Lets face it, its human nature. When people first join a pay per click (PPC) program like Google adsense, they intimidate think about how to get clicks and its tempting to tell someone else to click on your ads or click on them youself.
Luckily for me I had a flatmate who was recently banned from adsense and saw firsthand how brutal they were with him. Google simply said: You have invalid clicks: Your out!. No judge, no Jury, no appeal.
So how can you make other people click on your ads without getting in to trouble with Google?
First let me start with the obvious. With Google adsense and other PPC advertising systems, you aren't allowed try to make people click on your ads, not in any way shape or form! But it all comes down to the definition of the word “make”.
Here is an example. I could say I can make my wife eat chocolate. I just put it in front of her. You see, she loves chocolate so I know she will never pass it up. It's the same with all the people at your web site. They are already surfing the net, so its obvious they like to click on links and find things of interest. The trick is, to put the ads under their nose so they can follow their interests.
Before we go into this in detail I want to make sure you understand something fundamental about online pay per click advertising. Fraudulent clicks are your worst enemy. Not just because it will get you banned form any PPC provider (and it will !), but because it will ruin things for the advertiser and thats really bad for you (the publisher). If you're an advertiser why would you put any money into advertising which is costing you money but not getting results? You wouldn't. So don't bite the hand that feeds you, an never breach you TOS (Terms Of Service) agreement using underhanded tactics. In the long run if you do things smartly, you will get a good income from pay per click advertising.
On with the legitimate ways you can 'make' people click on your Google adsense ads. There are a number of ways you can do that. I like to divide them two categories: Passive encouragement and Tactics.
Is so called because that's all your allowed to do. You can't actively tell people about your advertising or even bring their attention to it. You will have to encourage them, passively.
The first way is with great content. Search engines love it (which will also bring you more traffic) but it also has the effect of warming up your readers to a particular subject. The more they pique their interest, the more they are likely to click on a related advertised product.
The second way is with repetition. It is said about humans that we need to see things a number of times before we act on them. If you have good content, then people will stay on your site longer and see the same topics over and over. Eventually something will catch their eye and they will act.
Also, stick to your subject. If you avoid waffle, context sensitive advertising engines like Google's adsense will accurately find great ads to serve and therefore be of more interest to your readers, who will intern be far more likely to click.
Another way to passively make visitors click on your ads is to bore them. Thats right, bore them. When your reader gets bored his/her attention starts to wander and thats when she/he will notice the ads. But how do you have great content, keep people on your site and also bore them into turning their attentions towards your ads? Good question. You do so by trailing off. Make sure you tell a good story in your article, bring up a few interesting points and give something valuable to the reader. When your done, simply provide a summary thats a little long winded. At this stage the reader has already read the article, most people will know whats going on and be satisfied they have read enough of the article and their attention will start to wander....
Here's another thought. If you've ever learnt anything about MLM (multi level marketing) you may have come across the term “cycle of duplication”. It refers to they way you yourself should act as part of a MLM program and how you pass this on to people you sign up. What you as part of an MLM scheme should do, is use the products yourself. It's a hard one for some to grasp, but if everyone, and I mean everyone religiously (I enjoy using that word in conjunction with MLM) uses the products, then the cycle of duplication works because everyone adds to the income of their sponsors and therefor they are actually benefiting themselves through sponsoring another person who does the same.
What does the cycle of duplication mean for online advertising? First let me tell you what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean clicking on links to make a 'donation' to someone and it doesn't mean clicking on anything for any other reason than a genuine interest in the subject of the ad.
What it does mean is that if you visit a website which provides you with something beneficial and during the course of your visit you see something of real genuine interest then feel free to find out more. It's as simple as that.
I have heard of plenty of people who avoid clicking on links because they know that someone else will get something for it. This is called "Tall poppy syndrome". Humans don't like to see other people benefiting when they won't (even when it doesn't hurt them). So, some who understand how pay per click woks, simply enter the web address shown on the ad, so they bypass the whole system and nobody gets paid. This is great for the advertiser, but what about the person who's hard work went into supplying you with the service of providing valuable Internet content? And what about the company who's complicated system and network makes it all possible for you to be put in contact with the person/company who has something of interest to you? Don't they deserve something for their service to you, especially if it doesn't cost you anything.
So to apply the cycle of duplication to online advertising, just make sure you keep it real. Don't click on anything for any reason other than you are genuinely very interested and having established you in fact are very interested, don't try and circumvent the system. If you do this, and we all do, than the system will work for all parties.
Tactics for improving you adsense revenue:
Lets start with the most common one. This comes from Google itself. Hotspots. most people already know about the hotspots map that Google produce which is based on the simply science of where your eye moves when perusing a website. Click here to see the Google heatmap (the best places to put your ads). It will open in a new tab so you can come back and continue reading.
Another tactic is to encourage people to do their research. You are allowed to say “it's easy to find such things on the Internet” on a page which displays context sensitive ads, because its simply encouraging people to look for answers. Most likely they will use their favorite search engines but at least they now know what they are looking for and might find it through an ad.
Please note, you have to use very conservative judgment here, don't ever say something like “you can find information though the ads on this page”. This means you are directing people's attention to the ads. I once read “... I'm constantly surprised by what great products appear in the ads on my page...” this is something I would never post, because it directs peoples attention to the ads. Also, don't encourage people to search (or 'find' something as in the example above) and provide a Google search box on the same page, you might find you Google adsense account suddenly revoked.
One tactic that many people use is to try and match the colour scheme with that of you website. People are usually more likely to click if they think its genuine content from the same site than if they know its an ad. Google even recommends this. I will say however the school is out on this, some people really feel the ads should stand out as much as possible and should therefor use colors that are more of less opposite to your site. My recommendation is to try out a few and see if there is a big difference to your revenue with one particular colour scheme.
One final thought. If ever in doubt of whether your actions violate the your terms of service agreement with Google or whoever, than don't do it. It's just not worth it. Put your energy into promoting your site or adding more content because as publisher all we want to do is help our advertises to increase their revenue and reduce their advertising costs, if we don't they wil just take their advertising dollars elsewhere.
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