How Much Money Can You Make With AdSense?
I have written a couple of articles on AdSense in the past but recently I was reading some blogs relating to digital marketing and I came across multiple comments asking “how much money can I make with AdSense?”, so I thought I would write an answer to that question here. For those of you who are not familiar with Google AdSense I suggest reading my prior article here before reading further.
The quick and easy answer is”it depends”, but quick and easy is not always the most satisfying. So in attempt to provide a useful answer I am going to go through the process I use to determine the potential revenue from Google AdSense.
I have found the best way to explain things is to use an example that people can relate to. In this case we will use the case of John Moneymaker (this is a fictitious name so please don’t waste your time Googling Mr. Moneymaker).
Google AdSense Example
John is a hard working guy who likes to spend his free time gardening. Over the years John has become quite an expert at growing vegetables and has decided he is going to start a blog in order to share his expertise in vegetable gardens with the world. While John loves to talk about his vegetable garden he also loves to make money and is curious how much money he could make if he placed AdSense advertising on his vegetable garden blog. Here are the steps John took to get some idea of how much revenue it might bring in from AdSense.
First John signed up for a free AdWords account so he would have access to the AdWords tools. Specifically, John was interested in the AdWords Keyword Planner and the AdWords Display Planner. John was aware he could sign up for AdWords for free, access the tools, and he would not be required to actually spend any money with AdWords.
Once John signed into his free AdWords account he went to the Tools menu at the top of his account and selected the Keyword Planner. (For more details on the Keyword Planner)
John then did a search using the keyword vegetable garden and got these results.
The Keyword Planner provided John a list of keywords similar to vegetable garden along with the number of monthly searches and a suggested bid amount. To find the relavant keywords that get searched for most often John simply clicks on the heading of Avg. monthly searches to find that the word vegetables is searched for almost 50,000 times per month. That is a lot of potential traffic! The suggested bid for the keyword vegetables is $1.53. This means that many of the advertisers for the keyword vegetables are paying between $1-$2 per click to have their ad show when that keyword is searched for.
This does not indicate what John will make with AdSense ads but he is beginning to gather information on what keywords would most likely attract traffic to his blog and what the potential value of that traffic may be. John also clicks on the heading suggested bid amount to place his keyword suggestion in descending order of suggested bid amount. This tells John that the keyword gardening help has a suggested bid of more than $11. So now John knows that talking about vegetables might get him the most traffic offering gardening help might get more value.
John is now ready to move to the next step. John will now select the Display Planner from the Tools menu. (For more details on the Display Planner) If you are familiar with AdSense you know that AdSense ads make up the Google AdWords Display Network so this next step is going to give us some great information.
Using the keyword vegetable garden again John does a search for placements and gets these results.
John has put his results in order of relevance to his keyword vegetable garden. What this data shows you is a list of websites that have AdSense ads on them on the historical cost per click on those ads. When an AdSense ad is clicked the AdWords account that created that ad is charged for the click. The website on which that ad was placed gets 68% of that revenue. In this case John discovers that he will most likely receive somewhere between $.01 and $.68 for every click on his AdSense ads based on the historical data of other similar sites.
John could also order his results by historical CPC to see which sites are getting the most revenue per click and then visit those sites to determine what the content on those sites is so that he could emulate their websites to increase his own revenue from AdSense.
You might now be thinking that the “it depends” answer was where you should have stopped but at least you now know what it depends on. It depends on the content of your website or blog. It depends on the amount of traffic you receive and it depends on the engagement of your traffic.
I want to cover a few more details so that you understand how the user engagement will affect your AdSense revenue.
The click-through-rate or CTR of ads on the Google Display Network is normally very low. Usually a good deal lower than 1%. To determine how much revenue you might receive from AdSense let us assume you receive a CTR of .25% on your AdSense ads. This means you receive 1 click for every 400 AdSense impressions. John (our vegetable garden guy) gets 1200 visitors to his blog a month. We used the Display Planner to determine that John can expect revenue of $.50 per click (that’s an optimistic estimate). With a .25% CTR you might assume John would get 3 clicks per month totaling $1.50 per month from AdSense but do to other factors such as user engagement John might actually do much better than that.
If John places 2 AdSense ads on each page of his website and his user engagement is good so each visitor sees an average of 2 pages that means with 1200 visitors per month John is actually generating 4800 ad impressions. Each page has 2 ads and each visitor sees 2 pages so each visitor creates 4 impressions times 1200 visitors equals 4800 impressions times a .25% CTR equals 12 clicks at $.50 each so John makes $6 not $1.50.
These numbers do not add up to big money but this is just an example of how to get an idea of how to determine your AdSense revenue potential. Some content can generate $5-$10 per click in revenue. Some AdSense ads have a CTR between 1-5%. Some website receive millions of visitors. AdSense revenue can grow very fast very quickly. The question really is “How much can YOU make with AdSense?