I often get asked what the secret is to making money with Google's AdSense program. This often comes from people who are dreaming of setting up websites chock full of high-paying keywords for particular niche subjects and then sitting back and watching the money roll in. "What's the magic formula?" they ask me. If they're non-technical, I point them straight to my book, Make Easy Money with Google, and assure them that they'll learn everything they need from it. They may think it's hard, but it's not.
But what about the technical people? By this I mean the people who've already set up a blog or website, who have registered domain names, who are comfortable with basic Internet terminology and concepts. What is the "AdSense formula"?
The only AdSense formula that you need to know is this:
earnings = number of clicks * average price per click
This is what I call the Fundamental AdSense Formula because you can derive almost every AdSense "secret" directly or indirectly from this formula. Do you want to earn more with AdSense? You have two ways of doing it:
1. Increase the number of clicks, and/or
2. Increase the average price per click
Your earnings will only go up if you do one or the other, and ideally both. It's an obvious formula, yes, but it's amazing how many people lose sight of it in their quest for increased AdSense earnings.
Increasing the Number of AdSense Clicks
Increasing the number of times the ads on your site or blog are clicked is the most obvious strategy. There are two general strategies you can follow:
1. Increase the traffic to the site, and/or
2. Adjust the ads to make them more "clickable"
Getting traffic is hard and takes time, so don't look at it as a quick fix. The best way to get traffic is to provide useful, unique content and to rank highly in search engine rankings for keywords related to that content. In other words, use standard search engine optimization techniques. DO NOT "buy" traffic or use "link farms" or other dubious techniques. Other tips for getting traffic:
1. Publish articles, even free ones, with links back to your site.
2. Include a link to your site in the signature at the bottom of your emails or in any forum postings you make (if the forum allows it).
3. Participate in forums/groups related to the content of your site or blog. The key is to participate, not lurk, and don't just post messages promoting your site.
4. Add comments (relevant ones only, please) to other blogs, you can usually link back to yours. (This won't help your search engine rankings, but it may allow others who are reading those comments to find your own site.)
5. Syndicate your content (trivial if you have a blog) and make sure that the content is registered with syndication aggregators.
6. List your site in relevant directories.
Adjusting the ads is something you can do almost immediately:
1. Position the ads on the page in order to make them more noticeable. Google even publishes a helpful heat map (see https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page=tips.html ) for AdSense publishers.
2. Choose the best AdSense ad format that works for your site.
3. Change the ad colors either to make the ads blend in with your site or to make them stand out. Again, it varies depending on the site.
Whatever you do, DO NOT ENTICE VISITORS TO CLICK THE ADS. Google is very strict about this, see the AdSense program policies (found at https://www.google.com/adsense/policies ) for the details.
Increasing the Average AdSense Price Per Click
Increasing the average price per click you receive from AdSense is the other strategy for increasing your overall AdSense earnings. You can do this by:
1. Carefully targeting your content, and/or
2. Filtering out and avoiding low-paying ads
Content targeting isn't just about creating relevant, unique content. It's also making sure that that content is written to target the higher-paying keywords associated with a given topic. This means:
1. Figuring out which keyword variations for that topic pay more. Often the more specialized variations and phrases pay more than the "generic" terms.
2. Ensuring that the keyword density of the content favors the higher-paying keyword variations. See http://www.MakeEasyMoneyWithGoogle.com/vioxx-lawsuit.html for an example of well-targeted ads due to appropriate keyword density.
And to reduce the occurrence of lower-paying ads, consider these two strategies:
1. Use AdSense's competitive filter mechanism to screen out the ads that you don't want.
2. Show fewer ads on a page. The fewer ads you show, the more the higher-paying ads get displayed and clicked.
Many publishers also report that their earnings increase if they remove ads completely from pages with few or no clicks. Again, the "less is more" strategy favors the higher-paying ads.
There's No Magic
As you can see, there's no magic involved to increasing your AdSense earnings. The Fundamental AdSense Formula is easy to understand, but that doesn't mean it's easy to apply the formula. It takes time and effort to do it, just like most things.
Copyright 2005 by Eric Giguere. Permission is granted to reproduce the article in electronic newsletters or on websites provided that the complete article text is included, unchanged, and that neither the copyright declaration nor this license are removed. This article was originally published at http://www.MakeEasyMoneyWithGoogle.com/adsense-formula.html.
Eric Giguere is the author of Make Easy Money with Google: Using the AdSense Advertising Program, an introductory AdSense book published by Peachpit Press. Find out more about the book from the companion site http://www.MakeEasyMoneyWithGoogle.com or by contacting the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.