AdSense URL Channels: Do You Know Where Your AdSense Earnings Come From?

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

Once you have learned the fundamentals of how to make money with AdSense, you realize that there is extremely positive earnings potential from AdSense.

In fact, if you don’t believe that there is massive earning potential with AdSense, you just may want to read my post entitled Earn $1000 An Hour With AdSense: Massive AdSense Success! I purposely gave a bloated, hyperbolic name to this article, one more befitting a ClickBank product than an actual article. I did this because people like bloated, hyperbolic titles :)

But, if you have tuned into any pages of my site, you realize that I just like to write about what I do. Check out my blog Live Your Way and you’ll be able to always see what’s on my mind. I am not selling anything. I am just one of those people who thinks about what he does and then writes about it. As you see on my blog, I often just write about what I think ;)

AdSense Earnings: Where Are Yours Coming From

So, this find Sunday morning–a beautiful one at that (I’m sitting on the porch writing this), my mind is on talking about where AdSense earnings come from. After you have mastered the basics of making money online, you then realize that you need to go the extra step. To make money with AdSense is to know exactly where you AdSense earnings are coming from.

If you read this and think, “I know exactly where my AdSense earnings come from. I check my AdSense account everyday”, this post is for you. Most people simply know in general where their AdSense earnings come from and have no idea about the specifics.

For example, if you don’t know how much an exact page is earning, you do not know where your AdSense dollars are coming from.

The reality is that most people do not use all of the tools that Google makes available to us.

I know that this is true because I do not use every tool that Google makes available to me. When you first start out with AdSense, you make little trickles of money each day and you do not bother to optimize your AdSense settings. This makes sense. If your site only makes $3 in AdSense everyday, what is optimization going to benefit you? Ooooh-La-La, you may be able to add 50% to your income and make around $4.50 per day with AdSense.

Of course, if you are in this situation, you need not take the time to find out where your earnings come from. You want to be taking the time to produce outstanding content and bring visitors to your site. Because, as we all know, if you don’t have visitors, you will not have any AdSense income. Of course, all of the tools to gets visitors to your AdSense sites are well-covered in my very detailed post about making money with Adsense which easily has passed my AdSense Quality Test.

As I wrote about in the post AdSense Quality Test, you absolutely need to produce outstanding content to make money with AdSense. If you are doing some scam and trying to make money simply using a few keywords in an article, it won’t work. It may have worked in the past and it may work a little bit currently, but it will not work in the future. With the new Google Mayday algorithm, nothing will survive over the long haul except absolute quality.

This is good for Google (they still drum in about 75% of their entire business through their search engine) and good for you because, frankly, most web pages are not quality. So, make sure that all of your pages pass the AdSense quality test and then promote your pages to others.

Now, back to the topic at hand.

Once you begin making money with AdSense, you then want to make more money from AdSense, which is possible. If you make $500 a month and already follow all of the appropriate Adsense tips to optimize your ad placement and content, you may be able to add a few hundred dollars more by knowing exactly where your earnings come from.

Using Google URL Channels To Determine Where You Make AdSense Money

This morning I followed some advice from the AdSense team. They informed me that I may be able to make more money by using combination graphic/text ads instead of just text ads on certain pages. I have made that change and I will be seeing how these recommendations affect my pages.

But, how will I track this?

On many pages, I use text ads because they look better in certain places. Now, I have changed this so they will be text ads OR graphic ads. But, if I make this Google-recommended AdSense change without doing anything else, I will have no way to know whether their recommendations are working.

(Remember, Google has skin in the game too…so they are not going to make recommendations that will lose you money. However, keep in mind, their recommendations are from general “trends” and may not benefit your site as they have benefited others.)

So, I want to track the changes that I made with the AdSense ads. How do I this this?

I currently do my AdSense tracking with URL channels and it works great. If you make money with AdSense, you simply must use URL tracking with AdSense. To do so, click on “Advanced Reports” and then “Manage Channels” within your AdSense panel. There, you will be able to add URL channels. To do this, simply copy and paste the pages that you want AdSense to track and paste them in the box–you can do multiple pages at a time. (You will also see a choice called “Custom Channels” which I will report on at a late date.)

URL channels allow you to see exactly how an AdSense page is performing.

This is absolutely indispensable knowledge.

In the example above, AdSense had made recommendations of changing “text only ads” to text plus graphics ads. I am going to take Google’s advice. However, as I mentioned, while this is a great general recommendation, I do not know if it will work on my site. So, I need to create a benchmark. How were my earnings before and how will they be after I make the recommended AdSense change?

Fortunately, I already have my benchmark setup. I have been using URL channels for a while. Thus, I have the historical “text only” ad data. After I make the change, I will note the date and the time that I made the change and have a very solid before and after picture. I will report on this at a later date…so you better subscribe to my feed if you want to know the results.

But, this is not the only benefit from URL channels. There is a much better one and I’ll tell you right now what it is.

I know one thing: If you are reading this post, you are not mentally uninspired. You are not someone who has visited the Internet for things like I’m Bored What Can I Do?. You are reading this post because you want to know how to make money online.

As I like to travel and spend several months of the year living in Uruguay, I too have a heavy investment in making money online.

However, I am sometimes extremely surprised–and pleased!–to find out that some things make money online that I would not have expected to make money online. And, the only reason I know this is through using AdSense URL channels.

If I just looked at my AdSense statistics on my domain as a whole, I would get a global number of how the site was doing on a whole. I might make assumptions about what pages make money and I might be completely clueless about where my AdSense earnings come from.

In fact, this happened to me before I implemented URL channels on my webpages. I had some pages that I put AdSense on but really only expected to make a trickle of online income from these pages. I created the pages not to make money online but to share valuable information with people and simply to share my experiences. Because, as I expressed above, I simply like to write about what I am thinking or doing.

Well, after I put AdSense URL channels in place, I realized that some of my assumptions about where my AdSense earnings were coming from were wrong. Pages that I thought were not making any money were actually bringing in decent income. Remember, a page that has 100 visitors a day CAN make more than a page that has 500 visitors a day–every AdSense ad has a dollar value (see AdSense High Paying Keywords: How To Find Them) .

This is where the AdSense URL channels really helped me. I assumed (yes, I know how to break that word down) that a page with little traffic would amount to very little AdSense income.  Yes, my assumption was incorrect.  I, rather joyfully, found out that certain pages that are not heavily trafficked actually bring in healthy AdSense income.  The only bummer was that I wish I had implemented AdSense URL channels earlier.

What can you do with this newfound information? Lots! If you discover that an AdSense page makes more money than you thought, you can take more time to optimize that page and, most importantly, promote that page in a more aggressive manner by visiting relevant sites and telling them about it.

URL Channels: The Vital Piece of Information

Once you have implemented URL channels in AdSense, you can get a terrific break down in stats on a per-page basis. The two AdSense criteria that I like to look at are Page CTR and eCPM.

Page CTR and Page eCPM

The page CTR will tell you what the Click Thru Rate is on a particular page. This will tell you whether you have effectively optimized AdSense and, in general, whether people are interested in clicking ads on a particular topic. As an example of how I benefited from this information, I have two pages that have similar content. On one, the CTR was 5% points higher than on the other. Thus, I visited the one with the low CTR rate and matched it up exactly with the one with the high CTR rate. Because, as we know, more clicks equals more money :)

The eCPM stat is even more important. As I said, a page with 100 visitors a day might earn much more than a page with 500 visitors a days. How do you know this? You use the AdSense eCPM statistic. It will tell you how much you make per 1,000 AdSense impressions. This stat is extremely important. I made some great discoveries that pages I considered not too important really do well in terms of AdSense dollars. This let me know that I should create more similarly themed pages and promote these pages more.

Moral of the story: You need to know where your AdSense earnings are coming from and the AdSense URL channels tool will allow you to discover this. If you are not using AdSense URL channels, you are just blindly throwing darts and hoping you hit a bullseye.

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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