You’ve been creating great content for a while and you’ve finally gained a decent following. People like your stuff and keep coming back!
Now you’re at the point where you can start making money by advertising on your blog.
Why You Should Use Google Adsense
If you’re already maintaining a website and creating content, then Google Adsense provides a way to make passive income from what you were already doing. Here are a few good reasons to consider going with Google Adsense.
1. A lot of advertisers use it.
As a Google property, Adsense is one of the biggest platforms for businesses wanting to advertise on the web. That means it’s an easy way to tap into a large network of people willing to pay money to make sure their ads get in front of people. Google Adsense uses a bidding model, which means that you’ll always get the highest amount possible for every click.
2. Ads are targeted.
And one of the selling points of Adsense for advertisers is that they’re able to target their ads so they’re more likely to get in front of the right people. That’s a benefit for you too, since it means that your visitors are more likely to see ads that are relevant to them and you’re more likely to make money from them clicking on it.
3. You can control what shows up.
You’ve worked hard to build trust with your audience. You definitely don’t want that ruined with an ad on your site for something that’s offensive or a product that you wouldn’t feel comfortable condoning. The Adsense platform lets you decide the categories of ads you want showing on your site and makes it easy to block any specific ads or advertisers you don’t want showing up.
A note: keep your expectations realistic.
Adsense is free to sign up for and pretty easy to get started with. But you should keep your earnings goals realistic. You only earn when visitors to your website click, and you can only expect a fairly small portion of your visitors to click on the advertisements. Making money can be a slow process and Google will only send you payment when you reach $100.
As long as you don’t quit your day job prematurely though, making some extra money is a good thing even if the amount is low.
How to Create an Adsense Account
On the Google Adsense site, you’ll see a green button that says Sign Up Now.
When you click, you’ll end up on a page with a form asking for your website, email address, and whether or not you want emails with performance suggestions.
You’re expected to use an email tied to a Google account, so if you’re already using Gmail or Google Analytics, then go with the email you use for those. If not, you can create an account here.
From there, you’ll be asked to provide your country and accept the terms. Then click on a blue button that says Create Account.
Once you’ve taken this step, you’ll get an email from Google walking you through the next steps to take:
- Provide Adsense with your payment address. You’ll see a form when you first log into to Adsense that will allow you to do this.
- Verify your phone number. This step is only required in some countries, but you’ll see a note when you’re logged in letting you know if it’s necessary for you.
- Add the code provided to your website. This confirms for Google that the website is yours and officially connects it to your Adsense account.
When these steps are completed, Adsense will review your website for compliance and, if everything looks good, approve your account to get started.
How to Enable Ads
After your account is approved, you can start setting up ads on your page. Log into your Adsense account and select My Ads on the menu on the left side of the screen.
Click on the button that says New Ad Unit. Then decide what to name your ad. The name is just for your internal use and to differentiate it from other ads you enable on the site, so it can be something simple and descriptive like Top of Page Ad.
You’ll see a few different options for types of ads to allow on your page. This includes:
- Text and display ads – This is the most common type of ad you’ll see. Generally these show up along the side of a page or at the top of it.
- In-feed ads – These show up in a similar format to the content and links listed on a page, so that they look more like the other content visitors are browsing.
- In-article ads – These show up further down on the page in the midst of the content visitors are reading, usually in between paragraphs.
Choose which type of ad you want on your site now. You can repeat this process later to add the others if you want more than one.
On the next page, you’ll have the option to choose the ad size and colors. One of the size options is Responsive, which means that instead of the ad being a consistent size and shape each time, Google will choose the best size based on the space available according to the browser and device a visitor is using.
After you fill in your preferences on this page, click save. Google will provide you with the ad code to add to the webpage the ad will be on.
Start Making Money
If you want to maximize your Adsense earnings over time, keep an eye on which ads run on your page and how often your visitors click them. Experiment with different ad styles over time to see which ones your readers respond to. If you change up what you use based on what works best, you should be able to increase clicks (and therefore your pay) by sticking with the types of ads and categories your visitors like best.
As you set up ads for your website, make sure to keep in mind the user experience. You don’t want your regular readers to be turned off by ads that are overly distracting, make the page look cluttered, or block the text. You can make money without ruining their experience of the site (and won’t make much if you do ruin it).
And if you want to keep people visiting and clicking on those ads (and hopefully gain more visitors and clicks over time), keep creating the content that helped you earn your first visitors to begin with. You have to give them something to keep coming back for.
Ways to Increase Your Google AdSense Revenue
1. Use Proper Ad Placement
One of the major problems people have when they start using Google AdSense is they have no idea how to properly place ads on their page. There are a number of factors you should keep in mind when you are working on your ad placement.
First, it’s important that you put your ads in places where visitors will see them as soon as they land on your page. However, you have to also balance the number of ads so that they don’t appear as annoying. We have all went to a website bogged down with ads and left right away because we simply didn’t want to deal with it.
Generally speaking, good ad placement starts with putting one long rectangular ad which typically has a measurement of 728×90. It’s also acceptable to put 1-2 ads on the right side of the page for good visibility. The right side ads can range between 160×600 to 300×250.
It’s possible to play with those numbers within the acceptable ranges to find out what works well for you and gets you good results. Again, ensure that you don’t overdo it with the number of ads. Not only will you annoy your visitors, but the more ads you have per page, the less money you make per click. In this sense, fewer ads almost always means you’ll make more money.
2. Search for High Paying Keywords
Almost every niche within Google’s acceptable topics has a set of “high paying” keywords.(Note that Google excludes some topics from its AdSense programs, such as tobacco.)
When your articles feature high paying keywords within a niche, you’ll get ads that fit within the parameters of the topic. Having the ads to match to good keywords means you’ll increase your revenue and typically get more clicks.
Finding high paying keywords is a breeze. Google has a free Keyword Planner tool that allows you to search for numerous keywords, phrases, or websites and find out what keywords people are searching for. You can sort the information by price so the highest pay per click words appear at the top of the list.
As you work with different keywords you’ll begin to learn what words and long-tail keywords work best with your niche. There is a lot of trial and error involved because the keywords and ads go hand in hand. As you adjust the keywords, the ads will change too.
You may discover that you get more clicks at a slightly lower keywords value, or maybe you’ll make the most money by using the number one highest paying word. Like all businesses, it requires tweaks as you develop your blog and implement ads.
3. Edit the Design of Your Selected Ads
Once you figure out what ads you’re going to use, it’s possible to edit them so that they fit your website. Do not skip this step when you’re incorporating ads into your content. You don’t want your ads to stick out like a sore thumb.
There are a couple factors you should take into consideration when you’re setting up your ads. First, it’s important that you use the same borders and colors on your adds that you use on the rest of your page,
Next, you should try to use complimenting colors in the background and text of your placed ads. You want them to stick out, but not in a glaring way. They should be noticeable and clear. If you’re using a dark background and theme, try using a slightly lighter colored background to make the ad noticeable by blended with the rest of your blog.
Always make sure you do a preview of your webpage to make sure the ads look like they fit naturally before you publish the page.
4. Monitor Your Results
There are too many bloggers who upload a couple ads to their AdSense account, then just let it go. They don’t bother checking the results every day, or even every week. They sit idly by and wait for the money to enter their account at the end of the month.
There’s no way you’re going to make a substantial amount of money if you don’t regularly check your ads to see how they are doing. You can track specific analytics on your ads to see what you’re doing right, and where you could use improvement.
Consider using a form of A/B testing with your ads. For example, you could make a page with two ads on one blog post, and three on another. Monitor the results every day and see which one does better.
For example, if you find that the blog post with three ads works better, make another blog article with three ads. Check to see if the results are consistent and you get the same amount of click throughs on the pages with three ads. You can continue to tweak and edit your ads until you’re comfortable with the amount of money you’re making on each page.
Remember, Google advertising works both ways. You can sign your own site up to be featured in ads on other people’s sites. For help getting started with Google PPC on your blog or website, contact HostGator today.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.