Harnessing Google’s AdSense is one of the more preferred methods for bloggers and web developers to earn some extra revenue from their online presence. Many have created entire businesses from AdSense alone, meaning that there truly is a ‘method to the madness’ in how to utilize this service. Unfortunately, there are quite a few mistakes that can be made when trying to get AdSense off the ground.
So, here are 3 ways that you can get AdSense working for you, while avoiding the pitfalls that often decrease clicks and ultimately the cash you could earn.
The One Thing You Should Never, Ever Do With AdSense
Have you ever been to a website that is unbelievably cluttered with ads? Not only are there popup ads lurking about every single time you navigate to another page within the site, but also there are countless ads lining its pages.
It’s probably something along the lines of “I’ve got to get out of here. I can’t find what I’m looking for, and there are probably 100 other pages that are easier to understand.” If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.
In fact, according to various experts in the field, the average amount of time anyone spends on a page is 10 seconds. This average is called “bounce rate”. This means that if your site is difficult to understand, difficult to navigate, or is badly designed, then your bounce rate will increase –and your site visitors will ‘bounce’ in under 10 seconds.
To avoid this one major pitfall, it is important that you don’t overuse AdSense. The common misconception about ads online is that the more you have, the more clicks you will receive. The key here is avoiding a bad website design, and designs often bite the big one when there are far too many ads.
Tip #1: It’s Not About Quantity, It’s About Quality
One of the best ways to increase your AdSense ‘click-through-rate’, or CTR, is to decrease the number of your ads on the page. We know that Google only allows 3 AdSense ads per page, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to display all of them. In fact, Ryan Scott from HackYourBlog.com gives an interesting take:
“Sometimes having one dedicated, highly visible area for ads can increase AdSense clicks easily. If you’re not getting enough click-throughs, try removing all of your ads except for one. Put it in a highly visible area of your blog. See if you get an increase in clicks per impressions.”
For instance, say you’re trying to buy home furniture, but you see 10 ads about 3 different types of furniture. Now you know that your ads didn’t get you anywhere, and you only confused the visitor.
Instead of displaying all 3 ads, you might want to consider only displaying one. At the same time, concentrating on having a sleek, streamlined, easy-to-use, effective website design will be what increases your CTR.
Tip #2: Where the Money Is, Ad Placement
One of the biggest factors that bloggers and developers often don’t consider is layout, especially what equates to valuable real estate on the page. What you should do is decrease the number of your ads, while at the same time, placing these AdSense ads squarely where people are going to click. You’re looking for prime real estate location here.
One of the best ways to figure out where to place your ads is through using ‘heat maps’. These applications will actually track where people are clicking on your site, meaning that you can pinpoint exactly where your prime real estate is. ActiveMastermind.com gives a few suggestions: “There are also a few cool plugins/scripts to use like HotSpots plugin, ClickHeat, Crazy Egg, very powerful…”
Tip #3: Good Content
It’s no secret. People simply stay on pages that provide some kind of value. While your website may be easy to navigate, ads do not clutter the page, and you’ve tracked your clicks through heat mapping –if you still don’t have the content that the visitor is after, then they will simply leave your site and never come back.
Having good content is extremely important, because it ties into the most important principal, that a well-designed website will have a good CTR. It’s not the ads that increase your CTR, it’s the fact that you were able to attract traffic and keep visitors glued to the page.
AdSense is a wonderful utility for increasing revenue, and sometimes it’s the simplest tips that can cause a rapid increase of clicks. However, it is also important to understand that much of this has to do with time in addition to trial and error. One more under-the-table tip that you might want to take away from this is that having useful and effective site analytics and tools that track what your traffic is doing is going to teach you a lot about how to increase your revenue.