While I’m on the theme of how to make money online here at How To Make Money Online Hints, its all well and good getting your site onto page one of Google’s index for your main keywords using some sleek SEO techniques, but what will you do with the site once its there? Well, there are several methods of monetisation that all work extremely well depending upon the niche you are working. But in this post, I’m going to look at how to make money online with Adsense.
Adsense, for those of you who do not know, is Google’s published ads that are paid for by their advertisers and placed in search results as well as on individual websites and blogs and work by earning the publisher a set amount for each time one of the ads is clicked. That is paid for by the advertiser depending upon their niche and keywords and several other factors too, which I won’t go into here as this is a post about Adsense, not the advertisers side of it, Adwords.
So, its simple enough to apply for an Adsense account with Google as long as you have a decent looking website or blog that has been around for a few months at least and has plenty of relevant content on it. There are tutorials on the Adsense site which show you how to put the ads on your website or blog, so I won’t go into those details here.
I’ll assume you now have a working website or blog and you have the ads displaying on the front page.
The general idea is to attract visitors to your site and hope that they’ll click one of the Adsense ads and you can sit back and watch the good time roll… except its ain’t gonna happen like that man! You’ll probably sit around a few days, then a few weeks and wonder why your stats show a big fat zero.
Well, you need something for the clicks to happen and that something is traffic. But not just any old traffic, it really needs to be that good old organic search traffic I’ve been talking about in previous posts. It has to be targeted for your keywords too, so that means that not only must you rank highly (read first page) in Google’s index for your keywords, your on site content must also be perfectly optimised for those keywords so that Google serves the right ads – those being the ones relevant to your keywords, of course.
Now for the basic explanation:
The way Adsense works best is when targeted search traffic turns up at your site looking for something specific, either the answer to a question or to buy something. A good Adsense site is one that they land on and see that it looks crap, and it’s immediately viewable text doesn’t answer their question. They see a block of text links in a prominent place (usually just above the title of the article) that promise to answer their question, so they click one of them. Voila, you get paid what the click was worth (anything from 3c to a dollar or so) and the surfer goes on their merry way. Incidentally, Google decides which ads to display on your site and what they’ll be worth.
Now one of two things will happen.
1. The surfer lands on the sales page of the advertiser and buys the product or service.
2. The surfer doesn’t like the look of the site they just landed on and head off somewhere else.
In the first case, that’s good for you because it means your click converted and Google will send more high paying ads to your site – which is when you start seeing $1, $2 or higher clicks. My best so far has been a $3.59 click I got the other day (yes, you can track them)
In the second case, that’s bad for you because your click did not convert. If you get too many of them, Google will only send you low paying ads in the 3c region.
From this you can see that it is of major importance that you not only attract targeted traffic, but that you show them ads specific to what they’re targeted to. You also need them to show up in reasonable numbers, because your own conversion rate will probably be around the 3%-5% mark depending upon several factors such as site layout, ad placement etc. So that mans for every 100 unique visitors, you should get between 3-5 clicks on average. So that tells you that you need at least 30 unique visitors a day to get even one click. Of course, the more the better!
Another factor in ad conversion is site layout and this can make a huge difference in converting those visitors into clicks.
Imagine yourself as a surfer looking for some information on where to find the best local plumber, because your kitchen is filling up with water and you need it fixed. You go to Google and type in Plumbers in Mytown, Mystate and you get a list of several hundred thousand pages. You look at the sites listed on the first page and select the first one (like 90% of all other surfers will do). You land of the site and it has some brilliant graphics, flash animation, a video of the site owner squawking about how his company is so great that, incidentally you can’t find the “stop” or “mute” button for, a page so long it takes you ages to scroll down past hundreds of 125×125 flashing ads and banners and a site navigation bar with drop downs on its drop downs and you spend an hour just searching around for damn telephone number… Meanwhile your kitchen flood is now encroaching on the dining room…
Well, does your website remotely resemble that nightmare scenario? If it does, guess how well you’ll do with Adsense. Mmm, no chance!
On the other hand, you click on the next site in Google and what opens is a fairly plain white page, basic header telling you the name of the site with some article on plumbing below it and a block of 3 or 4 links above it that say something like “24 hour emergency plumber in Mytown, Mystate”… Oh boy, you click it like your life depended upon it!
Hope that graphical representation of what a surfer is likely to do when faced with two very different styles of website. The rule of thumb is that if you make it too fancy with too many distractions, your visitors will be unlikely to click your Adsense ads. On the other hand, if your site layout is clean, clear and the ads are prominent with no other distracting ads (such as affiliate banners, or navigation links to articles that might answer the visitor’s question) then you will likely get a much higher click through rate (CTC). Meaning more money for you.
So the concise lesson here for Adsense to work for you is:
1. Make sure that your site is sitting high in the SERPs for not just its main keywords, but for many closely related keywords and it is attracting sufficient traffic
2. Make sure your on site content is very highly optimised for those keywords
3. Choose a simple, clear and clean site layout with as few distracting links as possible
4. Only place one keyword optimised article on your front page to prevent dilution of keywords and risk confusing the Google Adsense bots
5. Experiment with ad placement by all means but make sure your main ad block is high on the page, preferably above the title of the article or post.
End of short adsense lesson!
There’s lots more to it, but the idea that you just put the code on your site and Google will serve up a block of ads that will convert into $$$ is only true when you know exactly what you’re doing. As for the keyword side of things, you could always check out Court’s Keyword Academy which will also help you to learn how to make money using keywords in creative ways. But learn you must, because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will end up getting rock bottom priced clicks and not very many of them either. Then you will say, “Adsense doesn’t work!” and you’ll go off looking for something else to monetise your site with. Guess what? There isn’t much else that is as easy to work and converts as well as Adsense when you do know what you’re doing.
So like any methods to make money online, you need to put a good deal of thought, research and hard work into it in the first place before you’ll start seeing the results that you want.