Google Adsense – A Guide For Beginners
Updated: Sep 3, 2018
Google Adsense as a platform for advertising on websites, is potentially a highly interesting source of revenue for site operators.
In this tutorial today, I will introduce you step by step to the most important aspects of the advertising service and explain how to make your online presence (whether blog, topic page, expert forum or similar) fit for AdSense advertising to make additional money with your own content to earn.
1. AdSense, AdWords ... what's the difference?
2. AdSense for Websites – the Basics
3. CPC, CTR and RPM
4. Google AdSense for Beginners
5. The filter for competition ads
6. AdSense for mobile devices
7. Monitor your AdSense activity
8. Constant optimization and testing
AdSense, AdWords ... what's the difference?
AdWords is for advertisers - AdSense is for site owners.
While Google uses its AdWords program to sell ad space on its own search results pages and partner sites such as YouTube to advertisers, AdSense provides site owners - also
known as publishers - with oppoutunity to place ads from Google on their sites and the ads are inserted into defined spaces on your site. So, if you allow AdSense to appear
on your site in the form of text and image ads, Google will pay you a certain amount for every click or impression that people see on the ad.
AdSense for Websites - the Basics
Before spreading the gold rush mood, a few words of caution should be applied. Ads should not be the main part of your site. After all, your readers are with you because of
your exciting, informative or entertaining content and not because you want to put in front of them a virtual advertising billboard. Even Google itself calls for clever dosing - "First, think about your users". If you annoy your users with too much advertising, they will bounce off quickly. Less visitors ... fewer ad clicks ... a vicious cycle.
Ads should not displace the main content of a page. The various specific sizes, shapes and formats to position Google Adsense commercials are too numerous to fully describe
them here (see all here). However, the basic principle remains the same: Ads should be clearly visible and recognizable to the user without taking away too much from the
The selection of different ad sizes is huge.
However, Google itself recommends the following 4 as the most successful ad types:
336 x 280 large rectangle
300 x 250 medium rectangle
728 x 90 leaderboard
300 x 600 half page
Why exactly these sizes work better than others? Google's bidding system expects advertisers to create numerous multimedia ads for placement on the publisher network.
However, many companies prefer to limit themselves to a few ad types and save the work of creating ads for every possible size. In other words, for you as a "landlord" of ad
space, the potential pool of advertisers and thus revenue is reduced if you allow poorly used ad sizes on your site.
So, limit yourself to these 4 sizes and there will be significantly more advertisers courting your ad slots.
Image vs. Text ads
Many webmasters believe that for their page, either image-based or text-only ads generate the most revenue - ultimately, Google's bidding system should just do its job and
allow the highest bidder - be it text or image - on the page, Locking half of the bidders through a text or image-only policy can only lead to lower revenues.
However, if you notice after your own testing on your page that your page design, for example, gets significantly better results only with text ads, it could be that the visitors to your page only accidentally or unintentionally click on the ads, because they do not differentiate the ads from your page layout. While this will give you many additional clicks, it violates the Google AdSense Terms of Service and should be resolved promptly. So, allow image and text too. This increases the competition.
Ad Design - Blend, Complement, Contrast
Here too, opinions differ. Should ads be placed and coloured in such a way that they fit unobtrusively into the design of the page? Or do you get more clicks with more eye-
catching ads that stand out? There is no statistically proven golden rule here.
So my tip - ask yourself what you prefer as a user. And the answer is clear for the vast majority of us. Why bother your users with unattractive-looking ads and risk fleeing when you get similar results with colour-matched ads in blended or complementary designs? In addition, you want to reduce the character, appearance and user experience on your site as little as possible through advertising. Sure, we want to make money with Google Adsense. But we also need visitors who come back.
CPC, CTR and RPM
If you cannot handle these 3 acronyms, it does not matter. After all, you're a newcomer to the AdSense world. Here are Google's definitions for the three:
CPC: Cost Per Click (CPC) is the amount you earn for each click of a user on the ads on your page.
CTR: The CTR of the page (CTR) is calculated by the number of ad clicks your page generates, divided by the number of pageviews.
RPM: Revenue per 1000 impressions (RPM) is the estimated revenue that will accrue for every 1000 impressions you generate. It is estimated by dividing revenue by the number
of pageviews and multiplying the result by 1000. Example: For revenues of 180 Euro from 50,000 ad impressions, the RPM is 3.60 € (180 Euro /50.000 * 1000 = 3.60 Euro) for the
You work with these metrics when you rate the performance of your ad slots.
When researching the Google AdSense Cosmos, you'll come across all sorts of outlandish claims in blogs that have great promises a la "Learn the secrets of a high AdSense CPC" or "How to get more AdSense clicks in 3 steps". In our experience, these are usually either risky tactics that risk excluding the account or the reader is lured with an attractive headline and then led into a sales loop at the end of which is usually an overpriced eBook with little useful information.
We have little control over the cost per click as a publisher. Much of the calculation to determine your CPC will depend on the particular niche of your website
(entertainment, technology, marketing, etc.) - and you cannot really influence that factor (unless of course you get down to business and establish a brand new web presence
designed only for the lucrative niche).
Similar to Google AdWords program, prices per click can vary between a few cents and $ 5 to $10, depending on how competitive your keyword is. But the higher the competition
for a keyword or category, the less likely you are to get large numbers of qualified visitors to your page ... why? Exactly because there is a lot of competition around this
topic or this niche.
But let's take a look at a fictitious situation where many AdSense users will find themselves and with which we can better visualize the three metrics and answer the
question, "What exactly is Google paying for now?" "But is $5.00 per click not better than 30c per click?"
Not necessarily. What does it matter to you if Google pays you $100 per click, but you did not generate a valid click on your page ...? At this point, the clickthrough rate
comes into play.
Let's add the third metric, the RPM. We remember: RPM stands for revenue per 1000 impressions. This metric makes much clearer statements about how much Google pays you for the attention of your visitors. Remember, even a small increase in RPM is noticeable on a page with ever-increasing pageviews. Another advantage of RPM as a metric is that it
can be easily compared across different advertising channels.
CPC and CTR are important metrics to watch for ... Of course, as a site owner, you want the highest possible CPC. And of course you will test the CTR of various ad forms and
designs. But what really matters to you as a publisher is sales. And for that, CTR and CPC alone are simply not meaningful enough.
In the remaining part of the tutorial, we'll look at how to filter specific ads, what to consider in the context of Google AdSense for mobile devices, how to effectively monitor their AdSense activity, and much more.
Let's continue with our beginner's guide to Google AdSense advertising platform. In the first half of the tutorial, we looked at the different ad types, ad styles, and key metrics for working with AdSense. Let's dig deeper and get fit for your own AdSense campaign ....
The filter for competition ads
As a site owner, Google AdSense allows you to exclude certain ads based on the following parameters:
• URL (Ebay.com, amazon.com)
• Ad category (clothing, cars, pets)
• Ad networks (DoubleClick, AdWords)
These will most likely, if any, be used as filter options. Alternatively, it is of course open to site operators to release each ad manually. However, this will cost you a lot of time and attention, and will most likely impact your advertising revenue as Google AdSense is designed to be the most dynamic bid-based advertising system and works best.
Google recommends that you generally allow as many ads as possible. Advertisers bid on ad slots based on keywords and subject categories, so the highest bid ad for your place
ends up with your domain ... ... even if it's not very appealing ... ..and even if that ad has been in your ad slot for months. Remember, Google's goal is to achieve maximum
profit with your ad space. However, if the highest bid is a thorn in your side, you can manually exclude it.
Basically, Google does its job very well here. With all the information the search engine giant gathers about user behaviour, Google is generally better able to extract the
best-performing ads for your ad slot than you are.
Nonetheless, there are scenarios for which the filter for competing ads are created:
• Ads from direct competitors populate your page
• Annoying audio or video ads that are activated via mouse roll-over
• Ads from companies that you cannot morally represent
Google AdSense for mobile devices
You've probably already noticed that Google AdSense ads that are displayed on mobile devices look different than their desktop counterparts. Google implemented a number of
changes here some time ago to make the ads even more 'touch-friendly' for mobile users. For example, font sizes have been changed and graphic elements (clickable arrows) have
been established in order to achieve more mobile clicks.
What does that mean for you? First, you should check the statistics for your own page, because depending on your setup, the results will of course vary. If the mobile clicks are negligible, you need to change something. There are too many scenarios to make a general statement at this point, but if mobile users are not clicking on your ads, then you should look closely at whether the content of your page is presented on mobile devices as well as on 'normal' computers.
With more people using smartphones, tablets, and the like online every day, keep an eye on these stats for your ads. If you already have a special mobile version of your website, you will be eligible for the separate mobile ads. Otherwise, you could use the normal Adsense code.
Monitor your Google AdSense activity
Getting AdSense valid cause-and-effect statements is about as hard as classic SEO. Is the increase in the CTR caused by the change in the colour scheme of my site, or have I
just recently seen more 'click-through' ads appear on my site? Is the record summer weekend or new ad design responsible for my poor AdSense performance? With so many
variables available, it's hard to be sure - and Google even likes that. Ultimately, this uncertainty is also beneficial for site owners ... that makes it difficult to manipulate.
Nevertheless, we as webmasters can get an overview of the most important variables and regularly analyse the current data to optimize our AdSense performance.
Google AdSense already provides pretty much all the important monitoring data. As soon as your AdSense activity launches, you should link your AdSense account to your Analytics account because past data cannot be restored. The most important step you should take is to give specific labels for each of your ads. The AdSense console makes it relatively easy for users to monitor the performance of each ad. All you have to do is create a custom channel for each of your ad units, and you can closely monitor the performance of individual ads (groups).
After one to two months of data collection, you will surely find one or the other malfunctioning ad. By linking to Analytics, you can also see exactly which subpage of your
website is performing. With this information, you can get rid of the weak ads and do your users and your overall CTR a favour. You can also decide if you want to run additional ads on well-functioning pages. In addition, simple A/B testing can help you find out which ad types and designs work best for your page.
How to protect your AdSense account
In general, it's not that easy to be approved for AdSense. It is much more difficult to resume the program after being disqualified for non-compliance. Therefore, Google
AdSense Publishers should refrain from:
• Sneaking Clicks on Ads
• Website content of a pornographic, violent or racial nature
• Favouring comment, forum or user spam
• Using material that violates copyright laws
• Advertising 'Resources' or 'Selected Links'
• Publishing AdSense data
• Manipulation of the Google AdSense code
Constant optimization and testing
Never stop optimizing and testing. While you should stay away from the above activities, you can certainly achieve higher revenues by continually refining and adjusting your
Maybe the ads that are inspired by the design of your page do not work as well as the contrasting ones. Test it and find out.
Google repeatedly sends you ads of whose performance you are simply not convinced? Turn on the filter and observe the result..