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Once Ad performance tweaks are done, what is your opinion on the next steps for improving not ad performance, but website performance, in the effort to grow earnings?
1) bread crumb links on every page
2) in-parapraph links
3) a 'related articles' list at the end of many pages
4) occasionally an authority site external link (opening in new window)
5) search function on many pages
I would assume anything that keeps visitors on site will improve unique visitor CTR. However, these additions may actually lower CTR since each visitor is going to many more pages (hopefully).
I still have many more in paragraph links to add.
Here are tips I use for better page performance:
1) fresh content weekly (depending on your niche)
2) bread crumb links on every page
3) page size less than 16K (for optimal load times)
4) allow social sharing and publishing from each page
5) light graphics (optimized JPG, GIF, PNG images; no Flash or Java)
I don't want to convert the pages to blog like pages, but wondering if there's a simple way to add something to each page to allow comments, sharing, etc?
Comments could also be added using Ajax, but they would not be visible to search engines (right now at least).
If you need comments to be visible to search engines, you might want to consider making the page dynamic.
Hope this helps.
As for the original question, I think that beyond keeping folks on your site, another way to improve earnings is to make your site more valuable in regards to what buyers might be looking for before they buy. Ads are often geared towards getting someone to subscribe or buy something. If your site is the last stop and helps convince them to buy, then your ads will be converting sales for advertisers, and in turn make your ad slots much more valuable.
However, these additions may actually lower CTR since each visitor is going to many more pages ...
There are many social media gadgets that can be added to a page. You can see them in action on many of your favorite sites. A gadget that includes a tell-a-friend function in addition to the facebook etc. stuff should do the job. I've added one of these gadgets and experienced an increase in traffic from sites like Facebook, with people sharing my pages from Facebook itself, in addition to the tell a friend sharing.
[edited by: martinibuster at 9:09 am (utc) on Oct. 26, 2009]
This is why I think it didn't cause smart pricing: It's not forcing people to click. It's removing a link that competes with the AdSense links. Removing the non-productive non-earning link removes a non-paying competitor of the AdSense ads. My pages are authoritative, the outbound links served no function. From my actual experience, what swebbie describes has worked. No smart pricing. I am not saying this works in all situations, and also would like to remind that removing links may negatively affect your rankings.
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:21 am (utc) on Oct. 26, 2009]