==> Developing A Web Site
Google's Own AdSense Tips
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Google's Own AdSense Tips
Copyright 2005 Richard Keir
Google is at least as interested as you are in having your ads
perform well on your site. And they've gone to some work to
provide the information you need to optimize your AdSense.
What's fascinating to me is that apparently not everyone bothers
to read their tips. And even some that do, fail to apply it.
That said, you need to be aware that simply using their tips doesn't
guarantee successful ads and decent CTR (Click Through Rate).
How many times have you heard this? You have to test. You have
to try alternatives and see what really works best for you, on your
pages, with your content and your visitors. Test, test, test some
more. Track your results, analyze them, try variations. Too many
of us don't test. We hear the mantra, but we don't do the work.
First, let's see if we can get an idea about location. (The graphic is
included in the article on my site or you can take a look at it at the
Google link included below) Generally, above the fold, at the top
center of your content, below top navigation is the hottest location.
Not immediately below which is good but not quite as hot. In a left
sidebar, to the immediate left of primary content or below the primary
content are also good. Most other locations are generally cooler.
Again, you need to test and you need to consider your users
behavior - and their behavior may vary on different pages with
different kinds of content. Google suggests that in some cases,
such as articles, the best location can be at the end of the article.
To quote Google, "It's almost as if users finish reading and ask
themselves, What can I do next?" Well targeted relevant ads right
there can provide the answer.
Don't blindly assume that sticking a nice big rectangle in the
center above the fold will do it. It may, but depending on your
content, it may annoy or inconvenience your users.
Users tend to focus on content, navigation and to a lesser extent
graphics. Positioning your ads near these elements will often work
well -- if those ads are targeted to your visitors needs.
The top three performers among the Google ad formats are the
336X280 large rectangle, the 300X250 inline rectangle and the
160X600 wide skyscraper. Google reports that the wider formats
tend to do better than the taller ones. One reason may be that
these are, perhaps, easier to read since they have fewer line breaks
and require less eye movement. But, you need to use formats that
fit your pages well. Once again, you need to test, but redoing your
pages to suit a particular ad format may not be a reasonable
alternative and you may discover that a different format actually
gets better results.
Now we come to color. Conventional wisdom says that colors which
tend to blend into your content do better. Some go so far as to
suggest that colors which make the ads look like part of the content
are best. Personally, I think nobody really believes those ads are
anything but ads, but who knows. Google suggests that you may
find that colors that standout from your content do better - or maybe
the opposite. This is absolutely an area where you need to test
alternative color schemes. Going with the conventional wisdom
usually works fairly well, but without testing you could be leaving
a lot of money on the table.
Google allows you to have up to three ad units and one link unit on
your pages. If you have long pages with lots of text, you can only
use small ad units or are in a niche with a large ad inventory,
multiple units can pay off. Keep in mind that the way ad serving
works is that the higher value ads are delivered to the first ad unit
block encountered in your code. Always make sure that this first
ad unit is displayed in the best location (yeah - test). You want the
higher paying ads to be in the prime hot location on your page.
Weaker locations can get the lower priced ads. And if none are
available, then nothing will display unless you've included an
alternate ad URL in your Google code. To maximize monetization
you should be including alternate ad URLs, especially if you are
putting multiple units on a page. The use of an alternate ad URL
also eliminates the possibility of being served PSAs (Public Service
Announcements). It's your real estate, maximize your returns.
Nothing here is secret. Except for using the alternate ad URL, all
of this information is available from Google's Optimization Tips page -
You can buy books and courses, visit a dozen forums and, in the
end it comes down to what your visitors do on your site. The best
you can get is general guidance. This means averaged outcomes
over many sites, many types of content. If you are serious about
doing whatever you can to really optimize your AdSense returns,
there is only one thing to do - test. Whether it's AdSense,
copy, headlines - anything with a measurable outcome that you can
track - then the way to improve is to test and keep on testing.
About the Author:
Richard writes, teaches, trains and consults on business and
professional presentations and eCommerce related matters. For
more information on eCommerce sites and eCommerce site building
- and you can find more articles at
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