All of us webmasters out there are asking the same question: what actions can I take to see a direct affect on my ROI? While there’s no shortage of optimization tactics out there, it’s essential you’re making the right decisions for your business. This article will illuminate those tactics or growth hacks you may be missing that could hinder you from seeing great effects on your business’s ROI.
Unless you're an eCommerce website, most of the optimization tactics you will employ will not produce direct ROI. If you've done your job correctly, you’re measuring correctly, you’re lucky, and all your pixels fall into to the right places then you will receive indirect ROI at best. However, the following optimization strategies are different because they directly affect a website's monetization strategy.
One of the most popular methods to monetize is through Google AdSense. This solution provides you with an easy monetization channel for publishers by publishing Google Ads on their website. If you’ve added AdSense to your site and are not receiving massive amount of clicks and the reciprocated ROI isn’t quite what you expected, perhaps you’re missing one of these optimization hacks.
1. Best Performing Ad Units Up Top
AdSense users can easily see which of their ad units are making them the most money by opening up their AdSense dashboard, going to Performance Reports, and then Ad Units. The unit that’s making you the most money is automatically listed first. Successful publishers often list this unit at the top of the page, ideally ATF (Above The Fold).
According to Google, the large rectangle (336×280) and medium rectangle (300×250) are the most successful in increasing your earnings. However, we’ve found at AdNgin from serving millions of daily impressions that the 250×250 tends to perform even better. While this tactic of putting your ad units ATF can boost your earnings, like anything else it must be used in moderation. Especially today with Google’s increased scrutiny over AdSense publishers, and smarter website users. The worse your ad to content ratio, the more likely you’ll be penalized and obstruct your readers from actually engaging with your content.
2. Combine both Text and Rich Ads
Most publishers feel they need to choose between either textual display ads or rich display ads with images and other media. The truth is, when you combine the two you can actually get the best of both worlds. The CTR (Click Through Rate) is typically higher for text ads, however they don’t pay as well. On the other hand, image ads typically have a lower CTR but they pay much better. In this case, they even each other out quite nicely.
When you display both types of ads on your site, you will ensure more advertisers will be interested on bidding on your site, therefore increasing your chances of earning more and increasing ROI.
3. Know how to Choose the Style for your Ad
There are three distinct techniques that Google suggests to increase user interest through the styling of your ads. The first technique is closest to a native ad, by blending the background and borders of the ad into the page in which you wish to place the ad the user’s experience is more seamless and fluid.
Instead of blending right in to the background, another successful styling technique works by complementing the advertisement. As a publisher you can choose colors that exist on your site, but don’t necessarily flow right into the background. This way your ad isn’t ugly to the eye but it still sticks out more than the subtlety of the first technique.
Finally, you can contrast the colors of your ad against the background of your site. This works best for sites with a dark background. A dark background contrasted with a bright colored ad can really draw the attention you want to your unit.
4. Text Wrap?
To text wrap or not to text wrap? That is the question. Many times, publishers prefer to align their ads to one side of the page or the other instead of centering them. This way the content still appears ATF which makes both your users and Google happy. In an ideal situation, the first ad won’t be shown until after your title and your first paragraph.
The only way to know whether text wrapping is appropriate for each particular ad unit or web page, is testing. It’s not 100% necessary that you have to wrap text around your ads, some webmasters work around it and see a higher CTR without it. However, it’s important to remember if you don’t wrap the text for your ATF units, your visitors will have to scroll lower to view your actual content. The lower the content is the less Google and your users will likely value your site.
5. Increase Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is the type of traffic that you want to be bringing to your site. This type of traffic originates from search engines and is more relevant and natural than its opposer paid traffic. Organic traffic is more profitable and more likely to bring clicks to your site then repeat visitors or other banner-blind readers. In order to increase your organic traffic you can provide really rich content in the form of blog posts, webinars, viral videos etc. that will provide real value to your users. The content should be focused on your users, relevant to their problems and providing them with real solutions they need.
Once you have great content, in order to increase organic traffic you’ll need to spend some time working on SEO and improving the visibility of your page and content on the search engine. This guide will surely give you the hints you need to manage your SEO campaigns.
These optimization tactics are surefire ways to see direct effects on your ROI. Since every ad unit and web page is different, we should certainly treat them differently. It’s always an essential part of the process to test every step of the way to ensure you’re optimizing the right features and getting the most out of your Google AdSense campaigns.
Image Credit: Flickr/Matthias Ripp