Let me start off by saying that I do everything by the book and strictly abide by all Adsense policies. I suggest that each and every one of you do the same. Every optimization technique covered today was proven by testing and crunching the stats from millions of ad impressions.
Before I start sharing the secrets, let me go over the two most common mistakes bloggers make in regards to Adsense.
Using Adsense as a Primary Source of Revenue
If you are using Adsense as a primary source of revenue, then you are leaving serious money on the table. Adsense should be a secondary source of revenue. Your primary source of revenue needs to be from your services and products.
I have two primary sources of revenue that I promote on my blog.
- Marketing Services – I advertise a free consultation on my blog, which funnels leads into my marketing services firm that I run. A new client will bring in a minimum of $1500 every month.
- Online Course – I also promote my online blogging course, which has 13 hours of video modules covering everything I know about blogging. Each signup produces between $400 to $500 in new revenue.
These two revenue sources are my priority, and the customers I acquire are mine.
Not Using Adsense Because of Fear it Will Detract from Your Products and Services
If you fall into this school of thought, then you are also leaving money on the table. I have tested conversions of my products and services with and without Adsense. When I removed Adsense my conversion rate for my online course and free consult stayed the same.
Here are a couple of best practices for using Adsense on a blog that promotes internally owned products and services.
- Position Adsense Ads at the Top – I place a large rectangle ad between my main navigation and post title. I place another square ad between my post title and the first paragraph. Most people that click out on an ad before they read the first sentence of my post are not the type of people that will buy my products and services. Whether the ad was there or not, these visitors would have most likely bounced from my site before they made it through the first paragraph in the post.
- Block Competitors Ads – The vast majority of advertisers on your site will not be direct competitors with your own products and services. Many of the advertisers will actually offer exceptional products that your audience will love. To alleviate this concern, you can make a list of all the urls of your competition and block them from showing ads.
- Do Not Show Ads on Your Landing Pages – If you publish Adsense ads on your landing pages, then it will affect your conversion rates. This also goes for pages and posts that you use for email autoresponders or drip campaigns. A simple way to manage this is to just use your pages for anything associated with your own product and services. This will allow you to run your ads freely through your posts.
If you do these three things, then Adsense can coexist with any and all of your products or services. Go here to sign up to Adsense now.
Optimizing Adsense for Crazy Earnings
The blunder that most people make when using Adsense is dropping the code on their blog and forgetting about it. As with everything, the path with the least amount of work rarely leads to the biggest pile of money.
Now let’s be real clear. It takes traffic, and lots of it, to break six figures in a year with Adsense. To get to $100,000, you will need to earn $8334 a month from Adsense.
However, a blog that makes $3000 a month from Adsense ads that have not not been optimized can make $9000 a month from the same traffic with optimized ads. That is a huge difference.
Let’s go ahead and get right into the five Adsense optimization techniques that have the biggest impact on earnings.
#1 Group Your Ads Above the Fold – 107% Increase
You can use a maximum of three ads on any given page of your blog. The ads above the fold are going to get twice as many clicks as the ads below the fold. Double the clicks. Double the revenue. The reason for this is because the ads are a great alternative when new visitors decide to leave your blog. Even the best blogs in the world will have a 70% bounce rate on all traffic coming from Google.
In my tests, I have found that there are three ads that perform the best above the fold.
- 970×90 Leaderboard – The ideal location for this ad is right beneath your main navigation. The smaller rectangular ads usually do not have enough pop to draw the click.
- 300×250 Square – This is the perfect size to place right below the title of your post. This location will always be your top earner. The 300×250 square is the most used size by advertisers. The increased competition usually leads to a higher cost per click than the other ad squares. The size also looks great across all devices.
- 300×600 Half Page – This one works great at the top of the sidebar. I do not use this ad on my blog because I use a smart scrolling sidebar. Google does not allow you to place their ads in a smart scrolling sidebar.
Whether you group all three above the fold or just two, it will make a big difference to the bottom line.
#2 Enable Ads to Show Text and Image Ads – 59% Increase
By enabling both text and image ads, you are dramatically increasing the number of advertisers that are competing for your ad spots. All you need to do is go into the “my ads” tab and click “edit ad type” next to each ad. It has been widely reported that Google publishers that select this option get 59% greater eCPM earnings.
This is a technique is a no brainer, and you need to make sure every ad unit has enabled both text and image ads.
#3 Manually Optimizing Ads for All Devices – 54% Increase
Google offers the option to grab a piece of code that automatically optimizes your ads for different devices. The problem is that their program does not always make the best choice. After seeing many of my ads have barely legible rectangle ads on mobile, I decided to manually optimize the ads using my theme controls. I use the Newspaper 6 theme, and it allows me to choose the exact ad size for desktop, tablet, and mobile phone.
Here is what I learned from the tests I ran…
- The 250×250 Square is the King on Mobile – The square ads outperformed all other sizes on mobile phones. The 250×250 square was the overall top performer.
- Hide the Sidebar Ads in Tablets and Mobile – The sidebar ads are pushed to the bottom of the post in tablet and mobile. If you leave your sidebar ad active on mobile phones and tablets, then you will make next to nothing on this ad spot. Alternatively, you can program the sidebar Adsense ad unit to not show up on mobile phones and tablets. This will allow you to drop in another ad unit that will show up within the post only for mobile.
- Best Grouping on Mobile was Top, Mid, Bottom – The highest performing set of all three ad units on mobile were three 250×250 squares placed at the top, middle, and bottom of the post.
Since mobile makes up 40 to 60 percent of blog traffic, it makes sense to take the time to make sure your Adsense units are optimized for mobile.
#4 Track Adsense on Your Top 50 Most Visited Posts – 41% Increase
Adsense allows you to track stats for specific urls, and the best practice is to plug in your top 50 most visited posts. For many of you, your 50 most visited posts will make up more than 20% of your total traffic.
This simple practice will allow you to identify..
- Post Styles that Perform Better – I have a client who found that image posts using pagination received 172% more Adsense clicks than the other post styles. An example of this would be a post on the 20 Richest Women in the United States. The post is twenty pages long and has a captioned image of each woman on each page. This style of post increases both ad impressions and ad visibility.
- Topics that Pay Out More Per Click – The amount of money that you get paid per click all depends upon the topic that you are writing about. A post about Lady GaGa may get you five cents, and a post about car insurance may get you five dollars. If you see a specific post that is paying out double the amount per click as the rest, then make an effort to write more posts on that topic. These additional posts on the same topic can also be internally linked within the article to drive more ad impressions and decrease the bounce rate.
You will be amazed at what you can find by just looking at the stats from your top 50 most viewed posts.
#5 Choose the Right WordPress Theme – 34% Increase
Between my blogs and the blogs of my clients, I manage close to 100 blogs. This has allowed me to see all kinds of cool statistics and trends based on themes. With this data, I was able to clearly identify the theme that performed the best in regards to getting the best rankings on Google.
Better Google Rankings = More Traffic = Increased Adsense Earnings
The theme’s influence on Google rankings is primarily engagement. If visitors stay engaged with your post longer than the competition, then it will move to the first page of Google search.
Yeah, there are many other things that have to happen for you to get a first page ranking, but the theme is responsible for framing your content for the utmost engagement.
To be clear, there are hundreds of premium themes on the market, and I did not test every single one. I did test thirty of the most used popular themes that had the fasted page load times. I am not going to throw the other 29 themes under the bus, but I will tell you the theme that performed the best out of the group.
The theme that performed the best was Newspaper 6. I mentioned the theme a little earlier when talking about setting up custom ads for mobile phones, which is another way this theme impacts Adsense earnings.
I also tested Newspaper 6 against ten other themes in regards to overall Adsense revenue per 500,000 impressions. Newspaper 6 earned 21% more revenue per 500,000 impressions than the theme that finished in second place.
The bottom line is that the theme you use choose makes a big difference to the success of your blog. Choose a theme that is fast and has a proven track record.
I covered alot in this post, so let me give you a quick summary of the most important points with action items. Go here to sign up to Adsense now.
Number One – Group Adsense Ads Above the Fold
Action Item – Add a 970×90 ad below main navigation, add a 300×250 ad below post title, and add a 300×600 ad at the top of the sidebar.
Number Two – Enable Ads to Show Text and Image Ads
Action Item – Login to Adsense and check to make sure every ad is enabled to show text and image ads.
Number Three – Manually Optimize Ads for Mobile Performance
Action Item – Set your theme to show 250×250 squares to your mobile traffic and hide the sidebar ad on mobile phones and tablets.
Number Four – Track Your Top 50 Most Visited Posts in Adsense
Action Item – Login to your analytics to identify your 50 most viewed posts and then set up url tracking in Adsense for each one. After thirty days review the stats to find post topics that produce more revenue per 1000 impressions.
Number Five – Choose the Right WordPress Theme
Action Item – Take some time to truly consider changing to the Newspaper 6 theme. It really will make a big difference short term and long term.
No matter what, make sure you check to see if you have enabled both text and image ads. This will take a grand total of 90 seconds.
Beyond all the specifics that I have gone over today, remember that there is no substitute for high quality content. Publish high quality content on topics that your audience needs and wants on a consistent basis. If you combine this with the five major Adsense optimization strategies, then you will be on your way to making six figures and beyond.