Google Adsense 101: Monetizing Your Website or Blog

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on August 26, 2011
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Whether you run a popular blog or just want to make a few extra bucks from your e-commerce site, Google’s AdSense tool can help monetize your web traffic. By signing up for the AdSense platform, you’ll enable your site to automatically display targeted ads based on keywords that fit your content, and you’ll earn money based on how many users view or click on a particular ad. Here’s how to get started with AdSense — and maximize its earning potential.

Get your site ad-ready before signing up. The AdSense platform isn’t as exclusive as most advertising networks, but it does have certain standards. In order to be accepted as a publishing partner, your site needs to be family-friendly: That means no pornography, illegal drug references, or Deadwood-esque language. Google also likes to see a reasonable level of traffic, so it’s wise to focus on building an audience for your site before approaching the network. For more details on the AdSense program policies, check out Google’s official guide.

To maximize profits, focus your site on a high-paying niche. Advertisers pay more for different keywords: Law firms and mortgage companies might pay more than $30 for a single ad click; less marketable terms may command 50 cents or less. To make real money from AdSense, you’ll have to focus your site around a topic area that’s both popular and profitable, such as cosmetic surgery or high-end photography equipment — without resorting to spam tactics.

Create compelling content on a regular basis. By offering new, high-quality blog posts that are relevant to your niche at least a few times a week, you’ll grow your audience and acquire backlinks, which will help your target keywords rise to the top of Google’s search results. In turn, this will help attract new readers to your site, increasing your advertising revenue.

Keep a clean design. If you want visitors to click on your AdSense ads, it’s important to maintain a clutter-free site design that won’t draw their attention away from the ads. Avoid flashing banners and oversize graphics, so the AdSense ad space will draw readers’ eyes.

If you’re not receiving relevant ads, change the keywords in your content. You may find that the ads you’re receiving have little to do with what your site’s about. Or maybe you’re not receiving any ads at all. In either case, the keywords in your content are probably the culprits. Check Google’s AdWords keyword tool to find out how many people are searching for your most-used phrases. If the number is small, look for more popular related terms and start incorporating them into your articles.

Keep in mind that no matter what you do, AdSense is unlikely to make you rich: Most publishers earn from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars per month. However, if you’re willing to put some work into monetizing your site, Google’s ad network can provide an ongoing source of supplementary income.

kathryn

Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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