The Black Banner Rotator

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Making Cents of Google Adsense

As a Black Online Entrepreneur, I have spent a good amount of time and energy trying to figure out how to integrate Affiliate Programs into my web development. A fellow online associate has often told me not to get my hopes up, as she also has never found referral programs to be very profitable, but I stuck with the process in the hopes that something will pan out. Among the many sites I have visited, Google Adsense is by far the best one. Honestly, I'm still trying to master the interface, but I've found a few useful tips that work! I am proud to annouce that I'm actually making some money with Adsense and hope to make more in the long run.

For those of you who regularly click on your affiliate program statement, and see $0 dollars across the board, here are a few suggestions on how to make cents of Google Adsense:

Useful Observations:

  • I don't understand how this thing works? At first I didn't know what to do when I signed up with AdSense. I was expecting to find a form to type in the keywords that best reflect what's on my site. I figured that was the only way Google would know what links to display on my webpage. Fortunately Google is more technologically savy that I am. They have created an equation to scan your web page, analyze your content, and display the appropriate ads. Of course if you haven't take the time to pick keywords, or have keywords that have no associated ads your banner might be blank or irrelevant to your page. This doesn't help your revenue, if someone clicks on your site for Dresses and see's adds for blogs. Unless their feeling bored, it's unlikely that they will click the ad and that you will get any money. Take the time to read articles, and figure out how this program really works. For months I was convinced that I could just figure it out myself, and I made no money doing so. It wasn't until I started doing research that a few dollars started flowing my way.
  • My AdSense links do not reflect the content on my site? Sometimes I find that the adSense banner gives me random or generic links. I learned that adSense scans your page for keywords that shape the types of ads that it posts on your page. If you don't have alot of text on your page, or several instances of a key word that best describes your content, you will not see the types of links that you are looking to advertise on your page. After I figured that out, I became more aware of my word selections. I chose words that really stood out in my content, and tried to use them often - but not too often - google will penalize you for over-the top repetition of keywords. (At least this is what I've been told, so I would not go too crazy - i.e. every other word does not need to be African American - but at the same time you should be speficic with your word choices. For example, "R&B lyrics" is more specific that "Black Music." Take the time to assess your content, and pick the keywords that work best for your site.

Tips I found on WebMaster World AdSense Tips:

  1. Blend ads in to design (but still displayed prominently) as to not offend your visitors (I use a white background, so my ads are completely in white background, plain grey text, with no borders. People get used to the generic adsense look and often stay clear of what they believe to be the same old ads - quality integration really ups your chances of clicks)
  2. When it comes to content, take the time write the best article you can. Don't write a bunch of rehashed garbage that's already been copied 100x before by lazier webmasters then you. Write something fresh and recent with new sources. Also, don't make the article short just because you don't like to write. Write until you've exhausted the subject. This will help you avoid duplicate content penalities, increase the stickyness to your site, and put out more 3,4,5, etc. keyword combinations that you can pick up traffic on.
  3. Looking for the best location to place ads on your site? For help with this visit Urban Web Tools)
  4. Do not prejudge your pages! It's amazing to see that pages you had little expection for turn out to pay very well.
  5. Match your ad style to your page style sheet. I have had big jumps in my CTR in doing
  6. Keep each page on a single topic (where possible) and split large content into multiple pages - lots of highly targetted ads and good proportion of ads to content (obviously don't drown your content with ads).
  7. As much as possible try to get targetted traffic. Well targeted traffic can really affect CTR and earnings.
  8. Don't be tempted to splatter each and every page on your site with three adsense banners, one adlinks banner and a google search box! Use channels to track every banner, and if it isn't paying then dump it. The resulting increase in CTR will probably feed through to an increase in earnings
  9. Plough your income back into content. Think of every $ you don't spend on pizza now as $10 next year.
  10. Be fair to advertisers. If you try to artificially boost your clickthrough rate by disguising ads as content or overwhelming the visitor with ads, your clicks won't convert well for advertisers. This may result in higher "smart pricing" discounts for your clicks (meaning less money for you), and you'll be a poor candidate for site-targeted CPM ads.
  11. Watch your server logs - I have noticed that sometimes I will just mention something in an article for one sentence that brings in a lot of visitors so I go and write an entire article on that subject. The results have been stellar. You've been given a big hint that people are interested in this and if you ignore it you are missing a big opportunity. I have more than a few articles that have been linked to all over the web because they are almost the only decent material on this subject.
  12. Don't fret too much when your income and/or traffic are low for a few days. These peaks and valleys are normal but you should still investigate the matter to see what factors could be causing this like an algorythm update.
  13. Have patience. You may have good ideas that won't even start to pay for six months from now.
  14. When first starting out (month 1&2), and the ads appear totally inapproriate, use the competitor filter profusely against totally out-of-whack ads, to force the Adsense Algo to "look" for something better to place there. If you start getting PSA's then trim it back, as that means there simply ARE nothing more appropriate. You should be able to remove them all by the end of the 3rd or 4th month.
  15. When starting out it may be necessary to edit your text on high traffic pages to "nudge" the ad topics away from off-topic terms. For instance if your page happens to be all about North Pole real estate and you mention Santa lives down the street in one single spot, but every ad on the page suddenly focuses on Santa instead of the North pole (And those Santa ads aren't paying as much as the North Pole real estate ads should), you may want to temporarily remove or disguise the Santa reference until Adsense notices the REAL topic for a few days. Some folks claim putting the most appropriate text right before or after the adsense code helps, but I disagree, and suggest runnning the bad word together with another or putting a space in it instead.
  16. Set up a Google Sitemap, even if it's only in .txt.

Helpful links:

Keywords: Affiliate Programs, Referral Programs, Making Money / Revenue Online


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