Friday, April 21, 2006

Get More Out of Adsense - Tips to Improve Contextual Targeting on your Site

As an Adsense publisher, I am often annoyed to find my web pages filled with public service announcements (PSA) and ads unrelated to the content of my site. Fewer relevant ads means fewer click-throughs and ultimately lower Adsense revenues. However advanced Google’s contextual ad serving algorithm may be, it is still a computer program (as opposed to a human being) trying to figure out what a web page is about.

Below are some tips to help you optimize your pages to make them more Adsense-friendly. Note that these tips deal with ad delivery rather than ad formatting or placement. While ad formatting and placement may affect ad click-through rates, they have nothing to do with the delivery of relevant ads to your site. Your site must display relevant ads before they have any chance of being clicked on.

1. Avoid too much content on a page

If Adsense does not understand what is your page is about, it cannot deliver ads targeted to its content. Although a human being can easily tell what a web page is about by taking a glance at it, computer algorithms are no so intelligent. If your page contains too much content, chances are that it also contains too many seemingly unrelated keywords. Adsense becomes confused and displays PSAs or ads unrelated to the topic of your page. Try dividing the page into smaller ones, each focusing on just a few related keywords.

2. Avoid too little content on a page

If your page contains lots of graphics and very little text, Adsense may have a hard time figuring out what it is about. This is especially true when the bulk of your content is derived from graphics and scripts. When possible, use text rather than graphics to display website names, page titles, and headline texts. Make certain to include your keywords in the title of your page and repeat them throughout the page. Avoid hiding your text through sneaky tactics, such as using tiny fonts or making your text the same color as the background. This may be construed by search engines as spam.

3. Repeat keywords that you are targeting

Keyword repetition makes it easier for Adsense to decipher what your page is about. Do this in moderation as excessive repetition may be considered spam by the search engines. Excessive repetition may also make your writing sound awkward to the human reader. Instead of repeating the same keyword more than 5 or 6 times on a page, use synonyms and related keywords. For example, instead of repeating “Adsense optimization” 20 times, you might try alternative phrases like “increase Adsense revenues” or “earn more from Adsense”.

4. Avoid acronyms

I once wrote an article on pay-per-click advertising for one of my sites. When I uploaded the article to my site, I was surprised to find that all of the ads showing on the page were for Apple computer products and had nothing to do with pay-per-click. It later occurred to me that instead of repeating “pay-per-click” over and over in the article, I used the acronym “PPC” numerous times. As it turned out, “PPC” also stands for “PowerPC”, Apple’s line of Power Macintosh computers, which explained why I was getting all the Apple related ads. When I replaced all the “PPCs” with “pay-per-click” and “pay per click”, the problem went away.

5. Choose keywords with commercial value

You may get public service announcements rather than paid ads if your page deals with a subject matter whose keywords no one bids on. A remedy for this is to incorporate keywords with commercial value into your manuscript. For instance, if your page is on some obscure medical condition, you might try sprinkling a few drug names into your document to make it display paid ads rather than PSAs.

Oudam Em is the publisher of http://www.seotoday.net, a free resource for search engine optimization and website promotion. Visit his site for more SEO articles and tools.

12 Comments:

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