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Making sense of Adsense

The Who, What and Why of Google AdSense

– When establishing digital marketing strategies for your business, understanding the fundamentals for online advertising platforms such as Google AdSense can be confusing and downright frustrating.

To avoid hair loss, smashing of devices and colleagues complaining about your obscenities trying to make sense of the jargon… Digital Spice has put together a quick guide on making sense of AdSense to get you started.

What is Google AdSense?

Google AdSense is a CPC (cost-per-click) advertising service.  Ads are displayed across a broad range of websites and every time someone clicks on an ad, the campaign owner gets charged a small fee for the click. On the other end – the website owner where the ad displayed gets paid a small amount.

Who can benefit from using AdSense?

To advertise or to advertise that is the question.

Google AdSense has two main interest groups – website owners/publishers wanting to make money from advertising on their own website, and website owners or businesses wanting to advertise on a broad network of websites to gain exposure and traffic to their business website, products or services.

AdSense works with EPC (earnings per click) for publishers and CPC (cost per click) for advertisers.

Website owners/publishers

Website owners are able to display ads from the Google AdSense network and earn money from doing so. You get paid every time someone clicks on one of the ads on your website.

Adsense Marketing Services

AdSense works by matching text and display ads to your site based on your content and visitors.

So if you had an information website about everything to do with fishing you won’t necessarily have ads about high heel shoes display on your site – unless there is a market for fishing in high heels of course?!

A small amount of code needs to be added to the website in order to have the ads appear that are targeted and relevant to the content on the site.

If you’re not sure how to add code to your website, get your website developer to add this for you.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Your AdSense income will only be worthwhile if you have a high traffic website. If you’re not receiving a lot of traffic, you’re not going to get many clicks on the ads.
  • Advertising on your website can take readers or customers away from your website, so it’s not suitable for all business websites. Google suggests there are 3 types of sites which make quality AdSense revenue – Blogs, Forums and Free online tool websites.
  • AdSense automatically serves the ads to your website based on an auction system – the highest paying ads will display on your site. This saves you time so you don’t need to filter through what you think would be relevant, however it also means you do not have full control over what ads display. You can find out more about how ads are targeted to your site here: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/9713

Website owners/advertisers

For businesses wanting to promote their website and products to a broad market online, AdSense can provide an effective means to get your brand and products out there.

AdSense Marketing

Google’s Display Network consists of more than 2 million websites, videos and apps where your ads can appear – so you can imagine the potential for getting your brand and products known. You can find out more about the Google Display Network here.

YES YOU can have your ads display on high traffic websites such as YouTube, news websites such as Sydney Morning Herald, shopping websites such as eBay, Gumtree, Apps, Games and loads more as well as targeting interest based websites relevant to the context of your products.

Find the right audience using targeted keywords, topics and locations, define types of websites you want your ads to display on, or display ads to people who are already interested in what you have to offer.

Targeting visitors who have recently viewed products on your website and then left without making a purchase can encourage return visits and more sales. This is called Remarketing. Find out more about Remarketing here.

For example if you’re a business selling sporting gear you can target sporting related websites to reach interest groups, advertise across Google’s display network to reach a broad audience or target your own website visitors to encourage return visits.

All will lead to bringing more traffic to your website and ultimately encourage more sales.

Advertising on Google AdSense is managed under a Google AdWords account. You can create ads to suit your business marketing strategies and set your campaign limit to stay within budget.

What kinds of ads are available?

Display Ads

These are graphical ads available in various dimensions from button size (125×125) through to large leaderboard (970×90) and billboard (970×250) sizes.

They often consist of eye-catching imagery, text and a button.

Display ads can also be made up of other forms of rich media, including animation and/or video.

Find out more about display ads and options here.

Text ads are similar to Display Ads without any rich media – that is they consist of text only. They may be as simple as a heading with a link or could include a background colour.

Google recommends using a combination of both Display Ads and Text ads so you can reach as broad a market as possible.

Video ads also belong to rich content ads, displaying video instead of a static image.

Advertisers can set their video advertisements to be based on clicks or impressions.

Publishers see how video ads perform on their website across their video inventory on an RPM (revenue per 1000) basis.

Here’s how they work:

  • The ad first appears as a static opening image. When a user sees the loaded image, this is counted as an ad impression.
  • The video will play if the user clicks the image or play button.
    If the user clicks the display URL or clicks the ad while it’s playing, they will be taken to the advertiser’s website.  This is counted as a click.


More info on video ads can be found here.

Link Ads

Link ads display a list of topics that are relevant to the content of the page.

For example:

More information on the types of AdSense ads can be found here, and a chart of the sizes available can be viewed here.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article.

If you would like to provide us with any feedback or have suggestions for other topics you would like us to write about, please send us a message.

Need some help setting up your advertising campaigns or adding AdSense to your website?

Contact Digital Spice to discuss your digital marketing needs today.