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  1. A Brief Overview of Google AdSense
  2. Five Tips for Generating More Revenue from Website Ads
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Five Tips for Generating More Revenue from Website Ads

Okay, you’ve signed up for Google AdSense or a similar PPC ad network, generated the appropriate ad codes, and inserted those codes into your web pages. Your work isn’t done, however—especially if you want to maximize the potential revenue from these ads. Let’s look at five little things you can do that can have a big impact on your site’s advertising revenue.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Position

Our first tip for increasing advertising revenues is to make the ads more visible on your site. That means positioning them prominently on your pages.

Where’s the best place to put PPC ads on a web page? The best position for any ad is one nearest your page's core content—and that a visitor can see without scrolling. That typically means near the top-middle of your page, either above, to the left, or below the main content of your page.

You want these ads to be “above the fold,” so to speak, because a majority of visitors simply don’t scroll down the page. The higher the ad is on the page, the more likely it is that people will see it – and click it.

In addition, you probably want your ads to be more to the left side of the page than the right. That's because we all read from left to right, and see the left-side content before we do that on the right.

More important than any general position, however, is placing your ads near your page’s most important content. More visitors will see those ads adjacent to must-read content on the page. So place your ads above and to the left of key content, for best visibility.

The adjacency factor points out another good position for ads— directly after the end of an article or other editorial content. You also get a good bang for your buck by positioning ads between other elements, such as between articles. Also good is placement near navigational elements, such as menus and back/up buttons.

Bottom line: Top is better than bottom, left is better than right, and butting up against important content is best of all.

Tip #2: Format Your Ads to Mimic Page Content

You might think that the more garish an ad is, compared to the page it’s on, the more it’ll be noticed. That may be true, but getting noticed doesn’t always equate to click-throughs. In fact, those ads that blend in with the underlying page tend to perform better than those that stand out.

Visitors tend to view such ads as part of the page content, rather than as advertisements—which is a good thing, in terms of generating click-throughs. Ads that stand in stark contrast to the underlying page look too much like ads and not enough like valuable content. Visitors are more likely to click on content than they are on obvious ads

So when it comes to choosing ad colors, then, go with a color scheme that is similar to your page's color scheme. Avoid colors that contrast too much with your page's colors.

For example, if your page has simple black text against a white background, don't choose a color scheme with a colored background and bright type. Instead, go with a simple white background and black text. Likewise, if your page has a dark blue background with white type, choose that same (or a similar) color scheme for your ads. You want visitors to think that the ads are part of your content, not something separate.

Along the same lines, avoid putting borders around your PPC ads. Borders define an ad as something other than actual page content; remove the borders and some people will think the ad is part of the underlying content—which increases your click-through rate.

Tip #3: Surround Your Ads with Images

Another way to draw attention to a text ad is to surround it with images. This means putting an image above or below (or both above and below) the ad module.

It's even better if the images have something to do with the ad content. For example, if you have a page about lawn care and you're fairly sure that AdSense will serve up an ad related to lawnmowers, then surround that ad with pictures of lawnmowers. This approach not only draws attention to the ad, but it actually makes the ad appear to be more integrated into your page's content—which is always a good thing.

Tip #4: Choose a Large Ad Format

When it comes to advertising effectiveness, bigger is better. In particular, wider ad formats tend to outperform narrower formats—even if the narrower ad is also taller. It's all about readability; visitors can read more text at a glance with a wider ad than they can with a taller one.

Google says that the most effective formats are the 336 x 280 large rectangle, the 300 x 250 medium rectangle, and the 160 x 600 wide skyscraper. These are all largish ad units, and thus are dominant on the underlying page.

Along the same lines, many sites have had good luck with wide ads, such as the 728 x 90 leaderboard and 468 x 60 banner. Obviously, you should experiment with different ad sizes, as well as ad positions, to find the ones that work best with your site.

Tip #5: Put Multiple Ads on the Page

This is a simple trick but an effective one. The more ads you have on a page (to a point, anyway), the more clicks you’ll get—and the more revenue you’ll generate.

If you have a large web page (one with a lot of scrolling content), you have room to put more than one ad on the page. Google lets you put up to three ad units on each page, in addition to three link units and three referral units. Take advantage of all these revenue-generating opportunities, or at least as many that make sense with your specific page.

That said, just because you can put multiple ads on your page doesn't mean you should. If you make your page too ad-heavy, you'll turn off visitors who might think your site has nothing but ads, without enough content. Use good judgment here—don’t make your ads too intrusive.

Bonus Tip: Improve Your Site’s Content

These five tips will work to increase the number of click-throughs the ads on your site receive—but only to a point. In reality, there’s only one sure-fire way to significantly increase your ad revenue: Improve the content of your website.

Here's why.

The better and more timely your site's content, the more visitors you'll attract. The more visitors you have, the more click-throughs your ads will receive. And, it goes without saying, the more click-throughs you get, the more ad revenue you generate.

Let's face it—people don't visit your site because of the ads, they visit because of the content. If your content is lacking, users either don't visit or quickly leave when they do find your site. In either case, they don't stick around long enough to click on any ads. On the other hand, when you provide interesting and useful content, you not only attract visitors but you also keep them—and the longer they stay on your pages, the more likely they are to click on your ads.

So to increase your ad revenue, improve your site. It's as simple as that.

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