smithaa02 - 11:18 pm on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
What type of conversions are these?
Is he selling a direct travel service?
Is he using affiliate widgets (like travelcity...which is horrible BTW)?
Is he using an ad network?
Any chance you can share the RPM and CTR?
If you are using an affiliate for travel...then probably avoid hotel bookings/airlines. I think people just zone out with these and niche industries would do better.
Personally, I have MUCH better results with adsense than I do with affiliate travel services...but each site is different. If you can get a perfect affiliate it can be all worthwhile.
If you go with ads...lot of good stuff you can do. Avoid image ads...google has done internal studies and they've shown that text ads do MUCH better...even if their adsense sales team tries to stuff image ads down your throat. AVOID banners...studies have shown people zone out with these and they're largely obsolete to those in the know.
The key is subtlety...get a nice adsense ad that blends into the background...don't overdo the quantity (I don't have more than one per page). A perfect adsense ad will be tough to distinguish from your main content.
Avoid putting ads into the boiler-plate. I like to put mine below the header of first intro paragraph of text or at the very bottom...I've had surprisingly good conversions by putting ads at the very bottom as a lot of people will scroll to the end of the page just to see what is all about. Plus google won't punish you with 'above the fold' for these.
You might need to revamp your design. Keep things simple...attention is zero-sum. So you if you have one ad on a page with '100 elements' compared to '10 elements', the latter is much more likely to have better conversions. Keep the general colors/design tasteful and muted...maybe even desaturate the colors somewhat. The conversion area should standout without being obnoxious or looking like an ad. Hide the social junk if possible...that doesn't help conversions but is a lot of real estate clutter and competes for a viewer's limited attention.
Can't recommend products per forum policy, but you might check out heat-map services that will tell you where people actually look at.
eg just google: heatmapping conversions .
Part of it may be your site. Certain travel keywords convert WAY better than others...you may have a bad set. Do you know the adword rates for the keywords your targeting (that will give you a general idea of whether you have good real estate or not).
Obviously check the basics (bounce + time on site). If those are off, people probably are probably being turned off before they can even find your ad...so quality content helps.
Try leaving your ads/conversion widgets off of weak pages. I can't prove it, but I think it helps with google search and google adsense not to put ads on pages that don't convert (like contact/disclaimer/about us pages).
For what it is worth, I've followed my own advice and do better than industry RPM average per page.