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Pitifully low CTR? :(

     
10:40 am on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So in the last two days I've had over 100,000 page views from 6,000 visits off of 4,000 absolute unique visitors.

(I don't trust the last number - obv google analytics can't really track this when many people use 2 different computers in a day)

I think my problem is that I have a very niche site, and the people who use it are the same set of people day-in, day-out. It's not a forum, but exhibits similar issues when it comes to adsense, I would say.

The other day someone mentioned on here that a CTR of 0.2% would be considered good for a forum - tbh I'd love to have a number that high... I feel I should be able to outperform forums a bit.

I know many people claim CTRs of 5-10% - I'd be able to quit my job if I had those sorts of numbers.. :(

My adverts might not be perfect, and the placements might not be perfect; but both of those things are quite good I think, and not convinced I can be bothered to put loads of work in to double my earnings from SFA to slightly-less-than-SFA :(

Not sure what advice I'm after here.. just having a bit of a melancholy moment and wanted to share my grief I guess!
10:50 am on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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maybe theres not a lot you can do with adsense. what's your subject matter? if people arent coming to the site to buy, or looking to buy, then you might be at the limit of what you can earn already.
if you want to make money with adsense, you need people that are looking to buy something.

but there are other programs out there that pay per impression. that way the customers dont have to buy anything at all. all you have to do to earn more money is get your page views up, which is probably a lot easier for you to do.
10:58 am on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They're not coming to buy unfortunately. They *DO* buy a lot of stuff related to the topic of my website throughout the year, but they're not necessarily looking to buy at the time they're on my site. I did read something on this subject, and came to the conclusion that I could start adding widget reviews/articles to my site to draw people in from google etc who ARE looking to buy - but it's not the direction I want to take the site in really.

Care to point me in the direction of a couple of such programs londrum - I'm a bit green behind the ears when it comes to all of this advertising stuff!
2:11 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Have a look at the companies that show up in your adsense ads. Then contact them directly and ask if they want to advertise on your site. With 50K pageviews in a day you may be able to sell advertising directly, at a low price and still make a bunch more money. You're being paid for pageviews not clicks. And some advertisers are OK with that because they want the branding - and their ROI may be high enough that low CTRs make it work.

I sell advertising for a popular site that people visit repeatedly and daily for research purposes (i.e. trending type information). They were using adsense and making $800 a month. Direct sales and they make $3-$5k per month - and that's after I take my cut.

You just have to pick up the phone and call a few people.


Alternatively have a look at Incredibill's and other's posts in the adsense forums. You can sometimes increase your CTR by changing the ads layout and location. Incredibill just issued a challenge to anyone running adsense that a review in the supporters section here will increase revenue.
2:56 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Would it be off the mark to think your niche might be somewhat related to your username?

Anything that I have that kind of traffic on, I'd be contacting vendors directly, because they likely want to be in front of that many eyeballs. It doesn't have to be JUST banner advertising, either. Let them know if you'd be open to say, allowing them to run a contest or giveaway for your users. Get creative.

One of the things you definitely should think about though is putting up an Advertise Here page. As an advertiser (for clients) who is always on the lookout for good sources of traffic, I'm amazed at how many people don't do this. Even if you don't have any idea of what you want to charge, you need to at least let people know you're open to the idea. On one of my sites, I have a page that says that advertisers can run banner ads, where they can run them, and the sizes that I'll accept. On another site, in addition to banner ads, I offer paid reviews of products (with all necessary disclosures and nofollows, of course). I've made little niche sites for just one or two affiliate products that I felt I didn't want to plaster all over one of my larger sites, so I made a small site and just included a link to it.

There's tons of little things you can do here and there, and they all add up.
3:33 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Have a look at the companies that show up in your adsense ads. Then contact them directly and ask if they want to advertise on your site.

IIRC that is against the TOS to do so.
3:41 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Selling advertising direct is certainly an avenue I'm interested in, and will get around to at some point. I've actually emailed one company in the last week suggesting a complete redesign of my site to match their's (sent a proof as well) for the ultimate brand penetration into this niche for them. Not heard back yet, will pick up the phone tomorrow...

I've spoken to a few smaller companies previously, and they all sound very keen but then say "sadly our budget for this year is already allocated" etc etc etc.
4:27 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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3. Communications Solely With Google. You agree to direct to Google, and not to any advertiser, any communication regarding any Ad(s) or Link(s) displayed in connection with Your Property(ies).

[google.com...]
4:33 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The Inside Adsense blog recently announced two new optimization guides: the One Click Optimizer and the Optimization Lab.
You might find some ideas there on how to improve your Adsense results.
[adsense.blogspot.com...]
6:44 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Those optimization guides were no good for me. I neither have a News Site, Classifieds Site, Game Site, Forum or a Blog.
7:05 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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have you tried showing adsense image ads?

do a test. pick an ad location on your website and change the adsense code to show image ads only.


They *DO* buy a lot of stuff related to the topic of my website throughout the year, but they're not necessarily looking to buy at the time they're on my site.


maybe try affiliate ads, if they have long time cookies
7:21 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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3. Communications Solely With Google. You agree to direct to Google, and not to any advertiser, any communication regarding any Ad(s) or Link(s) displayed in connection with Your Property(ies).


Thta's a pretty hard rule for Google to enforce...has anyone been banned for doing it?
7:28 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Well, I wouldn't be looking at adsense ads anyway. I'd be Googling industry terms and looking at adwords advertisers on Google's pages, not my own. Better list of potential advertisers there than on your own site anyway.

Which is why that TOS is stupid anyway. It's not enforcable because you can get the same info elsewhere.
9:09 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Why don't you nitch seo a page for advertisers, so that those in your nitch can easily find where to advertise their products. Many advertisers are looking for flat rate targeted places to advertise. I know base on stats, that is how my in-house advertisers found me.

So, in other words, you seo the page for "Specific Nitch Advertise Here". Then if you are going to do flat rate, seo of that term, "Specific Nitch Advertise Here - Flat Rate". Many are looking for flat rate advertising options, especially when it's finely tuned to their nitch.

On my advertising page I point out both options, Adwords and in-house flat rate.
9:12 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thta's (sic) a pretty hard rule for Google to enforce...has anyone been banned for doing it?


No idea if anyone has been banned because of it. All I did was to point out the rules.

Well, I wouldn't be looking at adsense ads anyway. I'd be Googling industry terms and looking at adwords advertisers on Google's pages, not my own. Better list of potential advertisers there than on your own site anyway.

Which is why that TOS is stupid anyway. It's not enforcable because you can get the same info elsewhere.


Stupid or not, the rules were made. If you are going to tell someone to do something that is against the TOS, then it is only fair that you also point out the rules. It is up to them if they then want to break them (or not).
12:28 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually in the middle of setting up an affiliate account through affiliatewindow - something seems to be broken though, the guy's supposed to be getting back to me tomorrow (out of office today). Will see how that fares.

I'm using all image ads at the moment. I switched to all text for a day and got essentially zero clicks - maybe not a long enough test to be statistically certain, but initial impressions were not good! :)

Adding an "advertise here" page is possibly a good idea - something I was going to do a while ago but decided no-one would go for it and I'd be better off picking up the phone and hassling people!
12:57 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Stupid or not, the rules were made. If you are going to tell someone to do something that is against the TOS, then it is only fair that you also point out the rules. It is up to them if they then want to break them (or not).

Fair enough. I don't really do adsense, so I'm not up on the TOS. In any event, it's easy to get the same info without breaking the tos, just do a search and grab the advertisers from Google directly instead of your site. Done.