Google AdSense is fast becoming the preferred way for people to earn an income online. Forget eBay and multiple affiliate programs. Whether you are a work-at-home mom trying to make a little extra cash or an Internet entrepreneur with hundreds of monetized websites, AdSense is truly the easiest way to earn money.
Simply sign up for a free account, grab your ad code and paste it in your site. But here's the amazing thing - no matter how much money AdSense is making for you right now, a few simple tweaks can increase that amount considerably. And I should know, after learning about these tricks, I more than doubled my AdSense commissions!
The self-proclaimed AdSense gurus and experts are sharing this insider knowledge, for a fee.
You can learn all these secrets from them, as long as you buy their e-book, sign up for their seminar or purchase their newsletter. But I'm going to share all their AdSense tricks for free. Here they are:
1) Color code your ads to match your web site palette *exactly*. Don't use frames around your ads. Instead, in the AdSense code generation interface, make sure you choose the same color as your page background for the ad frame and the ad background.
When choosing the ad heading colors, match them to the *exact* color of your page headings. Use the exact same ad background shade as your page background. Use the exact same ad text font and color as the text on your pages. You can see an example of this color-matching on my Search Engine Advice Blog at - http://www.searchenginecollege.com/blog.htm - notice the 4 link ad unit at the top and the skyscraper text ad unit on the left hand side under the heading Ads by Google as you scroll down the page? The link and text colors are identical to the color palette used throughout the rest of the page.
Near enough is NOT good enough. If you can't quite get the color matching right, use Google's built in color palette together with the RGB to HEX or vice versa color converter on this page - http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Guide/Style. That handy little tool was a life saver for me.
This is probably the one single tweak that made the most difference to my commission levels.
2) Try not to use the traditional horizontal banner style or leaderboard image ads because people are blind to them.
3) Use Google's own AdSense optimization tips at https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page=tips.html and visual heat map to assist you in deciding where on your page to place your AdSense ad code.
4) Research competitive keywords using a keyword research tool such as Keyword Discovery at http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/?id=22487 or grab a list of the most popular keywords from various sources and use them in your web site pages where relevant. This article - http://searchenginewatch.com/facts/article.php/2156041 - is a good source of frequently searched keywords. Targeting popular keywords should trigger AdSense ads on your pages that utilize those keywords. The more popular the keyword or phrase, the higher AdWords advertisers are generally willing to pay per click for it so the higher your commission on those clicks.
5) Incorporate the AdSense code into your page so that the ads look like a regular part of your site. You can see an example on this Internet Dating Stories site - http://www.lovestory.com.au/ - where link ads are incorporated within the regular left hand navigation of the site under the heading "Feature Links".
6) Use Google's new 4 and 5 link ad units wherever possible. They seem to have a much higher Click Through Rate (CTR) than regular ad styles. You can view all the AdSense ad formats at https://www.google.com/adsense/adformats.
7) Place arrows or images next to your ads to draw attention to them. You can see two different versions of on this search engine article library page - http://www.searchenginecollege.com/articles/article-library.htm - at the top (where a pointing hand directs your eye to the ad) and the bottom where 3 images draw your attention to each of the three AdSense ads.
8) Use the full allowance of multiple AdSense ads on each of your pages - 3 regular AdSense ads, plus 1 link unit. Use careful placement of these ads so they blend into your site and don't distract from your content. Clever use of this allowance can be seen on this page about bad Internet dating stories - http://www.lovestory.com.au/bad-stories.htm - where you see:
- 1 horizontal 4 link ad unit towards the top of the page under the first paragraph.
- 1 vertical skyscraper text ad unit about halfway down the left hand side under "Sponsor Links".
- 1 vertical skyscraper image ad unit down the left hand side under "Sponsor Links".
- 1 horizontal text banner unit at the bottom of the page with images above each ad to draw attention to them.
You can also include 1 AdSense referral button in addition to the 3 other units.
9) Tailor your page content to a particular niche or focus. Page content that is tailored towards a specific theme is more likely to trigger AdWords ads that closely match the content and are therefore more likely to interest your visitors and inspire them to click.
Don't create pages merely for the sake of placing AdSense ads. Visitors (and search engines) can see through this ruse in an instant.
10) Use custom Ad Channels for each of your ad placements, for example, "Top 5 Link Unit Blue Palette" or "Left Side Navigation Image Skyscraper" etc. Tweak, track and measure the success of each of these custom channels so you know what gives you the highest CTR. Some ad formats and colors will work better than others, but you won't know which until you test, test and test some more!
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About the Author:
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running her own SEO business, Kalena manages Search Engine College - http://www.searchenginecollege.com - an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing subjects.