Getting the Most Out of Google Adsense

By daniel - Posted on 07 October 2009

I checked out the Net Tuesday meetup last night. If you're not familiar with the group, they're bring together social change organizations and social/web media types. Last month's meetup showcased some exciting projects going on in Vancouver so I was looking forward to my second time at Net Tuesday.

This month, Omar Al-Hajjar from Magnet Search Marketing and John Hossack of VKI Studios presented on Google Adsense and Google Web Optimizer, respectively. I'll post about John's presentation another time but for now, here are some highlights from what Omar talked about.

Getting More Visitors to Your Website

In a web campaign, users go through a process where they discover your website, visit it, and then perform some desired action. This could be buying your product or making a donation. Omar tackled the "pre-click" portion of this process—that's the bit before they visit your site by clicking on a link or an ad.

Google Adsense can display your message on specific search result pages. For example, your infinite, circular sheet music business might want to target keywords like "sheet music" and "piano music."

The presentation wasn't geared so much on getting started with Adsense but more toward creating better ads through optimization. You see, Adsense allows you to publish multiple ads and compare their performance. Omar tells us to run two ads: the champion and the challenger. If more visitors click the challenger ad during the test period, the previous champion is scrapped and you have a new champion.

I tried testimonials in ad copy... and they worked!"

Omar emphasized that you shouldn't just test once, but iteratively on a regular basis. Keep creating new challenger ads to try to upset your current top-performer and over time you will see a big improvement in click-throughs.

We also heard some great tips on writing good ads, including a clever point about using testimonials in ads.

  • Be direct. Remember, attention is in short supply on the web.
  • Get rid of marketing speak. That includes slogans and catch phrases.
  • Make the ad relevant to the viewer. Since you know what they searched for, mention that.
  • State your unique value proposition. What sets you apart from competition?
  • Try using keyword misspellings. These ads are often cheaper because of lower demand.

Many thanks, Omar, for a great presentation. Oh, and if anybody's looking for the presentation slides, they should be posted on the Net Tuesday meetup site in the near future.