If you have a website, a blog, or any other kind of presence on the internet, Google has a way to monetize it. It's called Google AdSense, and it's a program that tries to make everyone a financial winner: advertisers get new clients or sales through the AdWords program, Google gets money to serve those ads, and you get money when people click on them.
Using internet search technology, Google will serve ads that are relevant to the specific content of a web page. For instance, if someone is on a web page that's covering the latest golf tournament, Google will serve ads for golf clubs or golfing attire. If you own that site, you get paid every time someone clicks on one of those ads. This is usually called Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising.
You may not even notice banner ads anymore. As an internet-savvy society, we have learned to filter them out. There is also banner-filtering software available because banner ads can be very annoying, and that could harm your website readership. However, Google AdSense is different because ads are less intrusive than large banner ads, and the content is specifically relevant to the web page, and therefore has more impact.
It's also possible to make a healthy living from Google Ads. With the right combination of traffic, content, and users, you can make thousands of dollars every single month. You cannot expect to throw Google Ads onto your site, sit back, relax, and watch the money roll in. It doesn't work that way. Like anything in business, it takes an investment of your time to get a return that you can bank on.
How It Works
If you currently have a blog or website that gets 100,000 visitors every single month, that's more than 1 million every year. Consider how that relates to potential ad revenue:
- You have 100,000 ad impressions (views).
- You have a click-through rate (CTR) of 1%, which is standard.
- 1% of 100,000 is 1,000.
- If the CPC of the ad is $0.01, you make $10.
- If the CPC of the ad is $1.00, you make $1,000.
There's a big difference between the two, and obviously, most ads do not payout at the $1/click rate. You are more likely to see a rate somewhere between those two, which adds up to possibly hundreds of dollars each month. The more obvious and widespread the keyword of the ad, which is what triggers the ad itself, the lower the CPC—and that is information you can use.
Whether you want to make money off the blog or website you already have, or you want to create a blog with the sole purpose of making AdSense money, there are several ways you can increase your revenue:
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) writing to maximize the keywords in your content.
- Write more. The more you write about your subject, the more keywords you have for Google to search and feed ads to.
- Write often. More content is everything, and the fresher the better.
- Post useful, accurate content. When you post garbage filled with keywords, it is difficult to read and doesn't bring people back. You want your site to be sticky, so it generates traffic.
- Find a niche. Talking about football is good, but thousands of people are doing it. A less popular topic such as movie soundtrack collections is another story.
- Don't create too much bad traffic. It's easier than you'd think to create a lot of traffic, but if it's not qualified, and people aren't there to read your content, then it will be a flash in the pan. It also affects your CTR.
- Make use of Google Analytics. Google gives you free tools to assess your website to make a profit.
One of the biggest issues you face when you start running ads on your site is the competition. Depending on the kind of site you run, you could find that ads start being served that are in direct competition with what you are selling or offering. For example, if you have a site dedicated to drop shipping a certain product, perhaps Disney toys or snow globes, you suddenly could see ads for those products directing your visitors away from your site. This is not good for business.
Can anything be done about this? Yes. Google anticipated this very issue and allows you to block content from up to 500 different URLs. However, it's a little tricky to know who to block until you start seeing those ads show up. Even worse, you may never see those ads because of the way AdSense serves up the content.
Also, as an AdSense user, you cannot click on these links directly to see where the ads are being directed to. It's a clear violation of the rules of using AdSense, but you can right-click on the ad if you're lucky enough to see it and discover the link or URL to block. This depends on a little luck.
Perhaps the best way to create a list is to search Google for the kinds of products or services you are selling, and note the top 50 different URLs that come up. That's a good way to block ad traffic from sites that clearly are in competition with you.