Publishers hungry for clicks are sometimes inclined to place their ads in the most prominent locations on their website. Some may even be tempted to force users into clicking ads by using big, “in your face” banners or dishonest tactics. However, while such things can probably earn you a few bucks here and there, in the long run, they can actually do more harm than good.
Using ads that are too prominent or tricking people into clicking them will only lead to mistrust, and eventually, a ghost town of a website. If you really want to gain more clicks, you have to stop chasing and begging for them. Instead, focus on getting more traffic and improving user experience through excellent content and a user-friendly website. Only after you do these things will you start attracting relevant users and get more clicks.
Below are a few simple things that you can start doing to set you on the right path towards more visitors, more clicks, and yes, more revenue.
Declutter your site – A messy page can send visitors packing. You need to make it easy for them to find the things and information that they need. Otherwise, they’ll look for it elsewhere. The first step to getting people to stay on your website is by cleaning it up. Get rid of irrelevant banners and widgets that distract users from your content and ads.
Publish awesome content – Only publish things worth reading and sharing. Running out of ideas for content or blog posts? Do your research. Lookup the most searched for keywords in your industry and publish content around them. Or better yet, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and ask yourself about the articles that they may want to read.
Improve the layout of your content – Online content isn’t just its subject matter, how it appears on screen matters a lot as well. Make it easy for readers to scan or go through your content by adding breaking up the post into paragraphs (4 -5 lines max) and divide sections by using headers. Doing so improves user experience and boosts the chances of getting repeat visitors.
Choose your ad network wisely – It’s best to select an advertising network that offers a wide range of ads so that you won’t be limited when it comes to ad types. Also, be sure to work with an ad network where you can get a hold of a live person That way, you can actually speak with someone that can help maximize the potential of your website.
Don’t bury your content with ads – Placing a couple of ads above-the-fold (i.e. the top part of the page or sidebar) is acceptable, but don’t overdo it. Again, this all goes back to improving the online experience of your visitors while they’re on your site. Avoid burying your content with too much ads above the fold and make it easy for users to find and read the content that they need.
Also note that having too many above the fold ads can negatively affect your ranking. Earlier this year, Google released an algorithm update that penalizes websites that have too many advertisements at the top part of the page.
Be honest! – Avoid using trickery and dishonest means to get people to click on your ads. Again, this will only do more harm than good. When placing ads on your website, make it clear that they’re indeed ads. Don’t try to disguise them as download or menu buttons. Choose ad colors and formats that will complement your site, but not in a way that would trick or confuse users.
Image credit: StockMonkeys.com on Flickr