If you have set up a blog, you are most likely looking forward to monetizing your content so as to, at least, earn some income to maintain your website. Whatever the goal may be, Google Adsense has become most bloggers' first choice when it comes to making money online.
This blog is monetized with Google Adsense and in this post, I am going to highlight the important things that you need to do if you desire to get your application approved on the first attempt.
First, What is Google Adsense?
Google Adsense is an advertising network offered by Google which allows you to display adverts in form of text, image, or video on your website.
If a visitor to your website clicks on any of these adverts, Google will pay you a fraction of the revenue generated from the advertiser. Google says it pays its Adsense publishers up to 68% of Advertisers revenue. And success stories abound of bloggers and website owners who make thousands of dollars in AdSense earning.
The advertisers' contracts are with Google, hence it is Google that displays the adverts on your web property taking into consideration the content of your site to serve adverts that are relevant to your audience.
There are quite a good number of other ad networks, but Google Adsense seems to offer the best opportunity, hence the growing number of website owners seeking to join the Adsense programme
Unfortunately, not as many website owners that applied for the Google Adsense programme get approved. Thus, not a few bloggers get frustrated along the way in trying to make money online with Adsense. The reason this is so, is that Google is strict on the quality of website that they admit into the Adsense publisher programme.
What You Need to Do to Get Google Adsense Account Approved On First Application
So the first step to avoiding being rejected is to take time to study the Adsense quality guideline and prepare your website to meet these guidelines before you apply.
#1. Ensure Your Website Meets Google Webmaster Quality Guideline
A common reason Google gives for denying Adsense applications is that the site does not meet its Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
Typical decline message will read like this:
"All sites participating in the AdSense program should adhere to Google’s webmaster quality guidelines. Below are some excerpts from these guidelines but we recommend that you take the time to review them in their ........"
And this will be followed by a list of their quality guidelines, some of which are: make pages for users, not search engines; don't load pages with irrelevant words, don't participate in link schemes.
Your site must be a clean site, does not contain adult pages (i.e pornography) or designed for gambling. The list goes on and on and violation of any of them may earn you a denial.
#2. Write Quality Content
Google Adsense will only serve ads on web pages that give value to its audience. Thus, to get approved, your content must be original, unique, valuable and relevant to people who visit your website.
This doesn't mean that you must write what nobody has ever published. There is nothing under the sun that has not been written. What it means is that you will not copy already published works and simply paste on your pages.
You can pick an existing article and give a fresh perspective to it. A key to writing original content is to conduct in-depth research, think through all the angles to the issues, seek opinions, ask questions and then present the content in your own words as much as possible.
There are free online tools you can use to check the originality of your article before hitting the publish button. Small Seo Tools is one such place you can get free tools to check your article for plagiarism and even resources to completely re-write an existing article in order to give it a slant of originality.
A Word On the Use of Images
In blogging, images are critical. Just as every good book need a cover, images can make a blog post great as they can add great visual power to your content.
In choosing images to use for your blog posts, copyright consideration also applies. It is pliagarism to copy already published images and splashed on your content without acknowledging the source. Doing this can affect the quality of your website negatively.
But You need not be a designer to create unique images. If you have basic knowledge of Photoshop, Correl Draw or even PowerPoint, you can create simple images for your blog posts. But if you are not cut out for all that, there are quite a good number of useful resources available online like pixabay, unsplash or getstencil you can use to get copyright-free images.
A great online resource when it comes to graphics and images is designwizard. This tool enables you to create quality images for free for your blog posts, social media posts, website content, print, and marketing items. You can also get their premium designs for as little as $1.
#3 Have Sufficient Content
Insufficient content is another common reason many applications are rejected for the Google Adsense publisher programme. Google says:
"To be approved for Adsense and show relevant ads on your site, your pages need to have enough text on them for our specialist to review and for our crawlers to be able to determine what your pages are about"
Unfortunately, Google doesn't say how many posts will constitute sufficient content. But drawing from the benefit of experience sufficient content presupposes that all the pages and categories on your website are populated; i.e there are no blank pages and categories, and your post must be long enough to engage your readers.
When it comes to the length of your post, some will say that 500 to 600 words is sufficient but my investigation has shown that such short posts are not engaging enough. You should aim to write longer posts of about 1,000 to 1,500 words. Beyond qualifying your site to get into the Adsense publisher network, engaging posts are helpful for your site SEO.
It is worth repeating that quality is worth much more than quantity so your goal should be to write original, unique, valuable and engaging content on all the pages and categories of your website. When this blog was approved for Adsense, there were just about 10 posts of an average of 1,500 words each spread across categories.
#4. Don't Publish Prohibited Content
Adsense is sensitive to the type of content it serves ads on. Specifically, your site will not be approved, if it has contents on the prohibitive list, some of these content include:
- Content that shows pornography or adult pages
- Content that has adult themes like sex, vulgarity, violence
- Contents that are dangerous or derogatory
- Hacking and Cracking Content
- Illegal drugs
- Content that offers compensation programme or incentives like paying for clicks, read email, surf the internet or perform similar task
- Shocking content like disgusting and graphic account or imagery
- Weapon related content
And so many more. So before you apply for Adsense, take time to study Google content policy to make sure your site niche is appropriate.
#5 Three Essential Pages
There are three essential pages you must have on the blog before you apply to Adsense publisher programme. These are:
About Page - This page will tell your visitor what your website is all about. It pays to be as detailed as possible so as not to leave your readers guessing what your site is about. Beyond Adsense approval, the about page will help you establish a connection with your readers.
Contact Page - If you are genuine I see no reason you shouldn't state how your visitors and potential customers can get in touch with you. The contact page gives your visitors the opportunity to contact you or react to your content
This page should tell people how to engage with you by reaching you either through email, telephone or physical address.
#6 Blog Design
How your blog looks and feels is essential for the kind of user experience that your visitors get. In order words, your blog design matters. It should be simple, professional, easy to navigate, load fast and search engine friendly.
However, as far as Adsense is concerned, Google's main interest is that your website should be easy to navigate. In order words, pages and categories should be clearly shown to make it easy for visitors to find what content they are looking for. The greater emphasis you lay on reader experience, the more your chances of getting the Adsense Approval.
To give your readers a better experience, choose your blog theme very carefully giving considerations to design, ease of navigation, the speed of loading and search engine friendliness. Choose a blog theme that is responsive, simple and professional with proper menus.
Though there are a good number of free themes, getting a paid theme is more likely to get a better design and user experiences.
To enhance the look and feel of your site, remove unnecessary footers and sidebar widgets, remove pop-ups like ads, email list, etc. If you are already serving other ad networks ensure that your Adsense code is placed in a position not get obstructed by other ads. It may help to disengage other ad networks when you are applying for Adsense.
#7 Optimize Your Blog and Take Care of the Technical Details
Your blog should be technically and search engine optimized.
While technical optimization ensures that your site impacts positive user experience, search engine optimization ensures that your site is discovered by the search engines and improve your site's organic search results.
If you do not optimize your site, your content will not appear on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Doing the following will help you greatly to optimize your site technically and search engine wise.
- Get your blog index by google - to know if your blog is being seen by Google do this simple test: on Google search, type site: your domain URL i.e site:kobotalk.com; if you don't see results, your blog is not on google search index and the search engine will not serve your content on its SERP
- Add title tags to your web pages
- Add A sitemap
- Sign Up for Google Search Console
- Install essential plug-ins that improve SEO
- Use robots.txt to avoid crawling of unnecessary parts of your site
- Optimize your content
- Create good navigation of your site
Optimizing your blog is very important not necessarily for the purpose of getting Adsense approval but for ensuring the overall success of your website.
#8 Paid or Free Domain, which should you use?
Yes, you may get Adsense approval with a free domain if your content is good and the site meets Google webmaster quality guidelines.
But Google is sensitive when it comes to free domains especially third-party domain like WordPress.com. If you are using Blogspot.com, it is easier. Blogspot is owned by Google and it shares revenue with its users.
However, using a free domain can be tricky. You don't have control; you may not be able to optimize your blog and your site can be deleted at any time.
It is in your best interest to buy a custom domain and pay for hosting service. This small investment will add to the overall success of online business. Blogging is a business, isn't it?
#9 Does Age And Traffic Matter?
Not necessarily. Some have written that a domain must be at least 6 months old before it can be considered for approval for Google Adsense, particularly for some countries including Nigeria. This blog was approved in its third month and I have seen bloggers who got a sign on in their first month.
I do not also think that your site must be getting heavy traffic to be approved. However, your blog must be indexed and visible to the search engines.
Google takes content quality and their policy guidelines very seriously. So aim to add value to the web by producing content that is unique, sufficient, original, relevant and useful to your audience. Then plan and set up your site to include the essential pages that meet Google webmaster quality guidelines.
Getting the Google Adsense approval is just one part of the equation, to remain on the programme and make money with it is another kettle of fish.
To remain on the programme publishers must continually abide by the webmaster policy guidelines and rules. It is in your interest to study and understand these guidelines and stick to them at all times. Many publishers get banned for policy violation so very often.
Making money with Google Adsense is another thing entirely. You may be disappointed that after all the hard work, your earnings are in trickles. The trick to earning well with Adsense is traffic and CTR. It takes some time and patience to grow your blog to that level where you earn reasonable income with Adsense.
It may pay to combine Google Adsense with other strategies to monetize your website. In this case, you may consider selling your own information products or affiliates products or offer some professional services if you have a skill or expertise that your audience may need.