Decided to keep the adsense theme going in my posts as it is something I am working quite a bit on and my 20 readers (yep got a few more) seem to want to know what Im doing. So I will divulge some of the things I am currently doing to try an maximize my return with adsense. After working on this last night it became almost 1800 word so decided to do it in 2 parts.
I first would like to say that adsense is perhaps the best passive income source there is out there. Yes it may take some work to get it where you like but after that you don’t really have to do anything and you earn an income. May be small, couple bucks a month, or even hundreds a month but every little bit helps.
I will assume that you already have an adsense account and are looking to fine tune your ads. One of the first is inserting your ads into your site and if you use wordpress I recently wrote an article on the Quick Adsense plugin which is a great tool for inserting your ads. We have also discussed shutting off the Interest based Ads on your account as well so that the ads are based on your content.
Colors of Your Ad
Some like to make their ads stand out from the rest of their site. In studies though it is shown that if a visitor knows it’s an ad they tend to avoid it like its a zombie (just watched zombie land sorry) rather than click on it. So the best thing to do is have them blend in and look like part of your site, and even better part of your content.
- Start off with the background and border of the ad, you should make this match your background color of your site. If you have some funky image or texture it will make this hard but do your best.
- Next make the title link the same color as your sites hyperlinks
- Again make the description text the same color as your general text. This is not always black.
- Finally the url at the bottom of the ad, make it the faintest grey you can. So its still visible but not so much
All this makes the ads look like part of the content of your site. Some may say you are tricking people to click, but not really. As the ad will hopefully be related to your content, which they searched for in the first place. So they will want to click on it to find more information.
I wrote recently about the change adsense made to the Default Font Family. If you leave the font to the ‘Default Font Family’ adsense will now select what they feel is the best performing font for your site. I haven’t done a lot of performance testing here but have discovered that any of my sites where default was selected it tended to pick ‘Times New Roman’ even though the preview in set up showed a Tahoma font. To keep your site looking nice and flowing its probably best that you select the font that best matches your text. Not a lot of choices but unless you have a really funky font one of them will work. Along with font you have the option to select font size. Again don’t leave this to default, set a size that matches your site best.
Size Does Mater (no mater what she says)
Sometimes you just can’t squeeze a square peg in a round hole, or a 336 wide ad block into your narrow sidebar. But it does seem that higher bid ads are attracted to the bigger blocks such as that 336×280 or the 160×600 skyscraper, or even that leader board. This of course results in higher payouts per click. So it may benefit you to make one of those 3 ad blocks per page a larger ad.
Location, Location, Location
Where you place your ad blocks can be equally important to your earnings as well. The number one location is above the fold, when your site first appears what ever is visible without scrolling. You also want to place ad blocks with in the normal reading course of your page. A common place is right at the top or your post. A lot of people just place a big ad block right at the top of the page and centered (and most don’t change the colors like above). This screams ad to me. So if you are going to place one up here (300 or 336 ad block recommended), left justify it so your post wraps around the ad and it looks more like your content.
You can also place these ads at the end of your post, again keep it left justified and be sure you do the colors as mentioned. This gives your visitors somewhere to go after reading your post. Done right it looks like follow up links to what they just read and it will be natural for them to click one. One of my best performers is to place a 468×60 text ad with in the middle of the post, looks like a nice referral link. Of course most of this depends on google serving up some good context ads and not interest based ads. Really screams ad if they are reading about hoe to get out of debt and a link pops up in the middle about weight loss.
Ok thats it for today, Part 2 will come later in the week so stay tuned! Cant wait? well grab the e-book over in my sidebar for lots of in depth strategies for adsense.