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.

Tips to Increase Adense CPC

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.

Increase AdSense CPC

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:

  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Singapore
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Finland
  • France
  • Italy
  • Switzerland

  • 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.

    Increase AdSense CPC

    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:
  • 300x600 (image ads)

  • 300x250 (text and image ads)

  • 336x280 (text ads)

  • 728x90 (text and image ads)

  • 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.

    Article by Tony John
    Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

    Follow Tony John or read 698 articles authored by Tony John


    Author: Sukhdev Singh09 Mar 2013 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

    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."

    Author: Tony John09 Mar 2013 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

    Thanks Sukhdevji. I have corrected the mistakes.

    Guest Author: Rawat22 Mar 2013

    Wonderful information. Thanks for nice suggestion.

    Guest Author: Sudip Majhi01 Apr 2013

    I have been following your tips since last one month but still my cpc is 0.04. Any other reasons for that I am getting low cpc?

    Guest Author: vinod23 Jun 2013

    Hello friend I had applied for a Google Adsense account for my website but google had not approved my Adsense account saying that your website has insufficient content but my website is a blogging site and has more than 150 articles. I don't know what to do now. My website is …..

    Guest Author: Krish16 Dec 2013

    I have a good number of visitors from USA and UK. You have mentioned traffic from USA and UK gives high CPC but my blog is showing otherwise. Can you suggest me how to get the best out of the US traffic?

    Author: Tony John16 Dec 2013 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3


    Just because majority of your traffic is from USA/UK, you may not get high CPC. The quality of traffic and the content also matters. If the content to which you get traffic from those countries are on high CPC niche, then you could get better cost per click.

    What niche is your website? Also, what is the primary source of your traffic? Is it organic traffic from search engines?

    Guest Author: heena25 Apr 2014

    Data given on this page is pretty good, but I think things can be made even simple and CPC of Adsense can be increased very quickly if we focus on the basics of adsense placement. We should keep in mind about adsense size and type, content on the blog, it should not be copied one, try to maintain the balance between dofollow and nofollow links,and try to spread Adsense all around the front page of the blog. Insert the Adsense ad units in between the content so as to increase the number of clicks. Learn more about SEO, Social Media, Branding, PPC, Web Design, Web Development, Mobile Apps etc (www digitalspykers.com)

    Guest Author: Monu20 May 2014

    This article is very useful for me and my friends so i want some articles such as. i have bookmarked your blog's URL for further best articles.

    Guest Author: budy29 Jan 2015

    That's pretty impressive. Some blogger suggested to disable enhanced text, why ?

    Guest Author: Denise Hilton18 Feb 2015

    A few other tweaks can be applied to AdSense campaigns that can be very beneficial for the performance. You can check this article http://www.webemployed.com/10-tips-to-maximize-adsense-earnings/ lists some of those techniques.

    Author: Timmappa Kamat23 Feb 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

    Great tips for the bloggers and website owners. Your descriptions coupled with points from your experience make the article more realistic and commendable. Thanks for helping the newbies in blogging and Google AdSense arena.

    Guest Author: http://www.sclrship.13 Mar 2015

    Thanks. Its really helpful.

    Guest Author: Praveen21 Dec 2015

    I was searching over the net for better optimization of AdSense ads and came across various posts. They were moreover describing a common method and some methods does not make much improvement and suited for some sites.
    The 7th point is interesting and lets me implement in the website. Thank you for this valuable post.

    Guest Author: Rohit Roy09 Jun 2016

    Very good tips. I will try to implement this technique. Hope it will result higher CPC. Thank you.

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