Want to make some quick money with almost no work? If you don't already have AdSense ads on your site, you should think about getting started.
Google's AdSense places contextual ads on your web pages, and keywords defined by advertisers are matched to your site's content by Google. You make money each time someone on your site clicks on one of the ads. You can set filters so your competitors' ads aren't displayed on your site, and you can restrict the ad content by region and language.
This article will point out a few ways you can manage the ads on your website so they make you more money. We'll talk about three key issues: ad design, ad location and keywords.
You'll be surprised to learn just how much control you have over these elements--and you'll be delighted to see how much more money a few small changes can make you.
Designing for Dollars
Yes, "content is king," but good design is the crown jewel. Spend a few minutes getting the look of your AdSense ads right, and the payoff to you is priceless.
- Tweak the color. Make the ads blend into your content so they'll be perceived by visitors to your site as supplementary or supporting information. Visitors are much more likely to click on links that look like part of the content they're reading.
You can change the color of the background and the color of the links to match those on your web pages. There are two ways to do this. One is a cinch: Use the pre-formatted colors that Google offers. The other requires a bit of HTML knowledge: Hand code the colors so you get an exact match to the ones on your site.
As an alternative design plan, consider changing the colors from time to time to keep things fresh for returning visitors who might suffer from "ad blindness"--viewers often automatically filter out any content they've seen before.
- Align the images. Use images on your site as "captions" for the AdSense ads that appear. Now, of course, they won't have a direct relationship to each ad because you don't know exactly which ads will be placed on your page. The purpose of the images isn't to explain the ads, but to draw the eye and then lead it down or across to the text. Since that text is your ad, the image has just increased the chances that the ad will be clicked.
If you try this strategy, be aware that Google's algorithm is always looking for ways to get your ads to make you more money, and that could mean it might override your default settings. If you've asked for a four-ad banner, but Google knows that three ads will make you more money because of its keywords, then the images you've carefully aligned for four ads will be out of whack.
- Run from the border! Unless... Borders separate the ads from the content. This visual separation works against your careful attempts to integrate the ads with the content. (Remember: Your goal is to integrate the ads as much as possible so they appear to be just one more valuable piece of relevant content on your site.)
For that reason, you should not use any of the pre-set borders Google gives you.
But if you use the "image caption" trick described above, Google requires that you use a border or a line separation between the images and the ads. The solution is to create your own line separation that's consistent with other design elements on your page.
Derek Gehl is the CEO of the Internet Marketing Center, an internet marketing firm that has helped thousands of people learn to start and run their own online businesses.IMC hosts a new Search Marketing Lab Forum, where members have their strategy questions answered by search marketing specialists.