Update 2018: Google AdSense is one of the most famous and lucrative Internet advertising programs and it is also a great way to start making your first income online.
As we all know, Google is the most powerful internet search engine currently, and its search service allows you to earn money by placing their text and banner ads on your blog or website.
Although Adsense banners are not currently the main source of income that I have with my blogs, I still use it primarily in some of my blogs, like news and health blogs.
Google Adsense was the first ad network I ever met when I first started my blogging journey, and they’ ve helped me even earn over US$2,000 in one month with the appropriate traffic and strategy.
Keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how I did it…
I like to talk about how to earn money online, and especially with Google (YouTube, Blogger, tips, etc) today I will focus on this advertising program: Google Adsense.
What makes Google Adsense advertising program so interesting, is that the ads that are displayed on our sites are related to the content of these. In this way, readers only see ads that are correlated with what they are reading and the search history.
“This sounds very interesting, right?”
Table of Contents:
- Things you will need:
- Earning money online with advertising? Why Google Adsense?
- Requirements to begin making money online with Google Adsense:
- Can you really earn money online with Google AdSense?
- Easy Steps to earn money online with Google Adsense
- Where do I place my ads in order to get better CTR% and increase my income??
- How to measure and improve individual ads performance?
- How do I get my Payments from Google AdSense?
Things you will need:
- A website with a reliable hosting plan. I’ve been using Ipage Essential Hosting Plan with all of my websites, including this one, this is only $1.99/mo if you sign up with this link.
- If You are like me and you use WordPress, then you’ll need a Mobile Responsive WordPress Theme. Many people actually ignore how much traffic they receive from mobile users, especially if those visitors are from social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. In my experience, having a Mobile Responsive Theme can help you get a higher CTR%, I’ve even got it above 10%. I recommend Studiopress and Genesis Framework, which is what I personally use with my websites. You can check Studiopress Themes here. If you need a cheaper option, I’d recommend My Theme Shop, they have pretty cool themes too.
- You’ll need a Google Adsense account, I’ll show you how to get started, later.
Now, let’s get right in…
Earning money online with advertising? Why Google Adsense?
There are multiple options to monetize any blog or website out there, not only PPC Networks (Pay Per Click) like Google Adsense, but there are also tons of other networks such as CPM Networks (Cost Per Mile) that can display banner ads and other types of ads in your website or blog.
Here are some of the reasons why most people prefer Google Adsense:
It is easy to join their program. So simple, that you only need to sign up and get the code to display your ads.
Easy to install on your website. In fact, there is no need to install anything. You only have to copy and paste the ad code and you are ready to go.
Display Relevant Ads. No need to manually choose the ads that are most suited to your content, Google will automatically select the ads that are more profitable for you based on the content and user’s search history.
It is made for beginners. The Google Adsense program is made for beginners. It has a simple interface and you don’t need to have any kind of knowledge to start earning money online with Google Adsense.
All the information you need. Google gives you all the information related to your site and your earnings. Impressions, clicks, earnings, demographic data and a lot more that will help you out.
Performance report from Google Adsense
You only need one account. With one account you can get ads for all your web pages and blogs.
Requirements to begin making money online with Google Adsense:
Like everything else, there are certain very important aspects that must be taken into account if you are thinking about earning money with Google Adsense:
Your website or blog must have traffic. The real income with Adsense is only achieved with large volumes of traffic, that’s why I told you earlier that you needed to have a reliable hosting, check out ipage for $1.99/mo.
This is because Adsense payout per each click you generate can be very low (depending on the topic of your site and the country where the visitors are coming from), so the more visitors your site receives, the more chances of clicks, and the more clicks then the more revenue.
Content must be original and not copied. If copied, or low-quality content is detected, you are at risk of being banned and lose all your income. Your articles must be 100% original, so you must avoid plagiarism.
Always select potentially lucrative topics or niches. This is because Adsense advertising is “contextual”, i.e. will show advertisements that are consistent with the content that your site speaks about.
If your site speaks about mortgages, then ads will show mortgages and loans, if you speak about shoes then will have to show advertisement about shoes, and so on. Within the different topics that you can speak about, some topics are more lucrative than others.
For example, a blog about “lose weight” will have more profits than a blog about “collection of minerals”. This is because there are more advertisers in the niche of weight loss than the niche of the minerals, therefore those advertisers are willing to pay more in order to have their brand stand out of the rest.
You must comply with their policies. In order to start earning money with Google Adsense, and start to display ads on your website or blog, you must comply with the terms and policies of Adsense Program. Not all topics are accepted. So I recommend you to see what is and what is not.
Do not place too many banners. AdSense used to have a very strict policy in regards to how many ads can be shown per page, they would ban your account if you abuse of the banners, but at the beginning of 2017 they have officially announced that this policy will now be more flexible and users can now show as many ads as they want, depending on how much content do they show.
In this matter, you don’t want to make your website a machine of ads and give your users a poor user experience. You must also take into account that the CPC (Pay-Per-Click) or pay per click may vary according to the subject matter and the available advertisers.
In fact, there are some topics which, in comparison with others, provide much higher income. But usually, the Adsense ads that make more money are sure, those who belong to these niches: health, insurance, mortgages, and well-being.
Why Adsense? For the simple reason that Google has many advertisers that are willing to pay big money for advertising in these niches. For example, if you are looking for “mortgage” on Google, you’ll notice many sponsored ads right there at the top.
On the other hand, if you are looking for e.g. “poetry”, you’ll see that there are very few advertisers (or even non-existent). This means that the cost of the advertiser increases considerably if you want to be displayed on the first page and at the top.
If you have a website or blog in which you talk about some popular topic, it is most likely that your ads will have a decent performance. In addition to this, it is essential that you can generate relevant traffic to your topic (and ads) and definitely earn money online with advertisements.
A good (or I would say excellent) conversion rate would be a click for every 100 visitors to your site, i.e., a 5% click-through rate, don’t trust anyone who says they have more than that because it is very likely that they are not telling you the truth, or they are simply not doing the right thing!
Can you really earn money online with Google AdSense?
In order to help you understand it better, I will give you an example: with a website that receives 100,000 visitors per month, you can get around 5000 clicks, and if the topic of your site is a popular niche, let’s say you have a CPC (Cost Per Click) rate of $0.20 then you could make at least US$1000 per month. “Sounds good right?”
Another challenge could be driving a large amount of traffic to a very competitive niche, is not easy! In this case, a good option would be to go for topics that are not very competitive and that can also help you attract many people to your site, where we can find keywords with low competition and good CPC.
Another possibility that Google Adsense gives to their publishers, is that you can customize the ads to fit as possible to the graphics and the style of your own website. You can change the background, the color of the text, etc. This serves to give a touch of professionalism to the ads and make it clear to the reader that such type of ads could enrich their browsing experience and they could benefit from it if they do click.
Another possibility that you should always bear in mind is that you can enter a list of alternate ads, where there are no advertisers to show on this topic that you have chosen. In this way, you can create custom advertisements (either your own products or other companies) and place them on that particular page.
I hope you are not getting bored so far, now it’s the time when things will become more interesting! 🙂
Easy Steps to earn money online with Google Adsense
Assuming that you are reading this article because you already have a website or blog, I will go ahead and provide you with a few simple steps you need to follow in order to begin working with Google Adsense:
Step 1. The first step to start earning with Google Adsense is to create an account.
Steps to create an Adsense account:
1.1 – You will need a Google account in order to register for the Adsense program. This means you must have an account with Gmail.com to use as identification, you cannot register in Google Adsense with a custom domain account. Then if you do not have a Gmail account is recommended to create one.
1.2 – Go to Google Adsense’s official site, and complete the online application. Click on the ‘Register now’ button in the upper right corner of the screen. You must provide information about your person. You will have to provide the URL of your blog (you can create a blog of the free blogger) and native language, as well as answer a few questions related to the rules of Google AdSense program. Will also need to provide your payment information in order to receive the earnings you generate with Google ads.
1.3 – Wait for the response. Once your application has been submitted, now you have to wait for the approval of Google Adsense’s team. The website shall be verified and they also verify if the site meets the eligibility criteria provided in Google Adsense TOS (terms and conditions of use). For example, the site must have content that it is suitable for families and people of different ages. The site may not have any explicit content or anything that can hurt the feelings of a community or group of people.
1.4 – After your application is approved by Google Adsense’s team, you will receive an email from them about the approval. Then just access your Adsense account and follow the steps they will provide you in order begin creating ads with different sizes and designs.
Step 2. Once, created your account, you must create the ads. Here is where you choose the ads you want to create, sizes, colors, etc.
2.1- Enter to your account and check the ads available for you, in order to do this you will need to follow these steps:
Login to your Adsense account and look for the option that says my ads, located in the left bar.
Now you need to click on the option that says content, and then ad unit, followed by the button that says “New unit”.
They’ve also recently added an option for “Auto Ads”, this is intended for you to place one single code on each page of your site and Google Adsense will take care of placing the ads for you, I honestly prefer to do this myself.
Google AdSense offers a variety of advertising options, for example, text ads, Ad graphics, and the most recent native ads they’ve started to implement, which are: Matched content, In-feed ads, and In-article ads.
Take your time to experiment with the different types of ads available so that you know what performs better for you.
Adsense types of ads
2.2 – Choose your ads design options. Once you have decided what advertising opportunities are the best for your blog, select them. Google offers a fragment HTML code for after you have made your selection.
Step 3. The third and final step is to place ads on your website.
3.1 – Insert the HTML codes by copying and pasting it into your blog. One of the easiest ways for a blogger beginner is to do this is through by Inserting the code in a text widget or just install a plugin that can take care of that for you. I personally use a plugin that is called WPQuads because it comes with the functionality of adding any type of banners into your blog and it also offers the best locations to increase your CTR% and earnings, it also adds support to AMP which is awesome.
It can take a couple of hours so it begins to display those ads. Google will search on your blog to determine the predominant topics on each page. When those readers visit your blog, the HTML code is activated and will show relevant ads depending on the content of each page.
And that was it, now you have your web pages monetized with Google Adsense.
But now, let’s talk about some of the questions everybody asks…
Where do I place my ads in order to get better CTR% and increase my income??
Let me tell you now, that there is no formula that will tell you where you need to put your ads in order to get the best performance if there is someone trying to tell you the opposite they’re just lying to you.
I can tell you from my own experience that I literally searched everywhere in Google, Youtube, and any blog that speaks about Adsense when I started to work with it, so I just want you to save that time and have you point to the right direction, this way I am really guiding you straight to learning how to earn money online.
Also, remember that using a mobile responsive theme can help you increase your CTR%, I’ve got mine around 6% all the time, sometimes even above 10%. Check out Genesis Themes, also check My Theme Shop.
It’s all about testing different types of ads, size, and locations!!
This will not necessarily work the same way for you than for someone else unless you have the same exact design on your blog and you also have the same audience. You need to start by placing your ads on those locations which you think that will give you the best performance possible, and then start testing. I can tell you, for instance, some of the locations that I have tested myself and have proven to work well most of the time, from there you’ll need to
I can tell you, for instance, some of the locations that I have tested myself and have proven to work well most of the time, from there you’ll need to do your own work and improve as much as you can.
A responsive ad unit right below your main menu has always worked well for me on some of my viral websites, you can use both text and image and track its performance, I prefer only images because it’s more attractive.
For the sidebar, I like to have a 300 x 250 image only banner or you can also use a 320 x 280, it will depend on how wide is your sidebar. Other people prefer to add a larger banner here, such as 300 x 600 and I just think is not needed since the banner was already visible and there is no need to affect the user experience.
You’ve probably seen “Viral Nova” since they are one of the most popular viral sites in the United States, indeed their current Alexa ranking is 9,574 in the US, and 20,094 worldwide, so they should really know better how to earn money online. As you can see they also use a responsive ad unit below the menu and it seems like they prioritize the email subscribers rather than ad clicks in the sidebar, which in my opinion is a wise decision.
You’ve also probably seen lifehack.org, they are also one of the most popular viral websites, and they get tons of search engine traffic as well. They use both types of ads just the way I prefer it, and it seems to work well for them.
Ads inside of content:
Adding a 300 x 250 or 320 x 280 ad unit by the second paragraph and also the end of each article is something that has worked well for me, again it does not mean that it will also work for you. But let’s also take a look at other big sites that use Adsense and also implement these ads size and placement.
Lifehack.org uses links ad unit at the beginning of each article. This particular type of ad matches very well their site design and style so I assume that it works very well for them, although I’ ‘ve never tried that particular type of ad.
lifehack.org – Adsense unit beginning of articles
They also implement a 300 x 250 ad unit right in the middle of each article. This is, for sure, one of my favorite ad placements because it gets direct exposure when people are reading the article.
Entrepreneur.com use a responsive ad unit at the end of each article, which I think works pretty well, it’s also suitable to place a 320 x 280 ad unit here and they should have very similar performance.
One important thing to keep in mind here is whether you have a lot of mobile users visiting your site, let’s say for instance that most of your visitors are coming from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, it would be recommendable that you always use responsive ad units inside of your content because these ones will automatically adapt to the dimensions of the user’s screen. This has proven to show a significant impact towards CTR%, at least for me.
Now is time to measure each ad unit’s individual performance and make all adjustments needed in order to obtain the desired performance. Let’s have some fun now!!
How to measure and improve individual ads performance?
This is something that really helped me increase my incomes with Adsense since I was able to learn which ad units were performing better and which ones needed to be adjusted in order to improve the overall performance.
Here the steps you need to follow:
1.- Create custom channels for each ad unit: This will allow you to track and filter each individual ad unit in order to measure and improve its performance.
The first thing you need to do here is to click on the option that says My ads, and then select Ad units, we have already done this before in this guide.
Here you need to select the ad unit which you want to create the custom channel for and then you’ll click on the drop-down menu that says actions. Keep in mind that this can also be done when you are creating your ad units in order to avoid that hassle of doing it again. Once you’ve done that, you just need to click on “Custom Channel”.
After doing this you will be able to see a button that says “create new custom channel” and when you click on it, you will see a screen like this one:
All you are missing here is to complete these fields and save your new custom channel. I recommend using a name that is descriptive to the placement of each particular ad unit (ie. Under Menu Ad), this way you know exactly which ad unit you’re looking at any time you are checking your ad’s performance.
2.- Filter individual performance per each custom channel: After creating a custom channel for each ad unit, it’s now time to go ahead and talk about how you can filter each custom channels performance in order to determine which are the ones that need some tweaking.
There are multiple ways to do this. The easiest way is just to go to your home page on your Adsense dashboard, and then you’ll see an option to get a report filtered through custom channels.
Once you’ve done this you will be taking to a report screen in which you’ll have the option to look at every single metric and also use different filters, such as date, website, ad type, ad size, etc.
Here you’ll have all the information you need in order to know exactly which ad unit needs to be either placed in a different spot because it has low visibility and CTR% or which type of ad works better, either text, image or both, etc. My recommendation is just to start playing around with this until you master it, and then take full advantage.
How do I get my Payments from Google AdSense?
Well, depending on your country, there are different ways for you to receive the payments:
- By bank transfer
- Through check
- Western Union Quick Cash
When you sign up, Google Adsense allows you to choose the payment method that you prefer in order to receive your payments, keep in mind that there is a minimum amount required depending on the payment method. If you want to change the payment method you must go to “settings” and then “payments”.
Other helpful resources:
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