What is Google Adsense and how does it work?

Google Adsense is one of many (and arguably the best) online programs available for website owners to publish adverts on their website in return for revenue.

Website owners simply sign up to the program for free, get provided with a small snippet of code to paste into their website wherever they want their ads to appear and viola, that’s it.  You can then generate revenue from the ads every time a person clicks on one.  How much you earn is dependent on two main factors; the volume of traffic going through your site and the topic area of your site.

The first factor is self explanatory, the more people you have flowing through your website, the more clicks you will get.  The average click through rate (CTR, the percentage of visitors that click on your ads) should be about 1% to 5%, the higher the better.  You can optimize ad positions and colours to maximize your CTR, some ad placements work better than others.

The second factor, topic area, determines what ads are displayed on your website.  Google analyses the written content on your website to find what ads would be most relevant to display which in turn maximizes your profits and the advertisers see a good return on their spendings.  Some ads have a higher cost per click (CPC) than others because of both competition and because of some industries simply being worth more.  For example, if you write about socks, what do you think a sock manufacturer would be willing to pay for a potential lead considering the cost of a pack of socks?  Compare this to ads from a lawyers firm, if that was your topic area.  Considering one client could make a lawyer thousands of pounds, you can expect a high CPC in that area, i.e. upwards of $30.

If you are looking to earn some revenue with adsense, a good CPC would be $1 or more.  Anything that’s much lower than that will not earn you a substantial amount unless you have a very popular website.

Remember to read the adsense terms & conditions carefully.  They have a “one strike and you’re out” policy so if you get banned there’s no way back.