Increasing Adsense Earnings is a task I get asked to help people with every day.
One of the interesting trends that I’ve noticed in chatting to people wanting advice is that they often come with a fairly single minded approach. The initial request is often one of the following questions:
– ‘Can you help me increase my Click Through Rate?’
– ‘I need to raise my page impressions to help me increase my earnings – can you help?’
– ‘CPM (earnings per 1000 impressions) are too low – can you help me increase them?’
– ‘I want to get higher paying ads on my blog – how do I do that?’
These are all good questions to be thinking about – however I find that post people seem to be obsessed about one of them and quite oblivious to the others. As a result they are only working on one of numerous factors that can increase your Adsense earnings and are possibly ignoring others that could have significant impact on your overall earnings.
The way I like to break it down is into an equation which I’ve previously talked about in Part III of my Adsense Tips for Bloggers Series – the equation is quite simple:
Adsense Revenue = Traffic Levels + High Paying Ads + Relevant Ads + Optimally Positioned and Designed Ads
Another way of saying it is to say that you need to be thinking about:
– Payment levels per Click
– Ad Relevancy
– Click Through Rate (CTR)
Many people just concentrate on one of these factors and ignore the others. Here are some scenarios that I’m seeing every day:
Obsession with traffic levels – If they can just double their traffic they’ll double their earnings. They work so hard on getting people to their site that they forget to think about how they’ll get people to see and click on their ads when they do. As a result their ads are poorly positioned and designed. Yes their traffic levels are on the rise but they are not capitalizing on it. I’m constantly amazed how many highly trafficked sites have ads that are so under-optimized and hate to think how many bloggers are missing out on some significant dollars as a result.
Obsession with CTR – I’ve had a few consultations with people recently that have been so obsessed with CTR that they’ve failed to work on any other factors. In one case the blogger’s CTR was increasing nicely but his overall earnings was on the decrease because he’d been losing traffic (due to lack of blogging – he was watching his Adsense stats when he should have been writing content) and his payment per click was decreasing due to irrelevant ads.
Obsession with Click Values – This is a trap that many fall into. They read in forums that if they blog about ‘green widgets’ that they can earn $45 per click or more so they put their current blogs on hold to start a ‘green widget’ blog or change the focus of their current blog to include a ‘green widget’ category. The thing that they fail to realize is that while a few webmasters at the top of the heap may actually be getting high click values that its a very difficult thing to achieve to be at the top end of earners on these keywords. This is for a number of reasons.
1. Every man and his dog (or should I say blog) is targeting the high paying keywords because they read the same forum entries that you do. The competition is fierce in these keyword areas. Your competitors will have been developing comprehensive, well optimized sites for a long time – to get your share of traffic will be tough.
2. There is growing consensus among Adsense experts that Google watches sites carefully that target the higher paying keywords. They have to do this due to click fraud. Some have written that it is only the best and most credible sites on the high paying keywords that get the top rates. ie – if you start a blog on ‘green widgets’ you might actually find that instead of $45 per click you’re only getting 0.45 or even 0.04 cents per click until you build a site that is credible in Google’s eyes.
It might actually be more profitable for you to let the ‘green widgets’ blog idea pass you by (unless you have a way of getting significant traffic) and to find a mid range keyword where there is less competition and more chance of becoming an authority site on the topic.
My take home advice is this. Take an all round approach to your Adsense Optimization. Work on getting more impressions (you can do this by working on getting more traffic to your blog, adding more ads to your pages etc), work on CTR by tweaking your design and positioning, think carefully through what ads you’re targeting and making them relevant to your content and try to keep your time spent on these different areas in balance with one another.