To quickly recap, you know by heart that wide rectangles perform better than banner formats, that Google Ad colors should blend with page background color, that section targeting serves more relevant ads, that border-less Ads convert best, that split testing helps you shortlist the best ad formats, that Google CSE is much better than Adsense for Search.. the list goes on and on.
But what’s the next step when you have experimented with all these Adsense tweaks but the CTRs and eCPM figures are stationary or aren’t moving north as you would like them to? Well, the simple solution is – some more optimization.
1. Turn Low Performing Units into Image Only Ads
Say you have a skyscraper in your sidebar or a leaderboard at the bottom of the page. It may exhibit a very poor CTR because it’s so out of sight and visitors often tend to miss the ad unit completely.
In that case, an alternative is to use Image Only Ads for that using – Image ads are generally CPM ads so you will generate revenue each time the ad makes an impression. Image ads are also effective in places where the visitors are Adsense publishers themselves and less likely to be interested in clicking your ads.
Use Google Adsense Sandbox to see image and Flash ads that are likely to appear on your web pages for visitors from different countries across the world.
2. Harness the Comments Section of Your Blog
When people read a blog, they’ll will first read / scan the main article and then they’ll jump to the comments section.
If they have a question or need more information about the product / service mentioned in the blog post, they’ll either leave a comment or will leave the site search for more resources.
That’s why an ad unit placed in the comment section would immensely help. The visitor is in a mood to search for extra information and the Adsense unit in the comments could have an ad for a product that might appeal to the visitor. The best place for place an ad unit their is immediately under the comment textarea box.
3. Don’t Use Adsense At All
Some Adsense publishers are shy of placing ads in prominent and visible locations on their site thinking that that ads might turn away visitors. So they will put ads in some corner hoping that visitors will still find them.
Think from the perspective of Adwords advertisers who are renting space on your blog with the hope of getting prospective customers. Why would they be willing to invest in your site (by buying ads) when they are not getting the expected returns. If you want advertisers to bid on your site, it is advisable that you place ads above the page fold else don’t use Adsene at all.
4. Sell Your Website to Adsense Advertisers using Channels
You can use Adsense channels to convince potential advertisers as to why they should advertise on your site.
When you create a custom channel in Adsense, edit the channel settings and allow Targeting. Then type a marketing pitch – tell your advertisers about your site, where the ads will appear and why should they advertise on your site. Believe me, this works.
5. When Nothing Works, Put One at the Top
Thanks to tabbed browsers like Firefox, IE or Opera – a horizontal ad unit placed at the top of your web page can perform quite well because visitors often notice the areas near the browser tabs.
Whether they are planning to exit your web page by pushing the close button of the current tab or cycling to another browser tab, chances are high that your ad near the tab bar will get noticed. See implementations at Statcounter and Digital Point forums.
6. Avoid Using Common Blog Words
As far as possible, do not use the common jargon like “feeds”, “RSS”, “blog”, “XML”, etc as that might result in RSS and blog related ads even when your website belongs to a different niche.
You can again use section targeting to suggest Adsense bots to ignore the blocks of text that have irrelevant words.