11 reasons AdSense on the blog does not pay well, and what to do?
Updated in November 2020
AdSense is one of the easiest web advertisement systems available to all website owners including bloggers, and it pays handsomely when bloggers take the right steps. Easiest because putting ads on the blog using AdSense is easy and one does not have to take any repetitive actions later.
However, in a majority of cases, the payment is not enough. In a study, it was found that 98% blogs in the US, which are monetized, hardly earn from blogging! Bloggers end up blaming AdSense for that while the reason could be the way the blog is presented and maintained.
You as a blogger should worry if you created a blog with passion and have maintained it with zeal for over a year, the blog is popular, you get comments too but you do not earn even a dollar a week from the blog by using AdSense. There could be issues relating to niche and location, or content or placement of ads or even AdSense settings.
Is the blog in the right niche/ subject?
The first thing to check is whether the blog is in a paying niche. Many niches are such that only a few people visit blogs, and even when they visit, they do not click on ads. If your blog is stuck with such a niche, think of moving to an adequately paying subject/ niche. Remember that the paying nature of subjects also changes over time. You need to check this through some tool, e.g. Google Keyword Planner which is free. There are also many paid ones available on the web.
Does the blog target right people?
The second area to examine is location of the blog and its subject. If your blog talks only about mosques in Bangladesh, you cannot expect a large number of Americans and Europeans visiting your blog. If the blog is in Bangla language, visitors interested in mosques but not knowing Bangla would immediately leave the blog. In addition, web surfers in Bangladesh are less likely to be buying things online and thus not clicking on ads.
Have you decided about types of ads?
AdSense serves 'contextual' ads - ads according to the content of the blog. But you can opt for all types of ads. AdSense also gives you option not to place certain types of ads. You need to take decision depending upon your blogging niche and also your strategy for AdSense.
Some bloggers go for all types of ads. In such cases, Google serves ads based on other factors (e.g. if your blog is on travel and a visitor had recently searched for shoes, it would serve shoe ads rather than travel-related ads). This seems to work when your blog does not have a specific subject and it receives a very large number of visitors.
If your target audience has strong disliking for some types of ads (e.g. religious minded and elderly people against ads on adult products), block such ads.
Is the blog properly search optimized?
Next to check is whether the blog comes high in search pages (SERP) of Google, Bing and Yahoo!. You would need to put the desired keywords on Google search box and check whether your blog comes in the first page of ten entries for these keywords, or use a SEO tool for that. If your blog does not come high on SERPs for relevant keywords, you will not have good search traffic on your blog - and less amount of relevant traffic means less chance of clicks on ads. [We have many posts on SEO, so would leave that aspect in the present post.]
Are the ads placed at the right place on the blog?
If ad units are hidden amidst many widgets, pictures or buttons, these won’t be noticed by visitors. On the other hand, placing ads in areas on the blog that draw more attention is likely to get more clicks.
Have you opted for the right display?
Not opting for right types of ad units hurts. For example, banner ads and ads with images get more attention. Visitors don’t like to be fooled with ads that look too much similar to the content of the blog, and Google also does not approve such shady actions.
If you are not sure which type of ads or their position is the best for your blog, or if you have failed in getting results despite experimenting with at, go for Auto Ads, a feature that allows Google to optimize display of ads on the blog [this option is available in AdSense ad settings].
Do you have too many ads that compete with content?
Have you placed too many ads on the blog? If there are many AdSense (and other) advertisements one after the other, ads compete for attention not only with other ads but content too.
Too many ads also hurt the blog's reputation. The more space you give to ads as compared to the main content, the more you look like a blogger who blogs primarily for making money and is not serious about the subject.
The safe limit could be 20 percent of space for advertisements including promotion of the blog itself.
Another related issue comes when you start a blog and immediately start putting all types of ads including AdSense ads on it. You should be patient with making money from the blog, if you want to succeed in the long term. Put one type of ads (e.g. AdSense), experiment with different ways of placement etc. When it has stabilized, go for affiliate ads or direct ads, but not cluttering the blog with too many ads.
Is your content able to engage visitors?
AdSense or other ads are successful in earning from blogging only when visitors stay on the blog for some time - and decide to visit the ads.
If your blog has content that is superficial or useless, people visiting the blog would leave it quickly. Similarly, if the blog gets a large number of visitors because your SEO tricks have made it popular for a search term (but the blog does not have good information on that subject), people will leave it as soon as they land on the blog - and your chances of getting clicks on ads would diminish.
Is your blog appealing and ads un-intrusive?
The way advertisements are served can play a big role in whether visitors like the blog or feel irritated. Intrusive popups, animations and tricky text-ads are common examples of irritating ads.
If the blog's web design is too faulty (e.g. too gaudy or childish, or with confusing navigation), that also gives poor impression about the blog and visitors are not likely to stay on the blog enough to click on AdSense ads.
Does your blog look professional in all respects?
Professionalism would include the blog's web design, depth of its content, presentation of content, freshness of content, credibility of blogger's voice and so on.
People are likely to be influenced by your credibility before clicking on an ad. If they feel satisfied after viewing/ reading a part of your blog, they are likely to explore further and that would include clicking on relevant ads.
Is Google penalizing you, rightly or wrongly?
If Google finds that you ask visitors to click on AdSense ads or you click on ads on your own blog, it might penalize you. In addition, if you post ads from other agencies beyond what is permitted by it, you may get no money out of AdSense ads.
It might also happen that Google penalizes you for no fault of yours, or some mischief by your competitors; that is unfortunate but does happen. If you find everything else fine and yet you earning no revenue from AdSense, wait till Google again looks at you benignly. If it cautions you, use that opportunity to tell Google that you are being penalized wrongly.
If you are new to AdSense or want to know all aspects relating to earning from AdSense, you may like to visit the linked post.