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This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >     
Unlock the limits of your AdSense earnings potential
Earning caps are the limits of your own imagination
incrediBILL




msg:3279644
 6:02 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Reading all the bearish posts about AdSense lately would make it seem like the bottom is dropping out and nobody is on the upswing with AdSense. This would be incorrect because some of us are so busy improving our bottom line that we simply don't have time to relate all of those positive stories. Finally, I decided today looked as good a time as any to time to write a nice bullish post about AdSense, so you bears keep off this thread and post your tales of woe elsewhere, this one is for the bulls.

Make a Compelling Mission Statement

What does your site do and why should I bookmark it and come back?

You need to explain what your site is about to a first time visitor in a single compelling sentence. Find something you could turn into a site motto that catches their attention and makes them bookmark your site. Lots of articles and content are nice but if you don't SELL the customer (yes, visitors are customers) on your site it's a one time encounter.

Busting the Earnings Cap Myth

A couple of years ago I once thought I was at the peak of my online potential with one of my sites, for both traffic and earnings. This temporary mindset happened because my site was performing very steadily, very predictably, very status quo day after day, week after week, month after month. I looked at the situation and realized I had a ton of information to attract people to my site but they weren't finding it as well as they could be finding it in the search engines.

My daily traffic at the time was around 10K visitors a day so I took a step back and re-evaluated the situation and decided is was worth re-engineering my SEO site-wide to see if I could boost it to 15K/day as a simple goal. With a lot of research and keyword tweaking I was able to change how I positioned my site in the SE's and in 4 months traffic was up to 15K visitors. Not so surprisingly, the types of ads being displayed got better as well and the AdSense CTR improved as I was delivering a overall better product to both the search engines and visitors.

The encouraging thing was I added 50% more traffic and income with my first effort.

At this point, I figured the sky's the limit and my own imagination is the only thing holding me back.

Expanding your site's horizons

Just cranking out more and more of the same old content will not always bring you more and more visitors or improve your AdSense earnings.

Sometimes you need to expand and broaden your niche, take it local, make a compelling RSS feed for something other that just your articles. Depending on your niche, there may be a lot of local traffic you're missing because you don't address local markets. When I switched from solely doing generic content to also incorporate local content as well there was an almost immediate bump that propelled my site to 20K+ visitors a day and AdSense income improved as well.

Thin out thick content for more traction

Blogs and some CMS software are bad about having too much information on a single page. The best way to get good traction and leverage all of your content to the max is to break down each piece of content to it's own unique page. This is important because that piece of content now has the full weight for the entire page and the SE's and AdSense aren't trying to figure out the mess caused by multiple items jumbled on a page.

Learn from the news and information services and use headlines and snippets to drive visitors to the full blown content. As an added bonus, you're also driving them through multiple pages with multiple opportunities to display a wider variety of AdSense ads!

Maximizing each AdSense impression

Get rid of PSA's and have appropriate affiliate ads installed for "alternative ads" when AdSense has nothing to display. We've discussed how to identify and get rid of PSA ads in the past, but it's important you keep vigilant about this as every PSA ad is lost opportunity. The easiest way to identify when PSAs are being displayed is to look at your site stats and see how often your "alternative ads" page is being utilized. If it's a statistically small number of page views then I wouldn't worry about because I've seen PSAs pop up randomly for no reason and never show again on the same page. However, if PSAs are responsible for over a full percentage point of your page views you have a serious problem you need to fix.

How high is high?

I'm now getting about 700K visitors a month with that site and heading toward a million, that's the next goal. Not a shabby improvement from when I really started moving upward with only 300K visitors a month. It's a struggle and pushes my creativity to the limits to figure out how to take it to the next level, but that's also the thrill to see if it can be done. Yes, I'm also working on other sites that are starting to achieve good growth as well, but the thrill of hitting 1M visitors/month with a single site has it's own rewards in what you learn taking it there. At some point there is obviously a cap in how many people actually search for my topic on a daily basis but I'm positive I'm not there yet, not even close.

Competition in my area is heating up and in some parts I'm even taking a pounding from some newcomers, yet my traffic is still increasing. Some might see more competition as a problem but I see it more as a validation that I'm on the right track, doing the right things, and there will be huge rewards to gain.

Imagine that!

How good is your imagination?

While others imagine the AdSense system is set up to beat them with earnings caps, smart pricing, and all sorts of other problems, I imagine I can improve my service and earnings and have done so successfully just like many others on WebmasterWorld.

If AdSense turns sour I imagine I could also do well with YPN or something similar.

There are lots of options, lots of things you can do to improve your bottom line, but if you can't imagine it can get better then it probably won't, so imagine it will and take the proactive steps to make it happen.

 

netmeg




msg:3279680
 6:35 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thank you for taking the time to write and post that - there's a lot of good stuff there.

Pengi




msg:3279693
 6:49 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Excellent post Bill - nice to see some positive stuff for a change.

I can't add much other than to say my traffic and adsense income have increased for the 3rd consecutive month despite not having time to improve or develop my site since early November.

I still see lots of potential and don't see everything as signs of a down slide.

celgins




msg:3279710
 7:04 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good information, IB.

I'm a rather "quiet" poster here on the WW Adsense forum and the main reason is because 97% of my ads are on target, I hardly ever see PSA's, my eCPM has been steadily increasing with every passing month, and my EPC has been climbing as well.

It's a bit difficult to jump on the "eCPM/EPC is crap" bandwagon when I have nothing to contribute to it.

With that, I know that my main task is to continue increasing traffic; get visitors to bookmark my site (loyalty); come up with new ideas; create incredibly good content; and don't expect some huge windfall overnight.

europeforvisitors




msg:3279711
 7:04 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great post, Bill. It inspires me to suggest that people on this forum ask themselves:

1) Does the content on my site have intrinsic value to users?

2) If AdSense disappeared tomorrow, would there be a reason for my site's existence?

Site owners who can answer "yes" to both questions are more likely to be survivors with AdSense--or without AdSense--over the long haul.

ann




msg:3279721
 7:18 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thank you Ibill for a very informative and helpful post.

While Things hit the downslope once in a while on the whole I can't, right now, complain.

You have given me some very good ideas to improve my visitor count, thank you.

Ann

bunltd




msg:3279740
 7:27 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow, thanks Bill! This is timely for me - I've got a site that's gone into a slump these last few months. The site has been overdue for a review and overhaul and you've given me the kick in the seat to get on with it. :)

LisaB

Hobbs




msg:3279781
 7:51 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not sure if I'm allowed to post in this thread as I was hit once and now feel unloved & excluded from the rest of the animal kingdom ;-)

Just wanted to say nice post Bill!

sandyk20




msg:3279834
 8:38 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our traffic has increased nearly 5 times since last year but adsense revenues has gone down by 3 times+.

I think other advertising networks entering the market are being cut throat competitors to google!

See_It_Now




msg:3279863
 8:59 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

look at your site stats and see how often your "alternative ads" page is being utilized

Where do I find this info in my site stats?

Thanks

sailorjwd




msg:3279904
 9:47 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Added runnable downloads for my widget examples late fall and just added video demos of one product.

Adsense earnings will be higher this month than last (unless the world ends). Widget consulting & sales at an all time high.

It is more fun to look at the half full end of the glass.

Now hitting 1000 page views an hour occasionally!

ps. also added a mission statement: The purpose this website is to help you make the best f'ing widgets you can!

jetteroheller




msg:3279911
 9:52 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Make a Compelling Mission Statement

What does your site do and why should I bookmark it and come back?

I have since December 2006 where I upgraded to MSIE 7 a new quality statistic for my sites:

The access stats on news.rdf, the RSS feeds on my sites.

More accesses to news.rdf means, that more people have bookmarked my RSS feeds, and MSIE 7 or Firefox is tracking the changes on this file.

LeoXIV




msg:3279934
 10:09 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

great post. I enjoyed reading it.

PS: what is your site's address? ;-)

rj87uk




msg:3279954
 10:23 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great Post Bill, I never read big posts all the way to end end due to boredness - but I read that one all the way down.

Sometimes you need to expand and broaden your niche, take it local

Now I sort of know what you are getting here so could you expand a little more?

incrediBILL




msg:3279987
 10:51 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sometimes you need to expand and broaden your niche, take it local

Now I sort of know what you are getting here so could you expand a little more?

OK, let's say you have a site about some widget but you just write about widgets in generalized terms. Perhaps there are specific requirements or different trends for these widgets in different countries, states, provinces or even cities. Maybe incorporate a list of where to buy these widgets online or offline per location and suddenly you become the worldwide defacto authority on these widgets and people flood your site to find any and all related information.

The point is when someone looks for a widget in Alabama, your site needs to be there. If they're looking for a someone in Alaska that sells, services or installs that widget, you need to be there too!

Affiliate information can also be treated as content so consider adding some affiliate links for sales, discounts and coupons as well, be THE place to start looking about this widget for any purpose.

Think about what your widget means to people from front to back, explore all the angles, and you'll possibly come up with a ton of ideas for new information not currently on your site that will bring in more visitors.

genem




msg:3280001
 11:03 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thank you for the motivational post, incrediBILL.

First ad revenue powered web site under development...

Undead Hunter




msg:3280075
 12:48 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bill, great post. A few more questions:

1) Do you do daily content? Is it important to bring back a consistent audience? Or focus on timeless content?

2) If you're doing things like widgets, ie. a product category, how do you compete against stores, etc.?

3) How important are links in to your site/strategy? Do you actively search them out, or is there something about your site which draws them in naturally?

4) How big is your niche, approximately? Roughly how many searches per month for your main keyword/phrases?

5) Did you pick based on a consumer demographic, or based around a product/service itself? Example: a men's health magazine vs. a plasma TV website.

6) Do you do all the content yourself? Do you re-use content? Were you an expert to begin with, or have you learned along the way?

incrediBILL




msg:3280149
 2:19 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ah ha, questions questions...

1) Do you do daily content? Is it important to bring back a consistent audience? Or focus on timeless content?

Depends on which site we're discussing! ;)

The main money maker is updated daily with lots of new stuff. For me this isn't as much about giving the audience new data as it is about expanding the depth of my search engine coverage. The audience may like getting all the fresh information but building up a lot of content that's easily found in the SE's is the real trick. Some content gets instant hits, other builds up traffic over time, it's all good.

2) If you're doing things like widgets, ie. a product category, how do you compete
against stores, etc.?

You don't have to compete with the stores head to head for all keywords. Depending on the niche, and the abilities of the SEO they hired, there are often a lot of long-tail weak spots just waiting for someone with vision to step in and fill those gaps.

Which would you rather have:

- 1 keyword with 3K hits a day or,
- 500 terms with 6 hits each per day?

In the best of all worlds I'll take "C) all of the above" but for the sake of this conversation I'll take the latter as it's easier to build and keep a lot of long-tails. The other upside is the snooping SEOs don't find your magic term because there isn't one, there's thousands, which makes a new competitors job tougher to easily unseat your position.

If your site manages to get more authority than the store itself, then competition isn't even a serious concern. Think about the fact that most online stores end up with affiliate links as the bulk of their inbound links, and those typically redirect through places like CJ or LinkShare which provide zero value to the store. When that's the case it's an easy nut to crack.

Just check and see what kind of PR the stores have for the niche you want to enter, how they rank for a few dozen (hundred?) terms you want to rank for, and you'll have a clue what kind of battle you're going to have getting to the top.

3) How important are links in to your site/strategy? Do you actively search them out, or is there something about your site which draws them in naturally?

According to Yahoo I have 75K+ IBLs, but I think it's more like 10K IBLs. However, you can do a lot with less as I kick started my wifes first online biz with 2 IBLs and it was cranking out hundred$ a month in no time and we're working on taking her sites to the next level now.

4) How big is your niche, approximately? Roughly how many searches per month for your main keyword/phrases?

Very competitive, ferocious to be exact. Imagine trying to compete for "COMPUTER" and you get the idea. Lost one of my oldest held keywords a few months ago and couldn't be happier because I was busy laying the foundation for more long-tail keywords which brought in 150K new visitors per month.

5) Did you pick based on a consumer demographic, or based around a product/service itself? Example: a men's health magazine vs. a plasma TV website.

My main site actually started as a hobby site the first year and exploded over time. I started taking it real serious when it was mentioned in mainstream magazines and big companies started buying ad space which was a real eye-opener.

I'm not sure I'd attempt my niche if I were starting out today, mostly because I'd have to compete with my own site! ;)

However, other sites we've started are based on products or services, things that people have to buy all the time so conversions are higher making a combo of AdSense and affiliates very effective. I'm a big fan of goods and service people have to buy all the time, necessities you MUST have, opposed to chasing electronic fads and trends with a lot of competition.

While many are making noise and chasing the latest new thing with a few big money ads I'm quietly taking a lot of money in smaller chunks from a broader base of advertisers.

6) Do you do all the content yourself? Do you re-use content? Were you an expert to begin with, or have you learned along the way?

Mixed bag here as it's a blend of all sorts of contributions.

I was very knowledgeable but not an expert in the field. However, you don't have to be an expert to build an authority site. Once you start building such a beast you immediately become the authority just because you did the research, fact collection and collaboration required to get the site to fruition. Think about it, how do any of us become an expert other than learning the topic and you can become an expert during the course of building the site.

Hope that answers a few questions!

[edited by: incrediBILL at 2:25 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

trinorthlighting




msg:3280163
 2:35 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nice post bill!

docbird




msg:3280170
 2:45 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, been easy to figure the halcyon days of adsense are over, and no more would webmasters buy boats from their earnings.

Thanks indeed for this info.

Undead Hunter




msg:3280171
 2:48 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, that's excellent advice Bill.

One more follow-up. One other question that no one has raised: How important is graphic design? Do you hire out professional designers? How "purdy" are your sites? In line with the biggest contenders, Web 2.0-ish, or more plain text & homespun?

I'd also like to say I went for long tail terms with our main site, too. Same idea, 700+ pages that bring in small amounts of traffic was a Good Idea... except that we're getting hammered right now as Google has banged down a bunch of our pages, about 2/3rds of them so far. I'll wager if we long-tailed it on a specific topic rather than the varied topics we feature now, we'd be in better shape. And of course if we worked harder to diversify in the first place, we wouldn't be hurting so much.

Jafo




msg:3280199
 3:33 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would like to thank Bill for this post. In my opinion this should be an early nomination for the best thread of the year if there is such a thing here.

I have gotten more and more interested in Adsense not so much because I make any real money in it, but more that I know it is possible.

I have been working at home since 1998 selling my own widgets online. My main site has no real AS agenda. I built it to sell MY widgets and now I wish to move into the AS arena.

Following some of the advice on this forum, I started a site about something I am passionate about and write often. I understand only the very basics of SEO.

From your point of view Bill, if you were just starting today with a hobby site what would be your initial plan of attack knowing that your on a limited budget and have another job to attend to. I guess my question would be: Where would YOU begin?

annej




msg:3280351
 8:25 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Incredibill,

You have me inspired to do more tweaking of key words on my pages. I've done a pretty good job on the major articles but as I play around with word tracker type tools I can see I could do far better with what I've been considering to be minor pages. Those pages I've been considering unimportant may be great for some long tail terms.

potentialgeek




msg:3280431
 11:15 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

On the subject of long tails, here's a quick tip. Use the Google toolbar to type in the primary keyword or phrase. Don't hit Enter, just watch what suggestions Google offers. These are the top long tails. Get those into your site; then repeat with an extra word and wait for another suggestion, i.e., a longer long tail.

I used to track the Overture Inventory, but it's very crude and doesn't differentiate between very similar search words and phrases. I missed a ton of traffic by focusing only on OI results. Still, use that and the toolbar, and you'll find a pile of gold dust if not gold mines.

p/g

rj87uk




msg:3280456
 11:41 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nice One - Gives me a few ideas - Cheers Bill.

I would say pints on me but I guess im not allowed in a pub untill i do a few more.. thousand things...

kool002




msg:3280737
 4:08 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

"
because I was busy laying the foundation for more long-tail keywords
"

Here's what I understand is the strategy.

1- Find long tail.
2- Develop content that have these long tail.
3- Get anchor text link using that tail.

Am I on the right track? Anything to add?

incrediBILL




msg:3280759
 4:32 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Where do I find this info in my site stats?

In your AdSense code you would define your alternate ad page like this:

google_alternate_ad_url = "http://www.mydomain.com/google_adsense_script.html";

Then you just check your web stats to see how many times google_adsense_script.html has been displayed. If you need to know exactly WHERE it's getting displayed you may need to look at the referrer field in your raw log files.

I find this works well in Linux to see what pages are having problems:

grep "google_adsense_script.html" access_log

Then you get the fun task of sifting through each PSA one line at a time and check to see if that page really shows PSA's or if it's random flukes.

incrediBILL




msg:3280770
 4:43 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

1- Find long tail.
2- Develop content that have these long tail.
3- Get anchor text link using that tail.

Am I on the right track? Anything to add?

Yes!

I do both internal and external links to the long tail keywords. The internal links tend to make sure your long tail gets recognized properly right away, no guess work on the part of the search engine.

incrediBILL




msg:3280782
 5:02 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

How important is graphic design? Do you hire out professional designers? How "purdy" are your sites? In line with the biggest contenders, Web 2.0-ish, or more plain text & homespun?

Some sites are professionally done, others we just whipped up something on our own, it really depends on the audience which way I would go.

My site designs range from:

- Simple 2-3 column homespun, minimal graphics
- Using Off-the-shelf templates ~$50 ea.
- $1k custom template layouts
- $9k custom full site layouts

Certain types of sites just beg to have the slick professional layouts so that the visitors trust your site. Others types of sites work best with that "mom and pop" look to get the same kind of trust. Either way you swing you'll alienate someone but it's hitting the sweet spot to maximize conversion (clicks, sales, whatever) that matters the most.

Think about a website the same way you would think about a B&M business as you have certain expectations of how the place looks when you walk in the door. You expect a steak house to look expensive with white table cloths but a mom & pop BBQ joint could get away with old formica top tables.

Google has banged down a bunch of our pages, about 2/3rds of them so far. I'll wager if we long-tailed it on a specific topic rather than the varied topics we feature now, we'd be in better shape. And of course if we worked harder to diversify in the first place, we wouldn't be hurting so much.

Spreading too thin can hurt you but some inbound deep links on those long-tails you lost might reverse the damage.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 5:03 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

incrediBILL




msg:3280795
 5:15 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

From your point of view Bill, if you were just starting today with a hobby site what would be your initial plan of attack knowing that your on a limited budget and have another job to attend to. I guess my question would be: Where would YOU begin?

I would begin just like I did with my most recent sites. I put up a well thought out site outline with a series of starter pages just to give the search engine something to index while I'm busy building bigger and better content.

Don't worry about pretty in the beginning as search engines have no sense of aesthetics.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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