This feature was actually released one year ago and published in the Google AdSense blog.
This tutorial will illustrate how to get the maximum use out of the information provided by integrating your AdSense account into your existing Google Analytics (GA) account. The objective is to use the information gathered to formulate an effective Google AdSense marketing strategy that could increase earnings.
You need to satisfy the following requirements below to link your AdSense and Analytics accounts:
- You are a registered Google AdSense publisher. In this case, you are publishing Google ads in your website content.
- You have an existing Google Analytics account for all of the websites with Google ads on them.
- Your blog/website has enough posts and potential traffic to be considered worth optimizing (see details below). This requirement is, however, optional.
Note that this information can be highly beneficial for those AdSense publishers that are already publishing lots of content on their blogs/websites, and that are starting to earn some Google ad revenue.
This integration can provide lots of data which cannot be seen or easily managed by a normal/independent Google Analytics and Google AdSense report. If your website is still new, the information may not be as meaningful, because your website still needs to do a lot of marketing work to publish content and attract traffic.
Linking both accounts (AdSense and Analytics) can be highly useful for optimizing both your traffic and Google AdSense income. This technique is particularly useful for a medium-sized, fairly established blog. Based on experience, optimizing for Google AdSense and traffic (obtained from analytics reports) will take the following stages (revenue and traffic estimates are for reference guides only):
If your website or blog is new, you will need to work on the first three stages before linking Google Analytics and AdSense can be highly beneficial.
For example, in the screen shot above, you need to have at least 40 high quality posts/unique URLs before you can integrate both your AdSense and Analytics account together. The target of 40 posts may vary depending on your style and commitment. In my experience, I consider this many posts to be a sign of a fairly established blog. Again, you can linked both accounts at any time, even if your blog is new, but your data and results may not be as meaningful if you have a fairly established blog.
To start integrating your Google AdSense account with your Analytics account, you need to follow the steps mentioned in the following tutorials (select either one, but the video tutorial is recommended): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT_e8qeZiCw and http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=92625
By linking, you can view Google AdSense stats with details directly in your Google Analytics report. The detailed report includes what pages/blog posts are getting the highest share of AdSense earnings, user behavior/preferences affecting revenue, and other important information that will be discussed later on.
When you follow the tutorials from the links provided above, you need to ensure that:
1. If you have several websites/blogs for which you need to integrate Google AdSense in your Analytics report, choose the biggest website/blog as the primary domain. You then need to embed codes on those other domains.
2. Note that integration requires you to embed the code that can be placed in the head section of your website, as shown below (bolded are the AdSense-Analytics integration code to be embedded):
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta name="google-site-verification" content="54hdssl-Mf-hBIli3mA9mufdf23sfn9utasaaakc" />
<title>PHP Developer Blog | Free Webmaster
Training| PHP Development Tips</title>
<META name="ROBOTS" content="INDEX,FOLLOW">
window.google_analytics_uacct = "UA-xxx1232-3";
You can get the embed code in the application for integration by following Youtube tutorial linked to earlier.
3. All of the pages in your website should have the embed code installed so that you can receive AdSense-related stats in your Analytics report. If you have static pages (i.e. not template-based), you need to manually paste the code into all of those pages with AdSense. If you use WordPress, you can place the code in the header.php template, as shown in the sample code provided above (at the <head>…</head> section). The code will automatically be generated on all of the blog’s pages. Similar procedures apply to other platforms, like Blogger.
4. It will take at least 24 hours (after the code has been embedded) for your Google Analytics report to start showing AdSense-related information.
You will be using the AdSense data available in your Google Analytics report to answer one of the most common questions pertaining to Google AdSense management:
What specific content is contributing the highest AdSense revenue?
You want to know the answer to this question for two reasons. First, if you know this specific URL, then you will be careful with its existing rankings in Google or wherever it gets traffic. This means you will make this URL as stable as possible (for example, not doing any redirects, major content revision, title tag revision, or even deleting this URL) because you’ll know that it can seriously affect rankings and traffic, thus affecting your site’s AdSense revenue.
Second, you will be careful about creating highly similar content to this URL, because if you do, it might create a canonical/duplicate content issue that can affect existing rankings and traffic contributing to AdSense.
So, once you’ve linked your Google Analytics and AdSense accounts, how to you find out the answer to this question?
- Log in to your GA (Google Analytics) account.
- In the dashboard, click “View report” for the website for which you’d like to see the data.
- Click “Content” on the sidebar navigation.
- Under “Content,” click “AdSense.”
- Finally, under “AdSense,” click “Top AdSense Content.”
The pages are sorted in terms of AdSense revenue.
You need to protect this URL from any unwanted alteration that can affect traffic and rankings. This includes accidental blocking of the URL in robots.txt.
You can answer other questions as well. For example:
Is there an ad placement problem affecting revenues?
This is a more tricky problem that can be answered by the linked accounts data in GA. The quickest way to answer it is to get the AdSense CTR data directly. For example, 2%, 3%, 0.5%, etc (which is available in an AdSense report anyway).
However, this information only tells you the percentage and not the details. For example, you might need know whether or not this percentage is really bad. Some sites might have a CTR of 0.75% but be earning consistently well. Remember, it’s not only the CTR that matters in terms of ad placement, but how it relates also to the impressions.
So how do you know if your blog impressions are working well in terms of AdSense revenue? See the following fictitious AdSense report below (in your account, go to Top AdSense Content – Export – CSV for Excel):
Based on the sample screen shot report, you might say that 0.95% AdSense CTR is bad (without knowing the blog post top content impressions), but the total AdSense impressions generating the total revenue is 200+ 168 + 90 (shaded in yellow green)= 458, which is:
% AdSense Impressions generating revenue = Total Adsense impressions with revenue / Total Impressions
%Adsense Impressions generating revenue = 458/525 = 87.24%
This means that out of 525 blog impressions, 87.24% are contributing to AdSense revenue, which is not bad.
The click-through rate percentage and earnings vary according to your niche, targeted visitors and even your website design. So you can say that there is an ad placement problem if one of the following two conditions is true:
1. Less than half the total impressions are actually generating revenue. In this case, even your top posts may not be earning at all; at the very least, the majority of your blog posts aren’t earning anything.
In this case, you might need to check and experiment more with ad placement, and refer to some useful tips.
2. Some pages in your website or blog (which are actually receiving a high amount of impressions) do not have AdSense banners or link units at all, resulting in a low percentage of AdSense impressions generating revenue. In this case, place AdSense link units or AdSense banners on those pages.
You might as well do that analysis yourself by exporting Top AdSense content data to Excel and following the sample computations above.
A number of other questions can be answered. These include the following:
1. What are my top AdSense referrers? You can get the data in Content – Adsense – Top Adsense referrers.
2. Which types of visitors clicked Google Ads the most? Get the data in Visitors – New vs Returning – click the AdSense revenue tab in the report.
Here’s a useful tip to keep in mind: every native report of Google Analytics will now contain an AdSense Revenue tab, so when you go to different sections of your Google Analytics report you can also get related AdSense data from the “AdSense revenue” tab. See the screen shot below:
Any useful information you gathered will be used to formulate strategic actions to further increase AdSense revenue. This kind of information cannot be obtained without linking your AdSense and Analytics account together.