adsense adsAdSense sites are often used as mini income generators by a lot of part-time marketers. The general opinion about these sites ranges from “great income tool” to “utter rubbish.” It is clear that the opinions are divided. But let’s not worry about the usability of these sites for the moment, let’s look at how good the ads on your AdSense sites actually are…

Powered by Content

Whether you know this, or not, your AdSense ads are powered by the content that is on your pages. Mainly the stuff that precedes the ad, and then some of the stuff below it.

If your ads are untargeted they will not match the topic of your site, nor will they pay much per click. Chances are you will get smart priced too (when you get 3 cent clicks or less).

You can trigger the right ads with the right words, based on your keyword of course. Use h1, h2, and h3 tags near your ads, bold the keyword (once is enough) and make sure your content matches the actual URL.  AdSense is much like a pair of shoes, if the size is right, it fits snug like a bug, if it ain’t, your content ads are all over the show, mis-matched, un-targeted and rubbish.

Shoot for the Top

When considering an AdSense site, you should aim for the biggest possible income you can make. Yes, the competition is ragging among these highly competitive keywords, but hey, if you do your SEO right, and build some quality links then it will pay out handsomely in the end. Some niches that come to mind are:

  • Credit
  • Debt
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Loans

The list goes on and on actually. You can dig into any decent paying niche and discover lesser known, but often better-paying ads in the process. When I do my research I try and stick with keywords that pay at least $2 per click. Why?

Because generally you get paid about 25 percent of the CPC by Google, often even less, the rest goes to them and the AdWords advertiser who’s paying for the ad. Since it takes work to build these sites, even if they’re small in comparison to a larger authority site I’d like to get paid for my efforts. Choosing good-paying keywords is one of those insurances. In case you wonder, the others are SEO (on-page) and links.

Go Local

The best money can be had with local ads, think “Mesopotamia lawyer in Chicago,” or “dental surgeon in New York.” The competition for these keywords are no doubt huge, but who says you have to stick with the obvious? You don’t! Try to think outside the box when targeting AdSense sites and make sure your content is highly optimized.

The Importance of AdSense Ad Placement

Now you’ve got a highly optimize AdSense site it’s time to place the ad in the right position. Since most readers skim websites you only have a few seconds to get the click. Getting the click is key in driving AdSense revenue, but having said this, you also want to inform people with quality content.

In my humble opinion the best place for ads is underneath your title, but before the actual content. I usually wrap the content around the ad to make it more neat. The ad has got to be above the fold. For some niches, the left hand sidebar also works well, while for others a sub header with link ads do the trick.

In the end you can never say one size fits all. The success of your AdSense sites really lies in the combination of picking a good niche (keyword), optimizing the site for search engines (very important to get the top-paying clicks), and positioning your ads in the right spot.

The best way to find out is by split-testing your ads:

  • Test for keyword in content
  • Test for ad position
  • Test for keyword itself
  • Test for how many ads you show on one page (remember to stick within the legal allowance from Google’s terms.

You can use Google Website Optimizer to do your split testing for AdSense effectiveness

Have fun

Monika