This morning, I met up with a Google AdSense Optimizer as part of Google's AdSense in Your City tour. The gist of the tour is to give AdSense adopters a 20-minute, one-on-one meeting with a member of the Google AdSense team. From there, you talk about your site(s), ask any questions you may have upfront, and basically walk away with site-catered professional recommendations straight from those who know AdSense the best.
Lucky for me, my meeting was scheduled for 9:30 AM. I arrived slightly early, met with the person I would be speaking with, and proceeded to enjoy the heck out of a 35-minute session thanks to my arriving early combined with the person after me arriving late. Now, I know quite a lot when it comes to AdSense, but I found out I have quite a bit more to learn yet! While most of the notes I took pertain to personal recommendations that I prefer to keep private, what I can divulge is the contents of a hand-out each attendee was given: A list comprised of "top AdSense optimization tips." From top to bottom, the document reads as follows:
Whenever we meet with publishers, we hear one question over and over again: "How can I use AdSense more effectively to increase my earnings?" We've written up our top tips here and encourage you to experiment with them and see how they impact your earnings. Happy testing!
1. Maximize your AdSense coverage In order to maximize your earnings, place three AdSense ad units and three link units on each of your pages. The more ads you display, the more opportunities you have for your users to engage with them.
Also, because some ads are paid on a cost-per-impression (CPM) basis, you will often be paid just for displaying the ads, regardless whether a user clicks on them.
2. Place your ads above the fold Ads that appear higher on the page perform the best. Place your ads so users can see them without scrolling down the page. The more a user has to scroll before finding your ads, the less likely they are to see them and to click on them.
3. Use the best performing ad units Our advertisers' preferred ad units are the Leaderboard (728x90), the Medium Rectangle (300x250) and the Wide Skyscraper (160x600). By using these popular ad units, you'll be tapping into a larger pool of competing ads. More ad inventory leads to more competition in the ad auction and ultimately results in higher RPMs for our publishers.
4. Show text and image ads Check your ad units and make sure that you've opted-in to displaying text and image ads. By diversifying your ads, you're able to increase the available inventory for your site. With most text ads paid on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and most image ads paid on a cost-per-impression (CPM) ad, you can let AdSense determine which ads will maximize your earnings.
5. Complement your content with your ads Your AdSense ads should fit seamlessly within your site to improve your users' experience. Blend the color of your ads to match the rest of your site and remove the borders around your ad units to help your ads complement your content and enhance your site.
Bonus Tip: Opt-in to Placement Targeting Set up Custom Channels in your AdSense account and opt-in to Placement Targeting. Placement targeting allows our advertisers to bid on a specific ad or group of ad placements on your site. Advertisers are usually willing to bid more for targeted units.
Have additional questions? Check out http://adsense.google.com/support
And that's it! I'm not going to get into any ad placement theory right now, because there are tons of people who swear by personal methods that work for them. At the end of the day, it's all about testing your ads and monitoring how they perform for you on your site. The bonus tip above was discussed more at-length by the guy I was meeting with and let me tell you, that's the *first* thing I'm going to begin looking into!
In conclusion, I'd like to let you know that I'm working on an AdSense post that should help a LOT of people learn how to get in on the action and educate themselves on how to make money at the cost of only one's time, not money. Additionally, if you're an AdSense publisher, do yourself a favor and look into attending one of Google's AdSense in Your City events. They're completely free, they feed you (which was a MAJOR bonus here since Google chose to host the event at the best freakin' bakery in Charlotte, NC, Amelie's French Bakery), and you're speaking one-on-one about YOUR SITE with people who are more qualified to help your earnings increase more than any self-proclaimed AdSense guru ever will! Thanks, Google.