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How to make money with Google AdMob ads in Ionic framework 3

nikola profile image Nikola Brežnjak ・11 min read

Originally posted on my blog.

In case you're looking for a way to implement Google AdMob ads in Ionic framework 1, then check out this tutorial: Adding AdMob to Ionic framework application step by step.

Introduction

There are multiple ways you can earn money with your app these days and here are just a few of them:

  • Paid app - set a price for your app directly on the App/Play Store that users need to pay before downloading your app
  • Freemium - give the app for free but charge for in-app purchases like adding some extra features (think more gold or faster production in game apps)
  • Ad-based - show ads inside your application. Potentially offer the in-app purchase to remove the ads

In this post, I'm going to cover the Ad-based monetization option, and I'll show you how to add Google AdMob ads to a simple Ionic 3 blank template application. There are two parts to implementing Google AdMob ads to an Ionic project and I broke them into: AdMob settings and Ionic settings.

Demo app and repo

You can check the final code on Github. When you clone it, run npm install inside the project. In case you have your development machine set up for Ionic, then you can run the project with ionic emulate ios or ionic emulate android. If you don't but would like to, see this post on How to get started with Ionic framework 3 on Mac and Windows.

You should see something like this in your simulator/emulator:

AdMob settings

Let's start with AdMob settings:

  1. Sign in/Sign up for AdMob at https://www.google.com/admob/
  2. Click the Apps and then ADD APP button:

  1. Since our app is not published yet we will click the No button:

  1. Fill in the app name and platform and click the ADD button:

  1. Save the App ID somewhere and proceed to create the Ad unit

  1. Select Banner Ad format:

  1. Configure the adds type, size, placement, style, name:

  1. You can read additional info on how to implement GA and AdMob, but for now let's just click Done:

  1. You will now see the following similar screen:

The most important thing to note here is this Ad unit ID, which in my test case is ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5068937357. Make a note of this string as it's the most important part of this setting. You can click on the copy to clipboard button and paste it as a comment (for now) in your app.

  1. Create as much Ad units as you may need (for each platform[iOS, Android] and ad format [Banner, Interstitial, etc.]). In my case, I just created the additional Interstitial Ad and will use them on both iOS and Android devices for the purpose of this demo.

Ionic settings

Those of you familiar with Ionic 1 know that you can add any plugin to your Ionic project thanks to the project called ngCordova. For Ionic 3, there's the same thing called Ionic Native.

Ionic Native is a TypeScript wrapper for Cordova/PhoneGap plugins that makes it easy to add any native functionality that you may need into your Ionic app. Ionic Native wraps the plugin callbacks in a Promise or an Observable, providing a common interface for all plugins and ensuring that native events trigger change detection in Angular.

First, let's start an empty Ionic 3 application based on the blank template:

ionic start Ionic3AdMobTest blank --cordova

You should see the following output:

✔ Creating directory ./Ionic3AdMobTest - done!
[INFO] Fetching app base (https://github.com/ionic-team/ionic2-app-base/archive/master.tar.gz)
✔ Downloading - done!
[INFO] Fetching starter template blank (https://github.com/ionic-team/ionic2-starter-blank/archive/master.tar.gz)
✔ Downloading - done!
✔ Updating package.json with app details - done!
✔ Creating configuration file ionic.config.json - done!
[INFO] Installing dependencies may take several minutes!
> npm install
✔ Running command - done!
> npm install --save-dev --save-exact ionic@latest
✔ Running command - done!
> npm install --save-dev --save-exact @ionic/cli-plugin-ionic-angular@latest
✔ Running command - done!
> npm install --save-dev --save-exact @ionic/cli-plugin-cordova@latest
✔ Running command - done!
> npm dedupe
✔ Running command - done!
> git init
✔ Running command - done!
> git add -A
✔ Running command - done!
> git commit -m "Initial commit" --no-gpg-sign
✔ Running command - done!

♬ ♫ ♬ ♫ Your Ionic app is ready to go! ♬ ♫ ♬ ♫

Run your app in the browser (great for initial development):
ionic serve

Run on a device or simulator:
ionic cordova run ios

Test and share your app on a device with the Ionic View app:
http://view.ionic.io

Next Steps:
Go to your newly created project: cd ./Ionic3AdMobTest

Navigate to the root of the application with your Terminal/Command prompt and execute the following command to add the cordova-plugin-admobpro plugin:

ionic cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-admobpro

You should see the following output after running the command:

✔ Running command - done!
Adding cordova-plugin-admobpro to package.json
Saved plugin info for "cordova-plugin-admobpro" to config.xml

Additionally, you will also need to run this command:

npm install --save @ionic-native/admob-pro

which, if completed successfully, will only output something like added 1 package in 3.331s to the console.

You need to add this second command as well because this installs some files needed by TypeScript.

⚠️ At this point, depending on the version of Ionic CLI that you have you may need to add a platform by executing: ionic cordova platform add ios or ionic cordova platform add android depending on the platform you're trying to build for. You have to execute that if the command ionic cordova platform ls shows that you don't have any installed platforms on the current project:

→ ionic cordova platform ls
✔ cordova platform ls - done!
Installed platforms:
Available platforms:
android ~6.2.2
blackberry10 ~3.8.0 (deprecated)
browser ~4.1.0
ios 4.4.0
osx ~4.0.1
webos ~3.7.0

If everything is fine with running ionic cordova platform add ios you will see an output like this:

Using cordova-fetch for cordova-ios@~4.4.0
Adding ios project...
Creating Cordova project for the iOS platform:
Path: platforms/ios
Package: io.ionic.starter
Name: MyApp
iOS project created with cordova-ios@4.4.0
Installing "cordova-plugin-admobpro" for ios
Installing "cordova-plugin-extension" for ios
Discovered plugin "cordova-plugin-console" in config.xml. Adding it to > the project
Installing "cordova-plugin-console" for ios
Adding cordova-plugin-console to package.json
Saved plugin info for "cordova-plugin-console" to config.xml
Discovered plugin "cordova-plugin-device" in config.xml. Adding it to > the project
Installing "cordova-plugin-device" for ios
Adding cordova-plugin-device to package.json
Saved plugin info for "cordova-plugin-device" to config.xml
Discovered plugin "cordova-plugin-splashscreen" in config.xml. Adding > it to the project
Installing "cordova-plugin-splashscreen" for ios
Adding cordova-plugin-splashscreen to package.json
Saved plugin info for "cordova-plugin-splashscreen" to config.xml
Discovered plugin "cordova-plugin-statusbar" in config.xml. Adding it > to the project
Installing "cordova-plugin-statusbar" for ios
Adding cordova-plugin-statusbar to package.json
Saved plugin info for "cordova-plugin-statusbar" to config.xml
Discovered plugin "cordova-plugin-whitelist" in config.xml. Adding it > to the project
Installing "cordova-plugin-whitelist" for ios
Adding cordova-plugin-whitelist to package.json
Saved plugin info for "cordova-plugin-whitelist" to config.xml
Discovered plugin "ionic-plugin-keyboard" in config.xml. Adding it to > the project
Installing "ionic-plugin-keyboard" for ios
Adding ionic-plugin-keyboard to package.json
Saved plugin info for "ionic-plugin-keyboard" to config.xml
--save flag or autosave detected
Saving ios@~4.4.0 into config.xml file ...
✔ Copying default image resources into ./resources/ios - done!

Btw, there is also a free version of the AdMob Pro plugin. But, honestly, if you really start making money with your app, this will be a minor expense. Besides, if you're having problems giving back to the actual plugin through which you're making money then my dear padawan you have yet much to learn...

Now, let's add this plugin to our app's NgModule. In the src/app/app.module.ts file import AdmobPro:

import { AdMobPro } from '@ionic-native/admob-pro';

and then add it to the Providers array. The whole contents of the src/app/app.module.ts file should now looks like this:

import { BrowserModule } from '@angular/platform-browser';
import { ErrorHandler, NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { IonicApp, IonicErrorHandler, IonicModule } from 'ionic-angular';
import { SplashScreen } from '@ionic-native/splash-screen';
import { StatusBar } from '@ionic-native/status-bar';

import { MyApp } from './app.component';
import { HomePage } from '../pages/home/home';

import { AdMobPro } from '@ionic-native/admob-pro';

@NgModule({
    declarations: [
        MyApp,
        HomePage
    ],
    imports: [
        BrowserModule,
        IonicModule.forRoot(MyApp)
    ],
    bootstrap: [IonicApp],
    entryComponents: [
        MyApp,
        HomePage
    ],
    providers: [
        StatusBar,
        SplashScreen,
        AdMobPro,
        { provide: ErrorHandler, useClass: IonicErrorHandler }
    ]
})
export class AppModule { }

Now I'm going to show you the final content of the src/pages/home/home.ts file and will explain what was changed step by step:

import { Component } from '@angular/core';
import { NavController } from 'ionic-angular';

import { AdMobPro } from '@ionic-native/admob-pro';
import { Platform } from 'ionic-angular';

@Component({
    selector: 'page-home',
    templateUrl: 'home.html'
})
export class HomePage {
    constructor(public navCtrl: NavController, platform: Platform, private admob: AdMobPro) {
        platform.ready().then(() => {
            var admobid = {
                banner: 'ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5068937357',
                interstitial: 'ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5667703151'
            };

            this.admob.createBanner({
                adId: admobid.banner,
                isTesting: true,
                autoShow: true,
                position: this.admob.AD_POSITION.BOTTOM_CENTER
            })

            this.admob.prepareInterstitial({
                adId: admobid.interstitial,
                isTesting: true,
                autoShow: false
            })
        });
    }

    showInterstitialAd() {
        if (AdMobPro) {
            this.admob.showInterstitial();
        }
    }
}

First, we added the imports:

import { AdMobPro } from '@ionic-native/admob-pro';
import { Platform } from 'ionic-angular';

Then, via the constructor we injected Platform and AdMobPro:

constructor(public navCtrl: NavController, platform: Platform, private admob: AdMobPro)

Then we wrapped everything in the platform.ready() promise. This is the most important part of the code! If you wouldn't do that, it could happen that your app would start up and the plugins would still not be properly set up, and you wouldn't see the ads displayed.

But then again, sometimes you would, and this is what it would make it a nightmare to debug. This is a very common issue that I've seen even back from Ionic 1 when answering the questions on StackOverflow. So, you may want to keep an 👁️ on the fact that you need to wrap any plugin calls inside the platform.ready() promise, as that way you'll be sure that all of the plugins have loaded before you'll use them.

The code that's executed after the promise resolves sets up our admobid object with banner and interstitial properties. Then we're calling the createBanner and prepareInterstitial functions on the injected admob object. Note how the banner is set to show automatically when the app loads (autoShow: true) and the interstitial isn't. Also, note how we've set the position of the banner ad to the bottom:

platform.ready().then(() => {
    var admobid = {
        banner: 'ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5068937357',
        interstitial: 'ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5667703151'
    };

    this.admob.createBanner({
        adId: admobid.banner,
        isTesting: true,
        autoShow: true,
        position: this.admob.AD_POSITION.BOTTOM_CENTER
    })

    this.admob.prepareInterstitial({
        adId: admobid.interstitial,
        isTesting: true,
        autoShow: false
    })
});

Then we added the showshowInterstitialAdAd function, which shows the Interstitial ad:

showInterstitialAd() {
    if (AdMobPro) {
        this.admob.showInterstitial();
    }
}

Of course, at this point, change the admobid object properties to your AdMob keys which you obtained in the first part (step 9).

👋 If you run into any problems with this, just ping in the comments, and I'll do my best to help you.

One common thing that you might have to do for Android is to install some extras via the Android SDK manager. To do so open Android Studio and select Configure->SDK Manager:

Make sure you have installed the packages marked as Installed on the image below (usually, those are Google Billing Library and Google Play services):

What kind of an ad should you show?

This plugin's documentation states an interesting fact that it's strongly recommended to use the Interstitial ad type because it brings more than 10 times profit than the banner Ad. Here's the table from the official documentation:

Ad Format Banner Interstitial
Click Rate < 1% 3-15%

It's important to note that there's probably no exact formula here on when to show the Interstitial Ad, but there are some best practices, and this is what Google has to say about it:

Interstitial ads work best in apps with natural transition points. The conclusion of a task within an app, like sharing an image or completing a game level, creates such a point. Because the user is expecting a break in the action, it's easy to present an interstitial without disrupting their experience. Make sure you consider at which points in your app's workflow you'll display interstitials, and how the user is likely to respond.

You can learn a bit more about it here.

Anyways, as you saw in our demo code above, we opted for showing the banner ad all the time in the bottom of the screen, and we're showing the interstitial ad when we click the button. You can tweak this any way you like in your app, but please remember the points mentioned above about best practices.

Finally, the view template

Replace the src/pages/home/home.html file content with this:

<ion-header>
    <ion-navbar>
        <ion-title>
            Ionic Blank
        </ion-title>
    </ion-navbar>
</ion-header>

<ion-content padding>
    <button ion-button (click)="showInterstitialAd()">Show the interstitial Ad</button>
</ion-content>

Clicking the Show the interstitial Ad button will call the showInterstitialAd() function which will show the interstitial as shown in a gif at the beginning of this tutorial.

Let's test this

Run ionic cordova emulate ios and in a few seconds your simulator should start up and show you this:

There are few things that could go wrong with this, so for example if you get an error like this:

Error: Cannot read property 'replace' of undefined

[ERROR] Cordova encountered an error.
You may get more insight by running the Cordova command above directly.

[ERROR] An error occurred while running cordova run ios (exit code 1).

Then you can try the solution from this StackOverflow post: Execute the following command in the platforms/ios/cordova/node_modules folder: sudo npm install ios-sim@lates.

If you get an error telling you that it can't open up the simulator, then you may want to try running the build command: ionic cordova build ios and after that open the MyApp.xcworkspace file from the platforms/ios folder:

Select the simulator device that you'd like to run your app on and click the run button from your Xcode:

If you run into any other problems while trying to run this, let's try to solve them in the comments and thus help others that may have the same issues as well 💪

Conclusion

In this post, we've shown how easy it is to add monetization options to your app. Now it's 'just' on you to actually make an app that will be used a lot of times and whose users will want to click on the ads. 😉

Till next time, ✌️

Discussion

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chykay7 profile image
ChykayAlpha 🔥

i keep getting this error "ERROR Error: Uncaught (in promise): TypeError: Object(...) is not a function", each time i try to test the app. Please help!

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Which version of Ionic are you using?

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chykay7 profile image
ChykayAlpha 🔥

Ionic 3 sir.

{ name: 'myapp',
integrations: { cordova: {} },
type: 'ionic-angular',
pro_id: 'b23db1a6',
id: 'b23db1a6' }

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

I'm suspecting you're using the new version of this plugin, or the plugin changed something, as I can't reproduce the error :(

Thread Thread
chykay7 profile image
ChykayAlpha 🔥

Yes i am using a new version. i implemented it 2 days ago and i've been trying to debug but no success yet. Your thoughts? any solution? should i use the old version? what do you recommend? :(

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

I recommend trying to run the demo that's in the official docs of the plugin: github.com/floatinghotpot/cordova-... and seeing if that works. Good luck!

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chykay7 profile image
ChykayAlpha 🔥

Thanks. i did the exact same thing and no success :(

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chykay7 profile image
ChykayAlpha 🔥

Hi, @Nikola Breznjak, i later figured it out. The app i wanted to apply admobpro on was built with ionic 3 so i downgraded the plugin and it work perfectly. Thanks :)

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Great, glad to hear you managed to solve it 👍

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kennrll18 profile image
Kenn Lipa

Does this work in with the beta react-ionic?

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nikola profile image
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kennrll18 profile image
Kenn Lipa

yes i tried Admob pro and nothing shows up. I tried admob-free as well and nothing is working.

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Did you get any errors in the console?

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kennrll18 profile image
Kenn Lipa

no errors. it compiles fine. when i alert(this.admob) its empty

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kennrll18 profile image
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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

I'm guessing then that this won't work with that.

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princeimu profile image
Imraan

Thank you so much for this amazing post. I am following this post to inject ads in my ionic 3 android app. How can I initialize the interstitial ads on app load instead of calling the ad via a button ?

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Thank you, I'm glad it was useful to you.

You can set autoShow to true:

    this.admob.prepareInterstitial({
        adId: admobid.interstitial,
        isTesting: true,
        autoShow: false
    })
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princeimu profile image
Imraan

I already did that and it worked but thank you for replying. Please accept my sincere gratitude.

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nikola profile image
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diyandoychev profile image
DiyanDoychev

Hello guys,
I have implemented the admob-pro plugin as you written in the comment.
I'm using ionic 3.
When i call admob.createBanner(options) and then admob.showBanner(), the banner is shown but is black. isTesting = true;
The error is:{"isTrusted":false,"adNetwork":"AdMob","adType":"banner","adEvent":"onAdFailLoad","error":3,"reason":"No fill"}

Thank you

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Hey Diyan,

Sorry for a late reply - were you able to make any progress on this?

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suspedro profile image
Jesús

Thanks for the post, my doubt is ..

The app id has no use?
Why do you save it?

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

You mean this App id:

var admobid = {
                banner: 'ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5068937357',
                interstitial: 'ca-app-pub-7957971173858308/5667703151'
            };

?

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suspedro profile image
Jesús

No no, sorry.

At this point:

Save the App ID somewhere and proceed to create the Ad unit.

This Id: ca-app-pub-7957971173858308~2308232012

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Hmm, you're right, it does seem they're different, which is a bit weird, as it should be the same when you think about it - as it's the same id as when you click the copy button. Ah well, if it's not, then my bad :)
Thanks for pointing it out!

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rahmat_coin profile image
rahmat paudi

ca-app-pub-1850264549449468~1381215573

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estevamdf2 profile image
Marcos Estevam

Hi friend. I've been cloned your project and create one banner app in admob but when i run the app in my device, motorola X play with android don't show banner.
After i runned with debug mode and i saw this error in console. See the image:

For solve the error i've done this stack

So this solve this error although the banner don't show. How can i fix this ?

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nikola profile image
Nikola Brežnjak Author

Hi Marcos,

Sorry for a rather late reply. Did you find the solution in the end? This indicates that you may have not added the plugin - could this be the case?

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monarathi15 profile image
mona rathi

Hi
I am using admob pro. I want to achieve that my banner ads should show inside the ion-content using x and y coordinate. When I gave it a try I got issues.
Actually I tried to get the offsetTop by putting the id attribute on div which is inside of ion-content.
But it is not placing my banner ads at specific position inside web view. On different mobile it is showing at different position.

Can you please help me in this?
Thanks

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jeuxdaily profile image
jeuxdaily

hi
how can Add in html5 cordova app

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polarpug profile image
polarpug

Hi Nikola, you should make the same detailed article on how to make money with globalhop.net app monetizing platform :)