September 14, 2015
If you clicked the link to land here, we predict you’re using Google AdSense to monetize your blog. Duh! Thank you Captain Obvious! You’ve also read many blog posts describing how to increase revenue with AdSense. Strategies, best practises, and tricks A through Z. You’ve read it all until your iPad batteries ran out and your eyeballs throbbed with pain.
But if you’re a repeat visitors to our blog, you know we dig deeper. We want our posts to provide real actionable insights that you can start using today and see results. So… “Why is this blog post different from other AdSense how to blog posts?” Very clever of you. We’re happy you asked.
Everything we’re about to tell you comes from our data – and a lot of it.
Before you start thinking this is going to be too dull or hard to understand, don’t get your undies in a bunch. It isn’t.
It’s our job to figure out all the complex data stuff. In fact, we have several vitamin-D deficit analysts with triple monitors. They work in the dark depths of our basement and only come out when they run out of sugar cubes at our coffee station.
In this post, we asked these data addicts to do the number crunching. Then we cut out the good stuff for you.
Allow us to explain the one metric you absolutely must optimize.
AdNgin clients optimize more than five million daily impressions through our platform. This traffic spans a collection of diverse websites from many different niches and countries. Despite their differences, one factor jumped out at us during analysis.
We took data gathered over an eight-week period and cross referenced the data across all websites. Then we zeroed in on websites that increased their CPC (cost per click) and RPM (revenue per thousand impressions) and discovered that each of them improved one other metric first:
Click-through rate (CTR).
To be honest, our running hypothesis before digging into the data was that CTR is a key factor in determining AdSense earnings.
From the data emerges a distinguishable correlation between increased CTR and increased CPC.
⇧CTR = ⇧CPC
If you’ve been in the blog game for awhile, you already know that bloggers love targeting keywords that net big AdSense CPC rates. But earning a great amount per click isn’t as profitable as we expect IF we are not getting lots of ad clicks and a high CTR to begin with.
Now we told you we’d spare you the complexity. So setting aside the other factors for now, we want to make sure you understand this important note. It bears repeating:
The more visitors that click on your ads, per your total traffic, the higher your CPCs will be. A better click-through rate unlocks greater earnings for every click.
Why does this work?
In many cases, we’ve observed a chain of events that start with improved AdSense CTR and ends with average cost per click (CPC) going up.
Because it’s how Google operates. You’re probably well aware that Google has certain ranking factors for organic search results. The same can be said for Google’s PPC platform AdWords. AdWords provides a metric called Quality Score to rank an ad’s quality relevant to a specified keyword.
So if Google is using ranking factors in organic and PPC results why not in AdSense?
Google’s display ad network is designed to bring together publishers and advertisers. Its purpose is to allow advertisers to place ads on websites that have a relevant audience.
Google’s success with advertisers depends on its ability to provide them with quality and relevant ad inventory. Anyone who has uses AdWords can testify to that. One of the best methods that Google has at its disposal to determine the effectiveness of its ad network is measuring the AdSense CTR of its publishers. It is an ideal ranking factor for Google AdSense because improving CTR is a win-win-win situation for all sides.
The mutual goal of the AdSense publisher, AdWords advertiser, and the mediator (Google) is conversions for the advertiser. In order for a conversion to happen through Google’s display ad network, traffic needs to funnel from the publisher’s property to the advertiser’s. Do this and you get paid. Do this efficiently, you get paid more. And if the advertiser converts the traffic, they get paid too.
Therefore, it’s a clear assumption to make that AdSense CTR is the most important ranking factor because it informs Google that the AdSense publisher is displaying relevant ads that are of interest to Web visitor and have a higher likelihood of converting on the advertiser’s website. The better performance Google can deliver for its advertisers, the more the advertiser is willing to pay for the traffic. And the same goes for its competitors.
Do you want to know how successful the traffic you’re sending them is?
Look for rising CPC earnings. Successful results increase demand and it reflects in their bids.
Our data analysis suggests that our original hypothesis was correct and demonstrates that CTR (click through rate) can be a correlated precursor. Increase your CTR, and you will most likely increase your CPC and ad earnings.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that country, niche, ad size, location, and many other factors don’t have any effect on your overall ad earnings. What we are saying is that regardless of all those – improved CTR is the one constant that remains true across all of our AdSense publishers that improved their CPCs. Increase your CTR, and your CPC and RPM earnings rate go up too.
Content creator, expert on everything you can Google.