AdSense is a revenue stream that takes only a few hours to activate; the ease of capturing that first dollar of revenue is a big draw to the platform. But optimizing AdSense to make sure both your visitors and advertisers get the most out of your site is a much more involved process that requires creativity, analysis, and an ongoing willingness to experiment.
What is Google AdSense?AdSense is a nice way to monetize your traffic, and very easy to implement. It's one of my top earners and has been since 2003.Google.com earns most of its revenue by allowing other website owners to advertise on their search results pages.All this is managed through a program they call AdWords (pay per click marketing).You see these 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.It's 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.This program is called AdSense.
How Does AdSense Work?The concept is simple. You display ads and get paid when people click and sometimes just view the ad (usually it's mostly clicks, though.)
How to Earn with Google Adsense?If you are just starting out, there are several things that you should absolutely do in order to get the most out of AdSense. The official guides offered during the signup process are fairly limited, not offering any particularly noteworthy advice. You may already be implementing many of these, but there are likely some pieces of low hanging fruit among the following.
- Choose a Profitable Niche
However, in addition to sheer volume, there is one more very important consideration ‐ what your site is about, or to put it more professionally, which niche your site is in. Different niches aren't equal ‐ there are more and less profitable ones. There are niches, such as health or finance, where high value clicks are common and niches, such as culture or history, where you can make almost nothing with Adsense.
This is why you need to choose a niche where clicks pay well. It is true that good niches are very, very competitive but even in the most competitive niche, there is always place for one more good site. After you choose the niche, you need to find the high volume keywords in it and optimize your site for them. To search for keywords with high search volume, use the AdWords tool.
- Place the Ads in Visible Places
Strategic placement of the ad units is vital for your profits. Quite logically, when you place ads where they are visible, this seriously increases the number of clicks you will get. The best places are above the fold (i.e. in the top half of the page) and in the text itself. Basically, the closer the ads to the text are, the better. You can have a look at these AdSense placement tips from Google to see which places are considered good, best, and worst for ad placement.
- Optimize the Ads for Higher CTR
Strategic placement is important but there are other aspects you need to take into account when you optimize your pages for high CTR (Click Thru Rate). Here are some more tips how to fine-tune your ad units in order to attract more clicks:
- Choose the right ad size
Adsense offers numerous sizes in the form of rectangles, squares, buttons, and bars but the truth is that only some of them convert well. Generally the sizes Google recommends are 300 x 250, 338 x 280, 728 x 90, 160 x 600, and 320 x 50 (for mobile banners). The first two are suitable for intext use, the third is suitable to put under the site header, and the 160 x 60 one works best under the menu, if you use left/right menu navigation. Of course, you can also experiment with the other available sizes and see if they work better for you.
- Choose multiple ad units
You are allowed to run up to 3 ad units, 3 link units, and 2 search boxes per page. This means for ad units and link units you need to choose multiple units, preferably in different sizes. For instance, you can choose one 728 x 90 or 160 x 600 unit for under the header/the side menu and two more, i.e. 300 x 250 and 338 x 280 for inside the text. As for the type of ads, the choice is between text, text and image, and image only ads. Usually plain text ads work better because images are too obtrusive to attract clicks but you should try for yourself and see what makes you more clicks.
- Use link units
A common mistake many people make is not to use link units. Link units can outperform normal ads because they are less obtrusive and if you blend them with your menu, people will click there. You can put one 728 x 15 link unit under the header and one 160 x 90 under the side menu. You can make the link color the same as the color of the items in menu but don't use the same font type and font size because this could be considered a form of format mimicking and could get you penalized.
- Choose the right color
Link units aren't the only ones that can benefit from the right color. However, with them it is easier ‐ just use the same colors as you do in the menu and you are done. With normal ad units, this isn't that straightforward. Basically, the options here are to blend the unit (i.e. make the links and text in the same color and size as your text), use a contrast scheme (i.e. if your site is in green, use red for the ads) so that the ads stand out from the rest, or stick with Google default. Which one is best? Nobody knows! What works for one site (i.e. blending) will not work for another. So the only thing you can do here is to use the trial and error approach and see which of the three works for you. Or, if you want a more scientific approach, try AB tests.
While there are millions of websites out there that use ad networks to monetize their existing traffic, there are very few that put significant thought and effort into the process. Even modest improvements in a few key performance metrics can lead to significant jumps in bottom line earnings, especially over time as traffic grows. Optimizing remnant display ad inventory is a big investment, but comes with equally large potentia