Friday, January 27, 2006

Google AdSense and Testing

If you're like most people, you find you don't have enough time to do the things you really want to do. And when you think about it, if you did, you probably wouldn't have the money to do them.

Sort of a catch 22.

The main reason you're reading this is to change all that, no? But here's the deal: It is going to take some time and patience. Those are two things most people lack nowadays. Most should be doing what my wife is doing - but that's another story.

Ask any marketer worth his or her salt and you'll soon find that testing is the de facto standard of that industry. They track and test everything. Here's just an example:

On a 30 second radio ad they normally test the following criteria:

Time of day it airs

Adjacent programming

Man or woman announcing

Serious or comedic delivery

Fast or slow delivery

Leading paragraph

Frequency of ad on the air (times it runs per day)

Day of the week

Week of the month

Month of the year You get the picture. They are more meticulous than those who do baseball scoring and stats. And can you guess why that may be?

Because they want to monetize every second of that airtime to their advantage. To them, it's a business - it ain't a hobby! So, approach to this whole AdSense thing is everything. Is it a hobby; a few ads on a few pages? Or are you dead serious about making this work?

If you're serious, you MUST take notes. You must become aware of what is working and, of course, what isn't.

So, how do you do that?

Google AdSense makes it easier to see what is making you money and what isn't by breaking your ads down by channel and day. You can create any number of customized reports to track the code included on your pages which displays the AdSense ads.

But, it doesn't end there. You must test, just as the radio ad people, for criteria on your webpage. Like:

Ad color

Ad placement

Ad type (size)

Ad frequency (one, two or three blocks on a page?) Testing is impossible when you have no traffic. You need visitors (feedback, clicks), in order to track your numbers each day. Once you have visitors, you can see what works and what doesn't and adjust accordingly. Now, remember; don't go about changing your AdSense around daily. Real testing requires leaving the page as is for a week or more, unless, of course, you have thousands of visitors a day.

So, hello Dave, what do I do?

I recommend looking at the successful site that display AdSense ad's. Google has a few examples of successful AdSense campaigns -

https://www.google.com/adsense/newsandstudies. See where they place their ads. See what colors they use. And notice how they blend well with the context.

As your site receives more visitors, you'll be better able to compare your AdSense statistics with your web pages. Don't forget to do that. Treat this like a business. Print out the pages with ad's and your AdSense stats for each week and you will have an idea what is happening. And, guess what? A pattern will appear.

Take your time with this and do it right. It will pay BIG dividends if you put time into it.

Founder of one of the first web hosting companies on the Internet, World Wide Mart, Dave Jackson has been teaching others how to monetize their web sites for over ten years. Currently he teaches others to create a solid residual income by creating quality web sites of great benefit to visitors and monetizing them using contextual ads. His blog is Making Money with Contextual Ads.

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