Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads
The third element of our Adsense equation is that of relevant Adsense ads. It is all very well to rank high in search engines to generate high levels of traffic, but without relevant ads that relate to the content of your blog you are not likely to generate much in the way of click throughs.
Let me give you an example. Recently I was asked to help a fellow blogger who has struggling with his Adsense ads because whilst his content largely focused upon the topic of ‘health care’ – most of the ads being served to his blog were focused upon ‘blogging’. He was getting quite reasonable traffic levels and had a reasonably high paying topic (there are some good health care ads out there) but as you’d expect, people coming to a blog about health care did not click on ads for blogging software and services at a very high rate. The challenge was to get his ads reflecting the content of his blog.
Another fellow blogger had the problem of not getting ANY ads being served to his site. Instead of paying ads all he was getting was the public service ads that Adsense serves when they couldn’t find any relevant paying ads (these pay nothing).
How do you get relevant ads? Here are a few things to try.
Make sure there are ads available – My friend who didn’t get any paying ads served was focusing on a key word for which there was no or very few ads. A simple way of checking this is to do a search on Google for the key word you are targeting. If they don’t serve ads on their own search results page its an indication that such ads are scarce – if not non existent. They way we got ads on my friends blog was to experiment with other related keywords. He didn’t have to change the focus of his blog – just the way he described his topics. For example if there are no ads for ‘bed linen’ try ‘blankets’, ‘sheets’, ‘quilts’ etc. Experiment with different combinations until you find something that works.
Increase your Keyword density – The more you use your keywords the more likely you are to get ads on those topics. Its not common knowledge exactly how the Adsense bot decides what ads suit your content best (if someone knows feel free to post it in comments below) but it’s a pretty safe bet that if you put you keyword in your title, at least once in your first paragraph and then scatter it throughout the rest of your page that you’ll convince the Adsense bot of what your topic is. It MAY also be helpful to include your keywords in the URL of your page (Moveable type can let you do this – ie look at the URL of this page – it incorporates my title and therefore some keywords). It MAY also be worth putting your keywords in outward links, bold, italics etc. All of these strategies also help optimise yor blog for search engines which won’t hurt either.
Examine your Sidebars, menus, header and footer – It is not just your main content that the Adsense bot searches to find the topic of your page, but also your other areas. When I looked at the healthcare blog that was getting ‘blogging’ ads I noticed that he had the word ‘blog’ in his title, three times on his sidebar and once in his footer. It was also in his URL and he also used the word quite often in his content. My recommendation was to remove the word from as many of those places as possible and to increase his health care keywords. The ads improved their relevancy almost immediately.
Stick to one topic per page – Obviously this may not be feasible on your front page – but attempt to keep each individual blog entry/post as highly targeted as possible. I’ve noticed that some people often include two or three topics in one entry – this will confuse Adsense’s bot so split them up into two entries.
Block irrelevant Ads – Sometimes despite your best intentions Google just gets it wrong and serves your ads that have nothing to do with what you write. If you’re getting some repeating irrelevant ads block them. Adsense lets you do this to quite a few sites and its easy to do. I have a number of ads blocked, some because they are philosophically not consistent with what I write about, but mainly because they just are not relevant to the topic of my blogs.
Ask Adsense – If all else fails notify Google Adsense of your issue. Of course they are busy people – but Google prides itself on being responsive to its users. I’ve emailed with queries a number of times, once on an issue of irrelevant ads, and every time I’ve had positive results from my query. You’ve got nothing to loose – shoot them an email!
If you do all of the above you SHOULD find Adsense serves you with relevant ads. In conjunction with the other elements in our equation this will contribute to increased click throughs and hopefully higher Adsense revenue. Next in this series on maximizing Adsense revenue is a post on Well Placed and Designed Adsense Ads.