One of the many mistruths surrounding Google Adsense is that you need hundreds of thousands of visitors to your site to make a decent income. This is simply not true. I have generated over £11,500 (and growing) from Adsense by building small websites in the travel niche. This Adsense case study will show you how!
My Adsense case study
Making money from Google Adsense is actually fairly straight forward. It’s no longer “hot” in the internet marketing world, but it’s still a great way to earn passive income. Here are some top tips for earning money with Adsense…
1) Pick a niche with plenty of paid advertisers
The key to making money with Adsense is “niche selection”. Pick a niche that has plenty of paid advertisers using Adwords. I also look for niches where some of the paid advertisers are big brands, ie Travel.
The travel sites which I have done well with are localised to a certain popular holiday destination. They are small sites, usually less than 30 pages/posts. They have 3 different revenue streams; Adsense, Affiliate Links (Booking.com) and direct advertising sales to businesses in the local area (usually hotels).
The research is fairly straight forward. There are paid and free tools you can use to cut down your research time. The best place to start is by manual research. A quick Google search will reveal if a particular keyword has paid advertisers. Look out for “brands”, I like to see big brands advertising under a particular keyword. In the UK (where my sites are focused), Booking.com, Laterooms, Expedia and other top travel companies use a lot of paid advertising and this drives the costs up for advertisers, which in turn increases the cost per click I receive when somebody clicks on my Adsense ads.
Use the free Google Keyword Planner to research keywords, look for keywords which have a suggested bid of at least £1/$1 and have a “high” competition rating. See the example below.
I don’t worry too much about search volume at this stage. Ensure collectivity that your chosen niche has good search volume across a range of keywords but don’t stress over the individual search volume for each keyword.
Pick a selection of keywords under a very targeted niche. For example. “Blackpool” is too broad, there is too much SEO competition, making it harder to get traffic. Pick a laser targeted sub-niche related to travel, such as “Pet-friendly Blackpool holidays”, then pick a range of keywords related to this sub-niche. For example…
Your laser targeted niche: Pet-friendly Blackpool holidays
Related keywords: Pet-friendly Blackpool hotels, Pet-friendly Blackpool bed and breakfasts, Pet-friendly Blackpool cottages, Pet-friendly Blackpool restaurants, Pet-friendly Blackpool pubs. Etc etc..
Once you have chosen a niche and found some related keywords with a high suggested bid you can move onto creating your site.
2) Build a clean, simple site!
I have included a screen print below which shows the page layout from one of my sites.
Don’t go crazy with your Adsense placements. I could get away with one more Adsense unit on this page but I don’t want to spoil the user experience by bombarding them with ads. Build your site for the end user, this is how Google wants you to build websites.
The WordPress theme I use to build niche Adsense sites is MH Magazine.
It’s a paid theme ($49) but offers some great Ad locations that easily allow you to paste your Adsense code. I highly recommend this theme if you’re serious about building a network of niche sites.
Ensure you’re mobile friendly!
Ensure your site displays your Adsense ads effectively in responsive mode! This is very important if you’re sending traffic to your niche site from social media, there is high chance it will be mobile traffic. Ensure your site shows them a responsive Adsense unit quickly, but ensure its below the fold to adhere to Adsense policies. See the screen print below.
Keep your content unique and research your blog posts and website content. There is no quick fix for this. If your not a great writer then hire somebody to write your articles for you.
I always ensure that each page/post is at least 1000 words and I hire freelancers to write the content for me. I pay around £15 ($20) for a well-researched blog post. There are plenty of places to hire freelance writers, some of my favourites are; www.upwork.com, www.peopleperhour.com and Warrior Forum.
3) Drive quality traffic
The hardest part of creating Adsense niche sites is driving targeted traffic to your website. In order for people to click on your Adsense ads, you must first get them onto your website. I like to focus on 3 main traffic sources for my Adsense niche sites, these are Facebook, Twitter & organic SEO traffic.
Facebook – The best way to drive traffic from Facebook is to create a business or fan page. I then post a snippet from my website articles which link back to each article on my website. I like to schedule these updates to automatically post every few days initially. In order to get “likes” on your Facebook page, you can either network and interact with other pages and groups in your niche, or use Facebook ads (which I do). I like to use paid adverts to get the “likes” up quickly for my page. Once I have a few thousand likes, I find the page starts to grow organically as people share the posts with their friends.
Twitter – Use Tweepi to quickly grow your Twitter following, schedule your Tweets which link back to your articles and then rinse and repeat.
Organic SEO – Once your website is a few weeks old, you will notice your articles will start to appear for a range of long-tail keywords in Google’s organic search results. You can then focus on creating more articles and growing your website organically.
Once your website is a few months old, you can analyse the Analytics data and see which pages are performing well. You can then focus on these pages and look at additional SEO work to ensure your rankings highly for a variety of keywords.
4) Clone & Repeat
As you can see from this Adsense case study, it’s not too difficult to get a small niche travel site earning around $5 a day in Adsense income.
To give you an idea of numbers, one of my sites averages around 250 unique users a day and generates between $2-5 a day in Adsense income. All traffic is from Facebook, Twitter and organic search results. (no ongoing SEO work).
These small niche sites have a traffic ceiling, as you will struggle to find lots of relevant content. Ensure you keep your social media profiles updated by sharing videos and images from other users to keep your audience happy. You can then start re-posting your old articles on a semi-frequent basis in between the content you share with other users. Try and add 1 or 2 new blog posts each month and you will have a site that generates passive income for years to come.
When you’ve mastered the process, go and build 5-10 of these sites and you will have a nice additional monthly income. You can leverage these sites by adding affiliate links and offering paid banner ads to local businesses!
GO GET EM!!!