Wondering how to sell advertising on your website and make money?
The good news is, once you have developed a reasonable size audience (let’s say 10,000 or more visits per month), you can then begin to monetize this traffic by selling advertising space on your site. While there are ways to sell dedicated ad banners directly to companies, the simplest way to get started is through Google AdSense.
What is Google Adsense?
Simply put, AdSense is a program that allows you to place advertising in your site, serving up text, images, video and other content, targeted to both your site content and the viewing audience.
AdSense ads are dynamic, meaning the display changes according to the individual visitor’s profile with Google, rather than simply displaying the same static ad to every visitor. What this means for you is a more relevant and targeted ad offering, resulting in more clicks and more advertising revenue for you.
Getting Paid With AdSense
Once your AdSense earnings reach the minimum payment threshold (usually around US$10, but this varies from country to country), you will receive payment. Google gives a variety of options for payment, from cheques sent by post, Western Union, electronic transfers, to international wire transfers.
Keep in mind international wire transfers can be expensive, and some of the payment methods that Google offers are only suitable for use within the USA or other markets. Google pays you monthly, assuming you meet the payment threshold each month. Smaller amounts get rolled into the following month/s until you meet the threshold, triggering a payment at the end of that month.
How much will you be paid?
The traditional method of payment is on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis, whereby Google pays you 68% of the amount it charges the Google AdWords customer for that click. See these posts for more detail on Google AdWords, which is the opposite end to the AdSense system. Google AdWords effectively auctions the price of each ad in real time, meaning CPCs can vary dramatically depending on the time, day, level of competition, and specific keywords involved. Either way, you’ll receive 68% of that AdWords CPC value at the time when your visitor clicks on the ad.
For a real-life example of revenue from AdSense, Pat Flynn’s Security Guard Training HQ website (http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com/) in the month of March 2015 had around 80,000 visits and made a total of US$3,162.93 (see his income breakdown here http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/my-monthly-income-report-march-2015). That equals around US$39.50 per thousand visits to his site.
Your RPM (Revenue Per Thousand visits) may not be as high as the above, depending on your site content and the visitors you attract. For nonspecific forum sites, social networks and non-business directories, you might expect anywhere between US$0.25 – US$3 RPM. Content rich blogs with a strong focus may command anywhere between US$1 – US$10 RPM, and specific product-related review sites may earn US$10 and up (sometimes much more) RPM. Of course, this RPM depends not just on the number of views, but also on the percentage of visitors who click on your ads and therefore trigger a CPC for both you and the advertiser.
Where to Position Your Ads?
Google allows you to position a maximum of 3 ad units, 3 link units, and 2 search boxes on each page, however placing all of these on one page may make your page feel cluttered and less than professional.
Try to include 2-3 ads on each page. Popular positions and formats include:
• Header landscape banner (placed at the top of your web page)
• Column skyscraper (placed on the left or right hand side column of the web page)
• Footer landscape banners (placed at the end of your web page)
When thinking about ad placement, try to consider the following points:
• How can you integrate the ads in a natural way?
• What are the visitors doing when they visit each of your pages?
• Where is the visitor’s attention drawn to on each page?
• What is the visitor trying to accomplish when on your site?
• How can the ad be inserted without cluttering the page?
Test It Out!
You’ll want to invest some time into getting good at testing landing pages and observing customer activity through using A/B Testing, Google Analytics, and a software called Heat Mapping; utilise these tools to better understand what your customers are doing and where they are spending the most time on your site. Once you know this information, you can position your ads for maximum effectiveness, and test variations of these pages for optimised ad revenue results.