Cracking the Adsense Code


Google Adsense has empowered web publishers of all shapes andsizes to make money from their web sites. Whether you own a hobbysite that gets 100 visitors per day or a popular finance portalthat is flooded with millions of visitors per month, you canbenefit from the Google Adsense program.

Simply sign up for a free account, grab your Adsense code andpaste it up on your website. Well, it sounds good anyway. Inreality, that's not the whole story. Maximizing your adsenseearnings requires a little more care.

Fortunately, you can quickly increase your earnings by readingevery word of this article. I will cover the basic necessitiesand also reveal advanced tips that you won't find on everydigital corner. So, if you're looking to put more money in yourpocket with a few tweaks of code, I urge you to read on.

As you are reading, keep in mind that Google is actually one ofthe best resources for finding information on Adsenseoptimization. Think it's hard to believe that Google would givegood advice? Well, it makes sense when you think about it. Themore you make as a publisher, the more they will make. Google hasa big incentive to help you perform well. Not to mention, theyhave 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 thatGoogle 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 thehighest number of click-throughs:

336 x 280
300 x 250
160 x 600

Tim Carter of AskTheBuilder.com increased his revenues by 20percent after placing the large rectangle (336 x 280) in the upperleft corner, positioned within his articles.Text links are another ad format that often work well. Using textlink ads, you can create Adsense ads that blend in seamlesslywith your navigation.For an example of this, go to http://www.dealofday.com.Tim Carter saw an 18 percent increase in his revenues afterplacing link units in the upper left corner under his site searchbar.
Number of Ads

Multiple ad units can sometimes help optimize your performance.This is especially true for pages with lots of text, forums, andmessage boards.

However, it could possibly lower your revenues as well. When youshow more ads, the ads that are placed lower on the page oftenhave lower bid prices than the ones on top. Therefore, you musttest 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 thehighest click-through rate appears first within your HTML code.This will ensure that your prime real estate is occupied by thehighest paying ads. You can use CSS positioning to get yourhighest paying ads placed in the location with the highest CTR.
Colors

Ads that blend in with the colors of your site generate thehighest click-through rates. In most cases, it is best to use theexact same color scheme for your ads that you use on your website. To see some good examples of this, check out:

http://www.lockergnome.comhttp://www.worldvillage.com

By using ads without background color or borders, your adsseamlessly integrate with your content.

Keep in mind that blue text links seem to perform best for GoogleAdsense. 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 whileto spice things up. This way, your visitors don't get used toyour ads, which can cause banner-blindness.
Ad Placement

Just like in real estate, location is the key to success withAdsense. Fortunately, Google provides us with a heat map, showing the best spots for ads.

One of the best places for your Adsense ads are at the top-leftof the page. Because people are used to seeing navigation on theleft side of the page, the eye naturally gravitates to thissection of your web site.

Many studies have been performed to see how the eye travelsacross a web page. You can see a demonstration atpoynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/main.htm . Knowing how people viewyour web site will help immensely when optimizing the placementof your ads.

In addition, you should also place your Adsense ads next to richcontent and navigation elements. These ads often do well becauseusers are focused on those areas of a page. You can see examplesof this at Ezinearticles.com and Lockergnome.com.

As you can see, these sites have placed their adsense ads next tosearch boxes and navigation links.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't change the layout of your site tofit the ads, but rather use the ad formats that best fit withyour site layout.
Images

Many publishers have started using images around their ads. As aresult, many of them have doubled their revenues.

One of the most successful implementations of this techniques isto use the 728 x 90 leaderboard with 4 thumbnail-sized images aboveeach ad. You can see some good examples at:

http://www.drawapig.desktopcreatures.com/http://www.sg-god.com/heaven/

Of course, you can't use images of blinking arrows because thiswould be enticing visitors to click. However, it is perfectlyacceptable to place related pictures beside your ads.

For example, if you have a page about laptops, you could place aleaderboard with 4 laptop images above each ad. In this way, youare using images to complete the story.

In fact, Google is currently testing an ad format that wouldblend images together with related text ads. It seems that evenGoogle thinks that images are a good idea to bring attention toads. To see an example of the Google ads in beta, go to http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3576
Forums

If you have a forum, I hope you are monetizing it with Adsense.Many people include Adsense within their web site, but when itcomes to their forum, they simply let the ball drop. Forums candefinitely be an extra source of income when optimized properly.

To find out about the best placement for Adsense within forums, Iwent to Google for some advice. To my surprise, they also have aheat map for forums.

One of the best ways to monetize your forum is to place Adsensedirectly within the threads. To see an example of this, go tohttp://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=106170. Googleadvises that you place a skyscraper above the fold on the leftside of your forum and they also suggest placing a leaderboarddirectly below the top navigation and below the first post.

If you are looking for additional ad space, you can place ahorizontal link unit near the top of the forum, just below theheader.

The next Adsense tactic is one that isn't talked about much.However, when used appropriately, it can be extremely powerful.
Newsletters

If you own an newsletter list, then you could easily leveragethat list in order to earn more Adsense revenue. Whenever yousend out your newsletter, simply link to an article on your sitewithin the email. By doing this, you can draw people to yourAdsense pages and easily increase your Adsense revenue.

This is one of the best things about building your own list. Youare able to direct traffic to any place at any time.

In the end, the key to increased revenues is testing. Not allsites are the same. You have to experiment to find out what worksbest for your particular site. What works for one site may notwork for another. Only by testing can you find out which stylesencourage your visitors to respond.

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