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How Do You Track Your Adsense Performance Using Tools Available For Free?

Aug 17, 2007
One vital link in making real money through a Google Adsense campaign is accurate data and data analysis. Yes, we're talking about tracking. If you're not tracking the performance of ads being placed on your pages, there is one very good reason why you should be: by learning which formats of ads on what type of pages perform best on your site, you can weed out the ones that don't offer any real value and focus on increasing the combinations that bring in the most ROI. Yes, ROI - after all, your time is an investment, isn't it?

Here's the bottom line - a visitor to your site decides to click on an Adsense ad because of a complex combination of factors. Tracking all those factors can be a complex and time consuming endeavor - which is why there are a lot of software vendors out there trying to make a buck off 'solutions' to make easier and quicker. The fact is that you don't have to spend a dime to get all the tools you need to do a comprehensive analysis of your site's performance with Google's Adsense, though some of the software packages have some nice bells and whistles. Google provides a fairly powerful suite of tools that you can use to track and analyze site performance for free.

Using Google Channels Effectively

Adsense channels are the tracking option offered by Google to help you test ad layouts and other factors and determine what works best on your site. When you create a channel in Adsense, you can break down site reporting by site, domain, sections and individual pages. The system records impressions, click through rates, CPM and earning statistics for each channel that you create.

Google's Adsense program offers two types of channels that can help you figure out:
- What colors and ad styles are most effective
- The best place to put your ads on each type of page
- Where Adsense ads perform best (blogs? Forums? Content pages?)

The first type, URL channels, allow you to create a data stream based on the URL of the pages on which ads are displayed. The second, Custom channels, will open a date collection stream based on your specific criteria. A URL channel is useful for figuring out where on your site to place ad units - and what type of page to focus on developing. If your data shows, for instance, that you get a tremendous click-through rate on article pages, but only tepid performance on forum pages, you have two different directions to work with :
- you can focus on developing more article pages to maximize their better performance
- you can examine your forum ad placement and tweak the formats and styles to increase the performance on those pages
...or you can do both, if you have the resources.

If you decide to tweak your forum page ads, you have a powerful free tool in the Custom Channel creator and aggregator. By creating a new channel for each ad unit, you can track its performance based on color palette, ad format, page and location on page. When you tweak an ad unit, make one change at a time and create a new channel to monitor the performance to see the effect - and when you find something that works, stick with it.

Using Other Tracking Methods

If you're not satisfied with the tracking methods offered by Google Adsense, there are a number of free ad tracking solutions available. Among the best are:
- AsRep Google ad tracking trial version (http://www.asrep.com/download.php)
- Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/)
- Adsense tracking script (http://www.monetizers.com/adsense-tracking-script.php)
About the Author
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Google Adsense. Guide to making money with Google Adsense. Home of the Adsense optimization tips that will boost your google adsense profits. http://www.startadsensenow.com
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