Bloggers and website owners publish material for various purposes, and it’s not uncommon for some bloggers to decide they want to monetize their content. It’s also an excellent way for business owners to generate extra cash from their website or social media.
Many website owners use Google AdSense for their websites, blogs, and YouTube videos to monetize their online presence. While there are alternative options for monetizing your website, Google AdSense remains the most popular. After all, Google is the online advertising market leader and commanded nearly a 30% share of digital ad spending globally in 2021.
- Google AdSense can earn you money from your online content.
- It’s easy to set up, and there are numerous ad types.
- Learn about CPC and how much money you’re likely to make.
What is Google AdSense?
Google AdSense is a Google advertising platform that enables website owners to monetize their web pages. It is also a method of increasing the traffic to your website, and advertisers bid to place advertising on your blog, YouTube channel, or website.
If a website visitor clicks or watches an ad on your site, you receive a percentage of the advertiser’s bid. Google takes the difference as their fee as the mediator.
How does AdSense work?
While we don’t know all the details, as Google doesn’t disclose its’ secrets, we can still explain the basic premise. If your website has unique content and complies with AdSense’s other policies, you can apply for an AdSense ad account.
Once approved, you can arrange for ads to appear on your website. You can choose which types of ads run and where on the page they will appear, playing around with ad sizes, ad space, and ad types.
To set up the ads, you’ll need access to your website’s design features or backend so you can paste the ad code onto the page. These ads will be either relevant to the content of your website or users’ previous searches, based on Google’s “secretive” algorithms.
So, for example, if you write a travel blog, an airline company might pay to advertise on your page if they think they can attract your audience. Alternatively, if you own a website selling holiday packages, an advertiser selling luggage may place an ad on one of your pages.
The companies that show up on your site bid for their right to be there, and a few things will determine their bid price (which we’ll go into in more detail in a moment). If you have a high-performing web page with high-quality content where many visitors click on the ad, that ad space is valuable to the advertiser, so they’re likely to pay more.
Keep in mind that Google AdSense works on a cost-per-click and revenue-sharing basis. So, as a website owner, your task is to generate as much web traffic as possible to your site and then get those visitors to click on the ads placed strategically on the site.
Just don’t cheat. If you specifically instruct people to click on your ads or click on them yourself, Google will find out. And they will punish you, likely with suspension.
A closer look at CPC
CPC, or cost per click, is the price businesses pay when someone clicks on their advert. They get to choose the amount they’ll pay per click, and you get a percentage of that as a commission (usually 68%).
Your commission can range from $0.20 to $15 (or more). It depends on the traffic to your site, your niche, and how many competitors there are within your niche.
For example, high-paying niches are insurance, online education, marketing, and advertising, with insurance averaging over $15 per click (and even up to $54 per click). However, most niches bring less than $3 per click.
The most crucial factor that determines the CPC is traffic. You can run a blog on a high-paying nice with strategically-placed ads, but it amounts to nothing if your website has no visitors.
Say you have a clickthrough rate of 2%. So, 2% of visitors will click on an advert on your website. If you want to generate revenue from that 2%, you need a substantial number of visitors in the first place.
How much does Google AdSense pay?
It depends on what the advertiser is willing to pay per click, but here’s a basic breakdown. Say you get 4,000 views on your site in a month, and 1.5% of those people click an ad — that’s 60 clicks. So if an advertiser makes a bid of 75 cents per click, you would see up to $45 for that month.
AdSense has a helpful tool to help estimate how much you could generate from your blog. This tool will give you a good idea of how much traffic you need. Head to the handy ‘revenue calculator‘ to get an idea based on the type of content you create and the geographical location of your audience.
You won’t earn $1000 a month unless you have a great website with 20-30 pages of relevant, high-quality content.
How to create an AdSense account?
Now that you know a bit more about how the money side of Adsense works let’s look at the process of getting an account and setting up different ads on your site.
It’s completely free to join; however, Google Adsense will only authorize ads on high-quality websites to protect the integrity of its ad network. So, to get an AdSense account, you need to meet specific requirements in your application.
You need to:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have an active Gmail account that’s not linked to an AdSense account.
- Have a website that meets all of Google’s terms of service.
This last element is where things can get a little complicated, but generally speaking, it’s good to follow these guidelines:
- Your website should have at least 30 pages of unique content.
- Your website should be at least six months old.
- Your website should be getting regular traffic – there isn’t a minimum amount of traffic but the more, the better.
Here is the specific process step-by-step:
- To start, head to https://www.google.com/adsense/start.
- Click on “get started.”
- Enter the website URL you want to host the ads (your blog or online business).
- Enter your Gmail.
- Here, you can choose whether you want AdSense to send you tailored help and performance assistance. We recommend opting in for this to learn how to monetize your site efficiently and skillfully. Additionally, take advantage of the helpful AdSense community, where you can gain insights into how best to manage your ads.
- Once you make your decision, click “save and continue.”
- Sign in to your Google account, where you’ll need to give your country/location.
- Check the terms and conditions before reviewing and accepting. Then, click on “create your account.” Now you will have access and can start experimenting with ads for passive income.
You’ll receive a snippet of code to add to your site within the <head> </head> section. This connects your site to Google AdSense for them to review. It usually takes 24-48 hours but can take up to two weeks.
There are simple and easy instructions demonstrating how to do this. Then, once approved, you’re all set to take the next step.
The different types of AdSense ads
Always keep the user’s end goal in mind in your decision-making process related to ads. Before running ads on your site, you need to understand the variety of ad types and how to use them.
1. Display ads
Display ads are responsive and will often automatically fit the visitor’s screen size. Digital advertising comes in different formats and sizes and appears on over three million websites. Experiment with the size of these ads first to determine which works best for your website.
A display ad on Entrepreneur
2. In-article ads
In-article ads are great if you aim to provide a seamless user experience since they don’t disrupt text flow too much. They blend well with the layout of your page, fitting alongside placements that complement the reader’s flow when viewing. They are a favorite among those optimizing for mobile phones for this reason.
3. In-feed ads
A feed is a stream of content that you can scroll through. So, by extension, in-feed ads let you customize your feeds to include ads. These are native ads that fit within the context of an article without disrupting the reading experience, as readers can continue scrolling.
Many will be familiar with the in-feed ads you see on Facebook. You can scroll right past them, but they may be of interest since they are fully customizable. In-feed ads aren’t overly intrusive to the user as they fit within the context.
4. Matched content
Matched content ads are relevancy-based ads recommended to your site visitors. These enable you to promote related content elsewhere on your site for visitors.
Google will flag alternate content pages on a website to encourage visitors to click through to other pages on a site. Matched content ads are great for your website as they encourage visitors to spend more time on-site and not elsewhere on competitor sites.
5. Link ads
Link ads are a more basic form of an ad using the ad text link format. They are single-image ads that help promote your website, article, or post-click landing page. Businesses can use the same ads in different places to reach more people, and they can be responsive or take on a fixed size.
6. Video ads
Video ads feature video content and are effective mechanisms to create those thumb-stopping moments. With the growth of social media, it’s no surprise that video ads are growing in prominence.
When done right, their attention-grabbing quality entices customers to click. When done wrong, you compromise the user experience with unwanted disruptive, rich media that detracts from the rest of the content.
7. Sticky ads
Sticky ads remain fixed on the screen as the user scrolls. These ads lead to high viewability since they are difficult to ignore. However, many users find these ads irritating and may adversely affect your user experience.
Auto ads vs. ad units
There are two different methods of placing ads and monetizing your website. When you login into your AdSense account, you’ll have the option to choose between auto ads or ad units.
Choosing ad units lets you play around with the ad formats. You have complete control over their placement within specific guidelines. On the other hand, you can also use auto ads and let Google take care of all the ad placements on your website.
Having control of some of the ad categories you want to display on your website will allow you to maintain brand consistency and select the ads that make sense in context, as you don’t want to detract from the primary purpose of your website.
It’s best to prioritize user experience over any attempts to monetize your site, particularly for online businesses whose primary purpose is to sell products and services. Running ads should not come at the expense of your web design or page layout that still needs to serve its purpose and look inviting and uncluttered to the reader.
Top tips for success
Success won’t happen overnight, and you’ll need to implement strategies with long-term planning in mind, both in terms of your content creation and your ad optimization strategies.
The success of your AdWords depends on several factors, and since you’re using Google’s advertising software, it’s advisable to check their tips for moneymaking success.
Here are some basic guidelines and tips for making money with Google AdSense, or at least giving yourself the best chance:
- Comply with all Google policies. Don’t try and do anything to induce clicks artificially.
- Maintain high ad viewability (IAB recommends at least 70%).
- Focus on great content as this leads to a longer session duration. Keep writing and updating to let Google know you are constantly working on your website.
- Don’t overfill your site with ads, which can negatively affect user experience.
- As you tinker with ads, make changes one at a time and continuously monitor performance. A/B testing is always good practice to follow when assessing website performance.
There are many alternatives to AdSense, including AdMob, WordAds, and DoubleClick. Here are some of the critical differences that you need to consider.
1. AdSense vs. Google Ads
Though both are part of Google’s advertising network, AdSense is an entirely different product from Google Ads, and they require separate accounts. Bloggers and website owners use AdSense to monetize content, whereas business owners use Google Ads to buy ad space on Google.
With Google Ads, Google is, in effect, the seller, whereas Google is the mediating buyer with AdSense since they are buying your space on behalf of an advertiser.
2. AdSense vs. AdMob
Google AdMob is a mobile ad network that offers monetization opportunities and detailed reports to app developers, whereas AdSense targets mobile web publishers.
Source: Google AdMob
3. AdSense vs. WordAds
WordAds is a great platform to consider using if you are a WordPress blogger. Like AdSense, WordAds allows bloggers and website owners to generate ad revenue by displaying advertisements on their sites or blogs.
Google’s AdSense takes a little technical know-how to set up and only pays out when users click on ads. However, WordAds pays per impression rather than per click. In addition, you can integrate WordAds with WordPress very quickly without knowing how to code.
4. AdSense vs. DoubleClick Bid Manager
DoubleClick aims to take out the middleman by creating an online bidding exchange putting advertisers in direct contact with publishers. This arrangement can be beneficial for premium publishers and advertisers who can demand high prices by selling their advertising space directly to advertisers.
DoubleClick has now been migrated to Google Marketing Platform to unify advertising and analytics.
Source: Google Marketing Platform
Advantages and disadvantages of AdSense
Making money from AdSense is a viable revenue stream if you have a well-established blog with a decent amount of regular visitors.
Advantages of AdSense:
- It’s free to sign up and use, so you’re getting money for nothing.
- AdSense is relatively painless to set, and you can monitor performance easily with Google Analytics.
- Many publishers and advertisers use it, so many stakeholders continually look to improve the service. You can benefit from researching the community.
- AdSense supports a broad range of ad formats, so there is plenty of room for experimentation to see what works best.
Disadvantages of AdSense:
- Ads will often compromise the user experience of your website. They can clutter the layout, provide distractions, and even slow down your site, not to mention the idea that many users don’t want to see ads in the first place. This dynamic is something you have to reckon with when using AdSense.
- If Google detects any fraudulent or suspicious clicks, it will suspend your account, meaning you miss out on earnings.
- To start earning money with AdSense, you need to have a high-traffic, high-quality website.
With AdSense you can start making money right away. The AdSense program is an excellent website monetization strategy for content creators to earn an income and generate revenue from their content.
Flippa is the best marketplace for buying and selling websites. You can use Flippa to find your estimated website value in no time. Utilize our free website valuation calculator, browse Google AdSense websites for sale, apps, and domains for sale, list your online business for sale or learn more about how we verify Google AdSense revenue.
Frequently asked questions
What do I need to sign up for AdSense?
Besides meeting essential eligibility criteria, you’ll need to populate your website with plenty of pages filled with unique, relevant content. We recommend at least 20 pages, but probably closer to 30 would be better.
While we don’t know for sure about Google’s selection process, we can share this advice based on other user experiences. Before you apply, you can do your best to prepare by visiting the AdSense Help Center.
How can AdSense help with business growth?
AdSense is great for those with regular, decent-sized website traffic to monetize their website, and business owners can earn extra revenue to reinvest somewhere else in the business.
AdSense offers websites a way to earn passive income. Most of the process is automated and done for you, allowing you to stay focused on creating great content for your website. At the same time, it’s not difficult to take charge if you want to engage in some experimentation with your ad optimization strategies.
Can I link multiple sites to one AdSense account?
You can manage multiple sites and their ad performances from one AdSense account. This capability is helpful for website owners to manage all their sites’ ad metrics in one place.
Why is my revenue going down?
There could be various reasons for a decline in AdSense revenue. We suggest heading to your AdSense account to check four specific engagement metrics:
- Clickthrough rate (CTR).
- Cost per click (CPC).
- Page revenue per thousand impressions (Page RPM).
A careful analysis of these metrics should lead to a decrease in revenue. Why are fewer people visiting your site? Why are fewer people clicking on your ads? It could be ad type or size. It’s your responsibility to find out the underlying causes, make amendments to your ads, and track the consequences of your alterations.
How and when do you get paid?
There is a process to getting paid through Google AdSense. You’ll need to head into your account to fill out some information first. You’ll also need to confirm personal information, including verifying the accuracy of your payment address and payee name. You may also need to provide tax information depending on your location.
Verifying your address is quite complicated. When your earnings reach the address verification threshold, your Google ad manager will mail a PIN to the payee address in your AdSense account. You’ll then need to enter this pin into your AdSense account – you won’t get paid without doing this step. They’ll send the pin by standard post, and it can take up to 3 weeks to arrive.
Once you’ve filled out your pin, you can select your form of payment. Several forms of payment are available, including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), wire transfer, etc.