Learn With Google For Publishers

Posted: February 12, 2013

Last week, I attended the Learn With Google For Publishers day-event in Los Angeles put on by the Adsense team. I had previously attended 2 Adsense In Your City events and found them to be useful, mainly the 20 minute sit-down given by a Google representative to look through and optimize my site. However, I felt like these previous events just touched on the basics and was hoping to get more tips and insight into the Adsense system.

What I got at the Learn With Google For Publishers was an opportunity to meet lots of other publishers of content, and while they were running websites on a whole variety of topics, they were essentially doing what I was. This group had spent a lot of time on their sites and also learning the ins-and-outs of Google and how to optimize and drive traffic to their sites. Talking with this group over lunch and in between sessions was the best part of the event as it gave me ideas on how to improve my sites and my content.

The setting sun from Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles

The setting sun from Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles

Sessions

The day was divided up into several sessions with 2 running simultaneously which gave us the chance to pick and choose what we wanted to go to. The first session I attended was UX and Site Design Strategies and Understanding Performance Reports. The presenter stressed the follow design strategies that Google likes to see for all websites:

  1. Focus on user’s goals and your goal
  2. Employ a clear structure to guide the user
  3. Ensure that users know what actions to take
  4. Tailor your site experience to the user’s situation
  5. Turn casual visitors into loyal users

For the the Performance Reports in Google Adsense, all of the typical key performance indicators were mentioned, like looking at the new vs. returning visitors report, social media reports. What was an interesting tip was the presenter mentioned that sites that have an Enewsletter are typically growing.

The second session I attend was one on Google Analytics. I found this session to be quite basic, although I’ve been working with Google Analytics for years and try to stay on top of the latest features they roll out. The main ideas that I took from this session were:

  • creating and monitoring your website goals
  • customizing the dashboard
  • looking at the top landing pages
  • looking at pages with high bounce rates
  • try running Content Experiments via Google Analytics

The third breakout session I attend was Growing with DFP for Small Business. DFP refers to DoubleClick for Publishers and is a system where you can run Adsense Ads as well as other advertising network’s ads or your own ads you negotiation with advertisers. The DFP system has lots of advanced features that will compare the CPM of ads from different networks and choose to run ads that yield higher revenue or run ads during timeframes that you specify. I haven’t used DFP yet and I found this session to be pretty advanced, which seemed to be the general feeling amongst the class. However, I will be taking a look at DFP and I do believe that many of the others who were in the session were interested in some of the features offered as well.

The day ended with sessions for everyone on Mobile and Social Media. The Mobile session felt a bit weak and a lot of people’s questions were given answers that Google Engineer’s are looking into these issues and recognize there’s room for development / improvement. It sums up what I’ve been seeing and talking to people about with mobile where they recognize there’s opportunity but there’s so many solutions and which one works best is still being determined.

The one key tip that I did get from the Mobile Session was the total number of ads you are running in a Responsive Design includes both the mobile and desktops ads. If you are running 4 desktops ads on your homepage for desktop users and 3 mobile ads on your homepage for mobile users in a responsive web design, you’re over your limit of ads per page and breaching the Adsense Terms and Conditions. This was one of the issues the Adsense team is aware of and working but I would suspect there are lots of publishers unaware of this issue.

The Social Media Session was strictly Google+ and the key recommendation mentioned by the presenter was to:

  1. Set up a Google+ Page for your business
  2. Add a Google+ button to your website
  3. Get followers for your Google+ page
  4. Get your Google+ page verified

Conclusion

I felt the Learn With Google For Publishers in Los Angeles event was worthwhile to attend and I got some good tips from the sessions and a list of things to look into more in-depth. However, it was talking to the other publishers, hearing their stories, and their successes and failures, that was the most valuable. Knowing this group is out there, I will be looking at following the Adsense Google+ page and attending one of their Hangouts in the future.

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