Setting up Google AdSense on your website is one of the fastest ways to start bringing in revenue from your articles, videos, or other content. Alongside brand deals and sponsored articles, Google AdSense is a fantastic way to generate new forms of revenue. However, Google AdSense can be intimidating to set up for the first time, and there are so many options that can quickly become confusing. To help, we're creating this article to show you everything you need to know to set up Google AdSense on your website.
We're going to go through how we can set up Google AdSense on a WordPress website as well as a website build from scratch without a CMS. If you're looking for a reliable and affordable web host, be sure to check out Bluehost. With Bluehost, you'll get an SSL-secured website for $3.95/month & a free domain name.
Why Set Up Google AdSense
There are tons of different advertising options available to us when setting up a website, so what makes Google AdSense so special? To start, AdSense has been around for years and is still one of the most trusted advertising sources around. Not only will we be able to have quality ads on our website, but AdSense also allows us to have ads on our site that are more likely to be clicked by our visitors. This means we'll be generating more revenue, and our visitors are much more likely to trust the content on our website. Having trusted advertisements on our site is the single most important part. When we're giving our visitors content they can trust, they'll come back again for more.
Step 1: Adding a New Property
For this example, we're going to assume we already have signed up for AdSense. If you haven't signed up yet, you'll just need to go to AdSense and sign up. The entire sign up process is very simple and just requires a few pieces of information. Once we've done that, we'll head into our AdSense Dashboard to add a new website.
To add a new site, we need to head into Settings on the left side of the screen. From there, we'll select My Sites and hit the Add or Plus icon at the top. A dialog box will appear where we will enter our website URL. For this example, we'll say that we've added our website – TheBreakdown.xyz. For that, we would simply enter “https://thebreakdown.xyz/” in the text box. Once we've entered the URL, we'll hit the Add Site button, and the new site will be added to our dashboard.
Step 2: Verify Your Website
At this point in time, we've added the new website to our Sites tab. Google may require us to verify the site by placing a piece of code in the header of our website. If you've never done this before, don't worry. Adding a small bit of code to the header is pretty simple, but it all comes down to how the website is built.
For example, our website is hosted through Bluehost and uses WordPress as a CMS. We'll need to head into our WordPress Dashboard and open the Editor. It's normally under the Appearance tab and includes a lot of the code for the website. Simply paste the code required by AdSense, and the account should verify the new site.
If, for example, our website was built from scratch, the process would be similar. We would head into our index file (HTML, PHP, etc.). We would then place the code in the Head section where the page Title is placed. If you're having trouble with this, Google AdSense will be able to walk you through step-by-step.
It is also possible that we can verify our new site with Google Analytics. In order to set up Google Analytics, you can see our tutorial here.
Once our website is verified, we'll head back to the dashboard to set up the site properties.
Step 3: Set Up Google AdSense Ads
Now that we have the new website added, it's time that we set up Google AdSense ads on our site. In our AdSense dashboard, we'll head over to “My Ads” in the menu bar. From here, we have a choice to set up Auto Ads or Manual Ads. Auto Ads are a newer feature on AdSense where we can let Google decide where our ads are shown. Likewise, we can still easily manually choose where the ads go. Both of these ad types can be found under the Content tab in My Ads. There's no truly right or wrong choice here – it's simply personal preference. A mixture of the two works well on some of our sites as well.
Auto Ads vs Manual Ads
Essentially, let's say we always want an ad to show in one specific place in the header. For that, we would select a standard Ad unit. If we want ads to randomly display throughout an article, we would use Auto ads. AdSense would detect the best place for an ad in the article, which will increase natural clicks and engagement with the ad.
Another benefit we have seen with auto ads in a large increase in ad revenue. After adding in Google AdSense Auto Ads, our advertising revenue went up an average of 500% per month since. Obviously, this was only in the case of our website, and each website will be different. With that, though, it's certainly worth giving Auto Ads a try, as we've seen incredible results with them.
At the start of Auto Ads, we were also worried about taking a hit on SEO results and rankings. Originally, we were wondering if having ads randomly placed would hurt our ability to rank in search engines and result in less traffic. In fact, the complete opposite happened. Our website views jumped, and revenue continued to grow. I personally would recommend using Auto Ads at first. You can always change it later if you aren't happy with the results.
Different Types of Manual Ads
The easiest way to use Google Ads on your website is to place auto ads, but if you have specific places where you always want an ad to show, you can. Placing a manual advertisement is easy. All we need to do is head into our AdSense Dashboard. In the dashboard, we'll create a new ad unit. We then have the option to create a text & display ad, matched content ad, feed ads, and article ads.
Text & Display Ads
This is likely the easiest way we can place ads on our site manually. Text & Display ads allow you to choose the size, placement, and style of the ad. It's likely one of the most customizable forms of AdSense Ads.
Matched Content Ads
With this type of ad, we have the ability to promote our content on our site. We can increase page views, time on site, and ad revenue all through using matched content ads.
In-Feed ads are very similar to In-Article ads. These ads allow you to create ads that flow in a list of articles or products. They allow us to seamlessly place advertisements next to our own content. For example, we would use these on a list of articles on your homepage or blog page.
Another great way we can use AdSense ads on our site is to use in-article ads. Similar to in-feed, these will place ads seamlessly on our website. The only difference is, these will display in our articles rather than on a list.
Step 4: Creating a Manual Text & Display Ad
Creating a text & display ad on our AdSense account is simple. Head over to the dashboard, and select My Ads -> Content -> Ad Units. From here, we can select to do a Display Ad. We'll give ours the name Breakdown Site Ad for this example. Next, we need to choose the ad size. Over the years, Google has made this a lot easier and will show a preview of example ads. You can allow Google to set the size automatically based on their recommendation. Likewise, we can also choose a specific size for the ad.
Our options for manually choosing the ad size include horizontal banner, vertical banner, rectangular, responsive, custom, and link ads. All of these give us the ability to make our users experience on our website unique and memorable. We also have the ability to choose a specific size based on each type of ad.
For example, for a horizontal banner, we can choose sizes of 970 x 250, 970 x 90, 728 x 90, and more.
We also have the ability to choose the ad type. For example, have you ever seen an ad on a website that is a large box of just text? It looks a bit out of place, but surprisingly, those ads convert very well. On the other side of the spectrum, display ads show pictures in the ad and have a higher CPC. With that, I would recommend having Text & Display ads shown.
Google AdSense also gives us the option to change the color scheme of the ads, add custom channels, and what do to when no ads are available. These are all options, and for the most part, you can leave them as standard. The biggest one to change would be the design. If our website had a specific color scheme to it, changing the ad style might be a good idea.
From there, we can click the “Save & Get Code” button, and we can place the ad on our website.
Placing a Manual Text & Display Ad
It's now time for us to place our new ad on our website. Once we click “Save & Get Code,” we'll be shown a dialog box called “Ad Code.” This is where we can copy the script for the ad and place it on our website. From here, we'll click on the ad code, select it, and copy it to our clipboard with CMD/CTRL + C (or right click -> copy).
For this example, we're going to be placing our ad code on a WordPress website. The process is very similar for a website that was coded from scratch. The only difference is, you would place the ad code in the place you wanted it to be in your HTML/PHP file – depending on the framework.
To add our Google AdSense Ad to our WordPress website, open a new tab and log into your WP Admin/Dashboard by simply adding “/wp-admin” to the end of your URL. For our example, “yourawesomewebsite.com/wp-admin” is how we would access the WordPress dashboard.
For the example of this article, we're going to be adding our AdSense ad to a post on the blog. We'll head over to our Posts tab and edit an existing post. Since we're placing the AdSense ads manually, we would go to the Text tab in the Post Editor. From here, we'll look for the section where we want to show our ad and paste the code in.
Previewing the AdSense Ad
Once the ad code is placed where we want it to display, we can head back over to the Visual tab and click Update or Publish. Once that is done, we can then preview the article to make sure that the advertisement is displaying correctly on our website.
While this walkthrough showing how to set up Google AdSense ads makes it seem very easy to place an ad in the article, it's much easier to allow Google Auto Ads to do the work for you to save time. However, this method is better for ensuring that an ad always shows in a header, footer, or sidebar. All of this comes down to personal preference, but that is how we would manually place a Google AdSense ad in an article without the help of Auto Ads.
Note: Sometimes AdSense ads do now show up right away. Ads can take a bit of time to start showing up once you've set up your AdSense account. Allow up to 15 minutes before rechecking your work.
Step 5: Setting Up AdSense Auto Ads
Now that we have set up manually placed AdSense ads on our site, it's time to set up AdSense Auto Ads. These will allow Google AdSense to strategically place ads on our website where visitors are most likely to engage with the content shown in them. On top of that, Auto ads do not take away from the content we have on the site. They do not serve as a distraction, and in most cases, they flow more naturally than manually placed ads.
We'll head back over into our AdSense Dashboard and redirect our screen to My Ads -> Content -> Auto ads. From here, we can click on Setup Auto Ads in the top right corner of the page. A new dialog box will appear for us to copy the code snippet for AdSense Auto Ads. Copy the code snippet, and head back over to the WordPress dashboard.
Next, we need to place the Auto Ad code in our Head tag. This is mentioned above with verifying the new site, but we'll go over it again to make sure it's clear.
It's important to note that (on WordPress) different themes have different types of code. However, most of this can be found in your Appearance Tab under Editor. Now that we're on the Editor page, we need to find the Head section where we can add the code snippet. This file is normally called Theme Header or Header.php. We'll click on this to have our header code show up on the screen.
Underneath where you see “<head>” is where we'll place the code. You do NOT want to place this below the tag that says “</head>” as this will place it outside of the header and not work properly. Next, paste the code snippet within the Head tag, and click Update File in the bottom corner.
Google AdSense Auto Ads can take up to a couple of hours to propagate. During the time, AdSense is analyzing your site to ensure it complies with their policies and ad placements.
Step 6: Wrapping Up
Now that we have AdSense ads placed on our site, it's time to let the ads run for a while to see how they perform. Personally, I would allow for 4 weeks to judge performance on AdSense Ads. That's near the perfect term for getting a judgment on how they will perform over time. Keep in mind, though, that ad revenue fluctuates frequently. Typically, the end of the month performs better than the beginning of the month – in OUR experience.
We're more than happy to help with any questions you have about how to set up AdSense ads on your site. If you need help, feel free to let us know in the comments below. We also have a video tutorial above that walks visitors thought how to set up ads with AdSense.