Cracking the Google Adsense Code
Posted on August 9, 2006
By Kim RoachGoogle Adsense has empowered web publishers of all shapes and sizes to make money from their web sites. Whether you own a hobby site that gets 100 visitors per day or a popular finance portal that is flooded with millions of visitors per month, you can benefit from the Google Adsense program.
Simply sign up for a free account, grab your Adsense code and paste it up on your website. Well, it sounds good anyway. In reality, that's not the whole story. Maximizing your adsense earnings requires a little more care.
Fortunately, you can quickly increase your earnings by reading every word of this article. I will cover the basic necessities and also reveal advanced tips that you won't find on every digital corner. So, if you're looking to put more money in your pocket with a few tweaks of code, I urge you to read on.
As you are reading, keep in mind that Google is actually one of the best resources for finding information on Adsense optimization. Think it's hard to believe that Google would give good advice? Well, it makes sense when you think about it. The more you make as a publisher, the more they will make. Google has a big incentive to help you perform well. Not to mention, they have tons of data to research what works best.
So, for much of my research, I took quite a few tips from Google. But don't worry, there are also some advanced tips here that Google will probably never reveal to you.
Most Effective Ad Formats
In general, wider ad formats tend to outperform the taller ads. This is because the wider ads are much easier on the eye.
According to Google, the following ad formats result in the highest number of click-throughs:
336*280, 300*250, 160*600
Tim Carter of AskTheBuilder.com increased his revenues by 20 percent after placing the large rectangle (336*280) in the upper left corner, positioned within his articles.
Text links are another ad format that often work well. Using text link ads, you can create Adsense ads that blend in seamlessly with your navigation.
For an example of this, go to http://www.dealofday.com.
Tim Carter saw an 18 percent increase in his revenues after placing link units in the upper left corner under his site search bar.
Number of Ads
Multiple ad units can sometimes help optimize your performance. This is especially true for pages with lots of text, forums, and message boards.
However, it could possibly lower your revenues as well. When you show more ads, the ads that are placed lower on the page often have lower bid prices than the ones on top. Therefore, you must test the number of ads on a page to see what works best for you.
When using multiple ad units, make sure that the ad unit with the highest click-through rate appears first within your HTML code. This will ensure that your prime real estate is occupied by the highest paying ads. You can use CSS positioning to get your highest paying ads placed in the location with the highest CTR.
Ads that blend in with the colors of your site generate the highest click-through rates. In most cases, it is best to use the exact same color scheme for your ads that you use on your web site. To see some good examples of this, check out:
By using ads without background color or borders, your ads seamlessly integrate with your content.
Keep in mind that blue text links seem to perform best for Google Adsense. Blue is the assumed color of links on the Internet. Therefore, our pyschie expects links to be in blue.
However, you may want to rotate your colors every once in a while to spice things up. This way, your visitors don't get used to your ads, which can cause banner-blindness.
Just like in real estate, location is the key to success with Adsense. Fortunately, Google provides us with a heat map, (http://tinyurl.com/ld8d2) showing the best spots for ads.
One of the best places for your Adsense ads are at the top-left of the page. Because people are used to seeing navigation on the left side of the page, the eye naturally gravitates to this section of your web site.
Many studies have been performed to see how the eye travels across a web page. You can see a demonstration at poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/main.htm . Knowing how people view your web site will help immensely when optimizing the placement of your ads.
In addition, you should also place your Adsense ads next to rich content and navigation elements. These ads often do well because users are focused on those areas of a page. You can see examples of this at Ezinearticles.com and Lockergnome.com.
As you can see, these sites have placed their adsense ads next to search boxes and navigation links.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't change the layout of your site to fit the ads, but rather use the ad formats that best fit with your site layout.
Many publishers have started using images around their ads. As a result, many of them have doubled their revenues.
One of the most successful implementations of this techniques is to use the 728*90 leaderboard with 4 thumbnail-sized images above each ad. You can see some good examples at:
Of course, you can't use images of blinking arrows because this would be enticing visitors to click. However, it is perfectly acceptable to place related pictures beside your ads.
For example, if you have a page about laptops, you could place a leaderboard with 4 laptop images above each ad. In this way, you are using images to complete the story.
In fact, Google is currently testing an ad format that would blend images together with related text ads. It seems that even Google thinks that images are a good idea to bring attention to ads. To see an example of the Google ads in beta, go to http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3576
If you have a forum, I hope you are monetizing it with Adsense. Many people include Adsense within their web site, but when it comes to their forum, they simply let the ball drop. Forums can definitely be an extra source of income when optimized properly.
To find out about the best placement for Adsense within forums, I went to Google for some advice. To my surprise, they also have a heat map for forums (http://tinyurl.com/d7xsr) .
One of the best ways to monetize your forum is to place Adsense directly within the threads. To see an example of this, go to http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=106170. Google advises that you place a skyscraper above the fold on the left side of your forum and they also suggest placing a leaderboard directly below the top navigation and below the first post.
If you are looking for additional ad space, you can place a horizontal link unit near the top of the forum, just below the header.
The next Adsense tactic is one that isn't talked about much. However, when used appropriately, it can be extremely powerful.
If you own an newsletter list, then you could easily leverage that list in order to earn more Adsense revenue. Whenever you send out your newsletter, simply link to an article on your site within the email. By doing this, you can draw people to your Adsense pages and easily increase your Adsense revenue.
This is one of the best things about building your own list. You are able to direct traffic to any place at any time.
In the end, the key to increased revenues is testing. Not all
sites are the same. You have to experiment to find out what works
best for your particular site. What works for one site may not
work for another. Only by testing can you find out which styles
encourage your visitors to respond.
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