Optimize Your AdSense / Chitika / Affiliate Income

So you run Google AdSense and maybe Chitika on a few of your sites. You make a tidy sum of money each month and you are pleased with the income, especially when all you have to do to make more money is write more content.

But have you ever thought about how you can optimize your income from your existing traffic? Did you know that a visitor with JavaScript turned off will not be served any AdSense or Chitika ads because they use JavaScript to serve them? And don’t forget those pesky PSAs served up by AdSense when it can’t find a suitable ad! What about protecting yourself from fraudulent clicks? Check out these simple tips to optimize your site for every last ounce of revenue potential.

Optimizing For Users With JavaScript Turned Off
With so many security threats many companies and individuals have turned off JavaScript in their browsers to protect their computers from spyware and adware. The problem is that contextual ad networks like AdSense and Chitika rely on JavaScript being enabled to serve up their ads. Take a look at these statistics from W3Schools and you’ll see why it is important to optimize for users with JavaScript turned off. Based on these figures you can deduce that up to 10% of your visitors are not even seeing any ads at all!

Fortunately there is a workaround to this that does not tamper with any code supplied by the network. Simply adding a little snippet after your main block of code will serve an alternative ad of your choice. Here’s what it should look like:

<script>
… some network code ….
</script>
<noscript>
…. affiliate code / links to other pages in your site ….
</noscript>

You can add whatever you want between <noscript> and </noscript> such as affiliate banners or links to pages within your site. You can check what it looks like by temporarily disabling JavaScript in your browser. Using Safari: open Preferences > Security > Enable JavaScript.

Serving Something Apart From PSAs
The dreaded PSA. When AdSense cannot serve an ad, for whatever the reason may be, you will get a PSA. Although these are charitable ads and are a way for charities to gain awareness they do not pay at all. So if you want to make a little more money, serve an alternative ad. It is simple to setup.

  1. Make a new file and call it alternate-ads.php
  2. Paste in some affiliate code, or perhaps code for an alternative ad network
  3. Save it to a directory, such as example.com/includes/
  4. Log into your Google AdSense account
  5. Click ‘AdSense for content’
  6. Setup your ad code as usual
  7. Select the Alternate ad radio
  8. Type in the full URL for the alternate-ads.php file you just uploaded
    • eg. http://www.example.com/includes/alternate-ads.php
  9. Instead of serving PSAs AdSense will serve your alternative ads

Chitika will be introducing the ability to serve alternate ads in the near future.

Filtering Traffic From IP Ranges
One of the dangers of running AdSense is getting banned because of fraudulent clicks. If you do not want your ads to show for certain IP ranges (such as your home computer or a country like China) then use this this little tip picked up from Obli.

Create a file and call it something like bad-ip-ads.php and paste this into it, changing the path to the file.

<?php
$blocked_ips = array(“12.34.56.78″,”98.76.54.32″);
$current_ip = $_SERVER["REMOTE_ADDR"];
if (!in_array($current_ip, $blocked_ips)) {
include(“path/to/adsense-chitika.inc.txt”);
}
?>

You can adjust the IP addresses to whatever you want. Whatever IP address you insert into the array will not be served adsense-chitika.inc.txt. Include bad-ip-ads.php using the following code.

<?php include($DOCUMENT_ROOT . “bad-ip-ads.php”);?>

Optimizing Your Ads
There’s a ton of information out there, so getting help with optimizing your ad revenue is easily done. Here are a few noteworthy sites worth checking into.

But in case you can’t be bothered to sift through the endless threads take note of the following tips that are known to improve CTR, whether you are promoting AdSense or Chitika.

  • Blend your ads in with your site’s colour scheme
    • Ad links should be the same colour as navigation links etc.
    • Do not have a border
    • Ad text should be the same colour
  • You should place your main block of ads above the fold
  • Avoid skyscrapers down the right hand side – ad blindness will make them invisible to most visitors
  • Ads blended in with the navigation have a high CTR
  • Place images near the ads to draw your visitor’s focus of attention to that area

How To Improve Ad Targeting
If you are using Chitika in non-contextual mode alongside AdSense then it is a great idea to be specific with your keyword targeting – there is no point advertising dog food on a site about cars. Chitika have a fairly deep pool of advertisers now so whatever your site is about you should be able to serve relevant ads. Here’s a few ways to get keywords.

It’s cool to be specific with your keywords, but you must remember that Chitika is a fairly new setup and the ads they serve can be a bit flaky at times. It is therefore wise to backup your product specific keywords, such as ‘ipod’ with a broader keyword like ‘mp3′ or ‘music player’.

With AdSense you can improve the targeting of ads by using section targeting. This means that you can basically tell the Google-mediabot to ignore certain parts of a page (general navigation / footer) and focus on the main body of text. This should help mediabot ascertain what your site is about and improve the targeting of ads. Just add the following to your pages.

<html><head><title>Page title</title></head>
<body>
<!– google_ad_section_start –>

Put the main body of your content within the tags to impove targeting.

<!– google_ad_section_end –>
</body>
</html>

There you go. A few tips to help you boost your revenue without any extra traffic! :)

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