Sunday, February 8, 2009

AdSense Tips

Google AdSense is the dominant provider of contextual advertising services. If you are also using AdSense as a means of monetizing your blog, this article will provide you a set of tips for maximizing your revenue.

Eye Catching Positions
A typical visitor to a web page scans its content in what’s called an F-shaped pattern. According to an eye-tracking study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group, the dominant scanning pattern of readers consists of a starting horizontal scan at the top of the page, followed by a shorter horizontal scan slightly below the first scan and finally a vertical scan along the left edge of the page. These three scans form a general F shape pattern.

This is an important advice given by many web design gurus when it comes to deciding the layout of a site. Web designers are generally advised to place their important content to fall in this field of view. The same tip is useful for ad placement, a fact also confirmed by the heat map published by AdSense Help.

According to that map, ads placed below an article also performs well because readers generally look for where to go next?. The study referenced above says that this behavior forms an E-shaped scanning pattern, which is also common.

Complementing Ad Design
Ads that complement the color theme of your blog tend to perform better than those that contrast. Even though this AdSense Help article explains three forms of color schemes, namely Blend, Complement and Contrast, ads that contrast don’t perform that well. This fact is confirmed by an optimization tip published on the AdSense blog and also a guest post by pro blogger Darren Rowse on the same blog.

Find the Right Size
Ad size also plays a crucial role in catching the readers’ eyes and also in attracting better ads. Generally, bigger ads perform better. However, too big is also bad. According to Darren, the Medium Rectangle size (300 x 250) tends to perform better than the Large Rectangle. This is due to the fact that more advertisers tend to prefer the Medium Rectangle because of its wide use.

The AdSense blog, too, recommends the Medium Rectangle along with the Leaderboard (728 x 90) and Skyscraper (160 x 600) formats.

Number of Ads
This is another useful advice by the blogging guru Darren. General belief is that higher the number of ads, higher the chances of readers clicking on them. But too much ads can drive away the readers.

Use of different ad formats such as Link Units, Image and Video ads, and using Google Analytics to find out which content generates the most revenue are the other tips offered by Darren. Last, but not least, experimenting with different ad sizes, color schemes and positions etc is the best way to find out which ads works well on your blog/site, says Darren.