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Using Google Analytics and AdSense: Monetise your top exit pages

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 | 9:16 AM

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What’s your exit page strategy?
Google Analytics does a great job of allowing you to analyse your web traffic through a very important metric: top exit pages. When testing various webpages, this metric is valuable as it allows you to measure the impact of changes to these pages. Additionally, by identifying the pages with the highest exit rates, you’ll be able to monetise this outgoing traffic by using Google AdSense.

At first thought, integrating AdSense seems like it could conflict with your website’s strategy - why would you want users to leave your site? However some savvy website owners who employ both Google Analytics and Google AdSense have discovered that ads placed on their top exit pages can provide monetisation opportunities for disengaged or non-converting visitors. And what’s even better, they’ve found no significant negative impact on their engaged users’ behavior.

This strategy has been found especially useful for e-commerce sites. Due to the nature of e-commerce sites, there is a natural funnel typically leading to some form of a checkout. On average, e-commerce sites usually see only about 1% of their traffic successfully reaching checkout (1% conversion rate). This means that for the average e-commerce site, 99% of traffic driven to the site will leave without making a purchase. In identifying the checkout stage as a top exit page, e-commerce sites can successfully display AdSense ads targeting those users who have made their purchase and already plan to exit the website.

Success stories - Using Google Analytics and Google AdSense, along with, offer a variety of printable resources. These sites provide documents and templates for individuals and businesses, ranging from business forms and certificates, to bookmarks and almost any other document someone would want to print. With 66 sites in the printable realm, Savetz Publishing was looking for a way to optimise their ad placement, without having a negative impact on their core users. As a solution, they decided to “find the pages with the highest exit rates and put AdSense on them.”

Kevin Savetz, the owner of Savetz Publishing and FreePrintable, an Analytics user for as long as he can remember, had an idea of where the bounce and exit rates would be highest. Kevin used Google Analytics to confirm his suspicions of where the exit pages were located. After placing AdSense ads on the pages with the highest exit rates, Kevin quickly realised that this advertising did not have a significant negative impact on his site’s core users. Instead, as he describes, these ads provide “a means of monetising traffic that would already be leaving. My users are still happy and getting relevant content.”

Savetz Publishing’s strategy highlights how sites can use AdSense to monetise traffic that usually exits the site. AdSense can help sites like these increase overall revenue without changing their current business model. As Kevin put it, AdSense allowed him to “see a huge jump in revenue after targeting exit pages.”

Getting started with AdSense
As a Google Analytics user, you understand how visitors interact with your website. With this knowledge, you can structure your AdSense ads to appeal to advertisers who want to display their ads on your site. In turn, you will earn revenue by displaying more relevant and high quality ads.

Here are a couple suggestions to get started with AdSense on your site.

  • Try testing AdSense first on your top exit pages, and then evaluate the effect it has on your relevant traffic, by referring to your top exit pages report.
  • If, like Savetz Publishing and FreePrintable, you find that adding relevant ads on your site does not turn your relevant traffic away, we encourage you to increase the coverage of AdSense on your site. You can use the additional revenue you earn from AdSense to help you generate more qualified traffic.

Learn more about Google AdSense and start by testing on your exit pages.