in PPC Advertising
Almost everyone has probably heard of AdSense by now, if not then I am pretty sure you have seen AdSense and may have not even known what it was. To explain AdSense, I must first tell you a little about ' AdWords ', Adwords is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising system that is available through Google the search engine. You create a small text ad, which is placed on Google's search result pages, the ads match your websites subject or content. You bid or set a fee that you are willing to pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad, this is a great way to get highly targeted traffic that can turn into sales, subscribers, or whatever you are trying to achieve with your website traffic.
Now that I have explained Adwords, I can now tell you about AdSense. AdSense makes it possible for website owners to earn money by simply letting Google place ads on their web pages. AdSense ads can be either text or images, the ads can be altered to blend into the webpages, so they don't make your site look junky or poorly designed. AdSense ads are highly relevant to the content of most webpages, for instance if you place AdSense ads on a webpage that sells Coins, you will get ads about selling coins or other coin related subjects. Every time a website visitor clicks on one of the AdSense ads on your webpage, you earn money, and every month after your first balance reaches one hundred dollars, Google will send you a check or you can have the money deposited into your checking account. The AdSense program is a great way to earn extra money if you have a website, it's easy to make a few dollars every day, and some folks are making thousands of dollars per month doing it.
When I first started Adsense, I placed the ads on my webpages and it wasn't very long until I had made a small amount of money, a few days later my account balance had grown even more. I was pretty happy, but I thought to myself, after reading a lot of articles, I am not making nearly as much money as others are making with AdSense, something must be wrong. Then I thought, maybe my website doesn't get the traffic that the others are getting ? I chatted with a lot of people on the internet that were in the program, and I discovered that the amount of visitors I get, was higher than some of the traffic they receive. You may think that 200 - 400 unique visitors a day is low for website traffic, you are very wrong, the average website gets a lot less per day, especially if your website is only a few months old or is not optimized for the search engines, or it's subject matter has a very low search demand.
If my website was getting a nice amount of traffic or visitors, why was my AdSense earnings so low ? The first thing that I discovered that was wrong was ' adsense ad placement ', that's right, you have to study each webpage's layout that you plan on placing the ads on. Wherever your webpage has sections or areas that grab and hold the visitors attention, this is a prime area to place a section of AdSense ads, in other words, place the ads on your webpages where folks will notice them. We are currently allowed to place up to 3 different AdSense ad sections or groups on each webpage. I found after some testing that the best places for my ads are, just under the title or sub-title, near the middle of the page, and near the end or bottom of my page. If you place one section of AdSense ads near the top of your webpage, folks entering your site will probably notice the ads, and if they scroll down a ways and theres more ads, that increases the odds that they will notice them also. Probably the best place to place one section of ads is at the bottom of your webpages, right after your last bit of text or interesting reading, but make sure you place the ads before any other links, because when visitors are ready to leave your site, they may leave by clicking on one of your ads, earning you money, and if you have other links showing before your ads, they may leave your site by clicking on one of them. So after I studied the layout of all my webpages, I went back through and repositioned the AdSense ads, almost immediately I noticed my earnings increased.
I left my webpages alone, and about three months later I received my first check in the mail, it wasn't a lot of money but still for really doing no physical work I was very glad to get it. My earnings slowly started getting better and better after that first check, the next month I received another check, then the following month I got another and so on. After having been in the AdSense program for about 8 months, and chatting with more folks who were also in the program I found that my earnings were still low compared to some other people.
I then discovered another method that increased my earnings even more. I noticed that my ads stood out from the rest of my webpages text and content. I had always thought, I should make my ads a different color than my webpages background so folks would notice my ads, and click on them, I was totally wrong. Almost everyone that has been on the internet for any length of time, has become so accustomed to seeing banners and other flashy ads that almost everyone now has what is called 'ad blindness', that is, when they visit a site they are automatically turned off or they ignore anything that looks like an ad. I used the Adsense editor and I changed my ads background and border colors so they matched the background color of my webpages, and I changed the text color of the ads so they matched the text color of my webpages content. The ads blended in very well, to me they were barely noticeable from the rest of my webpage, but right away the number of clicks on the ads increased, and the earnings went up even more.
I left my webpages alone and for another couple months my earnings stayed about the same, I was content with the results, but my earnings were still not as good as some of the other folks who received roughly the same amount of traffic that I did. Then I found out that they had done something else to their AdSense ads, something that made the ads seem to really get peoples attention, they were placing images near the ads, it seemed adding images made the ads look unique and it helped make the amount of clicks on them rise. So I searched the internet and I found some little icons and images that matched the content of my webpages, and near where the Adsense ads were shown, I displayed the images by adding a simple html image tag. I asked google if adding the images was within the AdSense rules, and I was advised that they were fine as long as they didn't make folks click on the ads, by this I mean, you cannot have a flashing sign that says, ' click these ads ', or you shouldn't have a scantily dressed girl pointing to the ads saying ' make me happy - click here ' or stuff like that, just make some nice little images that pertain to your webpages content.
The next couple months or so, my earnings still continued rising slowly. By this time, besides my regular webpages I had been working on several BLOG's pertaining to different subjects, so I thought I might as well place AdSense ads on all of my blogs also and make even more money. For a couple weeks my earnings went up quite a bit, and I was very happy, then all of a sudden, just like someone turning off a switch, my AdSense earnings plummeted. I was now making in a day, what I had made when I first joined the program, what the heck happened I thought to myself ? My traffic was still slowly rising, the number of clicks was rising, but for some strange reason, the earnings per click, (EPC) had dropped a lot, it was horrible.
Then I learned that Google had introduced a new feature or system into the AdSense program, called 'smart pricing', 'smart pricing' automatically adjusts the cost of an ad click. Using Googles system of analyzing AdSense data, if it shows that a click from one of your webpages is less likely to turn into an online sale, or other business result for the Ad publisher, the amount you earn per click in AdSense is greatly reduced. When 'smart pricing', was introduced, some AdSense users saw their EPC drop to as low as 3 cents a click, where before 'smart pricing', that same click might of earned them a dollar or much more, this was quite a drastic drop in earnings. What is horrible about 'smart pricing', besides the earnings loss to AdSense users, is that one site or webpage can trigger it, and once triggered by that one webpage, it effects your entire account and every webpage you have will now earn substantially less per click. Remember awhile back when I had added AdSense Ads to my BLOG's, that seemed to be what had triggered smart pricing for me. The BLOG's were on numerous subjects, but they were not business or real professional sites, so hardly any business results such as sales, occurred from folks clicking the ads on these sites. After I removed the Adsense ads from the BLOG's, it took about a week, then I noticed that the EPC was once again climbing back up, yes the 'smart pricing', spell had been broken.
If you are thinking about trying AdSense, or if you are already in it, beware of the smart pricing curse, or if it has already effected your earnings, try removing AdSense ads from your webpages a few pages at a time, the smart-pricing system is evaluated each week, so it will take a few days to see if you have removed ads from the page(s) that triggered it.
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