In “The Four Hour Work Week,” Tim Ferriss preaches the lucrative beauty of passive income. Even though Ferriss has his detractors, who can honestly argue that making money without actively doing anything is a bad idea? (Um, not me!)
Of course, you know that allowing ads on your website and using affiliate marketing allows you to create a passive income stream. If you’ve toyed with the idea of trying Google AdSense – a free, simple way for you to earn money by displaying targeted Google ads on your website – this article is for you.
First, let’s talk about what you can expect when allowing ads on your website. Ads are targeted to the content of your pages and your audience; you won’t see ads for Viagra on your website if your site is focused on accounting for small businesses. You can also work with Google to filter out unwanted ads.
Second, you need to go into this with the understanding that you need to publish unique, high-quality content regularly, because your website needs to attract a steady stream of visitors that advertisers want to reach.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, the following five Google AdSense tips are straight out of the horse’s mouth (aka, from Google).
1. Use less popular keywords
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you know anything about search engine optimization (SEO), this makes sense. Super popular keywords have a lot of competition. Less popular ones don’t (duh, right?).
Therefore, you’ll want to use the Google AdWords keyword planner to find low-competition keywords for your blog posts in order to increase traffic and eyeballs for those ads.
2. Design ad styles that complement your website
Ever hear the term “ad blindness?” It happens when people ignore anything (like ads) that’s separate from the main content of your site. Google suggests you use ad styles that “blend, complement, and contrast.”
3. Use wide ads
Google has found that wide ad sizes have a significant impact on earnings. The most effective sizes are the 336×280 large rectangle, the 300×250 medium rectangle, the 728×90 leaderboard, the 300×600 half page, and on mobile the 320×100 large mobile banner.
4. Integrate the ads but don’t hide your content
The worst thing you can do is make it hard for your visitors to find your content. So while you want the ads to blend into your site, ads need to look like ads, they need to be called ads, and they cannot mimic or obstruct content. To get a better idea of what your blog page would like with ads, check out these illustrations.
5. Display both text and image ads
Ad space is auctioned off, and image and text ads compete in the same auction. By choosing to display both text and image ads, competition for ads to appear on your site increase. In turn, this may help you earn more. Interesting!
Have you used AdSense or AdWords? What other tips do you think users need to know?