OK, so enough with the colorful word play. For this blog post I'm simply outlining the different ways in which I was able to triple my AdSense earnings for the last three months in a row. Granted, I'm not making a fortune with AdSense, but it's still a nice additional stream of income for this blog.
Increased AdSense Earnings
All in all, I was able to increase my overall AdSense earnings by about 320%. My AdSense CTR (Click-through Rate) increased by about 197%, and my earnings "per click" more than doubled.
Important: Do not share your actual AdSense click-through rates, or other statistical information relating to your site performance with anyone, as it's against section 7 of Google's Terms & Conditions to do so. You can disclose the amount of Google’s gross payments to you, but no other actual statistics can be disclosed. So please, play it safe, my friends!
AdSense Ad Placement
One of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your AdSense earnings is to place your AdSense ads in locations that will yield the best CTR (Click-through Rate). While the best ad placement varies from page to page and from website to website, there are a few things that pretty much remain a constant:
1. Keep your pages looking clean, uncluttered and inviting. Common sense, I know, but you'd be surprised how many people still seem to forget about this when it comes to filling thier webspace with ads.
2. Place your AdSense ads above the fold (on the upper half of a page). Yes, you can also place your ads below the fold (on the bottom half of a page), but AdSense ads placed above the fold tend to have a much higher CTR, simply because more people see them there.
3. Be sure to place your AdSense ads near rich website content. Ads that are place near rich site content and navigational aids tend to perform much better than those that are not - simply because readers are focussed on that specific area of a page. Again, the more people that see your ads, the better chance you have of getting click-throughs for those ads.
For short articles and blog posts, place your AdSense ads above your content, as CTR tends to be the highest there.
For long articles and blog posts, CTR tends to be highest when ads are placed near the middle or the end of your content. This is because, as readers are reading and engaged in your content, they're also on the lookout for more information and resources on the subject matter at hand.
AdSense Ad Appearance
If your website's text color is black, set the AdSense ad unit URL (not the ad unit title) and the ad unit text color to black. In most cases, ads will perform much better this way. Dark gray is also another good option.
As for the ad's overall appearance, there are three basic ways to go about it:
Blend - To blend your AdSense ads with your website's design, simply make the background and borders of your ads the same color as the background of your webpage where the ad is placed.
If you need help matching the colors, then be sure to check out Color Schemer, which allows you match HTML colors with the simple click of a button.
If your website has a white background, and you don't want to spend a whole lot of time choosing ad colors, Google recommends that you use the pre-designed Open Air palette. Since I've never personally used it, I can't honestly vouch for it. BUT, I do know that when it comes to maximizing AdSense revenue, Google obviously knows better than anyone else!
Compliment - To compliment your site with your AdSense ad's appearance, simply use the colors that already exist on your site. Just don't match the background and borders of the ads exactly with the colors of the location where the ads are located.
Contrast -To contrast the appearance of your AdSense ads with that of your website, simply choose colors that stand out against the background of your site.
Google recommends "contrasting" only for sites that have a dark background. Further, they suggest using a color palette with white background, white borders and blue titles.
If your site has a lot of repeat readers, it also helps to switch things up a bit from time to time in order to further reduce ad blindness and to maintain the highest possible CTR. So every once in a while, change the colors of your AdSense ads, as well as their location on your site.
Maximizing Your Ad Space
You can maximize your website's ad space by placing multiple AdSense ads on your webpages. Google allows up to three AdSense ad units to be displayed on each webpage, a maximum of two Google AdSense for search boxes per page, up to three link units per page, and up to three AdSense referral units per page.
According to Google, "Multiple ad units can help optimize your performance by leveraging our large inventory of ads." The best way to measure the overall effect and performance of multiple ad units is to constantly monitor and examine the impact on your overall earnings. Having multiple AdSense ad units per page may prove successful for:
- Pages with lots of text (like blogs), wherein users scroll down the page.
- Forums or message boards, particularly within threads.
- Pages where only small ad formats (like the 125 x125 button) will fit.
"Make sure that the ad unit with the best placement on the page is the ad unit that appears first in your HTML code. This will help ensure that your prime ad real estate is occupied by the ads that place highest in the auction and will generate the most revenue for you"
Note: If you have a Google Adsense for search search box implemented on your blog or website, be sure that you've set it to open the search results on Google in a new browser window. This way, you won't lose your visitors whenever they do a Google search from your website.
To set your Google AdSense for search search box this way, make sure that you've selected the "Open results on Google in a new window" option when setting up the AdSense for search search box on your site.
Monitor Your Keyword Density
When it comes to increasing your AdSense earnings, I cannot say enough about monitoring your keyword density. Paying attention to your keywords and your keyword density is absolutely crucial if you want to make the most amount of money per click from the AdSense ads that appear on your site.
What is keyword density? Quite simply, keyword density is the percentage of words on a webpage that match a specified set of keywords. When it comes to AdSense, advertisers "bid" on keywords for their advertising campaigns. By "bidding" they set the amount that they're willing to pay "per click" for a specific keyword or keywords.
Some keywords cost/pay very little per click, and some keywords cost/pay a lot per click. By monitoring which keywords you use in your website content, you can effectively increase your AdSense earnings quite easily.
Be sure to check out my post entitled, Increase AdSense Earnings - Monitor Keyword Density, and further, be absolutely sure that you add the Keyword Density and Prominence Tool to your online marketing arsenal.
Filtering Your AdSense Ads
Google AdSense allows you to filter the AdSense ads that appear on your website via their Competitive Ad Filter. You can use this option to filter (stop) ads from your competitors from appearing on your site. You can also use this ad filter option to filter ads from the sites you don't like or approve of.
BUT, you can also be smart and creative with it and use the Competitive Ad Filter to block advertisers who tend to advertise with less-competitive, lower-paying keywords. How? Simple. Just use the Google Adwords Keywords Tool to discover which keywords are the least competitive (which means they'll pay less per click) and work from there.
Block Those Filthy MFA Sites
You'll want to be absolutely sure that you use the Competitive Ad Filter to block out any MFA (Made For AdSense) sites that could be showing up in the AdSense ads on your site.
What are MFA sites? MFA sites are sites that have almost no content, whatsoever. The only reason they exist is to make money off of Google AdSense and other online ad programs. And they totally suck! Why? Because they'll cost you a lot of money in AdSense earnings simply because they offer an extremely low cost per click (LCPC) payout.
For example, if you've ever noticed AdSense earnings in your account that were around 1 to 3 cents per click, then there's a good chance that those clicks were from an MFA site.
Bottom line, MFA site owners are nothing more than no-good, rogue advertisers, capitalizing on keyword arbitrage. They will steal your web traffic and cost you a lot of money in the long run!
How can you block MFA sites? Thankfully, the answer is easy. One of the best tools I've come across for blocking MFA sites is AdsBlackList. The AdsBlackList site will help you reduce the amount of MFA and LCPC sites that appear in your Adsense ads by providing you with a list known MFA sites that you can filter out. So use it!
I cannot stress this enough. Use AdsBlackList in conjunction with Google's Competitive Ad Filter and you'll be able to increase your monthly AdSense earnings much easier than you think.
Bottom line, why to lose your site visitors for 1¢ per click when you could do it for 50¢ or more a click instead?!
Sharing And Syndicating Your Content
When it comes to syndicating your content, one of the easiest ways to make more money with AdSense is by NOT syndicating your content in full. Why? Well, think of it this way...If people can read everything in their newsreaders, why would they visit your website..where your ads are? Chances are, and as most online polls show, they will not.
The answer? Simple. Set your site feed to offer only a short summary of your content, and direct your feed subscribers to your website for the rest of your post. Trust me, it works. Plus, it'll not only increase your AdSense earnings, it'll also increase your Alexa rank as well, because more of your subscribers will actually visit your site to read your blog posts in full.
The how to: If you use FeedBurner for your site feed:
- Sign in to your FeedBurner account.
- Select your site feed.
- Click on the "Optimize" tab.
- Click on the "Summary Burner" link.
- Set the parameters to your liking, and click Save.
Note: One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone likes to use a feed reader. Beyond that, most people don't even know what a feed reader is in the first place. Yes, it's true!
So be sure that you offer your content for subscription via other online formats as well. It can only be of benefit to you. My personal favorite, and one that I highly recommend is FeedBlitz.
FeedBlitz not only helps you to increase your blog readership, it also allows you to monetize your FeedBlitz subscription page with your very own AdSense code! 'Tis true! You simply enter your Google AdSense publisher ID number, and in turn, you'll get credit for every click of the AdSense ads that are displayed on your FeedBlitz subscription page. Very cool.
I've been using FeedBlitz for several months now, and am thoroughly pleased with it. If you haven't tried it yet, then I suggest you give it a go, for it can only help to widen your audience of regular readers and site visitors. And for those that don't use feed readers, it's the perfect alternative.
Anyway, this marks the end of this blog post. Thanks again for reading! :)
PS: I'm not a "self-proclaimed" AdSense expert. So, if you have any AdSense tips and tricks that have worked well for you, please be sure to comment and share them with all of us! Trust me, we'll love you for it!:)