your site. Traffic from other English speaking countries (UK, Canada, Australia etc) is also coveted.
Of course, site language and location aren’t something you can change very easily as a webmaster. But do keep this in mind if you’re seeing low numbers for a non-english site. There may be better contextual advertising alternatives out there for your language/country.
It’s important to note generally that Google keeps tabs on your traffic sources if only to help weed out invalid clicks. It also stands to reason that they use this data to help determine the quality of ads that will eventually appear on your site.
Don’t be afraid to pick a micro-niche
There are over 7 billion people on our planet. About 2.5 billion of those people use the internet on a regular basis.
With that in mind, there are very few topics that won’t interest at least someone on the internet. Even the most obscure niches could have an interested and dedicated following.
Don’t be afraid to create a website about an extremely niche topic. Perform keyword research to make sure there are at least some people searching for information about that niche online and then build a website.
Whether it’s vacuum cleaners, an old video game, or the search for extraterrestrial life, there are plenty of good niches out there waiting to be exploited – and there always will be.
Don’t make your advertisements look like advertisements
In this day and age, every internet user has seen an annoying advertisement. Most internet users have seen thousands upon thousands of advertisements over their years of browsing.
The average internet user has become extremely desensitized to the glaring pop-up advertisements that were common when the internet first became popular. Most internet users aren’t going to click on an advertisement if they think it’s an advertisement unless it offers something really good.
With that in mind, the best way to encourage people to click on your advertisements is to make them blend into the rest of your site. Use common box styles and colors across your advertisements and your website.
Why? So when people visit your website to solve a problem, they could see an advertisement that solves a problem. If that advertisement looks like an extension of your website, then visitors are more likely to think it’s a solution personally recommended by your site as opposed to a random advertisement.
Of course, not all sites work better with this policy. You might find that your site has a better Click Thru Rate if it has glaring and obvious advertisements. It depends on your niche and the type of visitors you receive.
Note: Disguising advertisements as actual navigation buttons on your site is a violation of the AdSense Terms of Service. However, making advertisements look like natural extensions of your site by blending box styles and color codes is perfectly fine !
Understand the power of SEO
I could write thousands of words about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and its importance to AdSense users, but I’m going to keep things brief here.
SEO lets your website rank at the top of search engines. When people search for keywords in your niche, SEO lets your site be the first thing people see on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Approximately 80% of searchers click on the top 5 Google Search results. If you’re in the top 5 search results for a high-value, high-volume term, then you’re going to make a lot of AdSense money.
As soon as you move away from the top 5 search rankings, you get smaller and smaller portions of traffic.
Of course, for extremely high-volume search keywords, even websites on the fifth, sixth, and seventh pages of Google Search could get enough traffic to make an AdSense campaign worthwhile. As mentioned above, it’s all about keyword research and identifying the potential value in a niche.
SEO is a highly technical profession that requires a strong understanding of Google’s terms of service as well as lots of competitor research. It’s not something anyone can master in a day or a month. But if you focus on learning SEO strategies month after month and year after year, then you’ll eventually see which strategies increase site rankings and which ones get your site punished.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to push your site to the top of Google for high-value, high-volume keywords. Once your site is firmly entrenched in this position, it should be attracting excellent daily traffic and earning lots of AdSense revenue for you.
Best of all, this AdSense revenue is passive income because your sites are attracting traffic without your immediate active involvement. That means you can spend more time focusing on building other AdSense websites.
While my income increases when using AdSense, my affiliate sales are unaffected.
It used to be that I was afraid to “lose customers” when implementing Google AdSense on my affiliate sites, because when they click the AdSense ads they leave the web site. But test after test showed me that implementing AdSense often did not have any negative effect on affiliate commissions.
So, really all it did was boost my income and allowed me to distribute risk by having more than just one monetization strategy.
You have nothing to lose by doing a bit of A/B testing with your ads to determine which colors, placements and ad types work best. In the end the ad deliveries vary so much by niche, region and the browsing history of your visitors that some of these “rules” will need to be customized to fit your precise needs.
Keep speculating. Test your own hypotheses in the real world and report back here with a comment or two.
As frustrating as it is to get disabled from AdSense, keep in mind, Google never promises us anything and they will do what they can to protect their own revenue.
If that means disabling accounts they feel are at risk of producing click fraud, they will do it.
I know that’s a tough pill to swallow and I can imagine it does feel horrible to get your account disabled, but when we all “accepted” the terms and conditions upon signing up, that is basically what we were agreeing to.
Voilà! I hope this post was helpful ! Thank you for dropping by and feel free to leave a comment below ; I will be more than happy to connect!