Friday, June 16, 2006

Easy CSS for Maximising AdSense Earnings

AdSense publishers know, above all, that if website visitors can't see their ads then they can't click on them either. When it comes to placing AdSense ad blocks or link units, there are an infinite number of variations possible, but did you know that some have been proven to be more effective at converting the visitor into a clicker?

Being able to convert more clickers ultimately means greater earnings from the same amount of traffic. Extensive tests have proven that certain areas of a webpage receive more viewing time than others. It can be shown that with all else being equal, the likelihood of a click conversion is proportional to the amount of exposure to a particular ad block. So it makes sense to try and keep ads in the visitor's field of vision, particularly in the most popular areas of a webpage known as the hotspots.

Google is known for supporting AdSense publishers. This isn't surprising when you consider that they want to provide the best performance for their advertisers as well as making as much profit as possible from their own cut of each ad click. To this end, Google have provided AdSense publishers with a 'heat map' that shows where these visual hotspots are located.

When it comes to positioning ad units on a page, CSS comes into its own. Developed for the control of presentation, CSS can reduce the amount of work you have to do in order to implement some of the ad placements suggested by the heat map. In particular, the two ad units that I've found to be most effective are the rectangular blocks when in a floating position within an article body and the link units placed where navigation links are usually found -- in the top left corner of a web page.

Why Use CSS?

There are many benefits to using CSS for the positioning of ad units, including:

Faster page load times -- CSS stylesheet files can be cached by web browsers so the same files referenced by multiple pages don't need to be downloaded repeatedly as the local copies can be used instead.
Easier website maintenance -- the appearance of each webpage that references a stylesheet can be changed by modifying the stylesheet alone. If every webpage of a website uses the same stylesheet then changing it would allow you to make site-wide changes from a centralised file.
Separating presentation from the logic of a webpage by means of an external stylesheet allows a designer to work on the appearance, whilst a programmer works on the functionality without their being any conflict between the two.

Floating, Embedded Ad Blocks

More specifically, CSS can be used to implement one of the more effective ad placements much easier than using older techniques involving tables. In order to embed an ad block within the body of a piece of content, simply wrap the AdSense code with SPAN tags and apply a float style e.g.


< style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0;">AdSense code here< /span > Content here

This snippet of code is all that's needed to float an AdSense block within a body of content. The content automatically wraps itself around the ad block with a margin of 10 pixels to keep the two from crashing.

Using CSS can provide an AdSense publisher with much more elegant coding that's faster, easier to maintain, more accessible and more search engine friendly than with the common use of nested tables.

Learn how to analyse and enhance your AdSense performance with AdSense Tracker -- discover what Google won't tell you. This article brought to you in conjunction with Mersey Inks for Epson Stylus compatible inks and Search Engine Optimisation SEO Liverpool.

No comments: