AdSense Experiments Review

Just a few weeks ago Google announced AdSense Automatic Experiments, which is a new tool provided by Google to enable you to optimize your AdSense ads. After logging into my AdSense account and clicking enable in the optimization page, I saw the following:

adsense-experiment-opportunities

The ‘automatic experiments’ are the 2 at the bottom. Honestly those 2 ideas didn’t interested me, however it had been a while since I last checked out AdSense Experiments, so I decided to give it a try and set up an experiment of my own.

Starting a new experiment

After clicking to run a new experiment, you have two options: changing ad unit settings, or allowing and blocking ads.

create-new-adsense-experiment-1

Since I’m not blocking any ads, I figured changing ad unit settings would give me the biggest changes in testing. After clicking that, you name your new experiment and choose the ad unit you’d like to test. You have 2 more options about the ‘experiment setting’ that you want to test: ad unit type or text ad style.

Here are the options if you want to test the ‘ad unit type’. All you can choose from is whether you want to display image, text and image, or text only ads.

adsense-experiment-unit-type

If you choose you want to test the ‘text ad style’ you get several options defining the formatting of the text in your ads:

adsense-experiment-font-style

I decided to try a test for both types. One one site I’m testing the ad type, and on another site I’m testing the font style. Keep in mind that you can only run one test per ad unit.

You’ll also see an option asking if you want Google to ‘automatically choose winner’. I was curious what criteria Google would use to choose, so for one experiment I enabled this, and for the other I wanted to be in control.

Results after week 1

I checked results after a couple days, and it said “50% confidence, collecting data.” That makes sense, the test just started.

adsense-experiments-collecting-data

So I waited and checked back a few more days later, after almost 18k ad impressions:

adsense-experiment-week1

Still inconclusive? Google must be very, very conservative when it comes to making decisions. 9,000 impressions for each test variant should be enough to move the needle slightly….Keep in mind this test is a text style one, which is a drastic change from default colors to highly contrasting (dark) colors, should make a decent difference one way or another.

Waiting and waiting

I keep checking back every few days, and still saw the same data – 50% confidence, collecting data.

Finally, after over 2 weeks and 40k impressions the confidence went to 80% that the test is a loss. Somehow the quality score is up (how does the text style affect quality?), but overall RPM is down:

adsense-experiment-week2

The other test I was running is still at 50% confidence.

I decided to end both tests after 2.5 weeks. I’m not going to wait months to get up to the 95% confidence that I’m after. The test that had ‘let google choose’ had not triggered any decisions, rightfully so.

Conclusion

While I admire AdSense for trying to optimize ads for us, I felt as though this was pretty pointless. Yes, I could try again, yet the options to test are so little that I don’t feel I’m ever going to reach statistical significance.

In all my experience, the biggest ad gains have been in testing ad positioning and ad sizes. Only testing the ad type and font gives minimal returns for your effort.

Keep in mind that if your site is running on WordPress, the AmpedSense plugin can automate testing ad position and size.

Have you tried using Google’s AdSense Experiments? Were you disappointed as well?

AdPushup Review – How does AdPushup work?

As creator of AmpedSense (the wordpress adsense split testing plugin), I became excited when I first heard about AdPushup a few years ago. AdPushup is an ad split testing service, founded by Ankit Oberoi and Atul Agarwal. Its website explains a lot of the benefits of using AdPushup, but leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For example, how exactly does it integrate? Can I use it on wordpress? What are the minimum requirements?

I reached out directly to Ankit recently, and he didn’t just want to respond via email – he wanted to chat via Skype – awesome! We chatted late one night (he had just finished watching a cricket match and it was midnight over in India), and I was amazed and how friendly and down to earth he was. If we ever get an opportunity to meet up in person I’ll definitely take it!

adpushup

About AdPushup

AdPushup was started in mid-2013, which at the time of this writing makes it about a 3 year old company. While that is relatively young, Ankit explained that they have a great team, solid funding, and will be around for a while.

You won’t get paid by AdPushup (they don’t manage the ad network), instead you’ll get paid via the ad network you’re using, such as AdSense. AdPushup also supports DFP, and has a goal to integrate with all major ad networks.

Requirements of using AdPushup

AdPushup targets medium to large companies, so if you’re a small website or blogger you may need to find another alternative. You need a minimum of 10,000 page views per day to be accepted into their program. This number is so high because they use a machine learning algorithm to make decisions about your ads, and it needs to have enough data to make accurate calculations.

AdPushup is installed via a javascript snippet, which can slow down your site. This method is short-sided. DNS-level integration like how Ezoic does it is a much better method long term; as it won’t slow down your site and will help you generate better reporting.

AdPushup should work on all platforms of websites, wordpress included. In fact they do have a wordpress plugin, although most sites on wordpress may not meet their 10k page views/day traffic requirements.

AdPushup Review

I was hoping to share a personal review with some before and after stats, but after signing up with AdPushup I was never offered into their program. I’m assuming this is because they’re currently in beta and using assisted onboarding for select few publishers.

If you’re in the same boat, try using an alternative like Ezoic; which we’ve had good success with.

AdSense Alternatives for Blogs

Before you give up on AdSense – make sure you’ve tried AmpedSense!

I know Google AdSense can be discouraging sometimes, and the easy fix is to try another ad network, but before you switch to an AdSense competitor, be sure to consider the following:

  • Google is the largest online advertising network in the world
  • AdSense has some of the most configurable ads, allowing you to choose exactly how they look on your site
  • Google has the best reputation around for sending payments on time

So, feel free to look around, but when you’re disappointed with other ad networks and are back on AdSense, try the following to get better earnings:

  • Make sure you’re showing your mobile users ads that are specifically sized to them. With mobile traffic at almost 50% of users, they cannot be ignored!
  • Try testing different ad positions. People can become banner-blind to ads placed in headers and sidebars.
  • Try testing different ad sizes. Advertisers bid based on the ad size, so you may be missing out on advertisers if you’re not running the ideal ad size.

All of the above can be facilitated with the wordpress plugin AmpedSense. It’s a free, easy download – check it out!

 

Ezoic Review – My personal experience

Based on feedback we got from other publishers, we decided to publish the results we’ve had most recently with Ezoic on one of our websites. You can read our previous Ezoic review below; however, I think you’ll notice that our experience with the system has changed quite a bit.

Why we revisited Ezoic…

Previously, we did not spend much time setting up or learning how to properly configure the Ezoic system. We also had heard that Ezoic recently added some new applications that gave users more control in the optimization process. So, since we did not give it much of a fair shot the first time – as our test did not last much longer than a few days – we thought it might be worth trying again.

Last time, we also did not engage or work directly with their service/publishing team; which turned out to be extremely helpful in this whole process. Ultimately, we were glad we revisited Ezoic.

Our updated Ezoic review

We decided to try Ezoic on another site of ours. Ezoic has added a new flagship application to their platform. They call it Ad Tester. Previously, they had required publishers to use a full site optimization layout tester that we thought took a little too much control out of the hands of site owners.

Ad Tester gives site’s the ability to test all of the potential ad combinations (sizes, types, colors, locations, etc.) on each page, on a per-user basis. So, Ad Tester actually offers different combinations to each user based on what it feels will be optimal.

This was a very interesting concept to us, so we were interested in how this would do with one of our organic traffic websites that had been pretty static for a while. We thought it might be a good case study; given not a lot changes on that site from time to time.

ezoic review

Setting up Ezoic

It’s pretty easy to sign up with Ezoic. You just input some pretty simple info and they push you right through to a setup wizard. There are essentially three steps to the setup process…

  1. Integrate your site
    • You get two options for integrating your website. Ezoic strongly recommended a nameservers integration over a JS implementation. I probably would have opted for JS not knowing this, so I’m glad I talked to someone on their service team about this before. Apparently, nameservers makes it so that your site doesn’t get slowed down.
    • ad testing with ezoic
  2. Setup Ad Tester
    • This is actually one of the hardest parts. It seems pretty straight forward but we actually did it wrong at first.
    • After you add the script to your website, you actually are supposed to wrap existing ads on your page with Ezoic code before adding the placeholders for potential testing locations. This is where we messed up (see example of how to do this below). This will give you better reporting and allow your existing ads to still show after everything is setup.
    • Finally, once our existing ads were wrapped, we created placeholders in every display and native style for our website. Ezoic recommended we create as many placeholders as we could (comfortably); as that would produce the best results. So we created one of each kind.
    • They actually have a Chrome extension that makes this way easier (as it is simple drag and drop), but you can’t use it until your nameservers have propagated 🙁
      —-adtag—-
  3. Turn on Ezoic
    • This is by far the easiest step. This is where you decide how much of your web traffic you actually want being “tested” by Ezoic. This is pretty cool because you don’t have to turn your site over to them and their machine all at once. You can test them on only a portion of your traffic (which is another reason to opt. for the nameservers integration apparently).
    • They recommend new sites start out at 25% on all devices, this allows you to compare the 25% of traffic that Ezoic optimizes to the 75% of your web traffic that sees your site as is (meaning your site without any Ezoic).
  4. Secret 4th step
    • Once your nameservers propagate, Ezoic actually makes you apply to the Google Ad Exchange as well. This is great for sites that want to show more valuable ads on their site but bad if you have some sketchy Google policy violations (as you will likely not be approved and not allowed to use Ezoic).

The results using Ezoic

To this point, we have used Ezoic (and more specifically Ezoic Ad Tester) on this site for approximately 7 months.

Across the board, our results using Ezoic this time around were about as good as advertised. We were able to increase revenue while improving the core user experience metrics touted by Ezoic (pageviews per visit, bounce rate, and session duration) to pretty a significant degree. We also got a really nice little uptick in organic search traffic and keywords we ranked for.

One of the hidden benefits of Ezoic – that they apparently don’t talk about for some secret reason (probably because Google won’t let them) – is that the system can have a really nice effect on SEO!

Here’s how ezoic affected our ad revenue….

ezoic revenue

We used Ezoic for approximately 2 months before we started seeing growth. I suppose this is one of the reasons why our initial test of Ezoic wasn’t as impressive. Their team said that the system needs time to learn and optimize for all the different site visitors you have. Fair enough.

2 months felt like a long time, and I have to admit, I was close to calling it quits. However, we were seeing some small improvements in user experience metrics and SEO, so we kept going.

Well, after 2 months, sure enough, the site really started to spike. To date, ad revenue has grown on this static content, organic website, by over +250%.

I’m not really sure how much higher it could go, but it really has me wondering.

These results happily surprised us.

Here’s how ezoic affected our user experience metrics

So this is part of the big pitch by Ezoic. They not only increase revenue but also improve user experiences at the same time. Seems kind of like a hard thing for an artificial intelligence system to do, but we were curious.

Bounce Rate Dropped By Approximately 26%

bounce rate drop

Pageviews Per Visit Only Slightly Increased

pageviews per visit

We have seen a 7% increase in session duration so far

time on site with ezoic

Ultimately, all these stats got better. None quite as dramatically as bounce rate did. Bounce rate improved really quickly; which makes me think we were probably doing something pretty bad there without Ezoic. Oh well, it’s better now.

Pretty impressive that Ezoic was able to affect all of these metrics just by changing ad combinations. Which leads me to my most startling revelation about Ezoic.

Ezoic actually improved my SEO!

ezoic seo

So, I actually wasn’t sure about the correlation until I sort of pulled it out of one of the Ezoic service team members. I saw my organic traffic and organic keywords both increase pretty steadily after implementing Ezoic on my site. This was really surprising since my site had been static for a long peroid of time.

Ezoic said that it happens often when a site can improve UX metrics; which makes sense because those metrics are considered to be very important to search engine optimization.

I really wonder why they don’t talk about this if it really is that common? I suspect it has something to do with Google. Or perhaps, not every site sees the dramatic results that ours had. We could be a lucky case I suppose.

Final thoughts on Ezoic

Our experience with Ezoic has changed a lot since the first time around. Their system has obviously evolved; however, I also think that the due diligence on our end – setting up and properly configuring the system – played a major role as well.

Their service team is really helpful. I recommend using them after you get setup to ensure that you have everything set correctly.

The results we achieved were pretty significant. I’d encourage anyone to give Ezoic a try to see if your experience is could be commensurate. We will keep using Ezoic on this site, obviously.

I’ll be curious to see how much more our stats continue to improve.

—-NOTE—

Below is our old review (outdated and probably no longer relevant)

About a year ago Ezoic starting a massive advertising campaign all over the internet. What’s great about them is they offered a free trial. What’s to lose by trying it out? So I signed up and started my 30 day trial.

Setting up my Ezoic account

After creating my account with them, I received an email explaining even further:

Why use Ezoic?

  • Increased Ad Revenue: Typically 50%-250% more ad income daily
  • Happier visitors from improved user experience metrics (like time on site!)
  • Easy integration (no work required from you!)

Improving your website using Ezoic will make you more money and win you more traffic!

I didn’t immediately set up my site since they offered 2 ways of integrating and I wanted to be sure I picked the best one. Then someone from their team reached out to me personally to walk me through setting it up. He was super helpful (thanks again, Gavin) and answered all my questions. I explained how I didn’t like the JS integration since the javascript was obfuscated and that makes me not want to trust it. I opted to go with the nameserver integration instead. I know it sounds silly, as giving them DNS capabilities gives them more control over my site, I just hated the feel of deceiving-looking code on my site.

Gavin explained further:

“Once you integrate, we have a full technical team that reviews and sets up your site before setting it live. Once live, the testing is more or less automated but, I will be here as well as our tech team to look after it if anything unexpected arises. As far as testing goes, your original content and code is never touched. Our system will build new layouts with your original content. Imagine if you will, all the CSS is stripped away from your site leaving the content for Ezoic to re-wrap and package it into new layouts for your users. And if you ever want to revert back to your original, it’s all 100% reversible so you can do this at any time. “

Sounded great. I switched my name server settings over to Ezoic’s and while that propagated I asked a few more questions. Here’s what I learned:

  • Ezoic is pronounced how it’s spelled, simply: Ee-zo-ik. I thought it was supposed to be spelled out at first, like “E z, o i c”, as in, “Easy, oh I see”. Haha
  • They keep track of your ad revenue by taking over your AdSense account. You have to authorize them to become a manager of your Google AdSense account (through Google AdExchange), and then all advertising revenue goes into their own account. In the future you’ll get paid by them instead of a check from Google. While that scared me a little bit, their minimum payout at the time was $20, so shouldn’t be too hard to reach the minimum and get at least one paycheck from Ezoic if I switch and decide to go back to Google directly.
  • They ask your permission to get all your prior AdSense and Analytics stats. I guess this makes sense because they want to know about your traffic and how best to optimize ads for it, but seemed a little invasive at first. I opted not to give permission, and sent them a screenshot of my analytics so that they could see I have the required amount of traffic.

I was hoping they’d start optimizing my site within a few days, but I actually had to wait to be approved before I got an email saying my site was ready. They told me that normally it only takes a few hours, but my site was special so they had to make some updates to their system to make it work properly.

This makes a lot more sense once you know this part. Not just anyone can use Ezoic. You must be approved before ads will show on your site. I’m sure a part of their Google partnership forces them to approve and hold their publishers to the same standards that Google does.

—-

The review below this text was for my previous Ezoic review which has since changed so I have stricken out the content; as my results are obviously different now

—-

Along with the green light, they provided some screenshots showing what my site would look like as it was going through the testing process. Some looked okay, but many looked covered in ads. Check out this screenshot showing the mobile version of my site with over 50% of the screen in ads! Who puts 3 ads above the fold on a mobile layout?

ezoic-mobile-preview
I was pretty bummed out by a lot of the layouts they were going to test. I felt as though the site was unusable in many instances. Above you can see my site has been diminished into a collection of links and 3 ads. Where’s my content??

Here’s another view of how the site looked on the desktop. The square ad totally messed with the heading, making my whole site just look broken:

ezoic-desktop-preview
When I expressed that I didn’t like many of the layouts, they told me I could pick and choose which ones I wanted to opt-out of the testing in their admin. I did that, although they suggested I didn’t because they wanted the numbers (the ad revenue and visitor stats) to make the decisions instead. They were worried I could be turning off potential winning layouts. I ended up turning several layout off against their judgement.

At this point I was a little worried that this was not going to be worth it at all. However being in the conversion optimization industry I know the importance of running split tests and letting the results prove themselves. I gave them the thumbs up from my end and we activated testing.

Optimization Results

After optimization started, I visited my site periodically, checking in on it, hoping some of the poor layouts would have lost and worked themselves out of the system already. I also watched my stats – both in Google Analytics and in the Ezoic dashboard. 

After about a week I had seen enough and turned off the testing. I reverted the nameservers back to my host and my site was back to normal.

Here are the results of the testing I saw when Ezoic was enabled.

These are all bad things. Bad for users, bad for search rankings, bad for revenue! Here are charts showing exactly what happened. I’ve highlighted the time period that Ezoic went live in some images. In other images it’s pretty obvious when performance started to tank:


My bad test from my previous experience
ezoic-bounce-rate

Pages per session

ezoic-pages-per-session

Server response time (no real difference in time with Ezoic)

ezoic-server-response

Page load time

ezoic-page-speed

Googlebot crawl stats

ezoic-seo-stats

These images come from various sources – Google Analytics, WebPageTest, and Google Webmaster Tools.

I have forward this information to Ezoic, including these screenshots, and they assured me that the increase in visitor abandonment is due to testing (I can understand that – there may be poor variants before you find positive ones), and that the increase in load times is due to their CDN propagation. However I’ve used CDN’s before and they should take hours to propagate, not weeks.

I understand that split testing comes at a performance cost, but it shouldn’t be this high. As someone who prides themselves on fast, usable sites, Ezoic was not for me.

As a side note, I had met with the CEO of Ezoic while my site was getting set up (we lived in the same town and was gracious enough to accept my lunch invitation). He’s a super nice guy, with an extremely successful background and lots of great stories to tell. I had a great lunch with him (and if I recall correctly he even picked up the bill). It was apparent that Ezoic has great leadership and talent on board, however at that time its technology simply was not up to my expectations.

What is the average earnings for a niche site?

Everyone knows that niche sites can be fairly profitable. But how much can you expect to earn from a niche site in 2015? The answer, of course, depends on a few things.

Niche sites

Niche sites are simple informational sites (usually created in WordPress) that have been carefully crafted to fulfill search demand. Here’s the steps a niche site creator typically follows:

  1. Do some researching finding topics that people are searching for yet don’t have a lot of content. Pay special attention to the keywords that are in demand.
  2. Buy a domain and hosting for a new site. Typically pick a domain that has those keywords in it
  3. Create content for that site. Use a standard wordpress theme, and make 5-10 pages about your topic.
  4. Once traffic starts coming in from search, place some ads (usually Google AdSense) and let the money roll in!

What makes them so attractive is the amount of work required to run them. Usually there’s 20-30 hours of upfront work, but after that they typically run themselves and require very little maintenance.

How much do niche sites earn?

There are three factor’s I’ve found to majorly affect how much revenue these niche sites bring in.

Factor 1: Traffic

Hopefully you did your keyword research right, were able to obtain some backlinks, and your site rose to the top of the search engine results. If you get a lot of traffic, you’re going to get a lot of ad clicks, meaning more money.

Look at the difference in revenue based on traffic (using average RPM of $2)

Monthly Visitors Monthly Revenue
100 $0.20
500 $1.00
2,000 $4.00
10,000 $20.00
50,000 $100.00

Factor 2: Ad cost

If you picked a niche that has a lot of advertisers, they’re going to be paying a lot to advertise. That equates to a higher RPM (revenue per thousand impressions). Niches like insurance and real estate can have click prices of up to $100, yet niches with little advertisers like pencils or rubber bands are going to be in the pennies.

RPM Monthly Revenue (10,000 Visitors)
$0.50 $5.00
$1.00 $10.00
$2.00 $20.00
$5.00 $50.00
$10.00 $100.00
$20.00 $200.00

Factor 3: Ad optimization

One of the biggest mistakes I see on niche sites is putting your ads where your theme designed them to me. Don’t do it! Designers want their themes to look pretty, not bring you income. From my experience some of the best places to put your ads is inside the content.

It’s also important to not use default Google AdSense settings. Changing the ad type, color, size, etc can make huge differences as well.

The key takeaway here is that you need to be testing different AdSense configurations to make sure you have the most profitable combination of placement, size, color, etc. If you’re not split testing, you’re essentially losing money!

Take a look at how running tests to optimize your ad config will give niche site owners increased RPM, and thus more earnings.

Optimization RPM Monthly Revenue (10,000 Visitors)
Default settings $1.00 $10.00
Optimized placement $4.00 $40.00
Optimized placement + size $8.00 $80.00
Optimized placement + size + ad type $10.00 $100.00
Optimized placement + size + ad type + color $12.00 $120.00

Summary

These three main factors can influence how much you earn on your niche site. Traffic aside, it’s probably a safe bet to say you’ll get around $1-2 RPM out of the gate, which can be optimized up to $5-10 RPM on average.

Would love to hear your experiences – do your numbers match up with this?

6 Ways to Optimize Earnings Using AdSense

If you spend time and energy keeping your blog updated, relevant, and engaging, you should also implement methods to generate at least modest income. There are several ways to monetize a blog or feed, such as affiliate marketing, selling information products or services, and advertising. Even if you’re using other monetization methods, AdSense is an excellent way to optimize your earnings. Here are six ways to increase your revenue with AdSense.

Create Custom Targeted Channels and Sections

AdSense allows bloggers and publishers to select specific sections of their websites to use for ad targeting. This results in relevant ads that drive a higher click-through rate (CTR). You can group ad units together into custom channels and make them targetable, which means allowing advertisers to bid for spots on specific areas of your website. These more precise targeting options are often appealing to advertisers. More competition means higher bids, resulting in more AdSense revenue. Custom channels are also useful for determining how different ad layouts and ad units are performing on different areas of your site.

Use AdSense to Fill in Monetization Gaps

If you’re a strong affiliate marketer, you’re probably using a good portion of the potential ad space on your blog to promote affiliate products. AdSense is a straightforward way to both fill up that extra space and monetize it. With the custom channel options provided by AdSense, you can easily make specific sections of your blog available for display advertising and reserve other locations for affiliate ads. A little testing determines where different types of ads perform best, to fully maximize your earnings.

Place Ads Strategically

Strategic ad placement can increase your earnings substantially. By placing ads above the fold, visitors don’t have to scroll in order to see the ads. This increases the likelihood that you’ll earn a few clicks, even from casual visitors. A visitor may click through to your blog but then scan your content and decide it’s not what he’s looking for. If you’ve placed your ad strategically, though, it will capture his eye right before he clicks away. In this case, you’ve earned revenue, even though your content wasn’t a precise match for the visitor’s needs.

Place Ads Within Articles

Another strategic location for ad placement is within your articles, which makes visitors who do read your content less likely to overlook the ads. If your ad is above the fold and within an article, you capture both visitors ready to bounce and those reading your content. Placing your ads within articles and experimenting with colors and fonts can also result in a blended experience, where your ads appear as a natural extension of your content. This can lead to increased clicks as readers perceive this type of ad less as an advertisement and more as an enhancement. This is especially effective when you’re using custom channels, resulting in highly relevant ads that offer value to your readers.

Monetize Smaller and Low-Traffic Blogs and RSS Feeds

AdSense is a viable option for monetizing smaller and low-traffic blogs, especially if you run several websites and focus most of your attention and effort on your larger properties. Implementing AdSense is easy, and on smaller, lower-traffic blogs, you can often place ads more aggressively and get results.

Additionally, AdSense for Feeds provides another option for monetizing your loyal readership. If you have a decent subscriber base, placing ads below your feed can produce some additional revenue.

Integrate Google AdSense and Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers a number of reports and metrics that can help you optimize your AdSense earnings, such as AdSense Exit Reports, AdSense Revenue as an experiment objective, AdSense eCPM, ads clicked, AdSense CTR, and others. Integrating the two accounts enables you to capitalize on this data.

Simply log in to your Google Analytics account, and from your Admin dashboard, select AdSense Linking and then Link Accounts. Monitoring your Analytics and AdSense metrics from a single dashboard tells you what’s working and provides key indicators of areas for improvement, so you can better your blog content, layout, and SEO to boost your revenue.

Running a blog is a major time investment, so the more return you get on your investment, the better. AdSense is a viable means for monetizing your blog or feed, with a multitude of tactics, customizations, and targeting options to fully optimize your earnings.

Try different AdSense settings

There are tons of positions, sizes, colors, etc that you can choose to use on your AdSense ads. Try changing it up from the default. If your site is in WordPress, you can use a plugin like AmpedSense to automate the split testing.

8 Tricks to Boost Your AdSense Earnings

Monetizing a WordPress website with AdSense isn’t difficult, and the key is generating enough traffic to earn a substantial income from your efforts. Adopting a few important AdSense tricks and best practices can help boost earnings while you focus on ramping up your website traffic. These eight tricks will help you secure ads that are highly relevant to your content and will readily engage website visitors through clicks and conversions.

Use Colors Wisely

Colors play a big role in AdSense earnings. Many experts recommend using a color palette that blends in or complements your website design, because website visitors may avoid clicking on links or images that are obviously advertisements. That said, what works for one may not work for another, so the key is to experiment until you find the right combination of colors and contrast that produces the most revenue.

Use A/B or Multivariate Testing

As with colors, testing multiple variations on your ad unit sizes, keywords, layout, and other elements is an incredibly useful exercise that can boost AdSense earnings quickly. Optimize AdSense performance through A/B and multivariate testing, such as placing ads above or below your content. Then compare the performance of text ads versus display ads in different placements to identify which variations will earn you the most revenue.

Place Ad Units Within Page Content

Having high quality, relevant content on your website is essential for earning more money with AdSense. When you have high-quality content that attracts readers, placing ad units strategically within the content can encourage clicks and boost your earnings. Relevant AdSense ads further engage readers and can generate more clicks than ad units placed in sidebars, above, or below content, which some visitors may ignore.

Use Section Targeting for Highly Relevant Ads

Section targeting tells Google’s web crawlers specifically which areas of your website content to explore, and it’s this content that determines ad placements based on relevance. Section targeting helps reduce issues such as ads for vacuum cleaners appearing alongside an article about the joys of kayaking. Instead, this helps to show ads for things like backpacking gear, swimwear, guided kayaking and whitewater rafting trips, and other relevant products and services that are far more likely to be of interest to your readers.

Increase Ad Unit Sizes

Even if you’re not yet generating tons of traffic to your blog or website, you can make your ads perform better by making them more visible to the visitors you do receive. One of the most effective methods for increasing the visibility, and thus, clicks, on AdSense ads is to increase your ad unit sizes. This gives ads a more prominent presence on the page, making them more difficult for visitors to ignore. Additionally, use as many ad units on each page as your page layout permits.

Evaluate Your Website with Heat Maps

A/B and multivariate testing are not the only tests that can help boost AdSense earnings. Heat maps show you where visitors’ eyes are drawn immediately upon landing on your website and where they typically travel next. A heat map test reveals the best locations for placing ad units, based on where your visitors look first and spend the most time on your web pages.

Use Custom Channels to Group Related Content

If your website has several content sections or categories, using custom channels is an excellent tactic for increasing the relevance of AdSense ads and making your website more visible and attractive to advertisers. Additionally, custom channels are often used to evaluate the performance of different content sections or ad units, allowing you to identify the content, ad positions, and other variables that produce the greatest returns.

Keep Your Content Fresh

Ultimately, more visitors often translates to more AdSense earnings. Publishing and promoting new content attracts readers, giving loyal followers a reason to return to your website and increasing your visibility with new audiences. Publish new blog posts or static content pages regularly, but don’t stop there. Distribute your content and promote it across your social networks to establish a larger audience and attract more visitors.

Making more money with AdSense doesn’t have to be a marathon. There are many ways to experiment with AdSense, implement different variations of ad types, placements, and colors, and even off-site strategies that can boost your AdSense revenue. These simple tricks and tips can boost your AdSense earnings substantially in a short time.

5 Reasons Your Visitors Aren’t Clicking on Your AdSense Ads

The reasons your visitors aren’t clicking on your AdSense ads could be many and varied. Here are five common factors that can cause searchers to ignore advertisements and your site’s content altogether.

Ads Don’t Target Blog Audience

Having a website dedicated to online gaming that serves AdSense ads for women’s shoes isn’t well targeted to its audience. Your visitors simply have no interest in those products, so they don’t click on the ads for them. Google automatically uses contextual detection tools to gauge your site’s potential audience based on its content. Adding content every week that’s consistent with your site’s niche can help Google serve ads with greater potential for clicks. 

Change Your Ad Settings: Google allows AdSense advertisers to use interest-based options for serving ads. Interest-based advertising gives you a more effective targeting option to serve ads that are more relevant to your site’s visitors.

Aggressive Keyword Targeting

This issue isn’t your fault, but you can still do something about it. Overzealous keyword targeting at the start of an advertiser’s campaign can also cause ineffective ad placement. The company thought adding as many keywords as possible would lead to more conversions, but it polluted your site with irrelevant ads, causing anemic click-through rates (CTR).

Trim Your Keywords: During the first 90 days of your campaign, trim your keywords through your Adsense Dashboard to block the keywords and advertisers that don’t match your visitor interests. As more relevant ads show on your website, you should begin to see improving impressions and click-through rates.

AdSense Blocked for Your Website

If you’re a first-time webmaster, you or your hosting team could have blocked the Google AdSense bot and not realized it. Because the bot can’t crawl your site, it can’t serve any ads, which is why no one can click on them. Check if you did this by accident by typing “www.yourwebsite.com/robots.txt” into a web browser window. If you see “Disallow: Mediapartners-Google” on the page, you need to fix this issue to allow Google ads to run on your website.

How to Fix Robots.txt: You need file transfer protocol (FTP) access to your site to adjust or create a robots.txt file. Once you’re logged into the FTP, remove the offending lines from the robots.txt file and add “User-agent: Mediapartners-Google” to the file. Leave the “Disallow:” line right underneath the User-agent line blank, like this:

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google

Disallow:

Ads Show Below the Fold

Content displaying below the fold has dramatically lower interaction rates than what visitors see when your site first loads in their browser window. Once visitors start to scroll down your homepage, their engagement diminishes. If you have AdSense ads displaying below the fold, they’ll probably suffer from similar drag.

Re-position Your Ads: Move your ads so that they appear higher on your homepage, which should help improve the number of clicks they receive. If optimizing placement doesn’t result in higher CTR, you may want to cut the total number of ads displayed on your site or check ad targeting as mentioned earlier.

Low Organic Traffic to Your Website

A site with low monthly organic traffic likely doesn’t rank on the first page of Google results for key terms with strong search volume behind them. Without steady search engine traffic to fuel impressions, your AdSense ads won’t have enough opportunities to generate clicks. Improving Google rankings and increasing organic traffic won’t happen overnight, but it’s necessary to drive qualified searchers to your website and ads.

Create High-Quality Content: Set up a weekly blogging schedule to talk about emerging topics in your industry, business promotions, and advice leveraging your expertise. Produce content that doesn’t exist anywhere else, and promote that content through your social media channels. As your site begins to acquire authority in your industry, through organic links to your content, social mentions, and a variety of other factors, you should begin to see improvement in traffic and placement in organic search results.

Improving search engine traffic and optimizing ad placement on your site is part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Address these ad concerns with a multi-pronged approach, and you could see more clicks and added website revenue sooner than later.

You’re not split testing

Split testing allows you to find the best position and settings for your ads that get the most clicks. Try a wordpress plugin like AmpedSense and watch your earnings grow.

How to get the Best AdSense CTR

I’ve spoken a lot on this site about choosing the best colors, best placement, and best sizes for your AdSense ads.

Yet a big question remains – how do you know which of the options for each of these work the best? I’m not talking about just taking suggestions. I mean how do you *really* know for sure that you’ve chosen the right position, size, and colors that are going to give you the best click through rates (CTR)?

The answer: Split testing.

What is split testing?

Split testing means showing visitors different versions of your site and keeping track of which ones are working the best. The traffic is essentially split into equal proportions and all site versions are shown in parallel throughout the data collection period. This is also know as “AB testing” because you are comparing version A with version B.

Let me explain with an example. Pretend we have designed a new logo for our site, but we’re not quite sure everyone’s going to like it. If we split tested, we could show half of the visitors the site with logo A, and the other half the site with logo B. Then we’d keep track of certain metrics – such time on site and orders placed – and when the day was over we’d compare stats to see which one performed the best. Then we’d pick the winner and make that the permanent logo.

It’s important that the test versions be shown at the same times (but to different visitors). If you show one version on Monday, and the next version on Tuesday, your results will be inaccurate (there could be drastic daily differences, in addition to environmental conditions that affect your traffic day by day – even hour by hour). Instead you need to split the traffic throughout the day.

At 8:46 visitor 1 sees version A.
At 8:47 visitor 2 sees version B.
At 8:48 visitor 3 sees version A.
Make sense? This is what we call testing in parallel.

Split testing ads

We can apply this same strategy to split test our ads to see which ones bring in the most revenue for us. We’ll show part of our traffic Ad 1, another part Ad 2, and the rest will see Ad 3. AdSense makes it very easy see the difference in performance between ads since they keep a lot of reporting data we can use to make decisions.

When you split test ads, it’s very important that you test in parallel instead of changing your ads over time. Ad performance heavily influenced by external factors outside your control (such as day of week, advertisers, even time of day), so you’ll make the wrong decision if you keep switching your ads yourself. Look at this example of my AdSense revenue for one site over a week:

Spike in AdSense earnings

You can see that if I had tested one ad on Saturday, and then a different ad on Sunday, I would have incorrectly concluded that the Sunday ad performed a million times better. But in reality there was no change in ads and my traffic was the same – perhaps there was a new advertiser dumping money into Google.

How to split test

You typically have three options to set up AdSense split testing on your wordpress site.

1) Use AdSense Experiments
Google created a feature in AdSense that allows you to split test ads. It’s relatively simple if you’re just going to be testing size and ad type, but trying to test multiple ads or different positions is not possible. That’s a bummer because that’s typically where you’re going to see your biggest increases. Read more about it here: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/4599562?hl=en

2) Program a random split tester
If you know how to code PHP, it’s not terribly difficult to create a little script that will rotate your ads for you. But again, it can get increasingly complicated as you want to try different positions, quantities, etc.

3) Use a WordPress plugin
Wordpress has a slew of plugins out there. Searching from within your admin you’ll find plugins that help you inject adsense ads, and other plugins that help you rotate content to be split tested. The bad news is that there are currently no plugins that will allow you easily split test AdSense accurately, while keeping track of their stats.

Which is why I created a plugin that solved all my problems.

I was sick of having low AdSense earnings. Annoyed at tiny click-through-rates. Furious at miniscule RPM’s. And even more bothered that no one had created a solution like this already. So I took matters into my own hands and developed something that changed all that.

You can put something like this together if you know how to write WordPress plugins, understand the AdSense API, and have a few days to spare.

But if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you don’t. Your time is valuable. I realized this after a few people started asking me about sharing my custom built plugin with them.

So I’ve decided to put it up for sale, and would love to see you experience many of the same successes I’ve had with this plugin in your websites. Accurately split testing your AdSense ads and keeping precise stats so you know for a fact which ones bring you the most income – it’s something you’re going to wonder how you lived without.

Grab the plugin today for just $59. There’s no monthly cost, and I back it with a 30 day moneyback guarantee. There’s absolutely no risk to you.

PS. Be careful of some of the free WordPress plugins out there. In the past people have been known to swap out your advertiser ID with their own, meaning they’re getting paid for your clicks instead of you (nasty!)