The official AdSense Blog has just posted a post which for the first time gives tips for Bloggers wanting to optimize their AdSense earnings. They’ve previously done these with general websites and forums but today is the first time I’ve seen them officially give attention to the humble blogger. They’ve even put up some ‘pretty’ pictures to help illustrate their points.
There’s nothing in the post that regular readers of ProBlogger wouldn’t have already picked up here, but it is good to see them picking up the topic.
To summarize their post:
1. Choose the right ad formats – they recommend the medium rectangle which allows both text and image ads and fits nicely between posts. Banners between posts can also work.
2. Place ads where your readers will notice – they break their advice into two sections, firstly main pages (they suggest ads after each post) and secondly individual post pages (ads at end of entries and in longer entries mid post as well as above comment boxes). They also suggest replacing skyscrapers with link unit ads.
3. Improve targeting – they recommend exploring ‘section targeting‘ which specifies which parts of your blog you want the ads to be contextual to and which you want them to ignore (ie you don’t want your sidebar usually but do want to target specific posts). My own experience with section targeting is a little mixed to be honest. I had it active on one of my bigger blogs but at the same time I added it I found ad relevancy and therefore CTR actually dropped. Whether it was tied to section targeting I’m not sure but I don’t use it much any more.
4. Customize your ad colors – They recommend their normal ‘blend ads’ policy – so having the same background and border color on them as the background of your blog and choose a bold title color. I find title colors can also work if you blend them to be a similar color to the other links on your page also on some blogs.
Their final advice is the experiment with different layouts, ad designs and formats and to ensure you track results with channels. While these are almost throw away lines at the bottom of this post I don’t think they can be emphasized enough. Without experimenting with different options you could be missing out on significant increases in performance and without tracking your results you can end up making changes but never learn from what you do which again leads to missed opportunities.
Once again – pretty basic stuff but solid advice that fits with my own strategies. Nice to see the AdSense team focusing on helping bloggers specifically with their official blog.