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The basics of effectively using Google Adsense

Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows publishers in the Google Network of content sites to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience // Photo by Carlos Luna.

Making any real money with Google Adsense requires in-depth knowledge and dedication. So developing an advertising strategy early on will give your publishing ventures a competitive edge.

Google’s innovative technology makes it easier than ever to connect your readers with ads that are relevant to their interests, which is why over 2 million publishers are currently using the marketing platform. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll do all the work for you.

If you want the opportunity to cash in on your website’s traffic, you’ll need to develop a website that is optimized for ads. And more importantly– you need to consistently publish original, engaging content that brings quality to your readers. Here are some tips to consider as you embed Google ads into your website:

Pick the right web theme and layout

Most new will WordPress themes are designed with advertising in mind. So when you’re looking for a new theme for your site, you’ll want to see what kind of ad space is available on the page. Generally, a 300 pixel-wide sidebar and space at the top of the page for a 728 px by 90 px ad is what I look for. A good WordPress Theme will give you the options to easily modify the way your ads are displayed on each page and display your ads in strategic spaces.

Consistently publish content

Developing a habit of consistently publishing new content (that’s unique, engaging and adds value to your readers!) will help you grow your website and make it profitable. But it’ll also affect your Google search rank. Publishing new posts on a consistent basis will make your site rank higher in the search engines, which will drive more traffic to your site.

Consider learning some basic code

Coding can feel like a foreign language. Fortunately, there are books on HTML and CSS that make it easy for beginners to learn the basics of coding without a lot of time and expensive classes. Familiarizing yourself with how websites are designed and how they function will help you stay competitive in an age when coding is taught in public schools.

Make sure your content is relevant

Google Adsense has very precise targeting software that allows advertisers to reach the audience that they’re looking for, which means more clicks on ads. This also means more ad revenue for publishers. But in order for Google to post relevant ads on your site, they need to know what your site is all about. So if you’re running a site about something like lawn maintenance, your website needs to be rich with titles, pictures and keywords that are relevant to this topic. Pick a topic that you have extensive knowledge in early on and stay consistent.

Consider your mobile readers

Now more than ever, it’s important to remember that many of your readers are viewing your site on their mobile devices. So if you’re not thinking about these readers, you may be missing out on a large chunk of ad revenue. Of the handful of sites that I manage, roughly 25 percent of my readers view these sites from either a mobile phone or a tablet. Fortunately, Google Adsense makes it simple to optimize your site for your on-the-go users with multi-screen guidelines.

Stay up-to-date on Google’s policies

Google is constantly updating their Adsense programs to make them more profitable and efficient for publishers, readers and advertisers. They also keep up a blog called Inside Adsense, which chronicles their changes and makes it easier for publishers to stay up to date.

Link your Adsense account to Google Analytics

If you want to grow your website and your ad revenue, you need to understand your audience. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that helps you better understand your site visitors and define the right strategy for your site. I’ll go over Google Analytics further in a future post.

Barry Falls Jr
Barry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he studied sociology, journalism, and business entrepreneurship. He has over five years of experience working with small web-based startups to assist them with growing their engagement and creating online communities around their brand. He's the editor of Frontier Desk.

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