Defined by Google, AdSense is a product that provides a way for website publishers of all sizes to earn money by displaying targeted Google ads on their websites. That means you can easily turn your website or blog into a source of revenue. But of course, monetizing a website is a procedure, and maintaining a steady income requires a certain set of skills.
This beginner’s guide will help you with monetizing your website, even if you are encountering these terms for the first time.
How does monetization work?
Before we start with getting your site ready for AdSense, it’s very useful to understand how monetization itself works.
In digital advertising, there are 3 subjects that form the advertising cycle:
Advertisers are individuals or companies that want to promote their products or services online.
Example: a web store or a company whose ads you see on various portals on the Internet.
Publishers are individuals or companies that provide digital advertising space (blogs, websites …) to advertisers.
Example: a news portal that you visit every day and see various advertisements on.
Users are people who come in contact with an advertiser’s ads in a digital space provided by a publisher and click on the ad.
Example: while browsing the news portal, you see an ad for a product you like and click on it.
Understanding the process
Google is actually an intermediary between every subject in this process. Advertisers create their own advertising campaigns and individual ads and pay Google to place ads in the digital space owned by publishers so that the ads can be seen by end-users and potential customers.
Part of the money that advertisers pay goes to Google, which maintains the entire advertising system, while the other part goes to the publisher in whose digital space someone clicked on the ad.
The e-commerce owner chooses to advertise through Google Ads to increase sales and earn more. He creates and launches a campaign.
Let’s say that the CPC (cost-per-click) on a display ad was two dollars. The cost of a click is determined by Google and influenced by various factors. 68% of the CPC goes to the publisher, while 32% goes to Google.
The advertiser paid two dollars for a click from the end-user or potential customer. Those two dollars are shared between Google as an intermediary and publisher who is the owner of the digital space where the user clicked on the ad.
Getting your site ready
In order to monetize a page, you need to submit it to Google for review. A page must meet certain criteria in order to become an advertising space.
Some of the main criteria are:
- original and quality content,
- clear and intuitive navigation,
- good functionality,
Different types of ads
You can divide your ads by placement type into manual (the ones you set yourself) and automatic (set by Google).
If you don’t want to complicate and place ads yourself, you can let Google do it for you. Automatic also includes vignettes and anchor ads.
Here are 4 main types of (manual) ads you can implement on your site:
This is the most popular type of ad that is designed to work well everywhere.
They are designed to fit particularly well between posts on a page. That is why it is good to have them on the archive pages (category / tag pages)
In-article ads are primarily intended to fit within the articles themselves and the textual content in general. They are most often placed inside the posts themselves.
Grid-based ad units are most often placed at the end of a post. They recommend content that might interest the user in a form similar to native ads.
What do we recommend?
We recommend having well-positioned manual ads, primarily display, in-feed, and in-article, with automatic vignette and anchor ads included. That way, you will realize the full potential of AdSense.
Once you’ve created your ads within AdSense, it’s time to place them on your page. The most important thing is that the ads do not affect the ease of consuming content on the page.
There is also no exact answer to the question of how many ads you should place because it also depends on the amount of content you have on the page.
If you place too many ads, users will leave the site very quickly, and if you have too few, you are not exploiting the potential. That is why it is very important to find a sweet spot where you will be able to maximize revenue and retain customers.
Some general rules are to have (if we are talking about a blog):
- 1 ad above the fold
- 1 ad that appears after the second paragraph within the content
- 1 ad after the content
If you have long blog posts, set your ads to run after every 5th or 6th paragraph.
Look from the user’s perspective
It is best to post them yourself, look from the user’s angle, and answer the following questions:
- do ads appear too often?
- do they distract me too much from the content itself?
- do they have too much of an impact on my user experience?
At some point, you’ll get to the sweet spot and that’s it.
In order to know how your ads are performing, it’s important to master AdSense reports. We will describe the most important metrics with which you can adequately show what is your current situation, whether there is room for improvement, etc.
Estimated earnings – revenue earned during a certain period.
Page views – the number of page loads on which Google ads are displayed, regardless of the number of ads.
Page RPM – average earnings per thousand page views. One of the most important and useful metrics.
Impressions – a number of ads that have been loaded on a page. Doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been seen.
Impression RPM – average earning per thousand impressions.
Active View Viewable – the percentage of impressions that were viewable out of all measurable impressions. Ad is viewable if at least 50% of its area is displayed on-screen for at least 1 second, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Clicks – the number of times users clicked on your ads.
How to use metrics to your advantage?
Use RPM to predict earnings
RPM is a great metric that tells you approximately how much you earn per 1000 page views.
Let’s say you have 50,000 page views per month, and your RPM is € 5. Your monthly earnings are € 250.
If you want to increase your revenue to € 300 per month, you need to have 10,000 page views more.
Maximize your ad viewability
In order to increase your ad viewability, the site must be technically optimized. Here are some tips:
- The page must load quickly – use a caching plugin, lazy-loading, etc.
- You need to have as clean a code as possible, without unnecessary things
- If you use WordPress do not overdo it with plugins – in this case, less is more
By making a site more technically optimized the ads will load sooner, and you’ll have a higher viewability rate, which has a positive effect on Page and Impression RPM.
It is also desirable to lazy load the ads themselves that are not in the user’s viewport.
In the AdSense interface, you also have the option to view the ads served on your page. For ease of reference, they are divided into those that are prioritized for your review and those with the most impressions. This way, you can easily block individual ads if they aren’t relevant to your site.
You can even block individual ad categories.
We do not suggest blocking too many ads as this may negatively affect your revenue. Do this only if you know what you are doing and/or if it is absolutely necessary.
There are three sub-segments in the optimization segment: opportunities, experiments, and labs. Each of these serves to improve the advertising performance on your page.
Opportunities – these are direct Google suggestions that are very likely to increase ad revenue.
Experiments – these are particularly interesting because you can very easily do A / B ad testing and apply a variation that is more effective.
Labs – here you can apply some new AdSense features that are not yet widely used.
How exactly should you optimize?
Get your hands dirty, apply some suggestions, do a couple of A / B tests, compare data and make data-driven decisions. You can’t lose anything.
Monetizing content online is a common thing that benefits everyone: advertisers, publishers, and end-users. In order for ads in the digital space to be as effective as possible, they must be natural, not interfere with the content, and be in a technically appropriate environment.
Google’s AdSense is far ahead of the competition as it provides the highest quality personalized ads that have a high CTR.
Once ads have been effectively placed, it is important to continuously monitor them and, if possible, take advantage of new opportunities.