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Thread: The Secret to using Channels

This discussion is about "The Secret to using Channels" in the "AdSense Statistics and Channels" Forum.
Hello Like most of you know Google Adsense is a good way to monetize your Website to cover your costs and even earn money with ...

  1. #1
    Administrator StarBuG's Avatar
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    Idee The Secret to using Channels

    Hello

    Like most of you know Google Adsense is a good way to monetize your
    Website to cover your costs and even earn money with it.

    But simply slapping a few banners on your website will not get the maximum
    amount of money out of your content. Who would have guessed?

    You most likely know that Google Adsense offers custom channels for tracking.
    But how do you use it to maximize your earnings?

    The big secret is experiment with placements, colors and fonts
    and TRACK YOUR RESULTS!


    I worked with adsense for nearly 5 years now and I am constantly improving my ads
    on my forum to maximize earnings. This is only possible if you track EVERY SINGLE AD
    on your forum via separate Adsense Channels.

    I first will explain how to use channels and after that I will explain why it is important
    to use them this way... so bear with me

    The secret to tracking Adsense with channels

    You must create a channel for each single ad you place on your site.
    Tracking every ad is easy if you have "just" one website/forum.

    If you have multiple websites (like I do) then an expressive naming system
    will help you a lot with tracking your ads.

    Example:

    I have 5 websites, but for this example I use 2 to make it easier.
    I run www.patientenfragen.net and www.elternfragen.net

    Both websites use the same ad locations to display adsense ads.
    To differentiate the Channels from the different websites my channels start with:

    PatFra or EltFra

    Suggestion 1:
    Start all your channels with a short acronym for your websites
    Now you are able to track each website with channels.

    If you use multiple ad units on your website you most likely use different ad formats
    as well. Like I for example use a leaderboard (728x90px) below the navbar, two large
    rectangles in showthread as second post and some other ad units as well.

    To track the different ad formats use acronyms for each ad format. I use:

    LB = Leaderboard
    LR = Large Rectangle
    LU = Link Unit
    B = Banner (468x60px)
    and so on....

    So the channel names so far look like:

    PatFra - LR
    Suggestion 2:
    Use acronyms for the ad formats in each channel
    Now you are able to track each website and each ad format with channels.

    If you use multiple ad formats you most likely use multiple ad locations as well.
    I for example place ads into the navigation, below the navigation, into a thread
    as second post and so on....

    To track the different ad formats use expressive names for their location.

    I for example use template names or descriptive names to describe the location:

    "navbar" for ads in the navbar template
    "2nd post" for ads in the second post of each thread
    ...

    So the channel names so far look like:

    PatFra - LR - 2nd post
    Suggestion 3:
    Use a descriptive name for each placement in each channel
    If you display 2 ad units of the same type in the same ad location don't use the
    same channel. Remember, track each single ad separately!

    I for example did use 2 large rectangles in each thread as second post for a long
    time but changed it for better user experience.

    Add an ID into the channel name so you can differentiate each of the same ads.

    In my example the channel for those two described ads above look like:

    PatFra - LR - 2nd post #1
    PatFra - LR - 2nd post #2
    Suggestion 4:
    Use different IDs for ads of the same format in the same ad location
    If you start experimenting with different ad formats like changing font size,
    background color etc... use a description to name the changes you did and create
    a new channel for the banner with the changes.

    For example:
    Not long ago I experimented with the different font sizes to see which font size
    performs best on my website in the leaderboard below the navigation.

    So I created 3 new channels:

    With LF being the large font, MF being the medium font and SF being the small font.

    Suggestion 5:
    Use descriptive naming for changes to the ad layout and create
    a separate channel for each changed banner
    OK, now we have the naming thing down.
    Let's get to using these channels to create useful reports for tracking purposes:

    Log into your Adsense account, click on the Reports - Advanced reports tab.
    Here you can create all the reports you will need to track your channels.

    What kind of reports are useful to have? I use the following reports:

    One Report for each website that shows all channels for:
    Todays tracking
    Yesterdays tracking
    This month tracking
    Last month tracking

    I named them in a similar descriptive way like I did with channels.

    Also one report that shows all channels for:
    Todays tracking for all websites
    Yesterdays tracking for all websites
    This month tracking for all websites
    Last month tracking for all websites

    And one report that shows aggregated total earnings for:
    This month and Last month

    These are just my reports that I am interested in but you can create
    as much statistics as you like once you know how to do it.

    Let's get started with an example for a Report of all channels on
    one website for todays tracking

    On "Reports - Advanced reports" Tab you can chose:

    Choose product: which shows you reports for content or search ads.

    Chose "Adsense for content" because that is what this examples are about.

    Below that you see all settings for the time interval of the report.
    We want to display all channels for one website for today so we chose
    "today" in the first drop down.

    On the right site below "show" you can select, if you want "aggregated data"
    (combines all channels into one day) and "channel data". Select "channel data".

    Now select all channels in the box that just appeared that starts with the website
    you want to create this report for. That is easy because we started each channel
    with the acronym for each website.

    In my example I selected all channels starting with "PatFra"

    Select Group by: "Channel" to display all channels

    Blow that box is "Choose Units". Because we named all ad formats differently and
    therefor can differentiate link units from ad units select "combined"

    Click on "Display Report" and you will see a nice list of all your channels
    for this website for today.

    Now finally so that we don't have to do this every time we want to see this
    report we will save it. Above your channel report on the right site there is
    "Save as Report Template:"

    Enter a descriptive name for your report, e.g.:
    and click Save

    Now do these steps to create and save all the reports you want for your statistics.
    See my reports list above if you need inspiration.

    Now to the experimenting and optimization part to get the maximum
    out of your adsense placements


    First of all in order to see if changes you made to your ads will have a positive or
    negative effect you have two options:

    Option 1:

    Run an ad for 1-2 weeks, then change it with the modified ad, run this ad for the
    same amount of time and see which ad performs best. Remember, you are able to tell
    because each ad has a different channel so you have the stats

    PRO:

    • You don't need an Adserver

    CON:

    • It will take a longer time to find out which ad performs best
    • Variations in clicks and ad impressions based on the number of visits can falsify the conclusion


    Option 2:
    Install an Ad Server to manage your ADs.
    I personally ran: OpenX for a long time but now switched to Google DFP Small Business

    I wont get into how to use the AD Server but if you use the naming system for the Adserver
    as well you will see it is quite easy.

    PRO: you can run multiple ad layouts in rotation to see which performs best
    CON: It takes additional work to setup the ad server

    I personally strongly suggest you use Option 2.
    In the long run this will save you time and has far better results then Option 1

    My last secret I want to share with you is:

    Never stop optimizing your ADs on your website.
    There is always room for improvement.

    And if you need inspiration on how nicely optimized Google Adsense ADs look on a vBulletin Forum...
    feel free to check out my website:

    Patientenfragen.net - We have the answers


    If you want to read more about channels read this:
    Different strategies to use AdSense Channels

    May the money be with you


    StarBuG

    ps: Feedback of how it worked for you, suggestions, additions and useful criticisms are very welcome

  2. #2
    Registered User Taurus's Avatar
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    This has really made it so much easier to track. Thanks!
    CreativX - Specializing in custom designed Windows 7 & 8 Themes.

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    Very informative, Thank you

    Do you use the same ad code for several placements ?
    for example when you had 2 large rectangle ad blocks that were in second post side by side, were they the same ad code?

    My website has a forum with lots of different category's is it possible to have ads targetable for advertisers in just that category of my forum?

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    Administrator StarBuG's Avatar
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    I use a separate Ad Unit Code for each Channel as well.
    In my Forum every category has its own channels so yes it is possible.

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    Thanks Starbug,

    How do you add a different ad code for each category ? if I am using adsense in first post ?
    I am using a plugin that automatically places the ad in each first post from one code

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    Administrator StarBuG's Avatar
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    with vBulletin Template Conditions

    Code:
    Please register to see this code!

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    Thanks Starbug,

    Will this work with 3.7.0 version, and I am using a plugin for my ads in first post.

    If I can use Template Conditions how do I implement the code?

    I have added my other adsense ads by adding the ad code in templates, but I am not sure how to use conditionals

    Regards
    Ryan

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    For vB 3.7 these should work:

    Code:
    Please register to see this code!

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    what about for not logged in or guests,
    can I restrict it to Google search only view

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