I used the google search feature on my site I was suprised at the % click through I was getting but removed it due to the fact I think it was doing to well and sales declined so I put my search back up
I can't imagine how you'd get additional revenue unless you skip context sensitive ads and go for affiliate advertising where you can control the ads. You don't want competitors advertising ANYWHERE on your website. You MIGHT want to run ads for complimentary products and services though. Where? Anywhere below the fold and out of the way of the elements that allow your website to function as a well oiled sales tool.
The only ads I would consider running are partner ads. Much like grocery stores charge for premium placement in isles you may be able to charge for partner/manufacturer/distributor preference/priority or focus.
Other then that, ads are "leaks" that are hard to control - especially if you were to rely on adsense.
There are many reasons why commercial ads might be convenient on your website. For instance you might present rapair-tutorials or similar service-stuff on your site in order to underline competence. Quite a number of folks now understand how things work and say thankyougoodbye by clicking on an adwords-ad.
Another possible reason is, that a visitor might have stumbled onto your site because of some obscure longtail-keyword, but doesn't really find what he was looking for. Those guys are thankful for an alternative exit other than the back button.
Presenting competitors ads might also underline your self-assuredness (market-leadership) about your business and might help to ruin a competitor, who has a bad usability on his website;)
It all depends on details. For instance you might present ads after the third or fourth step your visitor has undertaken without putting anything into the shopping-cart (in order to accout for category B).
The best place is always the triangle of attention. But the whole game is quite risky and deserves thorrough control over what your visitor is really doing. Particularly if you participate in adwords-programs yourself.
We have a small amount of outside ads on our ecommerce site.
We sell personalized items for a certain niche.
I have one small 120x90 ad in the lower left corner for that niche's Amazon category (no direct competing products). Good for a little money, nothing major.
We also sell on eBay, so we do have various eBay affiliate links (buttons, a banner, menus, site map, etc) that link directly to our own listings on eBay. Expands our own sales (we sell mostly our disco'd, closeout inventory on the Bay), we get commissions and it places that cookie with them in case they buy further items from other eBay sellers. THIS has been a very nice deal for us.
Other than that, I haven't found (or looked hard really) any other affiliate programs that would work without A) competing directly against us or B) just being clutter on the site.
My content sites have plenty of affiliate ads, but I've tried to be careful not to loose focus on the ecommerce site. It ranks #1 in Google for it's niche and could be a affiliate money maker. I have to keep telling myself the B&M and website ARE the business. My content sites and affiliate income are just extra side income for me.
A friend of mine is selling green living widgets en gross: He picks them up in the Netherlands with his own van and delivers them personally in four figured order-volumes (cash money, no credit-card-payment necessary). On the same website, for small orders from end-consumers he has an affiliate-programm.
This is another possible model, although I personally believe he is wasting a lot of time on his van, which should better be spent editing his website. But he likes it, and this makes him quite sympathetic, actually.
>> makes him quite sympathetic, actually
To living green or what exactly? :)
> what exactly?
to seek personal contact with his customers, not only focus on the money. Shaking hands, discussing gardening and hugging and that sort of stuff. Eeeks, nothing for me;) Bohoo, nobody likes me:(
Ecommerce sites that place ads on product pages are asking for customers to check out the competition. Ads should only be placed on pages the customer see after completing the sale if at all.
I recommend that you do the analysis to determine which pages have the highest bounce rates and/or most site exits. These places are the best place to attempt to capitalize on the consumer's exit since they are leaving your site from those pages anyway.
I have had success putting ads at the bottom of site search results pages, and at the bottom of category pages.
My thought was, if they can't find what they want to buy, provide them with a convenient (monetized) method for the user to continue their search on the internet.
The real question I would like to see answered is "On your Retail site, what percent of overall site revenue is being generated from advertising?" Specifically broken out into paid placements vs. adsense. I would not count MDF into this question.