15. Your don’t understand how to brainstorm for keywords. This isn’t meant to offend anyone, but there’s a solid chance that you consistently choose the same keywords as everyone else. Niche keywords that you wouldn’t easily think of are by far the best keywords for Adsense and ‘make money online’ keywords are probably some of the worst.
14. Your ad placement is poor. I still see a lot of people that are only using vertical banners in their sidebars. These honestly don’t get clicked nearly as often as larger, rectangle units. Inserting large and medium rectangles in your posts will almost always lead to getting more clicks. Vertical banners are a nice addition but are best used as a supplement – not as the primary unit.
13. You have Adsense on too many pages. Yes, I said you have Adsense on too many pages. Adsense should be on pages that do a good job of targeting keywords. When you put it up on pages and posts that don’t target keywords well, you will have poorly targeted traffic that either won’t click an ad or won’t convert well for the advertiser. When your clicks don’t convert well for advertisers you get SMART PRICED.
12. Your pages aren’t Adsense optimized. If the ads that show up on a page don’t match the topical content of the page/post, you have a problem that needs to be fixed. The ads that show up should be very similar to the ones that you’re trying to get traffic with. If they aren’t, they won’t convert well for the advertiser and this leads to you getting SMART PRICED.
Adsense relevancy optimization and onsite SEO are alike in a lot of different ways. To trigger the right ads on a page you should include your keyword in the HTML title, page headings, throughout the text of the page, and probably as a tag or label if your site is a blog.
11. You aren’t testing which of your pages convert well. I have started using an Adsense channel on each page that gets search traffic – at least until I know that it converts well. I know that there are a limited amount of testing channels available, but you can run a channel on a page until you know that it’s doing well. You can then remove it so that you can test the next page. If a page is converting at a low CTR, you probably have a problem with your Adsense optimization or you have a keyword that doesn’t have advertiser bids.
When I implemented channels I was blown away by which pages were doing well. Pages that I counted out were doing well and pages I thought were amazing were terrible. That led to me looking deeper into why some pages couldn’t convert to clicks while others could.
10. You target keywords with extremely low CPCs. I generally try to target keywords that have Adwords CPCs over $1. This can be checked with the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. The higher the CPC, the higher the potential to get higher paying clicks. You can learn more about keywords in our free eBook.
9. Your focus is far too wide. I talk to people all the time that tell me how they’re adding 5-10 new articles to their sites each day. This generally leads to a site eventually having thousands of pages, most of which can’t ever produce a search visitor let alone a valuable Adsense click. Most people would do a lot better by focusing on a few key keyword targeted pages and getting people to link to them. Ask yourself what types of articles you’re adding – what is their purpose? I understand that sometimes we create articles to influence, entertain, etc. You probably shouldn’t have Adsense on those articles/pages.
8. Your ads don’t blend well with your site. Unless you have a very strange niche, matching the background color of your ads to the background color of your site will almost always generate more clicks. The color of the titles of your ads (the click-able part) should match the link color of your site or should be blue. There are exceptions but I would challenge you to test this and then try to beat it. You usually can’t.
7. You don’t know how to get people to link to your pages/posts. If you can’t generate links, you can’t get ranked. Most people spend all day working on their sites while they should be spending all day trying to figure out how to get linked to. 90/10 is the rule and that leaves you with 10% of your time to spend on your site itself and the rest figuring out how to get linked to.
6. You don’t understand how to target a keyword with a post page. This is why you generate almost all of your Adsense clicks on your home page. This problem combined with not understanding how to get linked to causes a nasty inability to get traffic and clicks.
5. You struggle to choose profitable topics. You will therefore probably choose to do ‘make money online’ because everyone else is doing it. Understanding the metrics of choosing solid keywords is a crucial aspect of making money with Adsense.
4. You don’t know how to judge your competition. That means you’ll get yourself into trying to rank for keywords that are above your skill set and this causes you to get discouraged and stop working. After a few months you will get more determined and will then continue to pursue the keywords that are above your skill set. This vicious cycle repeats again and again.
3. You have information addiction. Instead of acting on what you know, you try to add to what you know. You know who you are – you argue SEO theory on every site imaginable even though you’ve never made enough money through SEO to buy a new computer. At some point you need to walk away from the sites you love and start making it happen.
2. You’re too lazy to test. There are a lot of metrics you can test while using Adsense. You can test your ad placement, background color, link color, text color, and ad size. If you’re too lazy to do performance optimization on any of your sites, you are probably seriously under-performing. I can’t stress this enough – every single site will be different. One theme will work great in one niche, and terribly on another. One unit will work great on one site, and bad on another.
1. You’re a blogger. Yes, this can be a huge problem when you’re trying to make money with Adsense. It’s very easy to get caught up in becoming famous and as a result, you may sacrifice your original goal – to make money. Blogging and Adsense don’t work together as well as many people believe and if you lose focus you may lose your ability to make money.
Blogging can work very well with Adsense if you do proper testing, have the right focus, and use it on the right pages. In my opinion most bloggers are probably getting smart priced. Some can still make money and some can’t. The ones that do make money could make a lot more if they got their account under control.