Since its creation in 2003, Google’s AdSense program has given millions of would-be Web titans the opportunity to make money through advertising. The program once known as “Ads by Google” has grown far beyond the simple text ads of its early days, with an increasingly sophisticated approach that has evolved to meet the changing needs of the Internet community.
Mobile, multi-format, and made for interest-based targeting, the program has become a staple of monetization on the Web. And as of 2011, daily transactions made via Google AdSense outstripped those made on all of the world’s major stock exchanges.
It can be tempting (especially for beginners) to throw up a few websites, slap on some ads (which may or may not be properly placed or even relevant when compared to the content on the page where they’re displayed), and wait for the money to come rolling in. Yet making real money with AdSense requires a nuanced understanding of the way it is affected by Google’s algorithm updates, and then crafting and placing your ads accordingly.
The program remains a major moneymaker, but not everyone who uses it is getting the biggest possible bang for their advertising buck. Whether it’s due to poor placement, low content relevance, or insufficient testing, some folks are not reaching their full AdSense potential.
The Internet is overflowing with tips and tricks for improving the performance of your ads, but some of the best ways to do so are also the simplest (if not necessarily the fastest). As with many other endeavors, improving your AdSense earnings takes sustained and concerted effort.
Well-designed, relevant ads (that are clearly marked as such) that catch the eye and are placed on the most active parts of your page are likely to outperform those that blend in with your text and images or have low relevance to the content on the page. And once you have an ad that works, taking the time to review its performance (through several iterations) and making careful use of analytics can tell you what’s working and, more importantly, what isn’t.
How to Double Your AdSense Earnings with 5 Minutes a Day
Doubling your AdSense earnings doesn’t have to take months. By making a few simple changes in size, placement, and the way the ads appear on your site, you can see a dramatic increase in earnings.
- Google AdSense offers various ad sizes designed to fit into any website layout.
- Wider sizes tend to do better, because users can read them easier.
- A TeachingIdeas.co.uk case study shows this combination gets the best results for his audience:
- Link units
- The 300 x 600 Large Skyscraper
- 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle
- Where you place your ad on the page matters.
- Ads above the fold will generally get more attention (and clicks) than ads below the fold.
- Google AdSense allows three ad blocks on your website.
- Try moving one just below the navigation.
- MakeUpAlley.com moved an existing ad unit below the navigation and:
- Created space for a new ad unit
- Saw a 50% increase in Adsense revenue
- Use Google’s Heat Map in Analytics to find out where your users are clicking.
- Place ads where people are already clicking.
- You’ll see an increase in clicks and income.
- Move the search box to the navigation bar to make room for another ad unit.
- You can have two search boxes on your page.
- Google Adsense for search
- Internal site search
- However, two search boxes on your website may confuse visitors.
- You may get a short-term spike in revenue.
- You may get a long-term decrease in traffic and engagement.
- Make sure your content matches the ads on your page.
- Use contextual targeting to serve relevant ads automatically.
- Japanese site nanapi.jp saw a ten-fold revenue increase in three months with contextual targeting and additional ad units.
- Build out a library of content-rich pages and you’ll see more highly targeted ads.
- More highly targeted ads mean a higher likelihood people will click them.
- More clicks mean more money
- Build content around keywords:
- You know people are searching for.
- Use the AdWords tool to determine the monthly search volume.
- You know advertisers are paying for.
- Use the AdWords tool to determine the average cost per click.
- You stand to rank well for.
- Use Google to search the phrase and see what other websites are ranking well for it.
- Ad blending refers to how your ads “blend in” with the content on your page.
- Google’s terms of service says you cannot place ads in areas where the ads would be confused with links.
- Make sure your ads are clearly ads!
- If a user clicks a page element thinking it will keep them on your site, they should stay on your site.
- Upset users, and needless to say any short term boost will be negated with a longer term decline in user satisfaction.
- Use a combination of text/link ads and display ads.
- Opting in to both on your site will increase your advertiser pool.
- Increases the price paid for advertising space on your site
- Pay attention to your color scheme.
- Decrease ad blindness so people can see the ads and click them.
- Blend: Make the background and borders of your ads the same color as the background of your page where the ad is placed.
- Complement: Use existing website colors, but don’t match the background and borders exactly where the ads are placed.
- Contrast: Choose colors that stand out against the background of your site.
- Contrasting is recommended only for sites with dark background
- Start with pre-defined color schemes and customize to your liking.
Test and Test Again
- Test various ad configurations with your audience.
- Use A/B split testing to see what users prefer.
- Create two custom ad channels for units you want to test.
- Setup the ads appropriately for what you want to test.
- Testing color means you’ll use the same ad unit, in the same place, with different colors.
- Testing size means you’ll run two ads with the same color scheme in the same place.
- Testing placement means you’ll run two ads with the same color scheme and size, in two different places in your layout.
- Choose how where and how much of your traffic you want to use in your test.
- For example. run the test on 5% of your homepage traffic.
- Rotate the ads so each is shown 50% of the time.
- Keep a close eye on your analytics.
- Watch your bounce rate.
- High bounce rate means people are leaving your site quickly.
- Watch your RSS and email subscriptions.
- Sudden decreases mean people are unhappy.
- Look at where the traffic’s going.
- If it’s mostly on your homepage, people aren’t sticking around enough to dig into what you site has to offer.
- Link AdSense to Google Analytics
- Access data about your ad clicks and earnings to help you refine your approach.
- Most successful ad sizes – support.google.com
- Guide to ad sizes – support.google.com
- Google AdSense enables teacher to spend more time with his family – services.google.com
- MakeupAlley.com improves user experience, grows revenue with a simplifying, reorganizing makeover – services.google.com
- AdSense for search – support.google.com
- Being Realistic About Google Adsense Earnings – bigskyfishing.com
- A tenfold revenue increase in just three months – nanapi.jp’s success story – adsense.blogspot.ie
- Content is critical to ad targeting – support.google.com
- Keyword Research – moz.com
- Opt in to text and display ads – support.google.com
- Most successful ad styles – support.google.com
- The ABCs of A/B Testing – adsense.blogspot.com
- 5 Signs People Hate Your Website – placester.com
- Bounce Rate – support.google.com
- AdSense reports – support.google.com