Optimization is one of the most crucial steps when it comes to increasing your AdSense revenue. In this post, I’ll discuss a few key metrics and tips that will guide you to increase your AdSense earnings
There are two ways to increase your site’s AdSense revenue
- Increase your ads CTR
- Increase the CPC of the ads that are being served through Google
It is difficult to increase the CPC of ads served on your blog, because that primarily depends on the traffic quality and type, which is not going to change suddenly, and is closely connected with the content you generate, the demographics, etc.
However, there are ways to substantially increase a blog’s CTR and in this post, we are going to focus mainly on the methods and best practices that can yield you a higher CTR, thereby, increasing your revenue by 30 to 40%.
1. Optimize your Blog’s Layout
An optimized blog layout is crucial for a good RPM from desktop traffic. While it is extremely important to go for a responsive layout, however, according to me the layout should to be minimal and not (screen-spread) out. There are a lot of themes which takes up the entire screen space on a desktop. Like
A first look at these themes might make your feel good, however, these screen widths are too wide and essentially reduces the Ad focus and visibility- thereby reducing the CTR.
While such themes are still OK for blogs which are image rich (cooking, recipe blogs), they shouldn’t be used in tech and other sites which have a higher CPC.
Here is an example of a minimal design blog which I am currently experimenting with
If you browse through the post page of this theme, you can see how minimal the layout it. Putting ads on such a blog automatically grabs the attention of the user and he/she might click the ads if relevant.
2. Mobile First
Asia is becoming mobile-first. If you are a publisher from Asia and is looking to optimize your AdSense revenue, I should suggest you focus your attention on mobile traffic. Over the last 2 years, mobile traffic has increased substantially to compete with desktop traffic. Now, a lot of publisher websites receives more than 60-70 per cent mobile traffic.
Whenever you tweak your blogs layout or add new functionalities/plugins/ads etc, make sure to use the device simulation mode on Chrome (Control+Shift+I) and see how well the changes are reflected in mobile devices and tabs.
3. Active View Insights
Active View is Google’s ad viewability measurement solution, tracking the viewability of ads served by AdSense. Viewability helps determine how likely it is that an ad was actually seen by a user. An ad is counted as viewable if at least 50% of its area was displayed on-screen for at least one second (the minimum criteria according to Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards). Two important factors are (a) what portion of an ad appears in a viewable space on screen and (b) how long that portion of the ad remains visible.
Measuring viewability helps publishers and advertisers assess the value of an impression. For example, consider a placement at the bottom of a webpage. If a user needs to scroll down to see the bottom of the page, the user might not see the ad before navigating away from the page. Yet for a user with a larger screen, the entire page might appear in a viewable space—which means the ad is visible, too. Both scenarios count as impressions, but only viewability tracks whether an ad actually became visible to the user.
All you need for a click is to ensure that the ad is viewable. If the user doesn’t view the ad, it will never get clicked. I suggest you to create separate ad units for individual placements and monitor the active view percentage of the ads. Active view is a crucial insight that can increase your ad unit’s performance in the long run.
4. 336×280 Ad Size Performs Better
When you choose a 336×280 ad unit over a 300×250 or 250×250 ad unit, it increases the advertising competition for the particular ad slot, and thus increases the competition. This lets the algorithm serve an ad which has a higher CPC value, and a click on the ad will let you earn more. AdSense always recommends the use of a 336×280 ad unit. The case is same with a 300×600 ad unit as well since it accommodate the 160×600 ad size and let the algorithm compete for the best CPC bid.
However, note that under specific layouts a 300×250 ad unit can have a higher CTR and the increase in CTR can outperform the increased CPC (because of the advertising competition). If you feel that there might be a chance for such a case, feel free to use AdSense experiments or use a more powerful A/B testing tool like AdPushup.
5. Use link units to Increase Revenue
Judicial use of link units can increase your AdSense revenue, and for a lot of publishers, link units earn them more than banner ads. However, this mainly depends on the niche of the blog and other factors. I have seen a few publishers who earn as much as $15-$20 RPM only from link units.
6. Set Ad Experiments
In the AdSense panel, you can conduct experiments to compare the performance of your ad units/ add-block advertisers and monitor the revenue uplift. Specifically, in the ad units experiment, you can do the following A/B testing on
- Text unit only Vs. Text/Image
- Testing different color templates for text ads
- Testing two different ad unit in one placement
Experiments typically run till a confidence level is achieved, and once the winner is confirmed, a notification pops on the home screen that lets you select the winning ad unit. You can even check the performance of 2 different colours for link units. Also, you can check blend in template Vs. Contrast template for your text ads. Even if you have a well-optimized ad layout, experiments can increase you ad revenue by 10% to 20% and typically performs better and faster with sites having a significant amount of page views.
7. Use Page level ads
Google recently introduced page level ads for mobile inventory. These are new ad formats which would take some time to fetch you results and I believe Google is not setting the full swing on page-level ads as of now. It’s still under experimentation and you can start experimenting with them to see how your traffic responds to these new ad types.
8. Use Ads in Between Posts
Within-content (in-content) ads generally perform well with medium sized post lengths. If you’re not using in-content ads, then you are losing substantial revenue from your mobile traffic since this works best for mobile traffic. There are a few plug-ins available on WordPress that gets the job easily done
Quick Adsense is an Ads management WordPress plugin. It offers a quicker & flexible way to insert Adsense or any Ads code into a blog post. Besides, it can randomly place the Ads anywhere within a post. It comes with a simple setting page, and it does not overwhelm you with complicated customizable options.
Ad Injection from reviewmylife injects any kind of advert or other content (e.g. Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, ClickBank, TradeDoubler, etc) into the existing content of your WordPress posts and pages. You can control the number of adverts based on the post length, and it can restrict who sees adverts by post age, visitor referrer and IP address. Adverts can be configured in the post (random, top, and bottom positions) or in any widget/sidebar area. There’s support for A:B split testing / ad rotation. And support for dynamic restrictions (by IP address and referrer). Note that this is an advanced plugin with loads of options.
Easy Plugin for AdSense provides a very easy way to generate revenue from your blog using Google AdSense. With its full set of features, Easy Plugin for AdSense is perhaps the first plugin to give you a complete solution for everything AdSense-related.
AmpedSense allows you to inject and split test various AdSense configurations into your wordpress blog until you find the best AdSense ads to use on your site.
5. Advanced Ads
Advanced ads and Advanced ads pro are recommended if you want to show different ads to your mobile visitors and desktop visitors.
9. Increase the CTR of the First Ad unit
Ads are displayed through real-time bidding based on a complex algorithm. The first ad served on your webpage has the highest CPC followed by the rest. Hence, it is very important that you should select a placement for the first ad unit (the ad unit which loads first, generally, the topmost one) which has the highest click-through-rate. This technique can significantly increase your overall revenue and is one of the easiest optimization tips we recommend publishers to take into consideration.
10. Do Your Own Keyword Research
Use Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that can be relevant with your content. Keywords lets you have an idea of what people are searching for and how the words are phrased in search. You can use keywords within your content, headings and titles. Judicial use of keywords can increase your search traffic and also the CPC of the ads delivered by Google on your site.
Note: CPC hugely depends on the quality of traffic and the niche of the blog.
11. Test between Display ads, Text ads, both
Google recommends publishers to use the ad type: text/image since the advertiser’s competition is high as the ad inventory increases. However, depending on the type of the site, only image ads/only text ads can outperform the text/image ad type. This is mainly because of the CTR variation. In some blogs/sites, blend-in text ads perform much better and users tend to click on the ad units. Same goes with sites which are image rich, as image/flash ads are more appealing and gets higher traction.
12. Use Analytics to Increase AdSense Revenue
Over the years analytics has scaled up to provide rich insights on web activity and user demographics, interactions etc. Integrating Google Analytics with AdSense provides you a clear picture of the best performing pages on your site. Also you can track the demographics that generate maximum AdSense revenue and optimize your content strategy to target the particular audience segment.
Also, a recommended strategy is to segment you traffic based on the device screen size. Analytics can tell you which are the top performing traffic device screen size for desktop, mobile and tablet. Based on the data you can use media query to show custom ad sizes.
A 620×300 custom ad size would be a good fix for screen sizes above 1280 which a 336×280 ad size would be good for screen sizes in the range of 360 to 1280. Also, you can use a 250×250 ad unit if there is some traffic with screen size of 240. An ad unit which fits well within the content area increases the chances of getting a higher CTR and thus we recommend you taking a closer look into analytics.
13. AdSense Ad Placement Guide
One of the fundamental approaches of Ad optimization is to choose the best performing placements (Placement is a location where an ad unit is placed). I have already discussed the concept of Active views. Your primary aim is to increase the active view viewable and also the CTR. Out of the 18 different ad sizes, 300×600, 336×280, 300×250, 900×90 are the best-performing ad units. For desktop traffic, a 300×600 sidebar ad is always preferred. However, if most of your traffic is from mobile devices, I would recommend you to consider square ad formats as they perform better in mobile. Also, the sidebar goes below the content area in mobile and thus not much clicks are recorded when ads are placed on sidebar. One winning combination is having different ad layout formatting for your desktop and mobile traffic and AdPushup does this effectively.
14. Optimize the Length of Your Blog Post
Long form content like in-depth blog posts generate more revenue eventually provided the content type is evergreen. However, as the content length increases, the CTR decreases as ads get less focus. Hence it is imperative to have an optimized content length for your blog posts. If your content is more than 200 words long I would suggest you use WordPress’s native post page break feature to divide your post into two pages. Also, this would increase the page views and will be effective if you go for CPM ad serving models via ADX (Google AdExchange)
15. Use Matched Content Feature of Google
Matched content feature lets your visitor discover content across your site. This is Google’s in-house recommendation engine and should help you scale up your existing page views.
16. Do not Use Multiple Ad Networks
There are a lot of shit ad networks which doesn’t work. Also, there are another set of ad networks which won’t work well with your existing traffic. Also increasing the number of ads on a page will only divide the total number of ad clicks across the distributed banners resulting in lowering your effective ad revenue if the other networks are not as high paying as AdSense. I would recommend you to focus on your content, scale your blog, create a brand and niche and then look for direct advertisers instead of spending your energy on finding similar alternatives to AdSense.
17. Track your Audience
Use analytics to track your audience, website interactions, user affinity towards categories, age groups, top referrals, time of site, bounce rate, top exit pages etc. Each of these features can help you significantly in content optimization and should be tracked as performance feedbacks.
Placing proper ads on top exit pages can substantially increase your ad revenue and won’t cost you much as you’re monetizing your exit-traffic.
18. Gain insights on your Best Performing Pages
Generally, for blogs, 80% of the revenue and traffic is fetched by 20% of the articles. Though this might seem like a vague statement, but somehow this rule applies to most of the content driven sites. You can track the best-performing pages in terms of revenue from analytics and make tweaks to further increase the revenue, or maybe use call-to-action buttons if you’ve an action driven site.
Also, your best-performing pages tell a lot about the kind of content that is doing well on your blog, the author’s writing style and the optimizations that we working well.
Signing Up with an AdSense Certified Partner
Normally, AdSense allows you to run 3 ads per page and 3 link units per page. However, if you signup with an AdSense certified partner, you can run upto 5 ad units per page. Depending upon the AdSense partner you choose, these ad might be displayed through Adexchange (where Google AdSense and numerous other Ad networks will bid for your ad space thereby increasing the competition). There are a few AdSense partners who have created automated tools to increase your AdSense earnings through algorithmic learning. Normally, these AdSense partners will take a flat 5 to 15% of your ad impressions, however, your overall revenue is certain to increase since you can use 5 ad units. I would recommend you to try the following Google AdSense partners
- Adpushup– With Adpushup you can run 4 to 5 AdSense ad units. All your ads will open in a new window. The interesting thing about Adpushup is, they have developed an A/B split testing platform which can test multiple combinations of ad layouts and choose the best ones for your website/visitor.
- Ezoic– Signing up with them will give you an access to use AdX (5 ad units). They also have a similar ad testing platform called Ezoiclite where you can test multiple ad units.
- Monetizemore– They don’t have any ad testing platform but they claim to provide you an access to Adexchange, the premium ad network which can fetch you better cost per clicks. Monetizemore also allows you to run 5 ads units on your blog.
Keywords: AdSense optimization, AdSense optimization tips, how to increase adsense revenue, how to increase adsense earnings.
There are a very few Ad networks which works well with AdSense. Tribalfusion is one such ad network which is very tough to get through. You can try native advertising networks like Outbrain, Taboola, Revcontent, but traffic requirement of all these ad networks are in the range of 5,00,000 to 1,000,000. You can use infolinks if you’ve good amount of US and Canadian visitors.