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Increase Your Website ROI With Google AdSense and AdManager

November 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

google_logoOnce you have setup a blog or website and earned some traffic, you may decide to include advertising to increase your ROI.  This post walks you through how to add Google AdSense and AdManager to your WordPress blog or website.

I will be sharing specifically how to setup Google AdSense and AdManager for a WordPress blog such as this one, but many of the steps are the same no matter what type of site you are managing.

  1. Log into Google AdSense using a Google Account (if you do not have a Google Account, create one first).
  2. Click on the My Account tab and make sure your contact information is accurate.  Here you can also specify payment details, but Google won’t let you change where to receive it or provide tax information until you’ve accumulated $10 in earnings.
  3. Hopefully you’ve already setup Google Analytics on your domain and have been gathering visitor data.  If not, go do so now and return to Google AdSense.  On the Reports tab, click on Link to Your Google Analytics account and follow instructions.
  4. Click on AdSense setup tab, then AdSense for Content.  You have a choice here whether you want an Ad Unit or Link Unit.  If you like me prefer Ad Units, hit Continue, and Select the Size Ad you want to display.  A tip – originally I chose a 250×250 ad but Google AdPlanner called this size a “Square Pop-Up” for some reason, so I switched to a 200×200 “Small Square” so as not to confuse potential advertisers that I’m willing to serve pop-ups (more on AdPlanner in a future post).  Make any other changes you desire for colors, corners, etc., and hit Continue.
  5. Setup any desired Channels for your site, such as Business, News, Sports, etc. or ignore this and hit Continue.
  6. Choose a name for your AdSense ad or accept the one provided and hit Submit and Get Code.
  7. Now that we have the code to display the ads on your site, we need to add the functionality to the site to accept it.  For a WordPress Blog, I found a plugin called Advertising Manager that works great.  I simply downloaded it, unpacked it,  uploaded it into my Plugins folder, and Activated it.  If you are not using WordPress, watch this video on how to add AdSense for a website and then skip to the section on AdManager.
  8. In WordPress I now have a new drop-down menu in my left side column in Admin called Ads.  Clicking on Create New Ad, I now have a field to paste the code given in AdSense.  Click Import.  I did not do anything on the next page except under Max Ads Per Page I put 1.  I allowed it to display All Ad Types including text, image and video ads but you can change this.  Click Save.  Now we want to place the ad on the page.
  9. Click on Widgets under Appearance, and you will now see a widget called Advertisement.  Drag and drop the widget where you want it on the sidebar and change the drop-down menu under Select an ad to #Google Adsense.
  10. Hit Save and you’re done.  It may take about an hour for Google to begin loading ads, as it first will crawl your site to determine the best types of ads to display given your content.

Since it would be nice to not only display AdSense ads but also to sell advertisements, I then accessed Google AdManager, which helps you to manage and sell your online inventory.  I found it helpful to watch this video on how to get around in it.

  1. The first step you do is to setup your Ad Slots on the Inventory tab.  I setup two opportunities, the Homepage and Content pages.
  2. I then setup my Placements on the same Inventory tab.  Again, I setup the Homepage (select Adds Appear On: Homepage button) and where the ad is located, middle right.  And then the Content pages (select Adds Appear On: Other button – type in Content), middle right.
  3. Also on the Inventory tab, click on Network Settings and make sure you’ve enabled “Maximize revenue of unsold and remnant inventory with AdSense” so if there is no ad to serve, you will serve AdSense ads.
  4. I then click on the Order tab.  Here I can Check Inventory on particular Ad Slots, including defining Geography.  You have to wait to do this step, however, as it won’t work right away after setting up a new account.
  5. Going back to the Order tab, I can setup a New Order, list the advertiser, start/end of the campaign (called a “flight”), and billing information and click Save.
  6. Now we want to add line items to the campaign.  Clicking on New line item, we can name it (e.g. Homepage 200×200), select the inventory to be used, and put in the CPM (cost per thousand – tip:  M means 1,000 and MM means 1,000,000 when using abbreviations) or CPC (cost per click).  We can also add targeting criteria such as Geography, select Delivery Priority, and Delivery Options.
  7. For Delivery Options, you will typically use Even delivery to allow the system to space ads out over the lifetime of the campaign.  However, if you have multiple campaigns going at once you may find that another advertiser’s ad is delivering more often because they purchased at a higher CPM (rate determines priority).  Therefore, you do have to monitor delivery of all campaigns to make sure that they are delivering at the appropriate rate.   You do this by clicking on the campaign’s line item.  Review the delivery bar under the ‘Delivery’ column:  If the line item is on schedule, the delivery bar is green.  If there’s a moderate risk of overdelivery or underdelivery, the delivery bar is orange.  If there’s a high risk of overdelivery or underdelivery, the delivery bar is red.  If you find you are risking underdelivery, you may choose to override the system and deliver “As fast as possible.”  However, if you do this keep watch on it daily because it can deliver so fast that you will run out of impressions before the end of the campaign and your advertiser won’t be happy.  As soon as the campaign is on schedule, turn Deliver fast as possible off.
  8. You may get an advertiser who wants to pay a premium to take over your site’s ads for a particular promotion, in which case you can also select under Deliver Creatives to “Takeover (fill all possible slots).”  This will override the delivery system to not deliver any of your other advertiser’s ads.  Of course, this also means you have to keep close eye on delivery of your other campaigns that you fulfill the number of promised impressions in those contracts.  The system should adjust for a Takeover to fulfill the other advertiser’s contracts, but you may have to employ Deliver as fast as possible towards the end of the campaign to help it along.
  9. Also Under Deliver Creatives you can select a Frequency cap, meaning, you won’t keep delivering the same ad more than the specified amount to the same person.
  10. Under Deliver Creatives, you can optimize campaign creative delivery.  If an advertiser is running several versions of an ad, you can deliver them Evenly, you can Optimize them to deliver the creative that is garnering the best click through rate more often, or you can override the system with Manual Weights, for example 50%/50%.   Using Manual Weights is helpful if the advertiser wants to test two or more creatives throughout the entire campaign and wants to compare results equally over that time period, or if they predetermine to run one more often than another you can do that also.
  11. Now we want to upload the Creatives associated with each line item in the campaign.  Clicking on a particular line item, we select Upload Creatives, fill out the needed info, upload a test image, and enter a test click-through URL (under Creative Type select hosted – redirect means that the ad resides on an advertiser’s server).  When doing this for real, be sure to look at advertiser provided click-through URLs to make sure they are correct.  Here you can also provide a fall-back static image if the ad is a Flash ad and the user’s browser doesn’t support them.
  12. If the line item has rotating ads, click on Upload more creatives.  When done with this process, you will Approve and Activate the line item as ready-to-go.  Upload creatives for any additional line items, Approve and Activate.  If the line item status now says Ready, that means it is Activated but not yet delivering ads.
  13. The last step that AdManager will direct you to do is to generate Ad Slot Tags, the code that makes the ad display on your site.  Click on the Inventory tab, then Generate Sample HTML, select “Add” Homepage, hit Generate Sample HTML.  For WordPress blogs – copy the SCRIPT ONLY between then in your blog under Advertising Manager hit Create New, paste the code.  Go back to the code in AdManager and copy the SCRIPT ONLY between , go back to the blog and paste it under the previous code.  Hit Import.  On the next page,  name the ad (e.g. HTML Homepage) and change the default ad size to whatever it is.   Under Website Display Options > By Page Type select the pages you want the ad to show up on (in this case, Homepage).  Save.
  14. Return to AdManager, “Remove” Homepage and “Add” Content Pages, hit Generate Sample HTML.  For WordPress blogs only – copy the SCRIPTS ONLY between the and tags into a New Ad.  Hit Import.  On the next page,  name the ad (e.g. HTML Content) change the default ad size to whatever it is.   Under Website Display Options > By Page Type select the pages you want the ad to show up on (in this case, all except Homepage).  Save.
  15. Click on Widgets under Appearance, drag and drop the Advertisement widget under the first we created earlier, change the drop-down menu under Select an ad to #HTML Homepage. Hit Save.
  16. Add another Advertisement widget under the second, change the drop-down menu to #HTML Content.  Hit Save.
  17. You should now be able to test the widgets and see your ads show up.  In my test, I uploaded a lotus flower to my homepage and a water lily to my content pages.  Check it out – my “flower campaign” runs through November 22.  Once you see it’s working, you can remove the first AdSense Advertisement widget as the ads will replace AdSense for as long as the flight is running (I’ll leave mine up so my readers can see it in action).

Lastly, you may also notice under my Google AdSense box a button that says “Google AdPlanner.”  In my next post, I will delve into AdPlanner – what it is, how to use it, and how to add that nifty button.

I hope you have enjoyed learning how to setup your blog/website for Google AdSense and AdManager.  Now do me a favor and click on my AdSense ads!  Haha.

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  1. November 17th, 2009 at 18:32 | #1

    Thanks for this Rebekah! I’ve added AdSense and AdManager to some of my other websites before. I have several WordPress blogs, though, and haven’t had any success trying to add AdSense. I haven’t had time, though, to research other utilities to assist. I’m definitely going to try the Advertising Manager plug-in, and hopefully this will do the trick!

  1. November 22nd, 2009 at 15:41 | #1

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