While making money with Google AdSense may not be an exact science, there are more than a couple things just about anyone can to do optimize an ad campaign.
Detailed industry research has revealed that minor and apparently superficial changes to your campaign can go a long ways towards your bottom line.
And because you don’t need a marketing degree for any of these tips, just about anyone with a few minutes and a willingness to try new things can start to make more money from AdSense with only minor optimization.
Target Your Ads
AdSense has a tendency to assign advertisements to content with very little discrimination. While this isn’t financially ruinous for anyone on a PPC basis, it is a waste of time to have ads on sites that aren’t producing results. Much of this has to do with understanding not only the intended demographic of the advertisement, but also the demographic of the types of pages your ads will be placed on. For example, sites that are sales-oriented tend to generate more clicks for product advertisements than sites that are information-based, because informational sites attract a different minded audience than sites like Amazon.
While Google does an admirable job at pairing up advertisers with sites that will be profitable for all parties, human intervention into that process can help narrow down the sort of ads that your site will receive in a way that can rapidly crank up your CTR. Google may have no qualms about offering up ads for products or services that only have a marginal degree of relation to your own content, but it’s easy to optimize AdSense by blocking certain ad categories from the allow & block ads option straight from your AdSense dashboard. This filtering process allows you incredibly in-depth control over highly specific ad categories as well as data about the impressions and earnings of those categories. You can also use this field to discriminate against competitor’s advertisements or advertisements that may be offensive to your niche.
Because AdSense is keyword oriented, selecting the best cost per click keywords for your niche is probably the single most effective way to optimize any campaign. After all, keywords will help determine what sort of ads will show up on your site. While AdSense makes it incredibly easy to monitor keyword performance, many web developers make the mistake of selecting initial keywords and then forgetting about them entirely. But keeping your keywords current and effective can be as proactive of a process as any other element of campaign optimization, so it’s important to remain vigilant in tracking keyword performance for the entire duration of your time with AdSense.
Google’s SmartPricing is designed to give advertisers discounted rates based on the perceived value of a website, largely determine by its popularity and click through rate. This means that a site with a high click through rate will be perceived of higher value, increasing the cost per click. Likewise, a lower click through rate will lower the perceived value for a negative impact. While the difference between SmartPriced content and non-SmartPriced content is often only marginal, these marginal differences can be substantial when exponentially multiplied by time and clicks.
One trick to get around this barrier is to post ads on older content exclusively. Regular visitors are less likely to click advertisements, and utilizing older posts allows you to manipulate your click through rate to be reasonably high. Alternatively, you can display your ads only to people who have arrived to your content through a search engine, although this is somewhat more technically involved than discerning the best place to put your ads.
Change Ad Format
AdSense advertisements can come in a wide variety of formats, allowing you to select a format that not only visually fits with your site but also isn’t intrusive in the process. But not every format is equally valuable. Research has shown that large 336×280 advertisements are much more likely to be clicked than smaller alternatives.
While this is partially due to the increased visibility of a larger advertisement and partially due to the fact that larger resolutions are sufficient to host rich media ads, the specific reasons are less important than the webmaster developing a willingness to try new ad formats and see what works. Although some advertisers report that text-based ads are better at generating clicks than rich media ads, the best option for your content will depend on the unique features of your site that can truly only be determined with personal trial and error.
Although minor tweaks to things like ad font and color might seem trifling or inconsequential, industry research has been clear in demonstrating that small changes to apparently insignificant elements can produce drastic results. When working with AdSense, this largely means changes to your color schemes. Sharp color contrasts, like black and white or red and green, can go a long ways towards improving your CTR. You can change the font color and type for your ads by heading to AdSense and navigating to the ad units option, selecting a specific ad unit, and then the editing the ad style field.
Track Your Progress
Much like with ad format, many of the details of your campaign should be subject to trial and error. If you take care to determine which ads work and which don’t, you’ll be able to figure out everything from how your ads perform seasonally to why it is that ads in a particular section of your site have a disproportionately positive or negative performance. Examining your top performers as well as your worst performers can offer valuable insight into what makes your successful ads successful.