For bloggers and webmasters, Google Adsense always feels like an easy way to montize your site. It seems easy - simply insert your code and watch the cash roll in! Or not........ The truth is, often the returns can be rather low, and with a payout threshold of $100 many people never see their money. However, there are steps you can take to increase your Adsense clicks and get you closer to the elusive payout.
Location, Location, Location
However, this does need to be balanced with ensuring that your ads do not interfere with the reader's experience. If the location of the ads make your site look cluttered or detract significantly from your content then you should re-consider the position you are using otherwise you risk losing readers fast.
Your readers are more likely to click on your ads if they do not stand out and merge with your content. The easiest way of achieving this is to make sure that the ad background matches the color of your page. However, it is important that you do not do anything to disguise the fact that they are ads (for example putting a heading of "Recommended sites" over your ads). Doing so risks getting you banned.
More Traffic = More Clicks
OK, so this may be obvious, but the more people you attract to your site the more likely you are to get people who click on your ads. How do you get more traffic? Well that's a post for another day!
Low Value Clicks vs High Value Clicks
The amount of money that you receive is not simply a product of how many clicks your ads receive, but which ads are clicked on. For example, ads about tropical fish supplies are low value, whereas ads about mortgages, loans and credit cards are high value. Being as they are contextual ads, Adsense will display ads that are relevant to your site. Therefore, you indirectly control the ads through your content. If you are intending Adsense to be a primary source of income then you should focus your efforts on writing about those topics that attract high value ads. However, you should bear in mind that these are high value for a reason - i.e. high competition. Therefore, attracting traffic to your site may be more challenging than for lower value subjects.
Use Revenue Sharing
An additional strategy is not to limit yourself to your site, but to make use of revenue sharing sites. For blogs, the easiest way to do this is simply to syndicate your content to YouSayToo. That way you increase the chances of your content being seen and 50% of the impressions there are yours. The advantage of this is that once it is set up there is no effort whatsoever involved.
Another option is to use user generated content sites that use Adsense as their revenue sharing model. Examples of these include HubPages, Info Barrel and Xomba. One option is to re-write some of your existing content and submit to these sites making sure that you include a link back to your site. Therefore, this can be both part of a link building strategy and increasing your Adsense impressions.
Look out for other options for Adsense revenue sharing - preferably options that serve some other useful purpose. For example, some forums (such as Digital Point [Edit: Adsense on Digital Point is currently suspended]) use Adsense revenue sharing. Don't expect these to radically increase your income though, but anything that increases your ad impressions has got to be good.
The important thing is to be realistic about the income you will receive from Adsense. Most people will receive a relatively small amount of money and will take a very long time to reach the payout threshold. However, if you manage to construct sites with high value ads and attract a high volume of traffic then you could make a decent amount of money from Adsense.
If you are interested in making serious money then you should try Making Sense with Google Adsense which could set you on the path to generating a true income from Adsense.