How To Get Your Google Adsense On

Inside Adsense interviewed Ivan Heneghan, a Dublin-based AdSense optimisation specialist. Here’s what he recommends.

Q. Tell us an optimisation story… have you ever seen a publisher make a small change and see big results?
A. Oh yes, lots of them! But one of my favourites was a science website that was earning about $10 per day. They were using a 468×60 Banner at the bottom of their pages, but started experimenting with two 300 x 250 Medium Rectangles — one placed just at the top of their content, and another placed directly under the main content on each page. They also tried using more blended colours. Things went crazy from there and earnings shot up to $700 per day. Finally, they moved one of the 300×250 Rectangles from the top of their page to a location more embedded in their content. After that, earnings went to over $1,700 per day!
Q. What are the top 3 tips you like to tell publishers?
A. 1. Use wide ad formats. Many publishers find the 728×90 Leaderboard outperforms the 468×60 banner by about 70%. I particularly recommend using the 728×90 Leaderboard, 160×600 Wide Skyscraper, and 300×250 Medium Rectangle.
2. Embed Google ads in your content, and place Google ads at the end of your articles, news stories and reviews. Placing a 468×60 Banner in the typical slot at the top of page, or a 120×600 Skyscraper along the right-hand side of page, work well for cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) ads. However, for cost-per-click (CPC) contextual advertising, AdSense tends to work best when integrated with your content.
3. Blend your ad colours into your website. After running a test with a bright pink 728×90 Leaderboard on a black background, I learned that complementary colours often work better. Try blending the background and borders of your ads into your site, and use a text colour that stands out but already exists on your site. Blending decreases ad blindness and users are more likely to notice ads that interest them.

It appears size does matter, at least online.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.