12 simple and effective tips to improve your AdSense CPC
Are you getting very low CPC from your Google AdSense account? Read some tips on how to improve your AdSense CPC and increase your revenue.
I recently wrote about one of the most common queries I hear from my fellow bloggers - how to get my blog rank first in Google search. This time I am going to share some tips to increase the CPC for AdSense.
CPC is a term familiar to everyone using ads to monetize their online content. It stands for Cost Per Click
Tips to improve the AdSense CPC
Many publishers have reported that their CPC has gone down suddenly after giving high rates consistently for several months. Possible reason is, some advertisers have been targeting your website and the campaign ended recently.
If your traffic and overall revenue increases but CPC is going down, then it is possible that you are getting more traffic for the low CPC content and it reduced your average CPC. But as long as your overall revenue increases, you don't need to worry about the changes in cost per click.
Read further to learn the factors that affect Google AdSense CPC and learn some tips to improve your CPC and overall revenue.
1. Enable placement targeted ads
Placement targeted ads always give higher CPC compared to the regular ads. One of the most effective ways to increase your AdSense CPC is, encourage AdWords advertisers to consider your site for placement targeted ads. Losing a targeted advertiser for a site is one of the main reasons for the CPC to go down suddenly in many sites.
AdSense TIP: Learn how to get placement targeted Ads for your blog.
2. Enable interest based ads
Interest based ads are the second highest paid ad types in Google AdSense, which come just after the placement targeted ads. Make sure interest based ads are enabled on your AdSense account.
Look at the following image, which shows different ad types and their CPC, with the highest CPC ad types in the top.
This image is artificially generated to give you an idea of the CPC for various ad types and is not real data. We are not allowed to share any AdSense performance reports, according to Google policies. Read more on AdSense program policies.
How to enable interest based ads
To enable or disable interest based ads, go to the "Ad serving" tab under "Allow & block ads" in your AdSense account. Check or uncheck the appropriate box in the page.
3. Target countries like USA, Canada and UK, if it makes sense for your blog
One of the most important factors that influence AdSense CPC is the country your visitors are from. Advertisers spend a lot in developed countries like USA, Canada, UK etc and pay too low in countries like India, China, Pakistan etc. The CPC of your Ads depends on how much the advertisers bid for the ads. Since the advertisers have higher budget in developed countries, a click from those countries could give significantly high CPC. For example, many clicks from countries like USA or UK could get you anywhere between $1 to $5 but majority of the clicks from India, China etc would get you less than 10 cents.
One of the best ways to improve your AdSense earnings is to get more traffic and visitors from countries like USA, Canada, UK etc. Try writing content on topics that target the countries which offer higher click rates. For example, if you write about 'Best smartphones in USA', you have higher chances of getting visitors from USA than writing on the topic 'Best smartphones in India'. Identify topics that interest visitors from developed countries and publish great articles on those topics and your CPC is sure to go high.
Here is a list of countries I found to be giving the best click rates in some of my websites:
I made up this list by looking at various stats and reports, however, it can vary by the niche, authority of the site and so many other parameters. In general, the countries listed above come in the top paying countries for most niche and sites.
4. Niche of your blog
As you are aware, the cost for each click is determined by the advertiser. If there is more competition, then it goes into a bidding system where advertisers offer more and more money per click to get their Ads appear in relevant sites. Some type of content like healthcare products, automobiles, gadgets etc have very high competition among advertisers on the web. This naturally increases results in higher bid by everyone in the auction system, resulting in high CPC.
If your blog belongs to a high competition niche, you will get higher rates. If your focus is to improve the cost per click, then it is a good idea to focus on keywords, topics and niche that has high competition and high demand on the web.
However, please be aware that just having high competition alone will not result in high CPC. Think about the money the advertisers are willing to pay. If there is more money involved, then there will be higher cost per click. Automobiles, health products, gadgets, insurance etc are typical examples of high paid ads. But topics like job search, people search etc may have high demand but have very low CPC since the readers of such topics are not really potential customers of any major products and so the money spent by advertisers in those niche are not too high.
Read how to choose the best topics to blog about.
5. Section Targeting
Section Targeting allows you to indicate to Google about which part of your page is to be considered for contextual targeting of Ads. For example, if you have sidebars and menu that has completely irrelevant content, you may want to exclude those parts by using section targeting so that your AdSense ads will be more relevant to the primary content of the page rather than matching the content with the text in sidebars. By using section targeting, you can get more relevant Ads for your content, which in turn will give higher CPC.
Section targeting is now obsolete and Google no longer supports this.
6. Image Ads could give higher cost per click on certain topics
Are you using text only or image/rich media only ads? Even though rich media ads have relatively higher CPC, your average CTR could be much higher if you select for both. I have personally observed that Text & Image/rich media ads give better revenue than using either one type of ads in technology related niche since many advertisers prefer to showcase their products through rich media ads. However, in case of education related topics, I have observed text ad units bring higher revenue because of the higher click-through-rate, even though the CPC is lower. It is hard to generalize which ad types would be beneficial for you in your niche. The best approach is, try text only, image only and text/image combination for few days and see which one brings you higher overall revenue.
NOTE: Do not go by just higher cost per click. Instead, look at the overall revenue. Even if certain experiments show higher CPC, if the CTR is low in those cases, your overall revenue will be lower.
Read should I worry about high CTR?
7. Placement/location of AdSense ads
Placement can significantly affect the CTR and CPC. If your ads are placed above the fold and in important places, chances of getting placement targeted ads are relatively high, which will in turn increase your CPC.
Learn how to get placement targeted Ads to increase your Cost Per Click.
Placement of Ads can impact the CPC in other ways too. The ads shown in your site may change according to the text near which the ad units are placed. If you placed your ads near high paid keywords, your CPC could go up since the ads appearing there will be higher paid ads because of their proximity to high paying keywords.
8. Enable highly paid ad types
Rich media ads like expandable ads, animated ads, video ads etc are usually higher paid than basic ads. Go to your "Allow & block ads" section in your account and click on the "Ad serving" tab. Make sure all ad types are selected, at least the high CPC types like enhanced text ads, enhanced display ads, expandable ads, VPAID video ads etc.
9. Choose third party ad networks
Google integrated third party ad serving in to AdSense several months ago. This means, third party ads will compete with AdSense ads and will show higher paying ads in your site. Make sure you have enabled third party ad serving and also select all ad networks which pay good CPC. You can do this from "Allow & block ads"; "Ad networks". You can also select the option "Automatically allow new Google certified ad networks", so that when a new third party ad network is introduced to AdSense, it will automatically be selected for you.
After you select the third party ad networks, you must review the performance of those networks periodically. Go to your performance reports and see the report of "Ad networks". Look for networks that served a lot of impressions on your site but give very low CPC or low Page RPM. You may want to disable such networks to make sure your ad impressions are not filled with such low paid ads.
10. Write on hot topics and newly launched products
When a new product is launched, there are online shops and other advertisers which target more on those products. For example, when Samsung Galaxy S4 is launched and is available in the market, many online shops may want to promote that product and so they will be targeting related keywords. If you have a lot of content related to such topics, during that time, you may fetch a high CPC from the Ads in those pages.
11. Impact of ad sizes
Try different ad sizes. If you are using rectangle ad units, you can try sizes like 336x280, 300x250 etc, which will fit in to the same layout. Typically, the ad sizes will not affect the CPC by themselves. However, there are certain sizes which are favorites of many advertisers and such units will have higher CPC because of the higher competition.
In my case, the following sizes give higher CPC, in the given order:
Try different ad sizes in your site. Try both 336x280 and 300x250 for few days and see which one gives better CPC and higher CTR.
12. Number of ad units
The number of ad units used per page has no direct impact but there are various ways it could indirectly influence the CPC. If you have too many ad blocks in your site, advertisers may want to avoid your site and so you will lose the chances of getting placement targeted ads. Placement targeted ads always give higher rates and losing them would result in lower rates from your ads.
Experiment with different options
I shared several tips that work for most AdSense publishers, but not every blog is the same. Some tips that worked for my blog may not work for you. You must keep experimenting different options, placements, ad sizes etc and figure out which one works best for you.
Did I miss any important tip here? Do you have any other suggestion that could help AdSense publishers? Share your ideas.
Read more on AdSense Tips to improve your earnings from Google AdSense program. Also, read my blogging tips to make your blog successful and earn money for you.
The author may kindly reconsider correcting the following sentence which appears to be incomplete under the paragraph heading "How does ad sizes affect CPC":
"If you are using rectangle ad units, you can Typically, the ad sizes will not affect the CPC."