To review the previous two tutorials, visit the following links.
Importance of Clean Adsense Code Implementation
In medium-sized to big websites, you will see that there are pages with AdSense banners breaking up or gone. In most of these cases, visitors will simply ignore this problem, and webmasters will not even become aware of it unless and until they notice a drop in AdSense earnings.
No AdSense banners showing means no AdSense income. It is important to properly implement and double check the implementation of AdSense code. A common issue involves outputting AdSense using a server side script.
This does not mean that you are not allowed to use PHP to output AdSense. For clean implementation, you should not output AdSense code using PHP; instead, put it outside of your server side script tags. However, you can use PHP to drive Google AdSense. Here is a basic example:
//PHP code here
Adsense code here
//another PHP code here
//PHP code here
echo ‘Adsense code here’;
In the above example, the recommended approach is to put AdSense code outside the server side script tags. This is not only applicable to PHP, but other technologies as well. You can use this approach in ASP.NET, Cold fusion and Java Server pages.
The primary reason for doing this is that sometimes your website server or your CMS use cache. In cache-based websites, all of your website’s URLs are statically generated pages. This means they do not use PHP to render pages in real time. Thus, if you depend on outputting AdSense code blocks using PHP, you might see some issues with some of your pages; AdSense banners may be missing due to an ongoing cache update or incomplete caching of pages. The solution is to manually clear your cache and reload it again, but of course this can be cumbersome to do. The most effective way of rendering AdSense code blocks is to make them independent of a server side script.
Putting the code outside the server side script tags ensures it will always be rendered, regardless of whether your website relies heavily on cache or has some issue with caching.
Blending AdSense Colors with the Page
Some AdSense publishers performed tests and reported (http://www.duoblogger.com/best-adsense-colors/2076/)that blending AdSense colors properly with your page will result in a higher CTR. Well, you should already know that a higher CTR means more clicks from your ads, and that translates to higher earnings. In your AdSense setup, you should already be familiar with the tool shown in the screen shot below. It allows you to configure the outputted colors of your ads.
Based on the options provided, you can actually assign colors to the Border, Title, Background, Text and URL.
Not included in the list is the font type used, which is also an important factor in the blending process. Here is a list of recommendations to get you started in customizing the AdSense that appears on your website.
- Set the background color of your ads to be same as your page background color. For example, if your website’s background color is white, then you should also use white as the background for your AdSense banners.
- Set the title’s font color to be same as the color of your website’s hyperlinks. The most popular color for a hyperlink is blue for a website with a white background.
- Use the same color for the background and the border. This will make your ads appear borderless.
- Match the ads’ font color with the color of your website’s text. For example, if your website features a dark or black background and your website’s text is white, then use white as an ad text color.
- For ad URLs, assign a font color that is used by your website’s text. If it is black, then the font color of the URLs in the ads should be black.
- For the font type of your ads, assign a font type that is used by your website’s text.
Now you have some guidance as to how to blend your ads with your website template’s colors. It is sometimes difficult to find out the exact color used by your template. Colors can be configured in Google AdSense using hex format (e.g. #FFFFFF for white color).
One of the great free tools that can help you determine the exact colors of your website’s background, fonts, etc. is Color Pickup: http://www.hot.ee/microtools4u/Versions/ColorPickUp.zip
Simply install it on your Windows computer. Once it is installed, double click the application, and it will immediately grab the colors in Hex. You can click on the region of interest, and then paste the color into a text file; you can then see the hex color code of that region you have clicked. Once you have the color, you can go to AdSense Setup to configure your ads.
If you are an Ubuntu/Linux user, you can use the command line grabc to grab colors. You can read more about this here (read the last part): http://www.devshed.com/c/a/Administration/Joomla-Layouts-Customizing-Your-Website/.
There are many possible ways you can arrange your AdSense banners and link units in your website. According to AdSense policies, you can use up to three banners and three link units in a page.
Of course, it takes a long time to experiment to find out what specific arrangement will work best for your website. One smart approach is to look at how successful websites implemented Google AdSense on their pages.
If you are looking for these websites, make sure to select a website where the primary earnings of the content writers/authors depends on Google AdSense earnings.
An example of this kind of site is http://www.infobarrel.com/. This website accepts writer contributions content, and in return they pay the writers using the AdSense earnings of the writer’s published content. Specifically, they pay the writers 75% of the AdSense earnings: http://www.infobarrel.com/Writing_For_Money.
Websites like this are highly optimized when it comes to AdSense earnings. If you take a look at any published content on their website, they use the following AdSense layout:
As you can see from this layout, they put three AdSense banners directly in their content area (two at the upper, prominent content area, and one in the middle left section). This is contrary to what most AdSense publishers are doing; they place AdSense banners mostly in the header and sidebar regions. A reader’s attention is mostly focused on the content; if they want to buy something, they might click on those ads. This results in a better CTR.
Since AdSense policies allows any publisher to put three AdSense banners and three link units on a page, you can also place one block of AdSense link units in the sidebar. Combined with the techniques discussed in the previous section (blending AdSense colors with page color theme) , you could maximize your AdSense earnings in the long term.
Of course, if you are planning to implement the above AdSense layout on your website, you should be writing substantial content for your page. The recommended minimum number of words per article on your website should be 500 (excluding title tags).
Importance of SEO and Lots of Quality Content
The primary source of AdSense clicks is the visitors to your website. Most of them are coming from search engines, such as Google. By implementing SEO strategies on your website (onsite and link building), you will be able to increase your search engine traffic, which will have a strong impact on your Google AdSense earnings.
Read my bio at http://www.seochat.com/cp/bio/Codex%98M/ for a wide variety of SEO tips and techniques that you can implement on your website to increase the number of search engine visitors your site receives.
One thing that is tremendously important to SEO success is quality content. This is the type of content that will earn long tail traffic from search engines. It will do this because, even though it is buried deep in your site for long periods of time, it still attracts search engine visitors because it has earned good rankings in Google due to links and citations from your readers.
If you have less content, you are limiting your page views and long tail traffic, which also can have a long term effect on your AdSense earnings. This is why most successful website owners implementing AdSense constantly add and update the website’s content.
Final Note on Experimentation: Monitoring Results
It is recommended that you note the dates on which you make substantial changes to your AdSense layout so that you can monitor its performance. The minimum recommended period for observing the effect of a layout change is three months. So do not change your AdSense layout before three months have passed. This will let you gather enough of a sample size to compare one layout’s effect with another.
You can then gather data in terms of eCPM and AdSense earnings within those periods to see what layout and AdSense strategy works best for your website. For details on earnings and eCPM in AdSense, you can read this tutorial: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2006/02/ecpm-what-exactly-is-that.html.