"A man must be obedient to the promptings of his innermost heart." -Robertson Davies
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As an AdSense Webmaster, you can monitor your CTR and your site traffic to determine how and where your ads are most effective. Maximizing your success with AdSense will be experimentation and trial and error, but there are some things you can do from the start to help your CTR along.
1) Ad Placement
Many websites try to hide the fact they have ads. They put them at the bottom of the page or only have one or two that are so small, the rest of the page distracts from them. While it's okay not to want to bombard your visitors with a site of ads, those ads are also a crucial part of keeping your business functioning. If magazines tried to bury their ads under all the content, they wouldn't be in business for very long, would they? Your site should be the same way. Place ads where they can easily be viewed and where they're visible to your visitors.
2) Ad Text Color
The text color of your ads should match the text color of your site. If you use bright blue for headlines on your site, use that for your AdSense headlines as well. This makes it appear as if the ads are part of the content.
Choose a broad niche for your site, then break it down into smaller niches. Those smaller niches go on separate pages. This is also site organization and will help you place better-targeted ads. For example, if you have a computer site, break it down into sub niches: repairing computers, new computers, used computers, software, etc.
If you lump things together on one page and don't organize, you'll find that your CTR will be lower because your content is unorganized and scattered; therefore, your ads aren't as helpful to the visitor as you may think.
4) Don't Label Them as Ads
Don't label them as ads or sites sponsors. Although these are the only two terms allowed by Google, there's no need to point out that these are ads. It will just prevent them from blending in with the content of your site. Since the ads are targeted, if you allow them to, they will appear to be additional information on what your visitors are already interested in. Don't put a sign there letting them know they're wrong and it is, indeed, a "dreadful" ad.
5) Ad Appearance
Take away the border and background colors of your AdSense ads. These make them stand out as ads rather than information your visitors will be interested in. As said earlier, your ads should blend into the page. By making them appear as information you're providing, you're giving them another point of interest rather than an ad that many people might shy away from.
6) Expand Your Site
Expanding your site and adding pages should go hand in hand. However, expanding your site could just mean adding and refining content. It's important that you add pages with quality content as well. This increases your search engine ranking and gives more pages for AdSense ads.
7) Move the Ads
Sometimes return visitors only see what's new or what's changed. Move your ads from time to time, especially if you notice your CTR dropping. More often than not, you'll see an increase again as those same return visitors notice something in a different place and actually start to click through the same ads they didn't "see" last week.
8) Ad Format
Wider ads appeal to more visitors because they're easier to read. If something is easy to read, someone is more likely to take the time to read everything rather than just glancing at the first few words. However, it's important to balance your ads and the content on your pages. You'll discover that the way you think the ads should be for optimal CTR aren't always where they need to be. Monitor your ad placement versus CTR and you'll find the place and format that works best on each page.
9) Don't Chase the Million Dollar Keywords
Don't try to compete with the experts for the $100 keyword. It may work from time to time, but you'll have more success with mid-range keywords, and less competition too. By using mid-range keywords, you are more likely to achieve success over the long term. Remember that success in driving targeted traffic to your site by being ranked high in the search engines will increase your CTR with AdSense.
10) Use Text Ads, not Image Ads
By far, more webmasters have had success with text ads and not image ads. They look more like part of the document and are more appealing to visitors. Feel free to experiment with both, but text ads blend into your site better and result in higher CTR.
When trying any new method of using AdSense or new placements, be sure to monitor and track the results. After all, you're experimenting to see what brings you the highest CTR. By documenting your results, you'll know what makes the most money for you and you'll become one of the AdSense Webmaster gurus in no time at all.
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