|Part of the
You Can Learn Web Success Techniques series.
By Ken Brown
Updated: March 19, 2005
You see them on many of the web pages you go to. Google Adsense ads. How
do you make sure the ads you place on your web pages will make money for you?
How do you maximize the productivity of the ads that Google places on
At the start of the year, I placed Google ads on my web pages. I was
amazed at how directed they were to the content of my pages. How was
Google able to read my pages and place the right ads for the content
displayed on the page? What steps can you take to make the most money from the
ads placed by Google?
This article was started because I found that Google made some mistakes.
I went to an article on my website about MSSQL and saw an add on Stormwater
Management and Vacuum Litter Picker. For an article about the SQL DELETE
statement, Google placed ads for Linden Row Inn on my page. Where is
Google getting their information?
So this is the analysis I engaged in to determine what Google was reading
and how I could make sure to target market my customers to the article they
were currently reading. Let's face it. Someone who is reading an article about
SQL server and SQL commands, is probably most interested in ads relating to the
problem at hand. Such as, how do I solve my current SQL related problem?
Niche Marketing to Your WebSite Visitors
You should expect Google to display ads about SQL training, SQL books and
even websites that offer SQL solutions. Not ads about lodging. I was in the
direct marketing industry for 13 years. Target marketing has made many people
millionaires. The whole idea about niche marketing is finding people who have a
specific problem and then providing a solution to that problem.
You see ads on TV all the time that try to get the attention of their specific
target market. Ads scream at you. "Do you suffer from heartburn?" "Hayfever
getting you down?" "Looking for an answer to that nagging cough keeping you
awake at night?" Then the ad goes on to provide their perfect remedy for your
cold, cough, or medical problem.
The Google Adsense program should offer the perfect targeted ad for the
page delivered to your customer. If you have a page about the Rose of Sharon
perennial, you want ads to be displayed about perennials, plants, landscaping
or flowers. That is the interest area of the people reading your article or
looking at your page. Research shows that people reading an article on plants
will be attracted to ads that are related to the subject they are reading.
Pick up a gardening magazine and see what ads are displayed. You don't see
sports ads in a magazine article about lawn rototillers. You wouldn't expect to
see an add about how to plant a backyard garden in Sports Illustrated. The ad
will be seen by a lot of people, but it wouldn't produce a large response for
the advertiser, because the customers reading the magazine aren't interested in
gardening. The advertiser is wasting the company's money, because she isn't
targeting the right audience.
In the same way, Google doesn't want ads about lodging facilities on web
pages about MSSQL. The target market isn't right.
You need to understand how the Google Adsense program works. You go and
sign up with Google's program. Then you copy some HTML onto your web
pages. The HTML contains links to Google with your special user's code in
it. Then when your page is displayed on your customer's browser, the HTML from
Google redirects to Google and grabs some different HTML and places
ads onto your web page.
If your customer is interested in an ad they will click on the ad and be
directed to one of Google's customer's websites. When your user clicks on
the ad, the advertiser has agreed to pay Google a fee for the ad. It is
called PPC or pay per click advertising. Portions of the fee is then paid to
you for displaying the ad on your website.
This means it is important for you to encourage your customers to click on an
ad. Google prevents you from directly telling your customers to click on
an ad, so what you do is make sure the ads that appear are of interest to your
users. Now what key areas of your page is Google looking at to determine
which ads to display? Let's analyze a page and see if we can improve upon the
ads that are displayed.
Analyze a Page for Target Marketing
I have a page that is an article about the SQL DELETE statement. But something
about the content, keywords, title or description leads Google to display
four ads about the Linden Row Inn, a hotel somewhere.
The HTML title is: SQL DELETE Statement, A Powerful Keyword
The rest of the article talks specifically about the SQL delete statement and
does not mention anything about lodging, the Linden Row Inn or travel. So one
of these key indicators is our problem. Since none of the keywords mention
Linden or Inn, but the article does talk about removing a row from the database
table, I am going to concentrate my attention on the use of the word row. I can
either remove it completely, or add additional keywords that highlight the
article's specific area of interest, which is MSSQL statements.
The keyword meta tag is: sql delete statement, how to delete rows in SQL
The description meta tag is: SQL DELETE Statement, A powerful
command to remove rows from a database table.
There is an H1 header tag on the page: The SQL DELETE Statement
Then there is an H3 header tag: A Powerful Command to Remove
Rows from a Database
Then a bold tag: SQL DELETE statement
Further down the page is an alt attribute for an image tag:
SELECT statement showing qualifier WHERE clause to return
Immediately after that statement is a bold statement:
Image 1 shows the SELECT statement showing qualifier WHERE
clause to return one row.
The next image tag has an alt attribute: DELETE statement
showing qualifier WHERE clause to remove one row.
Followed by another bold tag describing the image:
Image 2 shows the DELETE statement showing qualifier
WHERE clause to remove one row.
The third and final image has an alt attribute:
DELETE statement with subquery.
Again with a bold tag describing the image:
Image 3 shows the DELETE statement with subquery.
Changes Made to Resolve the Issue
I added the additional text to the keyword meta tag: how to delete rows in sql
database tables, mssql delete statement
I changed the description meta tag to read: SQL DELETE Statement, A powerful
MSSQL command to remove information from a database table.
Then I wanted to see what affect it would have on the Google program that
analyzes the page and placed the ads on the page. A simple save and copy to the
server was all that was needed to test my theory.
After that minor change, there was no difference in the ads delivered by
Google. So, the next step is to make additional changes and see if other
HTML tags were being read by Google to determine ad content or if I had
to wait for Google to re-evaluate the page on their next robot crawl.
The H1 tag shouldn't be causing the problem, so I turn my attention to the H3
tag. I remove the word rows from the H3 tag and rewrite it to: A Powerful MSSQL
Command to delete information from a Database table. Again, I save and place on
the website right away to determine what Google's reaction will be to my
change. After refreshing my page and viewing the Google results, The
Linden Row Inn is still showing as the directed ad for my target audience.
Next I need to review the image tags. These alt attributes of the image tags
neeeded a rewrite, I removed the word row and inserted the word information:
remove information from the database. I thought adding the word database would
help Google find the right context for the ads I need for my customers.
Unfortunately, Google still didn't understand what I wanted.
Next, I looked at the bold tags below each image, where again I had used the
word row. I removed that word and added "information from the database." Still
no change on my Adsense ads.
All that was left was to analyze the article itself and see if there were too
many instances of the word "row" within the content. There are 17 instances of
the word row in the meat of the article. The word row appears in just about
every paragraph. Is that the real problem?
Now before I did a wholesale butchering of the article, I wanted to evaluate if
I really wanted to change anything about the article. Sometimes you have to let
Google be wrong and the article has to stand as is. But when you make
that choice, you risk losing revenue.
After my changes, I was down to seven instances of the word row, with an
additional instance in the keyword meta tag. But still no change in
Google's ad delivery to my page. It isn't a long article with only 13
paragraphs. So, my next step was to add words that Google would then
interpret differently as the most important word in the article. I decided to
pepper the article with the word SQL.
At this point there was still no change, and I thought it best I let
Google crawl this page again and see if there is any change after that
occurs. When I place a new page on my website, the Google Adsense program
recognizes it right away, so I was surprised Google wasn't re-analyzing
each of my changes.
Check your Google Ads after Placing Them on Your Pages
One day later when I checked my changes, the Linden Row Inn still had four
instances on the Google Adsense box. I wanted to give Google more
time to evaluate the page. Two days later I rechecked the page. Good news. The
Linden Row Inn now only has two of the four ads appearing on that page. So, I
still need to rework the page to help Google pick the right advertisers.
But at least now there is SQL Server Crash Course and Advanced Query Tool
showing on the page. My MSSQL customers may be more interested in those
So the next step is to remove the word row from the first two paragraphs.
Amazingly, after doing that and adding the word MSSQL, I was now down to only
one instance of the Linden ad.
After waiting for another couple of days and then re-checking the page, now all
my ads are related to either SQL or Microsoft. Now my visitors are more likely
to see the types of ads they are interested in clicking. When they click then
Google and I will make some money.
In summary, check your Google Ads after placing them on your pages. Do
the ads displayed reflect the content of the page? Are your visitors interested
in clicking on your ads? Many visitors aren't going to find what they are
looking for at your web site. If they are going to leave at least try to make
some money from them and help them find the solution that will make them happy.
As with any good SEO plan, the ads displayed require you to evaluate the page
for content, keywords, titles, bolded words, italics, image alt attributes, H1
tags, H3 tags and any weird use of words. I hope this helps you refine your
Adsense program for success.
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