March 17, 2010

Lessons Learned on Using AdSense on Blogs and Web Sites

I never thought that the language learning web site I created would do well with AdSense ads. I have always thought that there can only be limited ads that can be displayed considering that the language being taught is not a major international language.

However, I think that there were two major factors that made the AdSense ads perform well on the web site. The first one is that I chose a subject matter that I have a deep and extensive knowledge about and the second is that I placed the AdSense ads on the different parts of the text of the article itself and I used the same color as the text for the AdSense ads.

My best-performing web site in terms of AdSense is a language learning web site where I provide language lessons using text and audio. Being a native speaker of that particular language, I obviously have a deep knowledge of the subject matter as it is being used by its native speakers like me. While I am not a language teacher by profession, I can still be considered an authority on the subject matter because I know how to speak and write in that language having learned it since childhood.

Because of my deep understanding of the subject matter, I was able to create lessons that I think would be most helpful to those who are in the process of learning the language. Learning a language is a sufficiently large subject matter that there is an endless topic that can be generated out of it. A language is a complex system that includes grammatical rules and a large number of vocabulary words to learn.

Since almost all lessons deal with a related subject matter, the site achieved a deep focus on the keywords that are used in the pages of the web site. There is a natural optimization for the keywords for the site and there is no need to optimize the pages for those keywords. As a result, the pages receive great prominence on searches focusing on learning the language by search engines.

When the number of lessons reached more than 30, I stopped adding more lessons so you can say that my content is not fresh. Yet there is a continuous stream of people who are visiting the site everyday. I think that readers are attracted by the quality of the lessons I have created and the uniqueness of my pedagogical approach.

I have carefully thought about and selected really interesting and useful lessons for this language learning web site. I have also adopted a natural learning approach that is sentence-based. The meanings of the words are taught almost always using a sentence example using the word being taught. This approach is based on the view that the meaning of the word is so much dependent on the context of the sentence.

I have always advocated for learning a language as a child learns it. The child is not taught like it is in the school. He hears sentences which are the natural way by which a language is used. The context of the sentence gives meaning to all the words used in that particular sentence. Hence, you cannot talk about learning words without the use of the sentence where the word is used.

In this well-performing web site, my AdSense ads are integrated into the body of the articles and the text of the ads is of the same color as the text of the article. Maybe readers are more pre-disposed to pay attention to ads when they are embedded with the text of the article. You cannot skip reading about them since they are positioned in various places within the text of the page.

I think that this is a very effective positioning strategy for AdSense ads. Readers will surely never miss looking at the ads in the process of reading the article. This positioning technique is an effective antidote against ad blindness among readers.

I used the same color as that of the text in my AdSense ads on this web site. This made the ads not so much intrusive to the readers making them more predisposed to read the ads and probably click on the ads that may interest them.

Using the same color for ads as the text of the article reduces the distraction that ads may impose upon the readers making for a smoother reading of the article. This reduction in the annoyance brought about by the ads could lead to a more favorable disposition toward the ads among readers.

One major factor that may have contributed to more visits for the web site is the fact that the language learning lessons are provided for free to anyone who is interested to learn the language. The site is also very much accessible as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection.

The online audio component for each lesson help the student learn not only how to pronounce the words but also to say the sentence where the word is used. The sentence in the target language is immediately followed by the translation to English making learning more convenient for the user.

The site has great content for a free online language learning lessons. Other commercial language learning sites offers mediocre free components to entice the users to try a few lessons. However, in this site the actual lessons are free, the only drawback being the presence of non-obtrusive AdSense ads.

Because of the good content on the web site, it was able to generate good quality links that have tremendously boosted its page rank. It was able to get a good link from another authoritative web site dealing with the same subject matter. I also was able to get a good quality link for the web site from a reputable local directory with a high page rank.

My other web sites and blogs do not have the same intense focus as this web site and they work less effectively in terms of AdSense performance. The second best performer for user traffic is the one that has a more focused topic more like this particular web site. My AdSense ads on those other sites are also not embedded with the text of the articles, that is, they are positioned mostly on the sidebars.

So the factors that can make a difference on AdSense performance based on what I learned are the quality of content which can only be attained by having an authoritative expertise on the subject matter, the focus of articles on the same subject matter, the placement of the ads on the text of the article and the use of the same color as the text of the article for the text of the ads.