You want to make money online and know about Google Adsense. So you start a website or blog, slap some ads and watch the money come in. Great, but are you maximizing your earnings from Google Adsense?
In this post I want to share another Google Adsense earning optimization tip in detail.
If you haven’t yet, you can read my detailed notes from my meeting with the Google Adsense staff here.
You can also read about another effective strategy I have been using the boost my Adsense CTR and overall earnings here.
The strategy I will share is one that I personally use on several websites, including this blog.
It is the use of the Google Custom Search Engine feature, also called the Google CSE.
This is what the Google CSE is and how it looks like:
Yes, it’s a search function similar to a static HTML one, or that which most WordPress themes have embedded in them. The difference is that this search function can be automatically synced with your Google Adsense account so that you can maximize your earnings.
If you were to use a standard search function like the one that comes with WordPress sites, your search results page will look like the following to your readers:
If you are using a Google CSE function, your page will look like the following:
Notice how Google Adsense ads show up on this page?
Not only does the search results page display Google Adsense ads, but your users have a higher probability of clicking on these because they are searching for something specific. Because Google Adsense is a contextual ad program, it does its best to serve ads closely related to search queries.
Unfortunately I cannot share with you specific CTR and earnings numbers because of Google’s rules, but I can tell you that my CTR and earnings have significantly increased as a result of using the Google CSE feature. The CTR is significantly higher for my Adsense for Search Ads.
If you already have a Google account of any sort (Gmail, Youtube, Google +, etc), simply login to Google and go to the Google CSE page here.
Once there you can create your own search engine for any number of sites you own in a matter of minutes. This is how the Google CSE control panel looks like:
This tool is robust and very powerful, and although there are several options on the left hand navigation menu, the three most common ones I use are the ones in the box. But before going there, notice the middle section requires you to name your search engine, add some keywords and a description.
Once done, go to the look and feel option to the right. Work with the options to design a search results page that is consistent with the theme of your website. For example, use the search function of this blog and notice how I have customized the look and feel to match the overall theme of the site?
Once done, go to the “Get Code” option and simply copy and paste the code to your site. For example, this blog is designed using WordPress. The search engine code is simply embedded into a text widget. Basically, place the code wherever you’d like the Google CSE to appear.
Google CSE is very flexible. You can enable users to be served results from the world wide web or your own website’s content, or both. I choose to display results from only within my site.
In addition to customizing the look and feel of the search box as well as the results page so that it stays consistent with your website for a smooth user experience, you can also enhance ad targeting by refining the CSE attributes such as adding synonyms for more targeted search results. All these options can be found in the control panel as seen in the image above.
This entire process takes less than half hour at best even for a non coder like myself. The results however are long lasting.
Here is a sad truth. Many websites built on the WordPress platform are inherently flawed from a search standpoint because the built in search engine in WordPress prioritizes based on most recent material and not necessarily most relevant material. This is very important and a cause of frustration for many including myself when searching on other blogs and websites.
As if that’s not bad enough, WordPress search results mostly display full posts instead of just the Title and description, so you have to scroll through a mammoth page if you were a user. What a terrible experience!
There are two ways to fix this. You can download plugins like Relevanssi to improve search results, or use the Google CSE feature and make money in the process. I like the later option better (most of my niche sites have the Google CSE implemented while this blog right now has the default WordPress feature).
While in the Look and Feel section of the Google CSE control panel, you will have the option of displaying search results on your server or on Google’s. The default option is to leave the results on Google’s servers.
While this is the easiest option, one can argue it is not the best because your readers will leave your site after conducting the search – although my argument is that if they find the most relevant result to be an article on your site then they will land right back onto it. But this is besides the point.
Honestly speaking, many don’t even know that they are leaving your site, especially if you do a good job making the search results page consistent with your site’s look and feel in terms of color theme, link colors, etc. You can do all of this in the Google CSE control panel. However, keeping them “on your site” does increase the time spent on your site attribute.
The problem is that Google hasn’t really designed the whole keep the search results on your site process easy enough to quickly set up search results on your own server. It’s not a difficult process, but does involve some steps and messing around in your site’s code.
If you are interested in learning this process please let me know in the comments below. It’s nothing that can’t be done. I don’t code and was able to figure it out. I can walk you through it.
Hope you found this post useful. You can take action now and get this done in less than half hour. When you’re done, you can check out another specific strategy to boost your Google Adsense CTR and earnings here.
Are you using the Google CSE or are you using the default HTML search bar that came with your website theme? Why? What do you think about using the Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) to boost your Adsense earnings? What questions or concerns do you have regarding this topic?
If you feel this post has helped you in any way, please help me spread the word by Tweeting, Liking or Sharing it with others by clicking one of the buttons below.Previous: A Proven Practical Tip to Mega Boost Your Google Adsense CTR & Earnings