101 Ways to Make More Money with AdSense

Image result for money dollars101 Ways to Make More Money with AdSenseThe Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Display Ad Revenue Display advertising is the primary monetization strategy for many online entrepreneurs, in part because there are extremely low barriers to entry (both technical and otherwise). While some larger Web properties have entire sales teams dedicated to selling ad inventory directly, smaller sites tend to rely on ad networksto provide the demand. More often than not, that involves using Google’s AdSense platform.

AdSense is a revenue stream that takes only a few hours to activate; the ease of capturing that first dollar of revenue is a big draw to the platform. But optimizing AdSense to make sure both your visitors and advertisers get the most out of your site is a much more involved process that requires creativity, analysis, and an ongoing willingness to experiment. Below are 101 tips, tricks, suggestions, and resources to help you get more out of AdSense.

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Quick TipsIf you are just starting out, there are several things that you should absolutely do in order to get the most out of AdSense. The official guides offered during the signup process are fairly limited, not offering any particularly noteworthy advice. You may already be implementing many of these, but there are likely some pieces of low hanging fruit among the following.

  1. Max Out Ad Units. We’ll start off with an easy one: AdSense lets you have up to three standard ad units on a page, so you’d be wise to take advantage by maxing out.
  2. Max Out Link UnitsLink units are a wildly underused AdSense option; placing up to three of these on a page should give you a quick, meaningful boost. For sample implementations of link units, check outthese example pages.
  3. Pay Attention to Link Units. This point is worth reiterating. While many publishers focus primarily on traditional ad units, link units have the potential to out-earn leaderboards and rectangles.
  4. Set up a Custom Search Engine. This is another way to get more AdSense units on your site; custom search engines will generally see very high RPMs (though traffic is relatively light).
  5. Enable Placement Targeting. This allows advertisers to include your website in their campaign, either by name or by targeting an interest group. Placement targeting should be enabled by default, but if you’re using DFP you may need to take a few additional steps.
  6. Set up Custom Channels. Setting up custom channels will allow you to get better insights into what’s working and what isn’t, and will make testing down the road easier. It’s pretty easy to get these up and running, and worth making the up front investment to do so.
  7. Allow Text & Images. One of the primary choices within AdSense involves either restricting an ad unit to “image only” or allowing both text and image ads. Permitting text ads to show gives AdSense a deeper pool of ads, and will almost certainly increase your click rate and earnings.
  8. Use Standard Units. While AdSense lets partners choose from more than a dozen ad units, there are a few units that are more common with advertisers. Using these common ad sizes–300×250, 728×90, and 160×600–will give AdSense a deeper pool of advertisers from which to choose.
  9. Monitor Fill Rate. Make sure that you’re serving ads and not blank space on your site. Monitoring fill rate is an easy way to do this; if there are any discrepancies, here are five reasons why AdSense and Analytics may not match.
  10. Supplement AdSense. The terms and conditions of AdSense allow for only three ad units per page. In many cases, pages can comfortably accommodate more than three ads per page without overwhelming visitors and leading to a bad experience. If you think your site could use more ad units, there’s nothing to stop you from supplementing your AdSense units with ads from a competing provider. (For more on supplementing AdSense with additional ad networks, jump to this section.)
  11. Place Units Above the Fold (ATF). This one might seem obvious: the higher up on a page your ads are, the more they’ll be viewed (and the more you’ll earn).
  12. Relative Positioning Matters. While placing ads above the fold is generally advantageous, the relative positioning of ads (i.e., what they’re next to) is more important than their explicit location in the page. Scroll down to #24 on this list for an example of an ad that’s above the fold, but likely out of sight within the first few seconds of a visitor being on the page.
  13. Beware of Overdoing It. When chasing AdSense earnings, it’s easy to get carried away and make decisions that are detrimental to the user experience in order to generate some additional revenue. While there may be a short term win, you’ll ultimately hurt the long term earnings potential of your siteby eroding your traffic base. Here is the example Google gives of what not to do (on the far right):

Experiment IdeasThe crucial element of success with display ad monetization is an ability and willingness to experiment. Through trial and error, you’ll eventually come up with combinations, layouts, and styles that deliver a higher level of earnings for your site.

Because each site and audience is unique, it’s impossible to provide universally applicable suggestions. We can, however, provide some ideas for experiments to get you off and running.

  1. Replace Your 300×250 With a 300×600. This relatively ad unit offers an opportunity to devote more real estate to ads. Moreover, the larger size allows you to run more compelling ads with better calls-to-action (which hopefully translate into higher click rates).
  2. Replace Your 728×90 With a 970×90. Similarly, there’s a larger size of leaderboard that helps the ads to stand out more to both new and returning visitors.
  3. Familiarize Yourself with Google Experiments. It’s now easy to run A/B experiments within AdSense; there’s no reason not to have at least one experiment going at all times.
  4. Familiarize Yourself with the Concept of “Statistical Significance.” When running experiments, it’s important to avoid jumping to conclusions based on insufficient data. (There are several free tools out there if you need a hand.)
  5. Change the Colors of Your Ad Unit. This sounds like a simple suggestion, but this experiment idea can take on hundreds of variations and become a very lengthy process. Finding the optimal combination of text color, background color, and border color can take quite a while but result in a big jump in earnings.
  6. Try the Ugliest Color Combo You Can Come Up With. It probably won’t increase your click rates or earnings, but there’s a chance that going against your guy will result in higher visibility and an increase in clicks.
  7. Change the Link Unit Color. Link units will default to the traditional blue color normally associated with links, because this setting generally has the best performance. But in many cases a bolder color will work better, especially if links on your site are a color besides the standard blue. (For example, on MonetizePros.com we would try out orange link units.)
  8. Put a Link Unit Under your Nav Bar. This is within the terms of service, and will become a top earner immediately.
  9. Insert Banner Ads Into Your Text. Ads inserted into content can be very effective at attracting attention (and thus engagement). Here’s an example of a 300×250 ad that appears between two paragraphs of an article:

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