Optimization is one of the most crucial steps when it comes to increasing your AdSense revenue. In this post, I’ll discuss a few key metrics and tips that will guide you to increase your AdSense earnings
There are two ways to increase your site’s AdSense revenue
- Increase your ads CTR
- Increase the CPC of the ads that are being served through Google
It is difficult to increase the CPC of ads served on your blog because that primarily depends on the traffic quality and type, which is not going to change suddenly and is closely connected with the content you generate, the demographics, etc.
However, there are ways to increase a blog’s CTR substantially, and in this post, we will focus mainly on the methods and best practices that can get you a higher CTR, thereby increasing your revenue by 30 to 40%.
Optimize your Blog’s Layout
An optimized blog layout is crucial for good RPM from desktop traffic. While it is imperative to go for a responsive layout, however, in my opinion, the layout should be minimal and not (screen-spread) out. Many themes take up the entire screen space on a desktop, like Newspaper WordPress theme and Jarida WordPress theme.
A first look at these themes might make your feel good; however, these screen widths are too wide and essentially reduces the Ad focus and visibility- thereby reducing the CTR.
While such themes are still OK for images rich (cooking, recipe blogs), they shouldn’t be used in tech and other sites with a higher CPC.
Here is an example of a minimal design blog that I am currently experimenting with Schema WordPress Theme.
If you browse through this theme’s posting page, you can see how minimal the layout is. Putting ads on such a blog automatically grabs the user’s attention, and he/she might click the ads if relevant.
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Mobile-First Means Responsive
The world is becoming mobile-first. If you are a publisher and are looking to optimize your AdSense revenue, I suggest you focus your attention on mobile traffic. Over the last 2 years, mobile traffic has increased substantially to compete with desktop traffic. Now, a lot of publisher websites receive more than 60-70 percent mobile traffic.
Whenever you tweak the layout of your blog or add new functionalities/plugins/ads, make sure to use the device simulation mode on Chrome (Control+Shift+I) and see how well the changes are reflected in mobile devices tabs.
Active View Insights
Active View is Google’s ad viewability measurement solution, tracking the viewability of ads served by AdSense. Viewability helps determine how likely it is that a user actually saw an ad. An ad is counted as viewable if at least 50% of its area was displayed on-screen for at least one second (the minimum criteria according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards).
Two important factors are:
(a) what portion of an ad appears in a viewable space on the screen.
(b) how long that portion of the ad remains visible.
Measuring viewability helps publishers and advertisers assess the value of an impression. For example, consider a placement at the bottom of a webpage. If a user needs to scroll down to see the bottom of the page, they might not see the ad before navigating away from the page. Yet, for a user with a larger screen, the entire page might appear in a viewable space—which means the ad is visible, too. Both scenarios count as impressions, but only viewability tracks whether an ad actually became visible to the user.
All you need for a click is to ensure that the ad is viewable. If the user doesn’t view the ad, it will never get clicked. I suggest you create separate ad units for individual placements and monitor the ads’ active view percentage. The active view is a crucial insight that can increase your ad unit’s performance in the long run.
336×280 Ad Size Performs Better
When you choose a 336×280 ad unit over a 300×250 or 250×250 ad unit, it increases the advertising competition for the particular ad slot and increases the competition. This lets the algorithm serve an ad with a higher CPC value, and a click on the ad will let you earn more. AdSense always recommends the use of a 336×280 ad unit. The case is the same with a 300×600 ad unit since it accommodates the 160×600 ad size and lets the algorithm compete for the best CPC bid.
However, note that under specific layouts, a 300×250 ad unit can have a higher CTR, and the increase in CTR can outperform the increased CPC (because of the advertising competition). If you feel that there might be a chance for such a case, please use AdSense experiments or use a more powerful A/B testing tool like AdPushup.
Use of link units can increase your AdSense revenue, and for a lot of publishers, link units earn them more than banner ads. However, this mainly depends on the niche of the blog and other factors. I have seen a few publishers earn as much as $15-$20 RPM only from link units.
Set Ad Experiments
In the AdSense panel, you can conduct experiments to compare your ad units/ add-block advertisers’ performance and monitor the revenue uplift. Specifically, in the ad units experiment, you can do the following A/B testing on
- Text unit only Vs. Text/Image
- Testing different color templates for text ads
- Testing two different ad unit in one placement
Experiments typically run till a confidence level is achieved, and once the winner is confirmed, a notification pops on the home screen that lets you select the winning ad unit. You can even check the performance of 2 different colors for link units. Also, you can check blend in template Vs. Contrast template for your text ads. Even if you have a well-optimized ad layout, experiments can increase your ad revenue by 10% to 20% and typically perform better and faster with sites having a significant number of page views.
Use Ads in Between Posts
Within-content (in-content) ads generally perform well with medium-sized post lengths. If you’re not using in-content ads, you are losing substantial revenue from your mobile traffic since it works best for mobile traffic. There are a few plug-ins available on WordPress that gets the job easily done:
The legendary WPQuads Ads plugin is back with the modern approach for an Ads solution. WP QUADS is coded well with no overhead and is used on huge websites with millions of monthly page impressions.
WPQuads is the most featured rich & Advanced Ad Inserter & Adsense solution built for WordPress.
- NEW Geo-Targeting: Target the ads based on the city and countries.
- Easy to use Modern options panel built on React JS.
- Deeply integrates with AMP plugins like AMPforWP, Official AMP by Google.
- Google Adsense support: It gives a deep integration with the ad types of Google Adsense like Display ads, In-feed ads, In-article ads & Auto ads. You can define fixed or responsive sizes for the ads.
- Google AD Manager, formerly Double Click for Publishers (DFP) support.
- 8 Ad vendors support and 20 more on the development roadmap
- 12 Ads positions that help you control where the ad will appear.
- 10 Post Specific Ads Control: 10 Conditional Ad visibility positions that allow you to control (include/exclude) on which pages you would like the ads to appear.
- 9 Targeting conditions that will allow you to control when an ad should appear.
An Ad management plugin with much-advanced advertising features to insert ad codes at optimal positions.
Supports all kinds of ads, including Google AdSense, Google Ad Manager (DFP – DoubleClick for publishers), contextual Amazon Native Shopping Ads, Media.net, and rotating banners.
ADs for WP is an Advanced Ad Inserter solution built for WordPress & AMP. Easy to Use, Unlimited In content Ads, Adsense, Premium Features, and more
- NEW: View Deep Insights into your traffic and Revenue with reports and data. It gives an overview of Mobile VS Desktop, AMP vs. Non-AMP of your Traffic & Ad revenue, including comparing the previous time.
- AdSense Auto Ads Support
- Ad Groups with AMP Support
- Ad Widget added
- Ad expiry and scheduling option added.
- AMP Compatibility: Seamless integration with AMP for WP & AMP by Automattic.
- Unlimited Ads
- Google Adsense Support
- Custom Ad HTML support
- Media.net Support
- Ads Shortcode
- Post Specific Ads Control
- Easily inject Between the content, After the content, or Before the content.
- Migrate from Advanced Ads plugin with One Click!
- NEW: Align and set margins easily
AmpedSense allows you to inject and split test various AdSense configurations into your WordPress blog until you find the best AdSense ads to use on your site.
Advanced ads and Advanced ads pro are recommended if you want to show different ads to your mobile visitors and desktop visitors.
- approved in 10 years of Publishing and Ad Optimization
- works with all ad types and networks, including Google AdSense, Google Ad Manager (DFP), Amazon ads, or media.net
- Google AdSense Partner
- most features to test and optimize ads
- unlimited ad units
- ads.txt support
- dedicated Gutenberg block for ads
- the only solution with Ad Health integration and Google AdSense violation checks
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Increase the CTR of the First Ad unit
Ads are displayed through real-time bidding based on a complex algorithm. The first ad served on your webpage has the highest CPC, followed by the rest. Hence, you must select a placement for the first ad unit (the ad unit which loads first, generally, the topmost one) with the highest click-through rate. This technique can significantly increase your overall revenue and is one of the easiest optimization tips we recommend publishers to consider.
Do Your Own Keyword Research
Use Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that can be relevant to your content. Keywords lets you know what people are searching for and how the words are phrased in search.
Note: CPC hugely depends on the quality of traffic and the niche of the blog.
You can use keywords within your content, headings, and titles. Judicial use of keywords can increase your search traffic and also the CPC of the ads delivered by Google on your site.
Test between Display ads, Text ads, both
Google recommends publishers to use the ad type: text/image since the advertiser’s competition is high as the ad inventory increases. However, depending on the site’s type, only image ads/only text ads can outperform the text/image ad type. This is mainly because of the CTR variation. In some blogs/sites, blend-in text ads perform much better, and users tend to click on the ad units. The same goes with image rich sites, as image/flash ads are more appealing and get higher traction.
Use Google Analytics to Increase AdSense Revenue
Over the years, analytics has scaled up to provide rich insights on web activity and user demographics, interactions, etc. Integrating Google Analytics with AdSense provides you a clear picture of the best-performing pages on your site. You can also track the demographics that generate maximum AdSense revenue and optimize your content strategy to target the particular audience segment.
Also, a recommended strategy is to segment your traffic based on the device screen size. Analytics can tell you which top-performing traffic device screen size for desktop, mobile, and tablet. Based on the data, you can use a media query to show custom ad sizes.
A 620×300 custom ad size would be a good fix for screen sizes above 1280 which a 336×280 ad size would be good for screen sizes in the range of 360 to 1280. You can also use a 250×250 ad unit if there is some traffic with a screen size of 240. An ad unit that fits well within the content area increases the chances of getting a higher CTR, and thus we recommend you take a closer look into analytics.
AdSense Ad Placement Guide
One of Ad optimization’s fundamental approaches is to choose the best performing placements (Placement is a location where an ad unit is placed). I have already discussed the concept of Active views. Your primary aim is to increase the active view of viewable and also the CTR. Out of the 18 different ad sizes, 300×600, 336×280, 300×250, 900×90 are the best-performing ad units. For desktop traffic, a 300×600 sidebar ad is always preferred. However, if most of your traffic is from mobile devices, I would recommend you consider square ad formats as they perform better on mobile. The sidebar also goes below the mobile content area, and thus not many clicks are recorded when ads are placed on the sidebar. One winning combination has different ad layout formatting for your desktop and mobile traffic, and AdPushup does this effectively.
Optimize the Length of Your Blog Post
Long-form content like in-depth blog posts generates more revenue eventually provided the content type is evergreen. However, as the content length increases, the CTR decreases as ads get less focus. Hence it is imperative to have an optimized content length for your blog posts. If your content is more than 200 words long, I would suggest using WordPress’s native post page break feature to divide your post into two pages. Also, this would increase the page views and will be effective if you go for CPM ad serving models via ADX (Google AdExchange)
Use Matched Content Feature of Google
The matched content feature lets your visitor discover content across your site. This is Google’s in-house recommendation engine and should help you scale up your existing page views.
Do not Use Multiple Ad Networks
There are a lot of shit ad networks which doesn’t work. Also, there are another set of ad networks that won’t work well with your existing traffic. Also, increasing the number of ads on a page will only divide the total number of ad clicks across the distributed banners resulting in lowering your effective ad revenue if the other networks are not as high paying as AdSense. I would recommend you focus on your content, scale your blog, create a brand and niche, and then look for direct advertisers instead of spending your energy on finding similar alternatives to AdSense.
Track your Audience
Use analytics to track your audience, website interactions, user affinity towards categories, age groups, top referrals, time of site, bounce rate, top exit pages, etc. Each of these features can help you significantly in content optimization and should be tracked as performance feedbacks.
Placing proper ads on top exit pages can substantially increase your ad revenue and won’t cost you much as you’re monetizing your exit-traffic.
Gain insights on your Best Performing Pages
Generally, for blogs, 80% of the revenue and traffic is fetched by 20% of the articles. Though this might seem like a vague statement, this rule somehow applies to most content-driven sites. You can track the best-performing pages in terms of revenue from analytics and make tweaks to increase the revenue further, or maybe use call-to-action buttons if you have an action-driven site.
Your best-performing pages also tell a lot about the kind of content that is doing well on your blog, the author’s writing style, and the working optimizations.
Signing Up with an AdSense Certified Partner
Normally, AdSense allows you to run 3 ads per page and 3 link units per page. However, if you signup with an AdSense certified partner, you can run up to 5 ad units per page. Depending upon the AdSense partner you choose, these ads might be displayed through Ad exchange (where Google AdSense and numerous other Ad networks will bid for your ad space, thereby increasing the competition). A few AdSense partners have created automated tools to increase your AdSense earnings through algorithmic learning. Normally, these AdSense partners will take a flat 5 to 15% of your ad impressions. However, your overall revenue is certain to increase since you can use 5 ad units. I would recommend you to try the following Google AdSense partners
Adpushup– With Adpushup, you can run 4 to 5 AdSense ad units. All your ads will open in a new window. The interesting thing about Adpushup is that they have developed an A/B split testing platform that can test multiple combinations of ad layouts and choose the best ones for your website/visitor.
Ezoic– Signing up with them will allow you to use AdX (5 ad units). They also have a similar ad testing platform called Ezoiclite, where you can test multiple ad units.
Ezoic- Increase your ad revenue by 50-250%
Use Ezoic’s advanced tools to double your ad revenue. Ezoic is a Google AdSense Certified Partner.
Monetizemore– They don’t have any ad testing platform, but they claim to provide you access to Ad exchange, the premium ad network which can fetch you the better cost per click. Monetizemore also allows you to run 5 ad units on your blog.
There are very few Ad networks that work well with AdSense. Tribal fusion is one such ad network that is very tough to get through. You can try native advertising networks like Outbrain, Taboola, Revcontent, but all these ad networks’ traffic requirements range from 5,00,000 to 1,000,000. You can use Infolinks if you have a good amount of US and Canadian visitors.