I have been using Google AdSense to monetize my forums, blogs and other websites for as long as I can remember. In fact it is one of the first few methods I tried, but with time I migrated to other methods like CPM Ad networks and direct sponsors as well as affiliate marketing, which made AdSense secondary. I was still making decent income monthly from it and so always used it, but whenever I could I would use alternate methods over Adsense.
Over last 1+ year I have made an active effort not to divert myself from AdSense and keep AdSense as primary method of making money for my forum MBAGuys.net and I have seen some really good results. I have experimented a lot over last one year’s time to increase my income from AdSense and I will share them with you.
Why Yet Another AdSense Tips?
The main reason for this is majority of websites who talks about AdSense tips will talk about high paying keywords and Ad position to increase CTRs or will suggest creating websites for ads (Made for AdSense Type) but what I am going to tell you is about using AdSense or any other CPC network for your actual business.
Remember that I will not share much specific data because of AdSense Terms of Service.
So let us get into the tips.
1. Right Aligned vs. Left Aligned Ads
I have seen over times that Ads within the content which are Aligned Left perform far better than those which are aligned right.
I am not sure why but this is true and I can only think of one reason that left aligned units look more like a content that right aligned units.
2. Ad Sizes – Use large size.
In my forums I have preferred leaderboard for quite some time but many AdSense tips suggest to use rectangular ad units and when I experimented with rectangular ad units results were amazing.
I placed 2 rectangular ad units between my first and second post of each thread and these ad units performed better than the leaderboard above the fold.
3. Ad Blocking
You need to be constantly looking at your own ads and see if you find ads which are mainly made for AdSense type of website. If you see any such websites block them. See official statement as to how to block ads here. As a general rule I always block free websites like blogspot.com / hubpages.com or even .co.cc domain ads from appearing in my AdSense units. This helped me increase average per click revenue to a large extent.
4. Ad Placement
You may be aware of Google heat map and above the fold ad placement but I was willing to experiment one step further then what Google suggested and found that ad placed within the content works best. Not above the primary content.
5. Add AdSense to High Traffic Websites
As your site grows you tend to become eligible for better CPM ad networks and this is where you tend to make less use of AdSense and concentrate more on the CPM Ad network and direct ads. It is good to be going that way but do not forget to experiment with AdSense time and over again.
Few months back I decided to put AdSense back on sites which I have removed as I had too many direct advertisers and I saw very good results. This not only helps me make some extra money with AdSense but also helped me understand that I need to change the pricing of my advertising space to my direct advertisers.
6. Add AdSense to Low Traffic Websites
Many people believe that having ads on new sites is not worth it but at times in many experiments they think that this website failed and do not concentrate much on that site either.
Same is the case with me and over a period of time I have done lots of experimentation and forgot about those sites but adding AdSense to these websites as well gave a really good boost to my AdSense earnings.
7. Use AdSense for Search
I always prefer to have AdSense for Search on the most prominent position on all my forums and this means I not only add to the ad revenue of my websites but it also enhances the user experiences. After all I started this article saying I am not suggesting tips for MFA websites but mainly for your real business websites.
8. Use AdSense for Feeds
I have not seen very decent CTR for Feeds and it also need lots of RSS readers to make anything decent but then it’s not bad when it just adds to your overall income month on month basis. RSS Readers are loyal readers of your site and many believe that it’s not worth showing them ads but I opted to display ads below my feed items and results were surprisingly good.
9. Link Units
Many AdSense tips suggest to use Link units but do not suggest where and how to use them effectively. I have seen that horizontal link units below the Navigational links works just perfect with very good CTR and good eCPM as well and rectangular link units within the content. Link units are very sleek which do not take up much of your Ad space and so with less space it can make you good money.
10. Section Targeting
Section targeting is an AdSense feature that allows you to suggest specific sections of your site that should be used when matching ads. You can read more about it here. It is a way to tell Google AdSense to show ads related to specific content. In forums each post from user comes with details about the user and other things but with section targeting you can make sure you show ads related to content of you post and not related to content of user details and other content. Similarly on blogs you can make sure you show ads based on content of the pots and not related to content of the comments or any other content in the sidebar.
I think that the key with optimizing with CPC ad networks is to experiment. Some may work for me and not for you and some may work for you and not for me and so the key is to keep trying different combinations until you find the one that works best for you.
Further Reading …