My proper website has been around for about 12 years. For most of that time it had very few visitors and the money I made from advertising was minimal. Then a couple of years ago advertising revenue started going up. It’s now plateaued but I earn a nice wedge of cash ever month, not enough to give up the day job but enough to add a decent amount to my income. So what’s my secret and how can you do the same thing?
Firstly, you can optimise the placement, colours and number of AdSense units. Now this may well improve your revenue but the problem is it is almost impossible to figure out if revenue increased due to changes to your ads or just due to random fluctuations. Take a look at my daily income over the past month.
There’s a lot of volatility in those figures. Admittedly you can slice the data in different ways which can produce better results but even with no changes to my ad setup, the daily numbers are all pretty volatile. And if you aren’t making a lot of cash from your ads, your figures are likely even more volatile. So I figure if you want to optimise you ad setup, then you need to be looking at weekly or monthly numbers, so the feedback loop on changes is going to be pretty slow. To be frank the limit of my optimisation of ads is to increase the number of ad units to three (the maximum allowed and also probably the maximum number that wouldn’t be too annoying to a user of you site).
So what did cause the increase in my income? Simple really, an increasing number of visitors. My graph of monthly visitors and my graph of monthly AdSense revenue are almost identical. So unfortunately the answer to the question of how to increase AdSense revenue is another question, how to increase the number of visitors to your site.
And the answer to that question is actually pretty straightforward I reckon. The first part is fully within your control - Produce a lot of content of a reasonably quality. i.e Content that search engines will consider to be of value and hence index. The second part isn’t completely within your control, gain some inbound links from reputable sites. I actually think this will naturally follow from producing content that people appreciate.
In some ways I can’t help thinking this is the business model that Facebook has adopted, get a shedload of content (although in their case its helpfully created by their own users) and shove ads on it.