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Great Ways to Increase Google AdSense CPC

However you spin it, AdSense is still the biggest ad network out there. If you’re using it on your website, but still not making enough money? There are ways to change that. Raising your CPCs is one of them.

Google AdSense is in many ways like the stereotype of an angry girlfriend. They WANT you to make more money from their ads on your website. Of course they do – they get almost a third of what advertisers pay them for every click. But much like the stereotypical angry girlfriend, they are not about to tell you you what you’re doing wrong. Or how to fix it. No, they want you to figure it out yourself.

You already know the basics of the equation for a mutually beneficial relationship with Google AdSense. AdSense earnings rise when your audience and website traffic grow in size. Then you maximize revenue from each visitor by increasing your CTR. But why do CPCs stay low, or drop over time? If you already know why, scroll down to the tips on how to raise them.
Great Ways to Increase Google AdSense CPC
Why is my AdSense CPC low?
  1. Geography – The prices of mobile phones vary around the world. So do the prices of clicks. If your blog targets an audience in a country where clicks are cheap, your CPCs will suffer accordingly.
  2. Niche – Sometimes your audience just doesn’t convert. Or click. Or see the ads at all because they use ad-blockers religiously. Also, some niches have lower average CPCs that others. While real-estate blogs might enjoy relatively high CPCs, gaming blogs tend to suffer more from low CPCs.
  3. Programmatic media buys – Programmatic buying is a lucrative opportunity for advertisers. So some big fish are swimming away from Google AdWords. To top that, algorithm-based RTB lets brands get more bang for their buck, which leaves more lower-paying ads for you.
  4. Mobile – I don’t need to tell you how much traffic comes from mobile. Odds are, you are reading this on a mobile device. Or you got here through a notification on your mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile friendly enough? Google will make you pay in CPC values, not just SERPs.
  5. Video – Video ads are all the rage, but they are a double-edged sword when it comes to your CPC. Even if you never displayed one. According to Google, TrueView YouTube ads have caused a significant drop in CPCs all across the board. The lucrative placement of video ads is now accessible to all advertisers. By putting them on YouTube rather than your website, Google just gets to keep more of the money advertisers pay.
  6. Poor targeting – Not all advertisers know what they are doing. Actually, some of them are pretty clueless. They might think it’s the best idea to target vegan blogs with an ad for a steak-house. We both know this kind of carpet-bombing targeting will just lead to sad-looking CTRs and CPCs for publishers. But many advertisers just want more clicks for less cash. And you end up losing.
  7. Blocked advertisers – You obviously don’t want your competitors (or premium sponsors) advertising on your website through AdSense. So you add them to the blocked advertisers list in your AdSense account. But of course there’s a catch: Google AdSense penalizes you for it. Blocking even one advertiser can lower competition over your whole inventory.
  8. It’s the economy, stupid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have noticed that world economy is not doing that great. Between the US deficit and the fun in Greece – Google still has to show profits. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that Google AdSense revenue sharing dropped by 50 percent in the past decade.
  9. Seasonality – Your CPC can fluctuate wildly during holiday or election seasons. When advertiser budgets change, so does your CPC. Sometimes advertisers just want to show their client as many clicks as they can. Even if they’re low quality. They throw money at cheap clicks and since Google wants all their budget – they’ll shove those ads anywhere.
  10. Publisher Coalitions are gobbling up premium ads – Large publishers in some countries are forming coalitions, sharing data and revenues. And this trend is just growing. These coalitions attract brands and advertisers who simply don’t trust Google to keep their brand protected from bad placement. These coalitions put the squeeze on Google, which leaves you with lower quality ads to display.
  11. Size and quantity of ads – Some ads pay better than others. Not using the best converting sizes or having too many or too few ad units can lower your CPC.
  12. Improper ad placement – As much as Google wants your users to click ads, they also want to prevent publishers from tricking users into clicking. AdSense ad placement policies are there to prevent fraud, but it’s too easy to accidentally break a rule and lose revenue over it.
  13. Smart Pricing –
  14. If the clicks on the ads placed on your blog or newsletter don’t convert into business transactions? Google “smart prices” pretty much your whole account. And your CPCs can drop drastically as a result.
How Can I Increase Google AdSense CPC?

Target high paying keywords – Much of Google’s advertising still relies on keywords for ad serving. This is great for you as a publisher because this allows you to target higher paying keywords regardless of your audience and niche. You should already be optimizing your AdSense keyword performance like a stockbroker

Another thing you might want to do is include high paying keywords in content you create. Some keywords can bring hundreds of dollars per click, and you don’t have to bend over backwards to include them in your content. For example, any blog post related to any kind of lawsuit might trigger ads from one of the most lucrative keyword categories in the US – legal ads. Other lucrative keyword categories are loans, mortgages, insurance and rehab

To me, none of these are particularly cheerful or fascinating subjects, but I’ll throw in a lawyer joke for potentially higher CPCs. Wouldn’t you? But seriously, always keep in mind, it’s one thing to have a high paying ad appear on your website, it’s another thing to get clicks. For that, it’s not enough to simply throw in a few keywords. The page and website have to provide relevant and quality content otherwise you will get hit with Smart Pricing algorithms (more on Smart Pricing further down).
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