The holiday season is the busiest time of the year, with shoppers out in full force to gather their holiday gifts, round up their decorations, and treat themselves to something special. 2014 was a record-breaker in terms of ad spend, which goes to show just how important it is that your advertising is as targeted as possible, and that you’re fully prepared for the final, and most lively, quarter of the year.

Check out these stats and tips below which can help you be in tip-top form for the season:
(viewing from mobile? Download it here.)

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Posted by Yigit Yucel
Marketing Communications Specialist

5 tips to grow site visitors

If you're like most publishers, you think a lot about how to grow your site audience. It should be no surprise that for this topic, content is key. Great content attracts and engages new users and keeps your wonderful old users coming back again and again.

But how do you produce content that is high in quality, value, and unique? For the answer, look back to why you became an AdSense publisher in the first place. Do what you love and your content will naturally be at the heart of all you do.

As you build your new content, use these five tips to make what you create as engaging as it can possibly be.

Be targeted, be consistent, be frequent
Take time to figure out who is reading your content and what topics they find most interesting. Does your blog about dogs get 20 comments about Chihuahuas for every one comment about Great Danes? Maybe you should focus on the little guys!

Update your content as often as you can. With regular updates you’ll build trust and engagement with your users, and they’ll be more likely to share your content with their friends and family.

Create engaging videos
People crave video. In fact, the average mobile viewing session on YouTube is now around 40 minutes. You could boost the amount of time your visitors spend on your site by using video and photos.

Create your own videos; it gives your site personality and unique content. Try adding a separate video section, or integrate video within your articles. Use A/B testing to find the best spot for your video: for instance, see how a video performs in the middle of article versus at the end. Remember, if you use videos that aren't yours, make sure that you have the rights to distribute them.

Be mobile-friendly
The number of smartphone users is estimated to grow by 16% to two billion users in 2015. In all, web access from mobile phones will represent 69% of all traffic by 2017, according to The average user now spends almost three hours per day on mobile devices.*

To win more visitors, optimize your site for all screens. Your site needs to be accessible anywhere and anytime, on smartphones and every other device. (Hungry to learn more? See more tips on going mobile.)

Go social
The way users find and share content has changed. Along with direct and search traffic, social sharing is key for your site visitor strategy. Remember, your article or video could be the perfect fit for someone’s micro-moment, so make sure you have the most important message in the first few moments.

Use social plugins and sharing buttons to help users share your content on the spot. Use large icons to highlight those sharing options. Try to A/B test where those buttons get the best engagement: at the top, at the bottom or embedded right in the article. For the best user experience, keep those buttons separated from your AdSense ads.

Look at what the numbers are telling you
If great content is job #1, great measurement is job #2. Google Analytics can bring you a deeper understanding of your audience and their demographics, time on site, which pages people leave fast, and which they visit most.

Use these insights to provide your users with the right content that works across devices. For instance, try the long-term revenue framework.

Have some top tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below.

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Posted by

Jason Le
Account Strategist 


AdSense Onboarding Agent

What is human-centered design, and why should you care?

Suppose you want to come up with a new way to engage your site visitors and attract more of them. You could lie on the couch and hope to dream up a genius idea... or you could try human-centered design.

Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It's taught by innovative institutions such as IDEO and the Stanford Design School and is often used to design new products.

But it's not just for designers. Publishers like you can use human-centered design to understand what audiences want and create new content to match. Why not give it a try?

The steps go like this:

1. Empathize: Observe, engage, and immerse

To get started, look at your users’ behavior and think about why they behave that way.
  • Meet some of your users and watch what they do with your content.
  • Engage with them. Ask them why they read or watch your content. Try to uncover their needs. 
  • Immerse yourself in their experience however you can. Try to discover the emotions that guide their behaviors. Which specific users do you want to create new content for?
Let's say we have a blog focused on the millennial generation and their interests. By meeting and talking with our audience, we learn that a small but growing group of young professional women find our blog really valuable. We decide to focus on this audience.

2. Define: Focus and paraphrase

What is the main user need? Based on what you've heard and learned, create a problem statement. It should look something like this:

"Young professional women need to know more about how to advance their careers, because they aspire to move into management roles."

This is a good problem statement because it:
  • Targets a clear cohort of users.
  • Addresses a specific need.
  • Is something you can take action on.

3. Ideate: Explore

Now it's time to explore as many possible ideas as you can think of. Here are some key ideas for brainstorming:
  • Be prolific. Go for a high quantity and wide variety of ideas.
  • Be positive. Use the mantra "Yes, and" to build ideas on top of each other.
  • Be patient. Don't interrupt yourself or critique ideas as you think of them. You can judge them later.
Use guiding questions. For instance, "How might we…"
  1. Connect relatable role models with our young professional women readers?
  2. Give them useful strategies for managing up?
  3. Address the biases women may face in the workplace? 
4. Prototype: Create

Now you're ready to start building. Choose your best idea and build as many prototype solutions as you can. Prototypes can be things like:

  • Post-it notes
  • Role playing
  • Storyboards
  • Objects

Use any prototype you like, as long as it's something you can show to test users to judge their reactions.  For our blog, we might:

Create a video interview with female executives and transcribe it for the blog.

Go to a conference on women in leadership and post notes on conversations we have there.

Present data that shows how progressive companies have tried to address the problem and what can be implemented at smaller companies. 

Hold a Google Hangout and invite readers to join in and talk with a guest speaker.

5. Test: Experiment, refine

Now you're ready to take things back to your target users again. Show them your prototypes and once again observe, empathize, and immerse yourself in their experience. Ask for feedback. Listen. Then use what you hear to refine the prototype. Refine and repeat as necessary.

You'll need patience for this creative problem-solving approach. But when you're done, your ideas will be stronger because they grow from the needs of your users. The more you get to know your audience, the better you can anticipate their needs and adjust your content strategy to engage them in the future.

We hope you find this new thinking useful whenever you design something new. Let us know what you think about the human-centered design in the comments below.
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Posted by Michael Le
Strategic Partnership Manager


We live in an exciting time, where the number and variety of connected devices are growing at a rapid pace. People are coming online for the first time, and they’re accessing the Web through a mobile device.

Having a solid multi-screen strategy will help you prepare for the next wave of mobile web users. By following the simple steps below, we can help set you up for success on mobile web and answer questions like: How will my users react?, how do I keep my brand identity?, and what will happen to my earnings?

1. Test your site 
Start by understanding how your site currently runs on mobile devices. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to see how your site is performing on mobile and identify your site’s most crucial needs and what to take care of first.

2. Pick your strategy
Next, it’s time to make a choice on which multi-screen strategy to move forward with. The most common solutions are:

The choice is yours and all strategies have both pros and cons. When making the decision, you should consider the following:

  • Do I want to serve the same content to all platforms? If so, a responsive design should do the trick.
  • What’s more important; speed or flexibility? A separate mobile site or dynamic serving allows for better optimization.
  • Do I have the resources to maintain more than one site? Responsive design can help you save valuable time and resources.
  • What kind of technical capabilities do I have? Pick a strategy that best suits your skill set.

3. Follow best practices
We’ve finally made it to the fun part – building the site. No matter what solution you choose, every multi-screen developer should follow these general rules of thumb.

  • Focus on the main action that you want the user to take: While you had plenty of space on desktop, you’ll have to be resourceful on mobile.
  • Make your navigation easy to understand: Users want quick access to key actions, so make things easy to find.
  • Use existing design paradigms: Do you already have a brand identity on your desktop site? Reuse the same design elements when possible. Try adapting to the user’s device, for example using Material Design for Android: users like familiarity.
  • Make sure videos work: Design your look and feel and page animations using modern web technologies. Read more about Look and Feel for video in our Web Fundamentals guide.
  • Limit image-based text: Make use of web fonts when possible. Mobile means lower bandwidth.
  • Simplify payment processes: Auto-populate shipping addresses and contact details. Use existing payment solutions such as Google Wallet.

4. Avoid common mistakes
Learn from other developers by checking out some of the most common mistakes on mobile sites. This can save you time as you plan and launch your multi-screen strategy.

We hope these guidelines are useful when thinking about your multi-screen strategy. Let us know if you have any other tips that have worked well for you in the comments below.

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Posted by Felix Nermark
Marketing Communication Specialist

74% of people say that when a site is mobile-friendly, they're more likely to return to that site in the future, according to a Think With Google study.

If that's not enough to encourage you to build up your mobile audience, consider this: 52% of users in the same study said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.

Designing a mobile-friendly site is important, and so is creating the best mobile user experience. That includes ads: if you want to make the most of every opportunity to earn, your ads should be designed for mobile, too.

Download The AdSense Guide to Mobile Web Success to learn practical ways to engage and delight your mobile audience. Get tips on how to:
  • Potentially boost mobile ad revenue with the best ad placements
  • Choose the right mobile ad formats for your site
  • Send push notifications to your audience just like an installed native app
  • Help your audience jump back into your content with just a single tap
What’s your favorite way to engage your mobile audience?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter.

Not yet an AdSense user? Sign up today!

Posted by Jay Castro
Audience Development Specialist

Today, we’re excited to announce our new AdSense website* with a fresh design and new publisher stories. We traveled around the world, met several inspirational AdSense publishers, and now we'd like to share their stories with you.

Discover AdSense through the eyes of the people who use it everyday. From French food bloggers to Japanese newspaper publishers, we’re proud of making digital advertising easy for over 12 years -giving our users a safe, reliable source of income and the freedom to make great content.

Almost two million people are using AdSense right now. Learn more about how to start turning your passion into profit today.

Posted by Stacey Garcia
AdSense Marketing Manager

*We've launched our new website in the United States, and local sites are coming soon.

You might have heard about Contributor through recent posts from the Google team, publishers, and the press. Today we want to share more about the product and provide you an easy way to promote this new revenue source to your site visitors.

Think about your own experience surfing the web. Are there publishers whose content you particularly love and keep going back to? Do you wish you could support these publishers, but see fewer ads? We’ve learned that users want an option to directly support the open web and the people who make it hum with great content, while also seeing fewer ads.

We understand that as a publisher your most pressing concerns are keeping your users happy and generating revenue to support your business. Contributor presents a new option to meet both of these goals.

Here’s how it works
With Contributor, users pick a monthly contribution level (of $2, $5, or $10) and those funds are used to pay for the sites they visit.
By choosing to contribute to publishers, users essentially participate in the ad auction. If the user’s bid wins, no ad is shown, but you’ll get paid by Google as you normally do when ads are served.

Help spread the word
Let your visitors know about Contributor by putting a customized Contributor badge on your site.
Find out how and learn about more ways you can help spread the word here. And if you’re interested in seeing how it works, try Contributor for yourself.

Posted by David Stanke
Contributor Product Manager

We’ve made it easier and faster to apply for AdSense and get your account approved.

Starting today, you’ll have immediate access to your AdSense account once you sign up. Previously, when you applied for AdSense, you’d need to wait for your account information to be approved before you could access your account and place ad units on your site. Now you can create ad units and place them on your site right after signing up for AdSense.

To get started with AdSense:
  1. Make sure your website is compliant with the AdSense program policies.
  2. Sign up for an AdSense account by enrolling your site.
  3. Add the AdSense ad code to your site.
It typically takes 48 hours for our specialists to complete the site review after you add the code to your site. Until you pass this review step, your ad units will remain blank. Once your site is approved, ads will be displayed on your site and you can start earning money from your content.

Learn more about the new application process in the AdSense Help Center. This new process is now in place for many countries and we're looking forward to even more publishers joining the AdSense family. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Nikos Ioannou
AdSense Software Engineer

Today we’re excited to launch our new Certified Publishing Partner program.

Certified Publishing Partners are trained experts on AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers, and DoubleClick Ad Exchange who could help you earn more from your sites while also saving you time. Whether you’re just starting out with ads, fine-tuning your existing ad setup or looking for brand new revenue sources, Certified Publishing Partners are ready to help you achieve your goals. They know how to make online ads work harder for you so you can spend more time creating and publishing your great content.

Get superior account management
Certified Publishing Partners are experts at account management services like:
  • Full-service ad operations, implementation and testing
  • Mobile, web, app and responsive design and development
  • Content moderation 
  • Video integration
  • Monetization
  • Ad customization

Feel confident
When you see the Certified Publishing Partner badge it means that a partner has been carefully vetted and meets Google's rigorous qualification standards. They have received high rankings in client satisfaction. They are, in short, a trusted business partner.
The Certified Partner Program is officially open for business today.  Learn more about the program and see a list of our partners. Then let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Posted by Sahar Golestani
SMB Publishing Marketing Manager

We're excited to be keynoting PubCon, October 8th in Las Vegas. Join Rich Zippel and me at the event to hear more about how our AdSense Program policies are enabling a healthy advertising ecosystem.

In our keynote panel discussion, we plan on providing an overview of AdSense policies, answering questions from publishers, and offering a glimpse into the future as we discuss upcoming policy directions and new initiatives designed to help publishers.

Other keynotes scheduled at Pubcon include: Guy Kawasaki of Canva, Duane Forrester of Microsoft’s Bing, Rand Fishkin of Moz, Gary Illyes of Google, and Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive.

Register for Pubcon here. We hope to see you there.

Posted by John Brown
Head of Publisher Policy Communications