Monday, October 30, 2006

Relevant Ads Increase Adsense Profits

If you’ve started using Adsense as a way to increase advertising income, but the numbers just aren’t adding up to what you expected, the problem might be with the ads themselves. If the ads being generated by Google’s Adsense aren’t relevant to your website, visitors won’t click on them. And, no click-y, no money. It’s that simple. And it’s a simple situation to fix.

One way to know if the ads are working is to monitor the click-through-rate (CTR) on a page. If it’s low, it’s usually an indication that once a visitor arrived at your page using a certain keyword, that visitor did not find any ads relevant to that keyword. And unfortunately for you, the visitor found no reason to click on the ads.

How do I know this? It happened on my website. On one of my sites, I had a page dedicated to PHP programming (a programming language). The page had a low CTR. Upon further examination of the page, I noticed that not one of the ads was related to programming or even to technology.

What I did notice was that the ads were related to guitars. Guitars? I thought to myself, “What relevance do guitars have to PHP programming?” And I imagined visitors to my site wondered this as well.

After studying the ads, I noticed that one word seemed to keep jumping out at me. The word was “strings” as in guitar strings. Well strings are used in programming too, but Google was not able to make this distinction which is why it was generating guitar ads!

The solution to this problem was simple. I removed from my webpage the words “string” and “strings” (or I just used another word in place of string or strings). After Google found this page again and updated its view of it, the guitar ads were replaced with relevant ads. And best of all? CTR on this page immediately increased and so did my advertising income!

If you have a page with a low CTR, you may need to tweak your text so Adsense generates ads that are more relevant to the page. When making these types of changes to your webpages, use the same ideas you use for search engine optimization. Why?

Because Google uses the same logic to determine the appropriate Adsense ads to display on your page as it does to determine if your article should rank high for “blue widgets.”

Some areas on your page that might need a bit of text tweaking include:

- The title of the page
- The H1-tags used in the page
- The number of occurrences of the keywords in the text of the article
- Changing the filename (this can be very effective, but only do this for new pages that are not yet in the search engines or you risk losing traffic)

One word of advice: Don’t forget that your keywords determine your search engine rankings so take small steps when changing keywords.

And remember, the only ads that will bring you the extra Adsense income you’re looking for are relevant ads! (Bas de Baar -