The report breaks down revenue according to how much comes from desktop, laptop and mobile computers. The amount of revenue is not revealing because in each case it depends on the volume of traffic from each device. Instead, it is the RPM or revenue per thousand impressions that offers important information.
In one real example, the RPMs for laptop computers is more than 50 percent higher than desktop. The site design fits snugly on a laptop.
It’s reasonable to believe that the snug fit makes the ads more prominent to the viewer. On larger desktops, the ads appear lost because of dead space on the left and right side of the screen.
But in this same example, the AdSense platform revenue for laptops begs a question: Does it also mean there is a problem or more opportunity with desktop design?
Better AdSense Site Designs
Site design has a major impact on AdSense performance. Ads in the middle of the page usually do better than ads on the far left or far right. Ads at the top often do better than ads at the bottom, especially with mobile that requires a lot of scrolling.
Screen resolution also makes a difference as the example above suggests. One answer to the problem is a responsive design that fills more of the screen and expands the width of the ad.
Even so, most ads don’t go much wider than 336 pixels. On larger screen resolutions, a sidebar ad simply moves farther to the right or left and potentially out of the focal point of the viewer.
So it brings the problem back to inset ads once again. In a recent 30-day period, one site saw much higher click rates on ads in the middle of the page than on the sides.
Higher click rates lead to higher revenue. They also lead to higher bounce rates and lower pages per visit.
An even better goal than higher click rates is a higher cost per click. Pages with a high cost per click are ideal candidates for middle of the page ads. If visitors are going to exit, these pages are the best ones for an exit point.
Pages with a low cost per click and high click rate on ads may not produce enough revenue to justify the loss of audience. What to do comes down to good judgment, common sense and the best choice for the specific needs of the site.
More Platform Report Insights
Revenue per thousand impressions or RPMs is a good starting point for understanding the performance of AdSense on each platform. But it doesn’t have to stop there.
Two more important numbers are the click-through rate and the cost per click. For example, a low RPM for mobile is usually not a surprise because mobile often has a lower cost per click than desktop or tablet. But a site publisher might compensate for that lower CPC by working on ways to increase the click rate to bring the RPM back up. For example, text ads might do better on mobile because they load faster.
Desktop performance is likely to have a lower cost per click because of large screen resolutions. It also may have a higher cost per click because of large and powerful ad impressions. A redesign that pushes ads toward the middle may help solve that problem.
A final insight comes from the total number of impressions for each platform. For responsive designs, the impressions per page may reveal that that one platform has too many ads or too few. Too many ads may slow the page load and lower the bounce rate and pages per visit. Too few ads may reduce the chance for more revenue.
One of Several Important Reports
The AdSense platform revenue report is one among many that the product offers. It benefits the site publisher to review each report on a regular basis to look for important insights about revenue strengths and weaknesses.
Sites with an international audience will often find that the country report is important, while local sites will have no interest in it.
Publishers will end up ranking the usefulness of each report depending on their unique situation. For many publishers, the platform report is one of the better tools for boosting revenue and even for improving site design.