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I have a few websites on various niche topics, all running Adsense. The most promising one currently has a CPC that hovers around $1; the rest have CPCs of $0.25-$0.50.

I'm curious to know what on-site factors affect CPC. That is to say, what I can do, legally (in white-hat compliance) to increase my CPC?

Some factors that affect CPC but are not within my control (and therefore, beyond the scope of my question -- they're just examples) include:

  • What advertisers are paying for keywords on my site
  • What pages people are landing on
  • etc.
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Although you can't control what Advertisers are paying for ads on your site, you could try to optimize your site for target keywords that have higher CPC's. You can gain that information by using the AdWords Keyword Tool to find keywords with higher CPC's relating to your site topics then run some content network ads on AdWords to see how much you actually get charged.

Once you know the keywords you want to target you could try using normal onsite SEO optimization then gauge the effectiveness of what you've done by seeing what type of AdSense ads are displayed and if there are any resulting CPC increases.

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I've done precisely that. Although the CPC in Google for my keyword averages at $5 (the lowest value is $2), I get around $1 CPC. Maybe this should be addressed in a different question? –  ashes999 Mar 16 '11 at 10:46
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