- Are you an AdSense publisher?
- Do you use Google Analytics?
- Have you linked them together?
If your answers are yes, yes, and no, you’re missing out on some interesting stats.
It’s been possible to link Analytics and AdSense for a while now, but I come across plenty of publishers who are either yet to do so or who are not actually doing anything with this information. To get them linked, check out this page on Google.
Once they’re linked up, over time as the data begins to collate, you’ll have at your fingertips some interesting information that will hopefully enable you to increase your AdSense earnings further.
There are a heap of stats that you’re given in the AdSense section of Google Analytics, and as a result, there are plenty of ways to dig in. But a simple starting point is to do some analysis of which content is generating the biggest income for you.
I’m not sure that I’m able to show my stats for AdSense earnings, so I won’t show any screen grabs, but here’s what I do:
- Once I’m in Analytics, I head to the Content section, under which there’s an AdSense section.
- I click on the AdSense Pages menu item, which opens up a report of the pages on the blog that earned money in the last month, and ranks them by earnings.
By analyzing the posts listed there, you’ll hopefully begin to see the reasons why certain pages earn more than others. For example I did some analysis today of my last month’s earnings and found:
- My post on ISO Settings did well. It had a higher than average CPM, a pretty good CTR, and decent traffic—an all-round good performer.
- My post on Wedding Photography Tips, on the other hand had a much higher CPM, and higher CTR, but less traffic than the ISO page.
- My photography tips for beginners page again did well mainly because of traffic but less so on a CPM and CTR basis (it has less ads on the page),
- My how to buy a DSLR guide has particularly good CPM—for a topic on which advertisers are obviously bidding against each other.
With some basic analysis, you can start to see a number of things:
- which types of posts attract higher paying ads (higher CPM)
- which topics seem to be performing best
- which post lengths seem to convert best
- which posts you should try to direct more traffic to, because they’re well optimized
- which pages on your site might be good candidates for an extra ad.
Out of the analysis, you might want to tweak some pages to see if you can add more ads, position them better, and so on.
You might also want to think about replicating some of them—taking a popular topic and writing followup posts.
You might also want to find ways to promote some of them more. For example, if you have a really hot page, why not link to it more prominently from your navigation bar and try to get more people to it?
I can’t tell you exactly what you’ll find when you do this exercise, but it’s rare that I do it and don’t get something out of it! Give it a go!