When we talk about the location of your ads, we don't mean where they appear on each page.
What we're emphasizing here is that there are methods of setting up AdSense ads to appear on pages other than your own website pages. Increasing the variety of pages you put AdSense ads on can really boost your click-through rate. We'll also tell you about the kind of website page on which to never let an AdSense ad appear.
- Extend your reach with AdLinks. When you sign up for AdSense, you also have the opportunity to display AdLinks. These are text links that take your visitor to a page of AdSense ads when clicked. The text links are related to the topics on your site, just like AdSense ads, but you get more of them and they might cover a wider range of relevant topics.
If space on your site is limited, AdLinks are a terrific idea because they're much more compact than AdSense ads. The downside is it takes two clicks (one on the text link and one on the resulting ad) before you make any money from them.
- Put AdSense ads in RSS feeds. If you have more than 100 subscribers to your RSS feed, you can apply to have AdSense ads appear whenever the feed is pulled by a news reader. The ads are matched by the content of the entire feed, not just the title and teaser.
You need to put a snippet of code, provided by Google, into your feed, and the ads are then rendered when a reader downloads your feed. The text-based AdSense ad is converted to a graphic that remains stable even after it's downloaded by the reader. (If the ad remained in text form, the news reader would detect a new article each time the ad changed and would reload it.)
- Use Web Search on your site. Putting a Google Web Search box on your site adds functionality for your visitors and potential ad revenue for you. When your site visitors search, Google places ads directly related to their search topics on the results page.
This has two benefits for you: You keep traffic on your site longer because visitors don't have to leave to do a Google search; and, of course, you make money when they click on one of the related ads.
- Keep your sales pages for your own sales. Do not place AdSense ads on any web page designed to sell your visitors your product. This includes your salesletter as well as any page on which they can make a purchase. You'll make a lot more money by having your customers buy your product than by having them click away on an AdSense ad. Don't mix the messages by giving them more than one thing to "buy."
Keep the AdSense ads on your content and news pages, add them to your newsletter archive pages, but don't put them on your sales pages.
Follow the Money
The amount of money you make from AdSense ads is partly determined by the value of the keywords in the ads--in other words, how much advertisers have paid to use those keywords. Try to attract the big-money ads to your site by generating content that includes those high-paying keywords.
- Find the expensive words... If you've signed up for Google's AdWords program, then you already have some resources to help you determine the cost of different keywords. For the rest of us, a bit of detective work is necessary.
Start with Google itself. Do a Google search using the keywords you want to use on your site. Pay attention to the wording of the ads that show up in the right margin--the ads at the top have the higher-paying words in them. You can piggyback on the ad revenue for those words by using them in your site's content.
You can also find the pricey keywords by tapping into keyword databases. Try these three:
- ...But not at the expense of your credibility. It might be tempting to create all your content around certain high-paying keywords just to benefit from the click-through payments. However, your visitors are savvy enough to know when they're being manipulated, and they won't tolerate it.
If your content ceases to be useful, relevant or interesting to them, they'll stop coming to your site entirely. And you'll have lost not only the high-paying click-throughs, but also the bigger money from product sales.
The only criteria Google has for ad placement is relevant content, so AdSense puts your site on an equal footing with much bigger, "more valuable" sites. It's not your bank balance that competes with the big guys for ad revenue but the quality of your content.
Google doesn't actually reveal how much you can make from running AdSense ads on your site--and other site owners are restricted in how much information they can release to the public. Therefore, specific numbers are hard to predict.
It's safe to say, though, that with almost no effort it's possible to bring in a little money, and if you apply yourself, it's possible to make a bundle!
Derek Gehl is Entrepreneur.com's "E-Business" columnist and 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.