The most common mistake, people make, when it comes to advertisement is to think, that they are getting paid for making visitors watch ads. This is completely wrong. You are not paid for pestering people with eye blinding and distracting banners and especially not for them merely being clicked. You are paid to help sell products.
Whenever you write a webpage, you are investing hours of work and hence produce value. Your problem of course is, that unlike newspapers, online articles do not sell directly very well, as they are generally perceived to be worth less then one cent and there simply is no micro payment in place allowing to conveniently pay fractions of cents. This is, where advertisement steps in. Instead of trying to sell your content directly to your visitors, you are instead selling it to an advertising party, which uses it to get in contact with new customers. In other words: Your payment comes out of the sale you are initiating, not out of someone merely seeing a banner. Meaning, you have to consider yourself as an agent, whose job it is to get two parties do business with each other and earn a commission in doing so.
How do I get clicks?
Getting clicks is actually rather easy, once you start considering yourself as a service provider, since this automatically makes you ask yourself, what it is, your costumers want and how you can give it to them. The reason, why people come to your website is because they are looking for information. If you offer, what they seek as well as relevant ads, then there is a chance, that they will also click. It really is as simple as that.
How do I get ads, my visitors will consider relevant?
First, you have to understand, that ads are triggered by keywords. If you use words like "loan" and "mortgage" in your page's title for example, you are likely to get financial ads. In essence this means, you just have to watch the language you are using in the same way you do, when performing SEO optimization. Here are some tips:
- Avoid telling your visitors what your page is not about. By doing so, you are just putting in a lot of highly inappropriate keywords, attracting ads for "the other thing".
- Use the special AdSense comments to suggest to Google, which parts of a page are relevant (parts, as in paragraphs, not single words).
- Be one step ahead of your users. Ask yourself, where they would want to go after reading your page. For example, if you wrote a review on cellphones, readers might be interested in buying one afterwards. So try to put in keywords, that will trigger ads from hardwarestores.
A good strategy is to ask yourself, which products someone might want to buy after reading your page. Use Google to find suppliers for these products, then submit their pages to Google's keyword tool. Pick the keywords you like and try to include them in your text.
How do I get my ads noticed?
There is no general method to accomplish this. What works for one site, does not necessarily work for another. However, there are some tips and tricks to consider:
- Don't try to capture attention. Ads, that visually stand out are immediately recognized as such and largely ignored. Most of the time, it is best, to blend them with the page design. Try having text flow around them. You can accomplish this by enclosing the AdSense code in div tags like this:
AdSense Code here
- People expect banners in certain locations on websites and hence have developed blind spots to those areas. Have a look at this heatmap to get some ideas, where people typically look at.
- Try putting your ads above the page fold, unless you are sure, people will scroll down. In this case put them at the page bottom. This is especially important to remember for bloggers and other authors writing lengthy articles. If you put all advertisements on the top of the page, then the reader will have forgotten them after finishing the article.
- Avoid visually overloading your pages with advertisement. People get disgruntled fast when too little ham is sandwiched in between too much spam. Keep in mind, that humans are able to keep around seven different objects in mind simultaneously. Try not to have more then this number of distinct elements on a page.
Always remember: People look for content first and for ads last. Don't try to force your visitors into clicking. They will do so if they want not, not when being pushed. Tricked clicks will hardly result in a sale and if that happens often, you may become subject to smart pricing, which means throttled payout.
Why should I not spam or trick people to visit my homepage?
If you use spamming tactics to lure visitors to your site, you are basically attracting untargeted audience. The major portion of those visitors will conclude, that your site does not offer, what they are interested in and leave immediately, resulting in:
- Large volumes of useless traffic, you have to pay for.
- A very low click through rate, making your site unattractive for high paying ads.
- If you spam people, you are in breach of your contract with Google. If you do it on a scale where it becomes lucrative, then you are likely to get reported and your AdSense account closed.
Any more tips?
Certainly! There is a lot of finetuning, that helps in special cases. Here are some ideas:
- Structure your pages and try to get the "right" amount of content per page. If your pages have too little text, visitors might find them uninformative. Too much text and you discourage impatient readers. Splitting one large page into several smaller ones also helps modem users and allows you to show more ads. Secret tip: Most webbrowsers support content negotiation. This allows you to deliver compressed pages, meaning you can cut down dramatically on traffic overhead while making pages load faster at the same time.
- Consider using community functions, if your CMS supports these. Users visiting again, also see your banners again. Functions like forums, page comments or "refer to friends" can be powerful marketing tools.
- Try to only place ad units where a high conversion rate can be expected. Google monitors conversion and a single page producing a lot of "empty clicks" may penalize your whole account by means of smartpricing.
- Ad Units are populated with ads in the same order, they are encountered in the code. The first codeblock gets the highest paying ads. Stylesheets and the
<div>tag can be used in case it is desirable to visually display this block in different position.
- Put your website up for a review, get feedback from fellow webmasters, telling you their opinion.
- If you are not getting enough traffic to your site, add more content (this is why, using CMS for website building is so important). Try writing unique articles. If you offer information, that is not found elsewhere, then visitors have to come to you for it.
- Visitors will generally only read the first few sentences of a page and then decide, whether the rest of the text is relevant to them. Don't beat around the bush, make it clear in the title and the first paragraph what a page is about.
- Market the content you have. It is important to understand, that every page you have is an asset. Do not remove pages, simply because they perform poorly. Only do so, if maintaining costs you more then you get out of them.
- Be patient. Building traffic to a website is not a matter of a few days. Don't expect to much in the first couple of weeks.
- Make sure, your visitors have a pleasant stay on your website. Bombard them with banners and you make them want to leave as soon as possible. Think about your role as a mediator and ask yourself, if you would want to talk to a person in real life, who hands you a sales brochure even before introducing himself.