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8 Tips for Maximizing Contextual Advertising Revenues

WebProNews has a good article on Tips for Maximizing Contextual Advertising Revenues – the first of these 8 tips is:

1. Determine overall fit with your site.

The first rule of thumb of contextual advertising is that it is not for everyone. Some sites do extremely well with it, earning 5-figures or more a month, while others earn mere pennies a month. Others running Google Adsense, for example, enjoy being in the “UPS Club” (Google sends by UPS the checks to publishers who earned $10,000 or more whereas the rest gets their check through regular mail). Many say that they find it hard to even reach the monthly check cut-off amount of $100.

The beauty about contextual advertising is that it is not about traffic, as there are some sites getting only 5,000 ad impressions that earn more than those getting 50,000 impressions monthly. It is about the types of visitors you have. So what types of site do well with contextual advertising?

Sites where users are in a buying mood

Sites where users are looking for information on specific products or services that interest them – product, business opportunity, looking to buy tickets, etc.

Sites where users are researching ways to spend money

Sites with a high percentage of fresh unique visitors (regular visitors tend to ignore ads)

Sites where users show an interest to ads, and not just the site’s offerings

If contextual advertising is not working for you as you expect, be sure to check out other forms to monetize your web real estate such as affiliate programs and CPM-based advertising.’

Read the other 7 tips at Tips for Maximizing Contextual Advertising Revenues

More detailed Adsense Statistics

Adsense Tracker is one of the most useful tools that any Adsense user could invest in. As the name suggests Adsense Tracker gives you statistics that Adsense does not even come close to giving you in their statistics/reporting package.

Track Click Throughs from Each Page – For example – have you ever wondered which pages on your blog are providing the click-throughs? Adsense only lets you track 50 channels – most of of us track categories but Adsense Tracker lets you track every page on your blog!

Now in my mind that is information that I’d pay for. Think about it. You’ve got 1000 pages on your blog. The clicks could be coming evenly from them all – or they could be coming predominantly from one or two pages. Wouldn’t it be useful to know which pages they were so that you could:
1. write more posts on those topics (or even start a new blog dedicated to them)
2. promote those pages more
[Read more...]

AdSense Per Click Payout Based On Natural Rankings

Interesting post over at Digital Point on Read more AdSense Per Click Payout Based On Natural Rankings. The basic question – does Google rankings for keywords have an impact on the rate at which ads on those keywords pay out at? The thread starts with this:

‘I’ve noticed something interesting with pretty much every site I run AdSense on. The better it ranks for it’s main keywords (which is what AdSense would be based on) in a natural search in Google, the higher the AdWords cost (and AdSense per click payout).

One site ranked around #25 in the SERPs for it’s keywords. AdSense paid roughly $0.10 per click. As it slowly moved up in natural rankings, so did the AdSense per click payout, until now it’s top 5 and it gets $1.50 per click on average (nothing else has changed).

Conversely, I have a site that did rank top 5 for something, and it was getting about $1.20 for AdSense. The rankings have dropped, and the AdSense per click payout mirrored that drop (now it’s averages $0.02 per click).’

Lessons Learned: AdSense

‘Brainy Betty’ over at the Adsense forum at Webmaster World has started a good thread on Lessons Learned with Adsense. She writes:



‘A year and a half later with AdSense and still going strong – here are my lessons learned: (What are yours?)

1. Graphic design: Provide clean pages and lots of them with a simple, 1 color (non-tiled, generally) background

2. Meta Tags: Use them! Make sure you don’t have 90 bijillion keywords. The fewer and more targeted the better. Put the title tag up on top first.

3. Content: Provide useful, necessary content. Get feedback from your visitors to find out what they are looking for; what they want, and create pages accordingly. The more descriptive text on each individual page, the better.

4. Ad Settings: Change them about once a month or so. Make large banners smaller; use verticals in some places, definitely change colors so people notice – especially repeat visitors who have ‘turned off’ the ads in their heads if they see them in the same place with the same colors and formats all the time…’

Read more from Betty and others at Lessons Learned: AdSense

The Adsense Shuffle – Is it time for a Direct Debit Payment System?

With the arrival of September’s Adsense cheque today (its now November 4) I find myself doing what I like to call the ‘Adsense Shuffle’.

As a non US citizen cashing my cheque is becoming an increasingly difficult prospect. You see not only do I have to arrange for my cheque to be cashed, exchanged into Aussie dollars (which involves the filling in a number of forms) – cheques over $xxxx require further authentication which means the cheque has to be physically sent back to the US before they are cleared. Despite the planes that fly back to the US every day this extra process takes a further 6 weeks!

So the money that I earned on the first day of September is not likely to hit my bank account until the 18th December (if I’m lucky)!

Of course I’m getting used to it now – money still comes to me every month – but its amazing that a company with as many innovations and cutting edge technologies as Google can’t arrange for the people who are paying a lot of their bills to get their share of the profits a little quicker than 108 days after they earned them.

Of course I shouldn’t complain too much – my real gripe is with Amazon which only sends cheques quarterly. The money I earned from them on the first day of July won’t hit my bank account until 18th December also!

Google Sees Brand-Advertising Opportunities

Those of you using Adsense might be interested in some of the upcoming changes and directions of the program being talked about by Google executives.

‘ After building its business through direct-response search listings, Google is likely to expand into brand advertising.

Speaking to investment analysts on the company’s first-ever earnings call last week, Google executives said its fledgling effort at distributing graphical ads was an important initiative for the company. Google has begun to test the display of graphical ads on Google Image search. For now, the graphic ads shown through AdSense are priced on a click basis. Display advertising is often sold on a cost-per-thousand-impressions basis. Stein said Google is unlikely to simply adopt CPM pricing, but could instead have a hybrid system that charges a flat fee for impressions on top of click charges.’

Read more at Google Sees Brand-Advertising Opportunities

Micropayments and Blogging

When I was in my first year of high school I met a guy who would change my life – ok he didn’t really change it, but he taught me a lesson which I still use today in my pro-blogging. He taught me that if you aim small you can actually make it big! Indulge me if you will as I reminisce about my friend Trent.

My most vivid memory of Trent is in an Aussie Fish and Chip shop. For some reason our class was out on a field trip on this particular day and our teacher had taken us to a Fish and Chip shop to get some lunch. We’d all been told to bring a $2 – $3 dollars to get our lunch but as usual Trent hadn’t brought any money.

Trent wasn’t the most organized person in the world and I suspect money wasn’t flowing at home and so he’d developed this wonderful skill to get by when he needed money in such situations as this.

He waited until everyone else in the class had ordered and paid for their fish and chips and then he proceeded to move around my class mates asking if they could spare a few cents. He did it in a funny/clownish kind of way and made most of us laugh in the process. Most people gave him a few cents, no one gave him more than 20 – but when he’d finished his rounds of classmates and fellow customers and the time came to order Trent proceeded to the counter and placed an order that made the rest of us look like we were just having snacks. He’d collected $3.50 – more than enough for lunch – and probably a snack on the way home after school.

None of Trent’s classmates really minded about his good fortune – after all it hadn’t really cost us much – but when added all together our spare change was significant in Trent’s eyes. Trent was ahead of his times – a forerunner in the Micro-Payments industry.

The theory is simple – get enough people to give you a small payment and you’ll earn a significant income.

[Read more...]

3 New Adsense Features Being Tested

Adsense may be testing some new features – I just stumbled upon a site that seems to be being used as a testbed for the new stuff. This is a page I first noticed two ads per page on – about a month before it became public that the rest of us could do that. I notice three new features so far:

1. Little dividers between the ads on the skyscraper site. It breaks it up a little and is a little different.

2. Change to Ads About Option – Also I just noticed that this particular user has another option at the bottom of their ads that says:

“Change to Ads About:” and then it lists five other related topics to click on. When you click on one of the options the ads change to ones related to the topic at hand.

3. Change to Ads About Search – Also after you click on a couple of ‘change ads’ options a search field comes up that says:

“Change to Ads About:”

This allows you to type in a request for ads about any particular topic!

So it seems Adsense are testing a feature that lets our readers choose their own topics for ads! Interesting. I’m not sure how many of my readers would take the time to toggle the ads. But this feature would be useful for ME if I could have a little more control over the ads my users see on particular pages – which I’m not seeing as an option.

Has anyone else seen these options on sites?

Nerve Endings Firing Away: Google Adsense makes sense

Nerve Endings Firing Away has a good review of Google Adsene, from a blogger’s perspective.

“It has been a month since I succumbed to the advertising devil in disguise. But in retrospective Google Adsense is indeed impressive and makes perfect sense for small-time publishers. Regular bloggers have achieved the tag of informal journalists and are publishing czars in their own right. But there is no free lunch in a capitalistic society. I moved to Typepad couple of months ago from Rediff for greater flexibility and customization of my blog. This additional coolness comes at a cost; $8.95 per month to be exact. Google Adsense gave me not only a way to cover the costs, but also superceded my expectations by making some more. In a nutshell, all visitors see the ads on my blog, some click on them, and advertisers are happy to get traffic on their commercial websites, even if the visitors don’t buy anything. They pay Google for customizing the ads, according to the content, for my blog and Google pays me a share. How much is Google paid and the percentage of my share is not clear yet.”
Read more at Google Adsense makes sense

Read the first post in our Adsense Tips for Bloggers series.