At some point, most entrepreneurial types consider ways to make money online, and one popular web-based moneymaking opportunity is Google’s AdSense program.
Google AdSense is a simple, free option for businesses that want to display Google ads on their websites and earn a profit from user clicks. Here’s everything you need to know to get started building your own AdSense empire.
Google’s AdSense program allows people and businesses to display Google advertisements on their webpages. Website owners earn money when visitors click on those ads. Businesses of all sizes across the globe use the Google Ads platform; with the AdSense program, Google places targeted Google Ads on participants’ platforms.
Website owners can also place Google search boxes on their webpages. When visitors use the search box, Google accurately places ads based on visitor search terms.
Google’s proprietary algorithm interprets site content so irrelevant ads aren’t used. Only the ads most likely to generate revenue are placed on a given website. For example, if you run a travel-based site, the Google Ads on your site will likely promote travel-related products.
Before posting an ad on a third-party site, Google’s professionals review the site with language filters to prevent accidentally placing inappropriate ad content. The company’s personnel ensure ads conform to professional, editorial and ethical guidelines.
After signing up for AdSense with Google, here are the three primary steps:
AdSense offers these customization options to your advertisers:
Along with customization tools, AdSense offers support services, personalized ad-performance reports and integration with Google Ad Manager – a centralized ad-management platform – and Google Analytics, which helps measure ad performance on your site.
The more people who visit your site, the more likely users will click on Google Ads and generate AdSense income.
A few website owners achieve quick and impressive traffic levels and “go viral.” However, most people don’t achieve huge traffic levels overnight, so they use a different AdSense strategy: investing in their website and even creating additional niche websites.
“It was slow going our first month … we spent around $2,000 in December 2010 and made a grand total of $32.89 … ouch!” said Justin Cooke, co-founder and CMO of Empire Flippers. “A few months later and we realized we were onto something that would be a profitable project for us. We started to sell off some of our niche sites to fund increased growth and, in 2012, we [grew] the revenue to just over $20,000 per month on average.”
If your website has a good amount of traffic, you may be content to sit back and earn passive income from the Google AdSense program. However, website owners who want to build an AdSense empire are much more proactive. Here’s what empire owners do:
Cooke advises paying close attention to the type of websites you create to fuel your AdSense empire. “Create niche sites or blogs that are specifically built with AdSense in mind and targeted around profitable AdSense keywords. You’ll find a much higher cost per click (CPC) with this microtargeting.”
No matter your strategy, website owners usually have to wait two months before seeing any AdSense money – one month earning AdSense revenue and then another month waiting for a check, as Google pays out one month later.
While your domain name choices matter for search engine optimization (SEO), it’s far more important to use SEO tools that look at keyword ranking and audience demographics to improve your website’s position.
Google AdSense can help entrepreneurs increase revenue, but there are also some downsides to consider when pursuing this opportunity.
Despite these cons, business owners can still enjoy an excellent ROI by utilizing AdSense and sticking to their strategy. With a little patience and a lot of determination, you can reap these benefits in no time.
“It’s important to know that you’re not going to be able to get started without some risk,” Cooke said. “You’re going to have to invest some time and some money to test things out, get your process worked out, etc.”
Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.