You had the content and the traffic. You signed up for AdSense, copied the code provided by Google and pasted it on your blog.
But at the end of the day when you check your earnings… just peanuts! Does it sound familiar? Let’s try to analyze together some real life cases…
AdSense Ads: Above the Fold or Not?
The statistics show that the ads displayed above the fold have a higher click-through rate than those displayed below the fold. But let’s see a real and common case…
I’ve just noticed somewhere a good headline and I click the link in order to read that article. If the first thing I see above or right below the headline is an AdSense ad, I can’t help but think…
“One second ago I’ve just landed on your page. Is the content that crappy that you already want me to leave?”
Placing your AdSense ads above the actual blog post is like you don’t care whether the visitor reads or not your article. Each click represents a lost reader. Have you thought about that?
That’s quite a dilemma, isn’t it?
If you place the ads above or right below the headline you increase the AdSense earnings but you lose readers. Do you earn or do you lose? Just think about… How much potential money did you actually lose for the cents earned for such clicks?
But if you place the ads below the fold, your click through rate will decrease dramatically, everyone says that. So… what can you do? Let’s move on and see…
Mistake # 1 – Treating your blog as a whole
The number one mistake some bloggers make is to treat the blog as a whole. That’s so wrong… Each page of your blog has its own life and you should treat it accordingly.
From my perspective there are 3 types of pages:
– evergreen high quality content
– low or medium quality content
– news or content related to new tools, new features, etc.
As time passes by, the content from the third category becomes outdated or not interesting anymore. Even if initially that content was of high quality, over the years it goes to the second category. News comes and goes.
Now ask yourself what you want the visitors to do when they land on each type of content described above.
Evergreen high quality content and news: do you want the visitor to read it or not? If you don’t want the visitor to leave your page quickly, then don’t offer such opportunity.
Remove the AdSense ads from the headline area. Place them right after the article. Once the readers have achieved their main goal (reading the article), they need something else to grab their attention. Otherwise they’ll leave your blog without taking any further action.
In case some readers stop reading the article for any reason, you need a shinny backup object to grab their attention quickly. Some AdSense ads placed on the right side widget may get the job done.
Low or medium quality and outdated content: do you want the visitor to read it or not? You don’t really want it to be read, do you? Well, that’s the case when you place AdSense ads in the headline area.
Mistake # 2 – Treating different kind of traffic alike
Not all traffic is equal. You need to apply a similar pattern as for the case described above. Analyze your traffic and take decisions… For example…
Does a page get a lot of traffic from social media sites? Don’t even think about greeting the visitors by showing some ads right from the very beginning. Give them quickly what you’ve promised. The article! They didn’t land on your blog page by mistake. They have a goal and that goal isn’t reading an ad.
Does a page get untargeted traffic that bounces? Offer these unhappy visitors an alternative to closing the page without doing anything. There’s the proper place for AdSense ads above the fold.
Tricky question: What if an evergreen high quality content page gets tons of bounces? Do I remove the ads from the top (solution for great content) or do I add ads to the top (solution for bounces)? Answer: In such case you have a problem… The visitors don’t consider your content as being of high quality. Listen to them!
Mistake # 3 – Your blog displays untargeted ads
According to Google, “AdSense only targets ads based on overall site content, not keywords or categories.” That’s not very good. Sometimes your blog may display such ads:
Did you notice the problem? The ads aren’t related to the content of the blog… The ad on the right side is about printers. The one on the left side… I don’t even know what’s that ad promoting!
That’s untargeted advertising and it gets the worst results.
What can you do? What’s wrong?
1. Make sure that your keywords have high advertiser competition. Maybe there just aren’t enough advertisers for the keywords you’re targeting.
2. There may not be enough information on your site for Google’s crawlers to determine the content of your pages. For example, these crawlers are unable to derive meaning from audio and video files.
3. Read more AdSense related stuff and improve your skills. There are a lot of possible reasons for getting untargeted ads.
Instead of Conclusions – Final Thoughts and Tips
1. Don’t copy a business model that is different from yours and expect the same results. For example, usually any article directory has AdSense ads right below the headlines. That’s fine, it works great. But don’t forget that the articles aren’t written by the owner of the directory. So, let’s be honest, whether the articles are read or not isn’t important to that owner. That’s a different business model.
2. No time available for improving the AdSense part of your blog? Then you’d better remove these ads. Replace them with very targeted affiliate banners. Some affiliate ads very well matched to your content will get you more money than some mis-used AdSense ads.
3. Be dynamic. Modify your ads placement according to the type of the content, the nature of the traffic and visitors’ behavior. Be sure that your blog displays ads that match your content.
4. Value your readers first. A visitor who doesn’t read anything that you write but only clicks a link gets you the earnings relevant to that click. A loyal reader that visits your site constantly may get you bigger earnings in the future. Long-term thinking, OK?
To Your Success!
P.S. Now it’s your turn! What do you think? I guess that my ad placement suggestions may be quite controversial. Isn’t it so? What do you value more? Readers and later clicks or quick clicks and no readers?