A Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

A Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

When it comes to growing your brand and boosting your revenue, social media matters.

Here’s why: More than three billion people worldwide now have social media accounts, and 54% of those users leverage social media to research products.

The biggest challenge? Finding the right platform for your social media posts where you can connect with your ideal audience.

While many businesses leverage sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote their content and increase conversion rates, there’s also a case to be made for more business-focused frameworks like LinkedIn.

In this comprehensive guide to LinkedIn sponsored updates we’ll tackle the big questions — what are LinkedIn sponsored updates, how do they work and how much do they cost?

We’ll also offer a list of sponsored updates best practices to help your brand make the most of this social content solution.

Download Now: How to Run LinkedIn Ads

What are LinkedIn Sponsored Updates?

Let’s start at the beginning: What exactly are LinkedIn sponsored updates?

Also called sponsored content, the official LinkedIn help page says a sponsored update is, “a LinkedIn Page update that is sponsored as an advertisement and is delivered to the LinkedIn feed of members beyond those who follow your company.”

In practice, LinkedIn sponsored updates are advertisements created by your company or marketing team which are then served to LinkedIn users who either follow your page or follow pages in a similar content space.

These ads are served as part of the native LinkedIn feed and typically include a combination of relevant text and contextual images or videos, in turn helping them blend in with similar user content rather than stand out as paid-for advertisements.

When designed and deployed well, LinkedIn sponsored updates can help drive organic interest in your brand from both current followers and a wider audience of LinkedIn members. Worth noting? While these posts are designed to follow the format of familiar user updates, they’re always labeled as “sponsored content” to ensure there’s no misleading users or confusion.

What Types of Sponsored Updates are Available?

Brands can create four types of direct sponsored updates:

Single Image Ads

Single image ads include one image and text that are displayed directly in targeted member LinkedIn feeds.

Carousel Image Ads

Carousel ads contain multiple images in succession that users can scroll through to get a better sense of your products or services.

Video Ads

Video ads offer a way to include multimedia marketing with in-feed videos that users can watch on-demand.

Single Job Ads

If you’re looking to expand your team, you can create single job ads for your targeted audience. They must promote a single job opportunity and be linked to an active job post on LinkedIn.

You can also create what’s known as “direct sponsored content”. These ads won’t display on your LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page before being served as advertisements.

As a result, they’re often used by companies to test several marketing approaches and see which one produces the best results and use it as the basis for more robust sponsored content updates.

How much do LinkedIn sponsored updates cost?

The short answer is that more resource-intensive ads — such as videos or carousels — will cost more than their single-image counterparts.

The long answer is slightly more complicated. First, it’s important to understand that LinkedIn uses a bidding model for sponsored ads; you select and create your ad type and then specify how much you’re willing to pay — a minimum price exists to ensure advertisers are fairly paid, but you’ll never be charged more than your maximum upper limit. Differing ad providers then bid on the service and the lowest price wins.

Ad price is also determined by your target audience and relevance score. If your target audience is in high demand, you’ll be charged more because there’s greater competition to capture user interest. You can also lower your ad costs by creating relevant ads. The more relevant and content-rich your ad, the less you’ll pay — because there’s a better chance of engaging LinkedIn users.

It’s also worth considering the best cost model for your ad: Cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). CPC means you only pay when users click on your ad and visit your site, while CPM means you pay for every 1,000 views or “impressions” of your ad.

If your goal is generating brand awareness, opt for CPM. If you have an established audience and are looking to drive click-throughs and conversions, choose CPC.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Best Practices

Want to get the most from your LinkedIn sponsored updates? Keep these best practices in mind:

1. Follow LinkedIn sponsored update specs.

Each type of sponsored content comes with its own specifications.

Single image ads: Up to 255 characters for the ad name, 150 characters of intro text to avoid truncation, URLs with “http://” or “https://” and JPG, GIF or PNG files that are 5MB or smaller.

Carousel ads: Use a minimum of two cards and a maximum of ten. Each card has a maximum file size of 10MB and dimensions of 6012 x 6012px. Supported formats include JPG, PNG and non-animated GIFs.

Video ads: Video ads must be three to 30 seconds in length, between 75KB and 200MB and in MP4 format. They must also be less than 30 frames per second (FPS).

Single job ads: Single job ads should be concise, relevant, and clear and follow the same image guidelines as single image ads. They must also link to an active job posting on LinkedIn.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in ads being rejected. If ads contain misleading or inappropriate content, LinkedIn may choose to remove the ads or terminate your LinkedIn account.

The service also makes it clear that “spam” posts are not permitted: According to their Best Practices for Sponsored Content page, “Businesses that post updates excessively are subject to review by LinkedIn and could risk having their LinkedIn Page deleted.”

2. Don’t overshare.

While targeted, relevant content can help drive user interest, too many ads too quickly can result in over-saturation.

LinkedIn recommends regularly tweaking your content strategy to deliver analysis rather than simply news, include curated content (with credit) from other sources, and repurpose older content where applicable.

3. Test, test, test.

As noted above, direct sponsored content is a great way to try out new advertising efforts and see what sticks.

With the social media market continually evolving, it’s worth evaluating ad performance every few weeks to see what’s working, what isn’t, and where specific changes can help.

4. Spend wisely.

Sponsored updates can get expensive as you incorporate new advertisements and use multiple ad types.

Here, it’s worth tracking your ad spend and switching from CPC to CPM models once click-through rates start to rise. If ads begin losing steam, consider moving back to CPM to generate increased awareness.

5. Find new markets.

While engaging your target market is critical, diversify ad objectives is also important to expand your overall impact. LinkedIn recommends using tools such as Lead Gen Forms to find better leads, assess ROI and manage your advertisements at scale.

LinkedIn’s sponsored update model offers a streamlined solution to help brands reach their target market, expand brand awareness, and boost ROI. Best bet? Start with direct sponsored content to see what sticks, then choose the cost model that makes the most sense — CPC or CPM — and adjust as needed to reach the largest LinkedIn audience.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Graphic Design Styles

A Comprehensive Guide To Graphic Design Styles

A fortified client relationship with the business can be formed when the design is relatable and aligned with the project requirement. Our eyes have always feasted on the amazing designs that reflect the purpose and message of the brands. Art has been the best medium of expressing the human emotions & businesses have put types of designing into work to entwine the audience through their strategies of creative branding. Here are the graphic design styles that you have been looking for. Abstract, minimalist or grunge, you will love theses handy guide of graphic design styles defined with amazingly colorful designs.

The 3-Dimensional

The alternative skeuomorphic designs, which is the concept of creating artistic designs in life-like accents. This is also among the top fine art trends 2018 to look out for.

Attributes:

  • Gives lighting effect
  • Majorly comprises of a single shade of color
  • Gives an illusion of volume and depth

Blends in well with:

  • Masculine
  • Illustrations
  • Grunge
  • Fun and playful styles
  • Abstract

Vintage/Retro

Retro is the concise version of the word retrospective. Just like its literal meaning, the retro illustrations give us a taste of the recent past. There are many popular vintage graphic design styles that are inspired by the Victorian Era, the minimalist style movement and the industrial revolution.

Attributes:

  • The illustrations mainly incorporate music themed visual elements
  • Visual elements that are reminiscent of the 19th century
  • Usage of decorative styles, hand-drawn typefaces and letterpress

Blends well with:

  • Typography
  • Nature
  • Luxury
  • Grunge
  • Flat
  • Amusement

vintage-retro-graphic-design-style

Abstract

Abstract graphic design styles 2018 do not byline the general standards of art. Any random line, print or pattern that attracts the attention of the onlooker, is considered to be a abstract. Abstract illustrations are created with the perfect blend of random colors and shape n any size, appealing enough for the audience and practical enough for clients to fulfill their marketing objectives.

Attributes:

  • Undefined object representation
  • Calls for personal or individual opinion

Blends well with:

  • 3D
  • Professional
  • Natural
  • Geometric
  • Fun & Entertainment
  • Minimalist

Typography

Typography is the modification of fonts that are written (or designed) to invoke a sense of interest in the minds of the target audience.

Attributes:

  • Font style relevant with the theme of the project
  • Design of the text conveys the brand message

Blends well with:

  • Feminine
  • Retro
  • Natural
  • Illustration
  • Grunge
  • Fun & Entertainment
  • Flat

Photorealistic Illustrations

The artistic concept where the designer matches the illustration with the real appearance of an image (or the inspiration).

Attributes:

  • Well-defined lines
  • Lots of detailing
  • Resemblance to the original image

Blends well with:

  • Vintage
  • 3D
  • Natural
  • Feminine
  • Masculine
  • Grunge

Minimalism

Minimalism technique is characterized by its simplicity. It is different to the concepts of luxurious and highly decorative illustrations that form the most plain platform of messaging.

Attributes:

  • Minimal elements used
  • Selective number of colors utilized
  • Communicates message in a straight-forward manner

Blends well with:

  • Luxurious
  • Abstract
  • Professional
  • Feminine
  • Geometric
  • Flat

minimalist-graphic-design-style

Image Source: A1 Future Technologies

Conceptual Graphic Design Styles

Conceptual graphic design is the metaphorical depiction of any visual idea. It is more like a fictional slice of the entire concept of illustrative style which does not stick to the generalized concepts.

Attributes:

  • Inclusion of real like elements not necessary
  • Based on the personal point of view of the designer

Blends well with:

  • Feminine
  • Masculine
  • Grunge
  • Natural
  • Abstract
  • Illustration
  • Minimalism

Feminine Illustration Design

Feminine illustrations are characterized by incorporation of soft and timid color palettes, motifs elements and icons that the women audience can connect to.

Attributes:

  • Fonts are mainly based on cursive styles
  • Colors are mainly based on soft pastel shades, corals to bright colors of orange, purple and pinks
  • May contain women centric-icons like face, lipstick, stilettos and other women fashion clichés.

Blends well with:

  • Typography
  • Nature
  • Luxury
  • Illustrations
  • Flat
  • Minimalism

feminine-illustration-design

Image Source: Logo Design Team

Masculine

Graphic Design Styles that are designed to appeal to men. The designs incorporate elements like rugged texture, monochromatic shades of white, black, blue and gray, and simple curves and lines that convey the message without much a fuss.

Attributes:

  • Thick and bold fonts
  • Hard edge (sharp or bevel)
  • Preference of darker colors and shades

Blends well with:

  • Vintage
  • Corporate
  • Luxurious
  • Illustrated
  • Grunge
  • 3D

Flat Design Graphics

This is another category of the minimalistic look that requires very less usage of colors with eye-pleasing aesthetics and color schemes.

Attributes:

  • Very few colors are utilized
  • No shadow effects is provided

Blends well with:

  • Retro
  • Typography
  • Luxury
  • Geometric
  • Feminine
  • Minimalism

Luxury Graphic Design

The designs evoke the sense of pleasure and comfort in relevance of standardized living. The illustrations are incorporated with shades of gold, silver, royal blue, emerald greens, bronzes, whites etc.

Attributes:

  • Shades are used in a pattern of minimalism using sophisticated elements
  • Stylish fonts of cursive are incorporated that might be modern or old-style
  • Clean and clear use of intricate motifs

Blends well with:

  • Retro
  • Masculine
  • Flat
  • Feminine
  • Minimalism

Fun and Playful Graphic Designs

Informal, light-hearted and humorous designs that appeal not only adults, but also target audience of tender ages. The designs can be semi-realistic, realistic, animated or artistic.

Attributes:

  • Caricatured, animated elements of persons, animals or subject
  • Amazingly colorful
  • May incorporate fantasy elements

Blends well with:

  • Retro
  • Typography
  • Natural
  • Illustrated
  • Abstract
  • 3D

fun-and-playful-graphic-designs

Image Source: Playful Graphics – Graphic Design that Surprises

Grunge

Grunge is considered to be a sub-category of the retro style. The design incorporates gritty, dark and Gothic style. The images or the designs are distressed, dark, rough reflecting the punk accent of its purpose.

Attributes:

  • Usage of dark and monochromatic colors
  • Gives a feeling of danger, silence and thrill

Blends well with:

  • Retro
  • Typographic
  • Masculine
  • Illustrated
  • 3D

Geometric

The designs are all about angles, lines, circles and other different shapes along with their heavy usage, throughout the frame.

Attributes:

Incorporation of shapes is symmetrical angles or in perfect curves.

Blends well with:

  • Corporate
  • Flat
  • Minimalism
  • Clean
  • Abstract

Illustrated Graphic Designs

It is the concept of visual interpretation of a text. Many subcategories can be found in the illustrated forte of graphic designing, mainly revolving around conceptual art and photorealism.

Attributes:

The appeal is worth to look for since they are based on hand-drawn designs

Depends on the drawing skills and styles of the artist

Blends well with:

  • Vintage
  • Typography
  • Natural
  • Masculine
  • Grunge
  • Fun
  • Feminine
  • 3D

Conclusion

Well, there are graphic trends that you must make it a point to avoid. Today the designs that are powerful and versatile enough to make a business achieve its marketing goals may not be trending tomorrow. Graphic design styles and trends are always evolving. And here, while we at the Infographic Design Team are serving you with the best graphic design trends to follow for any marketing or aesthetic exigency, we suggest you to keep a look on the evolving trends as well. Just a word of wisdom from a team of designers to the others.

 

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Make Money with Google Adsense

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Make Money with Google Adsense

What Is Google Adsense?

Google Adsense provides a way for you to monetize your website. You can set spaces to sell ads on your website and Google connects you with advertisers.

Adsense is powerful because Google uses people’s search history to serve up ads that your viewers will want to see. This increases the number of visitors who click on your ads and boosts your earnings.

How does Google Adsense work?

Google Adsense is an advertising network owned by search engine giant Google.

In a nutshell, you need to embed a Javascript provided to you by the platform on your site. The script will show contextual ads that are relevant to your content.

You can make money off the ads if people click on them. (That’s right, people don’t have to actually buy anything, you get paid when someone simply clicks the ad on your website).

How to measure ad performance

Generating money from Google Adsense depends on three important factors: the CPCCTR, and RPM.

CPC, also known as cost per click, refers to the amount of money you will receive if your visitors click on your ad.

As publishers, you have no control over how much you will receive for each click on your ad. It ultimately depends on the competition in your domain’s niche that dictates the pricing, which could also change over time. Nonetheless, you can attract the best possible ads for your site using tactics that will be discussed in a different section below.

On the other hand, CTR or click-through rate refers to the percentage of visitors clicking on your ads while on your site.

CTR is important if you want to earn from Google Adsense truly. While CPC determines how much you will earn, you have very little control over the variables that determine the costs of the ads that will appear on your site. Your CTR is highly dependent on controlled variables or tactics that you can use to increase your ad performance which will also be discussed later.

Both metrics help you make sense of your RPM or revenue per 1,000 impressions. Impression describes the activity that takes place on the site and server every time an ad is fetched.

To compute the RPM, you need to divide your estimated earnings by the number of impressions (how many times an ad was seen on your website) and multiply the quotient by 1,000.

Measuring your potential earnings through RPM reveals to you the bigger picture that CPC and CTR can’t show. Essentially, RPM is showing how much money you make per visitor.  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your site is showing low-paying ads. The important thing is that you optimize your ads for increased performance and higher revenue.

Different ad options

Since you need to get people to click on your ads to make money, Google Adsense offers different ad options that you can show on your pages.

  • Text – Also known as “sponsored links,” the ads will appear as one or two lines of text format which may include the title of the ad and the physical address (for local businesses).
  • Display ads – The ads will appear in graphic format. You can choose from different sizes for your display ads, which will depend on where you wish to place it on your page.
  • Rich media – The ads will appear in HTML, Flash, and video format.
  • Animated image – The ads will appear as dynamic images. To show this on your site, you need to enable image ads.
  • Link units – They will show a list of topics related to your content. Once your visitors click on them, they will be directed to a page of Google ads related to the topic. You can only make money from this ad type if visitors click on the ads after clicking on the list of topics.

Among the different ad options to choose from, Google confirmed that the best performing units  are the following:

  • 336×280 large rectangle
  • 300×250 medium rectangle
  • 728×90 leaderboard
  • 300×600 half page
  • 320×100 large mobile banner (on mobile)

How To Make Money With Google Adsense: How to Increase the Performance of Your Ad Units

You can’t just randomly slap your Google Adsense on your page. You need to identify the optimal places where you can set up your ads to appear on your site pages. Doing so allows you generate more clicks on your ads and drive more revenue.

Below are a few different options for optimizing your ad units on your site.

Maximize Earnings:  I use a free ad tester called Ezoic which makes testing different ad placements very simple. Click here to try it out. 

Place them “above the fold”

This term refers to the part of your website page that is visible without having to scroll down.  In other words, this is going to be the very top of your page.

Placing your ad above the fold makes it difficult for users to ignore.

However, it is ill-advised to feature only your ad above the fold and push down your content.  Google has made it clear that websites with top heavy ads could get penalized.  So, make sure you have content on the top of your page as well…not just ads.

Examples of ad placement above the fold - how to make money with Google Adsense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of how your ad should and shouldn’t appear above the fold from Online Shouter.

Test your color strategy

Color is a major component of your ad unit. Your choice of colors of your ads will determine how they will perform over time.

You can approach your ad placements in different ways:

  • Blend – If you want your ad units to look similar to your content. However, there still needs to be a clear delineation between ads and content on your page as it is considered a policy violation.
  • Contrast – If you want your ad units to stand out from your content.
  • Complement – If you want your ad units to use colors found on your site but not match the background and borders

Ultimately, no conclusive study support which among the three approaches will yield you the most profile because each site is a case-by-case basis.

Therefore, what you can do is test which of the three works best for your site. Edit the ads based on the approach you want to take and run them for a period. Keep playing around with the ads to see which approach makes you the most money over time.

Put them near your CTAs

Call to action or CTA is an instruction that asks site visitors to perform a particular action on your page.

Examples of CTAs are as follows:

  • Buttons – The idea behind buttons on a page is for visitors to click on them and direct them to a different page.
  • Forms – Visitors will be asked to fill out the form based on the objectives of the content on the page.
  • Social sharing tools – For blog posts and resource pages, readers can share them on Facebook and Twitter, among others, to their followers.

If you are using any of the CTAs mentioned above, you could consider setting up your ads to appear beside them. Since CTAs are designed to grab the attention of visitors towards that section of the page where they are placed, they also cast light on your ads by sheer association.

However, make sure that the ad units that appear beside the CTAs do not attract attention away from your CTAs. While earning from ad clicks is nice, your page’s CTA will likely be more important than everything else.

Review & Optimize Your Ads

You shouldn’t get too comfortable with your ad layouts.  One of the things I’ve done for a while now in online marketing, is perfect the art of “testing” my monetization methods.  Not only do I test different ad networks outside of Adsense, but I am always revising just about everything to do with my ads.

I set a monthly schedule and once per month, I go in and compare revenue for my best performing ads from the prior month.  If I have lower performing ads, I will shut them down and new formats and new ad placements.

It’s easy to get comfortable with a certain amount of revenue if you are making money online, but you should always be testing to ensure you can maximize your revenue streams.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a software or company to test your layouts for you. Ezoic, Mediavine, and AdThrive all do this, but Ezoic has the lowest amount of required visitors. With Mediavine, you’ll need 25k monthly visits before you can apply and AdThrive will require a whopping 100k per month.

Ezoic

I use Ezoic on my Niche Site Project 4 and have gotten my earnings per thousand visitors up to $17.40. That’s huge for an ad network! You can use Ezoic to:

  • Manage your ads without any work on your part
  • Make your website faster
  • Increase your earnings by a huge percentage

Click here to try Ezoic on your website and boost your earnings

 

Pick a WordPress Theme That Allows Multiple Display Ad Locations

If you are using an “out of the box” WordPress theme, chances are that your display options for ads are pretty limited.  Luckily, there are more WordPress themes in the market now that allow for greater flexibility with regards to ad positioning.  It used to be that you really could only do an in-content ad and a sidebar.  Now it seems you can test all sorts of different layouts.

While getting a custom theme designed is generally always more beneficial, you can still do a lot of great testing and layout options by picking a decent premium theme.  There are also website “builders” that let you visually build out your pages, giving you greater flexibility with your ad layout positioning.

Choosing a premium theme will give you quite a few options to test your ads, and make sure you are optimizing them on a monthly or bi-monthly basis in order to improve revenue.

Ask visitors to turn off AdBlock

Let’s face it – people are averse to ads.

As much as possible, they will avoid ads because they disrupt the flow of the content, which is the reason why they visited your site in the first place.

Therefore, some users install ad blockers on their browsers, so they don’t have to encounter annoying ads.

While ad blockers may benefit users, you, as a Google Adsense user, won’t.

You need to find a way to ad block users so you can serve them ads.

A easy way to do this? Ask them nicely.

A poll conducted by IAB UK reveals that people are more than willing to turn off their ad blocker if the site asked them to.

If you are running your site on WordPress, ThemeIsle shares five of the best anti-ad block plugins that you can use. Each plugin has distinct ways of asking visitors to whitelist your site so you can serve them ads.

Paginate your content

The increase of mobile users online over the past couple of years proves that mobile is here to stay. Aside from making your website mobile-friendly, you need to tweak your ad strategy that will cater to your mobile audience.

An interesting approach to monetizing your mobile sites through ads is by paginating your content.

Instead of showing the entire content on a single page, you will only show bits and pieces of your content. Users can move on to the next section by going to the next page.

The tactic positively impacts your ad performance as explained in this post at AdNgin. And yes, that’s spelled right.

The best reason why you should paginate your content, especially on mobile, is its ability to help increase ad impressions. Every time users click to the next page, the server will fetch the ad to the page again. For example, if you paginate your 1,000-word article into two pages, just like Forbes does, then you can double your impressions as opposed to showing the entire content on a page.

The higher the impressions are, the more chances you can serve contextual ads based on the content on the page. If done correctly, pagination can increase your revenue.

An additional note about pagination

I emphasized doing pagination correctly because it can also bring new problems. For beginners, not everyone is a fan of pagination. Not to mention, it changes how analytics tools will collect data from your site. Instead of taking your content as a single page, it will interpret the paginated content as individual pages in itself.

Nonetheless, if you can overcome the roadblocks presented by pagination, you can begin by the downloading the best pagination plugins for WordPress in this WPDean post that you can use on mobile view. Once you have decided which plugin to use, make sure to test and observe the results and how it impact your ad performance.

Learn SEO

I’m sure most of you know the importance of SEO in building a successful website. (If you don’t, we have a whole post about )

However, I cannot stress this enough:

SEO is key to boosting traffic to your site which of course increases the chances of increasing your ad revenue.

To keep it short, below are the most crucial things you need to remember when doing SEO for your sites:

  • Target Low Competition Keywords – If there is one thing that has driven my own success with niche websites, it’s targeting keywords that are easy to rank for.  By doing proper keyword research to determine what you can feasibly rank for, you can make your life so much easier in terms of SEO.
  • Beware of Google’s algorithm – Just like Adsense, Google Search is governed by an intricate web of rules. More important, Google always updates its algorithm to serve users with the most relevant pages for their search terms. Some of my projects have been penalized because Google caught on with grey-hat tactics like PBN link building. This is a good thing because it keeps everyone honest and ultimately allows the best sites to rank near the top.
  • Always create great content – If there’s one thing that withstood Google’s constant algorithm updates, it’s great content. Google rewards sites that publish actionable, long-form content that resonates with its audience by placing them at a high position in search results.
  • Be creative with link building – Backlinks are the very heart of off-page optimization. A lot of sites have tried gamifying search results through shady link building tactics. It worked in the past, but Google has gotten better at catching sites using black-hat techniques. Therefore, you need to find sustainable white-hat strategies for link building to maintain a steady amount of organic traffic.

How to keep your Google Adsense account from getting banned

As mentioned above, there are Google Adsense practices that can get your account suspended. Google is very good at cracking down on users who violate their policies so don’t even think of one-upping Google in their own game (i.e.  Never click your own ads, or ask anyone else to click on your ads!).

Examples of unacceptable implementations ~ how to make money with Google Adsense

Below are other practices to avoid so you can keep your Adsense account and earn money from their ads:

  • Click on your ads – It doesn’t count if you as site owner click on your ads in the hope of making money. People in your home clicking on your ads is also a violation. Even if you use a proxy to hide your IP address, there’s a good chance you will get caught.
  • Hold ad-click contents – This method is a form of begging for clicks, which is against Google policy. Desperately asking for people to click on your ads compromises not only the advertisers but also your site.
  • Manually alter the code –  If you want to make changes to your Google Adsense code, do it from the Adsense platform. Do not tweak the appearance of the ads by editing the code yourself. Google wants to observe ad performance based on the changes made from Adsense. Alterations made outside of Adsense prevents Google from effectively tracking their progress, thus making it a violation.
  • Enlist robots to click ads – Using robots or any automated tool to gamify the system for the purpose of inflating your earnings is illegal. You are also prohibited from using human-generated clicks or trading clicks with other publishers.
  • Create site specifically for ads – Part of Google’s mission is to promote sites that provide valuable content on their site. If your site is thin on content and is merely used to showcase ads, then you are risking yourself from getting banned.

You can view more policy violations by clicking here.

No one is safe

Even if you feel that you are following Google Adsense policies to a tee, there’s still a chance your account can be penalized.

I got my account banned in 2012 out of the blue. It was only after a couple of months later after creating a new Adsense account when I found out that my ads are generated an unusually high CTR. Back then, I was using a theme with an aggressive ad placement, which most likely led to lots of clicks.

I highly encourage you to strictly follow Google policies regarding ads. There is no point in going behind Google’s back by illegally increasing your ad performance when you will eventually get caught.

Case studies of successful Google Adsense performers

Taking all the best practices mentioned above into account, there is still no guarantee that you will generate a steady income stream from Google Adsense. Other factors such as your ability to drive traffic and rank for your target keywords, among others, are essential skills to make the most out of your ad-infused site.

Below are case studies of people who have learned how to make money with Google Adsense.

Harsh Agrawal – $174/month

The ShoutMeLoud owner explains how he was able to generate at least $160 a month from Google Adsense by creating a micro-niche site in this post.

Below are key takeaways from Harsh’s blueprint that you can apply on your site to increase ad performance:

  • Find a niche you are comfortable with – While you cannot dictate the CPC for ads for your niche, you can choose a niche with a high CPC. Also, choose a niche that you are passionate about. Earning money from your site through high-paying ads is great, but you may lose motivation if you are developing a site with a topic you have zero interest in.
  • Find keywords for your content – To drive organic traffic to your site; you need to find keywords related to your niche. Ideally, you should optimize for keywords with high search volume and little competition, something that LongTailPro will provide you help with. For writing your content, you can hire from sites like TextBroker to do the writing for you.
  • Build links to your pages – In Harsh’s example above, he did not create backlinks even though he drove lots of organic traffic to his micro-niche site. However, as part of SEO’s best practices, you need to find ways on how to earn links from high-quality sites so you can increase your search ranking for your keywords.

Matthew Paulson – Over $100,000/year

Matt built a profitable network of financial sites.  A lot of his success to making money online lies in his ability to attract tons of traffic through unit means. He consistently drives 2.5 million unique visitors a month to his sites. Matt has been able to reap the benefits of not just Google Adsense, but various other monetization methods as well.

Below are takeaways from the podcast:

  • Don’t rely solely on Google for traffic – While ranking for your keywords of Google search will benefit your site, it’s not the only way for you to get traffic. In Matthew’s case, only 20% of his total traffic come from organic search. He gets most of his site traffic from places like Twitter and news outlets. In other words, Google is not the only source that can help you drive more visitors.
  • Find other ways to earn other than ads – Google Adsense has a low barrier to entry for publishers to generate a sufficient amount of revenue for their sites. However, to truly unlock the key to earning more, you need to think outside of ad networks (like selling your own products, etc).
  • Build an email list – What Matt noticed with his visitors is their interest for more in-depth analysis about the stock market. Instead of offering the analysis for free, he only sent them to his subscribers. Matt then set up an opt-in form on his site to collect email addresses of people interested in the content. Building a list allowed him to monetize the analysis exclusive to his subscribers.

Spencer Haws – $10,000/month

Of course, I had to include myself in this post! 🙂

My success with Google Adsense started in 2009 when I began creating niche sites with low competition. Taking this route helped me generate lots of traffic from Google, Bing, and Yahoo! at a time.

I built websites using this strategy, which helped me earn a five-figure monthly income.

My highs with earning from Google Adsense is not without its lows.

I now share some of my more current strategies for building niche sites, and often monetizing them with the Amazon Associates program.

Popular Questions About Google Adsense

Is Google Adsense Free?

Yes. It doesn’t cost anything to put Adsense on your site. 

Is Google Adsense Worth It?

Adsense doesn’t have a money cost, but it does have a space cost. It takes up space on your website and makes your site look a little worse. Some people, like the crew at DollarSprout, don’t have display ads at all.

Others, like Jon Dykstra, almost use nothing but ads to monetize their content.

It depends on what you want your website to look like and how you want your brand established. There aren’t many people who I would tell to not apply to Adsense. The worst case scenario is that you decide to not put ads on your site, but it’s good to have the option.

The best case scenario is that you could make 5 or 6 figures per month with display ads. That’s a no brainer for me!

I’d say yes, Google Adsense is worth it.

Is Google Adsense Legit?

Yes. It is 100% legit.

Wrapping it all up

There’s a reason why Adsense remains one of the most popular ad networks where site owners can make a living.

With a steady iron hand in Google that lays down the rules on how ads must be served to your audience, you can guarantee to be compensated well as long as you continue to provide value to your visitors with your site.

Therefore, if you want to make money with Google Adsense, then take the tips and strategies above to heart and apply them to your website today.

By Spencer Haws

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