by Michael Fleischner

Can you make a living on earning Adsense commissions? Adsense can be a great way to a few extra dollars each and every day, but is certainly not going to make you a ton of money. Ask website owners today about their earnings and you’ll find only a small handful is making a substantial income. I have learned how to increase my Adsense commissions over time and will share with you all I have learned.

What you earn via Adsense is based on a number of factors including which ads you display and where you display them on your website or blog. Here are some key factors to consider before you place your Adsense code. The first is ad placement. Certain locations on your page tend to be more successful than others. Google has documented the ideal placement of ads based on their network of advertisers. Ads located above the fold, tend to perform better than those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on those areas of a page and take action.

What is offered by Google as ideal placement is certainly useful as a guide. However, I strongly recommend that you consider the behavior of your users first prior to deciding proper ad position. Think about user behavior on different pages of your website or blog and what will be most functional to browsers and their navigation. Find what works and apply it to appropriate web pages.

For example, on pages where users are typically focused on reading an article, ads placed directly below the end of the editorial content tend to perform very well. It’s almost as if users finish reading and ask themselves, “What can I do next?” Precisely targeted ads can answer that question for them.

Ad format. Some types of ads do better than others depending on your content and layout. In my case, large rectangles in the middle of the content are best, while leader boards do not generate as much as income. Sky scrappers are the worst performers for me, especially if they are on the right-hand side of the page. This is somewhat counter-intuitive to what I had originally thought. Experiment and measure the results via channels and see which formats work best for you.

The color of your ads. When ads blend into your content, click through rates can be improved, but sometimes ads that contrast with your web site colors work best. To improve your results, test a variety of ad colors to determine if different palettes generate better results. Short of testing the actual palettes offered by Adsense, there is really no other way to determine ad effectiveness.

Number of ad units. Websites are generally permitted to display three ads, a search box, and a set of ad links. Keep in mind that you don’t have to display all available ad units. In fact, you should focus on placing ads in a way that do not clutter your web page. Users going to your page and reading your content may respond to a single ad placement if it is in the right place on your web page.

Experiment with the factors above and see which combination works best for your particular website. Remember that not all sites do well with Adsense ads. Even if you get lots of traffic but your visitors are not interested in looking for ways to spend their money, they won’t be interested in your ads and won’t click through.

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