Google Analytics is a great tool to monitor your site’s user behavior- here are some tips on how to use Analytics data to increase your AdSense earnings! We’ve divided it into different sections which you can find in your Analytics reports:
AdSense performance is directly related to your Google Analytics data. A great place to start exploring is your Audience Overview- this lists your overall metrics like bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration.
Your first port of call is to monitor these trends over time, and make note of when any changes are made to your site. A decrease in bounce rate / increase in pages per session or session duration will have a great effect on income.
Tracking the engagement of your readers with your posts is slightly more advanced, but equally important. How many of your users are New Visitors? How many are Returning? You can check this in the Reporting area of your Google Analytics account- go to Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning to get a chart.
If you get many returning visitors, firstly, congratulations! Your content is obviously of a high quality which brings people back to your site. For any site with returning visitors it is a good idea to try out something like providing an iOS App to capitalize on this loyalty- then you can send out push notifications to bring people back whenever you update your content. A mailing list is also a good idea for this! Changing up ad positions and sizes is important for sites with frequent repeat visitors, as they can become ‘blind’ to the same ads over time.
This section allows you to tocompare your different traffic sources – for example, organic search vs. direct traffic. You can track the different times that users come to your site from different sources and this allows you to time the posting of updates and content to suit your users’ needs. If you are using an AdWords campaign to bring users to the site you can also check which keywords are working best!
So now you know how your users are accessing the site, it’s time to learn where they are in the world! For example, if many of your users are based in North America there is no sense in promoting content on social media in the morning Central European time.
Find out the location of the majority of your users, and you can promote content on Social Media at the appropriate time. This also applies to sending your iOS App push notifications, or email updates, when your readers are likely to be near their devices and checking them. Timing events like this correctly will drive more visitors to your site, which will increase the number of opportunities to show ads.
Demographics & Interests
We all work on the assumption that readers are interested in our content- otherwise, they wouldn’t be visiting the site! However, Google Analytics has some neat ways to really dig into what your users like the most- using your AdSense cookies. Different people will visit your site for different reasons, and it’s important to cater to this.
The Demographics and Interests features are of particular importance- they can be really helpful in finding out what your users might be interested in. You can also use these sections to analyze past content and break down your users into the respective demographics- this allows you to plan for content that will perform well in the future! Better user experience metrics and user engagement = more AdSense income!
To use the Demographics and Interests features you should enable ‘Remarketing and Advertising’ reporting features for your site. This allows your Analytics account to work with your AdSense cookies to gather anonymous data on who your users are and what they like. Here’s the AdSense guide on how to do this.
If you can analyze the typical patterns of user behavior on site then you can also optimize your ads accordingly. Google recommends finding the top exit pages, and increasing the number of ads on them to ‘monetize your outgoing traffic’.
This also works the other way- what are your top landing` pages? You can use the information about which pages typically bring users to the site to really concentrate on providing a good user experience in these areas. The bounce rate for these pages is crucial to increasing Ad Sense income- try running tests and seeing if you can decrease it! Reducing the number and density of ads on these pages may decrease revenue for the page itself, but also decrease the bounce rate and increase pages viewed- leading to an overall increase in income.
You can use segments to further split all of the data we have already discussed. This allows you to get pretty granular with your analysis, depending on what your strategy is for increasing AdSense earnings. So far, all of the reports that you have created have been for ‘All Users’- you can go back through these and segment further.
You can add multiple segments at once and compare these in a handy graph. A couple of great segments to add to begin with are ‘Mobile’ vs ‘Desktop and Tablet’. Check which devices the majority of your users are coming from. This site is mobile heavy on the traffic- so mobile AdSense performance would be a good thing to check first.
You can even take this further and choose different metrics to compare within the segments.
By default, Google Analytics will display ‘Sessions’ data. Clicking on the search bar will bring up a list of other metrics that you can investigate.
The key is to monitor trends over time. Try out new strategies and then see how they perform- ideally, to increase AdSense income you want to increase as many metrics as possible (minus bounce rate!)
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since it was known as the ARPAnet and has decades of experience as an independent online publisher. Dave owns multiple online businesses and websites. You can check out his site AskDaveTaylor.com or find him on social media as @DaveTaylor to learn more about how he sees emerging technology.