Yesterday I received an email from the Google AdSense team. The email advised that I was under utilizing ad space on my site. Apparently they had gone though one of my sites and noted that I was only using two Google ad units when I could actually use three.
In their email they included the standard heat map of the best place to insert ads on a site. They also linked to their blog post about how one AdSense user realized a 200% income increase by inserting additional ads.
I’ve received such emails before and ignored them (silly me). This time I decided to take an objective look at the site in question with the intention of making changes.
Here’s what I did
The reason I only use two ad units is because I don’t want visitors to the site to think they took a wrong turn and ended up on Times Square. In addition to my two AdSense units (one at the top of the blog post and one at the bottom), I also had a Chitika ad in the right margin.
I also have two Amazon products listed in the right-hand margin, which, in my opinion, is more than enough advertising. I really didn’t want to insert anything more because I didn’t want a spammy looking site. Therefore, if I included more AdSense units, something else had to go.
To make an informed decision, I looked at my monthly Chitika earnings for the site. On average that site earned between $8 and $10 a month from Chitika (nothing to write home to mom about, but much better than a stick in the eye).
I decided to risk my $8 to $10 monthly haul and remove the Chitika ad. It was a pretty big ad (300 x 250) and took up quite a bit of real estate. Instead of the Chitika ad, I inserted a Google AdSense 5 link unit (200 x 90). BTW, AdSense allows 3 ad units and 3 link units (and two searches) per page. I chose the link units because they are smaller and less intrusive.
In addition to the 200 x 90 link unit I inserted another link unit below the header. This link unit is 728 x 15. It too is not intrusive so I was able to streamline the site’s appearance by removing one ad block and inserting two less intrusive potential revenue sources.
Measuring Success or Failure
If the two ad units combined earned in the vicinity of 30 cents a day, I’d be financially whole and I’ve regained a bit of screen real estate to boot. Imagine my surprise when in less than 24 hours the new addition to my website exceeded my Chitika monthly earnings. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that I spent a large portion of my day checking and double-checking ad unit performance.
Impressed with the earnings increase, I added similar units to one other blog. Although the second blog’s earnings weren’t as impressive as the first, it realized a 21% uptick in earnings (the first blog’s increase was 47%).
I’m sure you know how I’ll be spending my time today. Yep, I’m going through all of my blogs to add the AdSense link units. You might want to put this task on your “To Do” list too.