[ Top hints and tips to improve your Adsense monetisation ]

b>[ Simple ways to improve your Adsense returns ]

*** Limited offer: ***

Now, for the bargain price of (much less than) $97, I will give you the hidden secrets to Adsense fiscal glory:

" "

I`m sorry, was that too brief? Hmmm, nothing there you say? Ah, well there you go...

Sorry to disappoint, but that`s your lot, there are no `hidden secrets`. Don`t get me wrong, some of these grossly overpriced eBooks do have good, solid information. And yes, if you want to take the lazy route to optimisation they will save you many hours of treading the forums, but secrets?

And the promise of earning hundreds, even thousands of dollars a day ?

See, now we are on stickier ground. In truth, yes, it`s perfectly possible. Indeed I fully intend to prove it can be done via my main site ( www.ackadia.com ) and my Adsense `secrets` site ( www.dadsense.com ). BUT, and here`s the rub, unless you are doing dirty black hat tricks which WILL cost you Adsense account, there is a finite limit to how much you can improve your revenue. It will vary will one site to the next, but I believe the absolute maximum you can increase it by is tenfold. Certainly a 500% increase is easily achievable if you follow the rules.

But the books promise... : Read the small print, eh! Generally there`s a wee caveat to those 100% money back guarantees, like, if you follow everything in the manual. I will be doing a follow on article looking at building traffic.

*** Here`s how it goes, in reality: ***

You are earning 20ยข a day. You follow every rule in the book, try every trick in all these oh so promising tomes, et voila, you might be earning $1.00 a day. At that rate, if you manage it, you should cover the cost of the eBook in about 3 months. A far, far cry from the screen shots proving they are earning over $1,000 a day.

Come on, we`ve all seen them, the cheques for like $25,000, the month`s listing pulling anywhere between $600 and $1,600 a day, every day, pictures with the central portion edited out. There is a good reason for this - one besides violating Googles` terms and conditions - it conveniently, legitimately, hides the clicks and page impressions. Clicks are an aside, the impressions are the real meat here, the measure of hits, of traffic.

That`s hit the nail on the head, eh. If you want to turn that $0.20 a day into a $1 a day, fine, but to turn it up again to into $500 a day, you need 500 times more visitors, every single day. Not only that, but genuine people who have come for your expert opinions and advice, that most certainly have not been tricked by false information.

As you can see, most of the books will touch on improving traffic, but the fact hides the lie. Unless you have several popular sites, or one amazing busy niche site, you will never see these sort of monthly cheques yourself!

*** Monetisation 101: Who`s your daddy! ***

You want lots of money for publishing the content and displaying the Adsense, anything else is incidental.

Google want lots of money from the advertisers for supplying the service and only really care that your content and leads are relevant and honest.

The advertisers meanwhile want lots of money from sales and don`t really care about either you nor Google - they are paying hard cash per click for their AdWords and want clicks that convert to a real Return On Investment.

So, who is your Daddy? The advertisers, naturally! No-one outside of Google and very few inside know the rules, but you can bet the shirt off your back that there`s a correlation between your site and the advertisers marketing feedback. Here`s a perfect example. I am looking for a new host, so I do a search and find a carefully written article dedicated to reseller hosting. As it`s target it generates appropriate adverts, one of which I follow and end up ordering from. A win-win-win situation.

*** Here`s what works: ***

Play around and test continually until you find what works best for you. I recently changed my logo on one site and the click thru rate dropped from around 2% to almost zero overnight! You can bet I put it back how it was. Similarly, altering the background colour elsewhere increased the rate 300%.

Pages with single theme topics are highly effective, the better they are written, the more likely you will get targeted visitors. Remember though that Google`s Adsense terms strictly forbid you designing web sites purely with the intention of earning Adsense income. If they catch you, it is an automatic lifetime ban. Create web sites where you have a real interest in providing content for your readers.

Where possible using keywords, you ideally want appropriate domain names, along with highly descriptive paths and filenames using dashes between the words work extremely well, greatly increases the probability of instantly targeted ads. Naturally this applies to search engine optimisation too. Apparently, targeting effectiveness increases over time. I can`t say if this is true, but according to some sources it seems likely that external factors such as the number, range, popularity and relevancy of external sites and articles linking to you, and to the page in question play a factor.

*** KISS Google! ***

For your page design, `Keep It Simple, Stupid,` if you want to get the best out of Adsense, and indeed other related systems. Not so much the visual aspect that we see, but the code that the bots `see`. A lot of this relates to accessibility regulations and validated code. Essentially, the indexing bots are blind. If they have to navigate a badly marked up mess of nested tables and Flash animations, well...

Needless to say such optimisation should include the descriptive use of headline elements (H1, H2 etc) and extend to meta information such as the title, description and keywords. You should also create a robots.txt, which needs to include this line: ( User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* )

I have a page on meta tags here: ( www.ackadia.com/web-design/meta-tags/meta-tag-keywords.ph p ).

For extensive information on robots, read this FAQ : ( www.robotstxt.org/wc/ faq.html )

Don`t format your sitemap. Google have a beta program specifically running for this, Webmasters can register here: ( www.google .com/webmasters/sitemaps/login )

*** Which ad size to use ***

Please bear in mind these are generalisations and may not be the best for your particular blog or web site. The only way to know for sure is try them and monitor them through channels, experimenting over time with slightly different sizes and shapes. Generally when you find the one that works best you know almost overnight! Whichever you use, take the text only option over the text and/or image and keep from `above the fold`, display them at the top of the page in the hot spots. Google even have a chart of what works best, where. Find it here: ( www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page=tips.html )

Anyway, for the side bars, the consistent agreement is for a 160x600 Skyscraper, over the narrower 120x600 or other options.

If you use the banners at the top, go with the full sized 728x90. I don`t see the results myself, but I believe the 728x15 horizontal link units work well with niche sites.

For body content, there tends to be mixed consensus between the medium 300x250 and the large 336x280 rectangles as which is best. I`m inclined towards the latter, but it does depend on the actual layout of your pages and specifically the width of your content column. Again, test the various formats to see which works best for you.

*** Which ad colours to use ***

Now this is one of the `secret tips`. So secret that Google give it coverage on there Adsense tips page. Ahem! Anyway, sarcasm aside, it is also THE one. This, more than any other supposed snake oil, is what can massively improve the success of contextual adverts on your site. Not just Google, but Chitika and anything else you might want to try!

Here`s what Google have to say on the matter:

"What colour palettes are the most successful? You may find that colours that stand out without overshadowing your content are better for your site than colours that blend in so well, the ads are practically invisible. However, you may find that colours that blend in completely perform better. However you choose your colour palettes, make sure that it complements the colour scheme of the page. Also, rotating colour palettes is a simple way to add variety and freshness to your ads. All you need to do is hold down the Control key and select up to four colour palettes when generating your ad code in the Ad layout code page of your account."

cite: [ www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page=tips.ht ml#17957 ]

Personally, I find the best result come when you blend your sites colours and fonts as closely as possible, making the adverts look more of your content. Indeed it is this relevancy that endeared me to Google in the first place. That said, sometime the reverse it true. This, I believe, relates as much to the nature of the topic as anything else. It`s a mind set thing! Basically, it`s down to not making the advert look like an ad. THus you match it so closely that it`s part and parcel, or make it stand out, hiding in plain sight.

For the most part, depending on site style, I prefer muted colours though others tests have showed that the default blue (#0000ff) for links can improve the effectiveness by 25%. Either way, make the colours of the ads and your own links pair up. As an interesting alternative is Google`s random colours. I`ve not tested it extensively yet, but some people have reported good results use the option to dynamically rotate up to four colour layouts.

*** Keyword targeting ***

There`s two ways of looking at this, only one of which I personally subscribe too. The first and in my opinion true and honest is genre targeting. This is essentially search engine optimisation and frankly if you want a decent ranking in Google, Yahoo and MSN this is the only guaranteed way to do it - putting the right words in your meta information, headlines and entire content.

The other method is highly lucrative and an entire market in itself. It involves trying to work out who has naively paid the most for a particularly word combination and rewriting your pages to get that ad on your page.

Here`s a fictitious example:

For `rust removal` the costs to advertisers is $1.11 a click For `rust removal widget` the bid rises to $11.11 a click For `rust removal gadget` someone has incredulously bid at $111.11 per impression

Technically there is nothing wrong with this and I don`t think the rules specifically forbid it

*** Last minute advice: ***

Don`t forgot to try the Adsense Site Search box. If you have a large site it`s a great way of letting visitors quickly find the relevant information. If they don`t find it, it`s a reasonable bet they will reach for Google and search elsewhere. Why not let them launch search from your site, that way if it leads them to an advert you get credited. Sure, it`s not a big earner, but the pennies do an up over time.

About the author: Tall, grey, grumpy, genius!

Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it.

My main web site, www.Ackadia.com, is a family friendly site offering help and articles on web design, computers, general interest, education, RPGs PC games.

Author: Paul Ackerley
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