AdSense by User Behaviour
Optimizing AdSense by User Behaviour
If web surfers behaved all alike, if there were strict patterns
in users' behaviour, wouldn't all publishers be on a sunny beach
right now, with a fancy-colored cocktail, worring not about AdSense™
Web user's behaviour depends on two main groups of variables: the
user-related one and the website-related one.
A) User-related Behavior Variables
Though people react very differently at various stimuli, we can
identify some peculiarities specific to web surfers. The behaviour
is much like yours. Have you considered watching your own actions
while surfing on the web? This might help if you want to improve
your site's appeal to readers, especially if you sell something
or if you want your visitors to click on your ads.
Several groups of variables that influence users' behaviour can
* Components of the mental processes involved while searching
and browsing on the Internet: attention, awareness, language, mental
* The behavior of websurfers is influenced also by their subjective
approach to matters, determined by temperamental characteristics,
such as mood, patience and their purpose and degree of interest.
* Also, users act differently varying with how used they are to
Let's see how we can tweak our websites to turn these to our advantage
(and turn visitors into “clickers”):
1. Mental processes
Attention - The web designer keeps the tools to
direct readers' attention. A simple design, without unnecessary
loading will prevent the reader from being distracted by unimportant
elements. The ads placement must be done strategically, in a place
impossible to overlook (recommended in the first paragraph, usually
in the upper-left area). Pictures and graphics are considered attention-grabbers
and will also be considered when choosing your ads' placement.
Awareness - This is a very debated topic. Opinions
differ on readers' ads awareness. Some sustain that the more blended
into content, the better, others say that this formatting will induce
the readers the feeling of being “tricked” into clicking
on ads, which they resent. I incline to say that blend-in ads work
only for very well targeted ads, coming naturally as if belonging
to the content. Positioning ads outside the content area would be
effective mostly with advertising that builds brand awareness, based
on image impressions.
Mental Imagery - Again, a pleasant, uncluttered
design, a balanced look of the page contribute to a positive perception
of the page from the part of the reader and to a more open state
of mind. A professional layout is important. It inspires confidence,
people don't want to purchase from a just any backyard business.
Patience - A golden rule: don't abuse your readers' patience (for
they usually don't have one)! Web pages must load quickly, ads must
not be placed in readers' way and should be kept to a reasonable
Purpose and Mood - Are more related to the topic of your site and
the type of content you publish. The idea is that users' purpose
and mood can be influenced by copy.
Degree of Interest - Besides relevant, good content, that answers
questions, the reader's interest is influenced by involvement and
interaction. Keep your reader involved, integrate your ads into
an interaction environment: these will work wonders on your CTR.
3. User's Degree of Acquaintace with Web Surfing
Net savvy users have developed certain immunities, such as ad-blindness.
These are less likely to click on any ads. Customizing ads for this
type of readers means harder work; the result must be ads of high
relevance (and remarkable ad texts!), with an aspect as close to
the rest of the page as possible, as if they were a natural continuation
of your ideas. Important! avoid default formats.
B) Site-related Variables
The type of the site and the topic attract visitors with different
interests with different behavioral patterns.
1. Site Type — Readers vs Browsers
Whether the visitor is a “reader” or a “scanner/browser”
depends also on the site type — content and topic. Generally,
readers are regular visitors while “scanners” are the
ones who look for information and will not spend too much time on
the same site. Site topic and content are most times factors in
bringing more “uniques” or more regular visitors. Though
not as a rule, these apply to many sites:
Sites Attracting Unique Visitors - These are mostly
commercial sites, content sites. Statistics say that unique visitors
are more likely to be your clickers, for regular readers are more
used to your pages' look and your ads. Contextual advertising works
well with these sites. If you're headed for unique visitors, make
your site “SE-friendly”. They come mostly from search
engines and are said to be “pre-qualified” clickers.
So, your efforts should be directed towards keywords and keyword
The ideal would be to go beyond the technicalities, that is finding
out what are the most searched for keywords in your area of preoccupations
and try to find out why these are popular, try to find a behavioral
pattern. This can be achieved by statistics and analysis. Find out
some niches in your area and the users' behaviour within them —
that is, lists of searches and then see what is it customers want.
This will solve your puzzle and give you exact hints towards what
works best for your site. Keep in mind: unique visitors are mostly
"browsers". Use ad placement and ad customization techniques
that apply best for this type of users.
Sites with Regular Visitors - These are mostly
forums, blogs and news sections (though news are somewhere in between).
If you own sites with many bookmarks, that attract especially repeat
visitors, then either you will be very imaginative in customizing
your ads and finding new ways to interest your readers into clicking
or if not the case, better use CPM based advertising. Brand bulding/reinforcement
advertising works better in this case.
2. Site Theme Relates to Visitor's Mood and Purpose
Commercial Sites - Sites selling and promoting
products are more suitable for CPC advertising. By their specific,
this type of site will attract visitors looking for a specific product/service/business
opportunity. Thus, users are more in a buying mood, are looking
for a way to spend their money profitably. These are clickers.
Content Sites, Blogs, Forums - Unless you market
specific products, your readers will land on your page without the
express purpose of buying something. However, you can influence
your reader's mood and needs thru witty, sales-directed copywriting.
You just need to know some basic things that sell. One is that people
are more likely to buy from persons they know, like and trust.
So, what will help you build these? Good content and structure.
Especially with content sites, these are fundamental issues to focus
on (unlike commercial sites that focus more on products). Good content,
profesionally written and formatted for the web, containing information
that is of high interest and relevance for the reader, within an
easily manageable structure and good targeting on a specific theme
are imperatives. On one hand these mean bulding confidence, the
first step in selling. On the other hand they will attract well-targeted
ads, more likely to interest your reader.
Great content will give you credit to your reader. Once you've
gained trust, it's easy to direct your readers: you just give recommendations
and the results will appear. (Avoid being too explicit in recommendations,
though — for example, directing readers towards clicking on
ads is against AdSense™ Program Policies.)
With blogs and forums, it is a different story. Not all forums
and blogs are accepted for AdSense™ (or even if accepted,
they must be also profitable). Only genuine, specifically-themed
blogs and forums, with highly interesting content are suitable.
These conditions being fulfilled, forums and blogs are perfect as
a source of advertising money — they have what is very difficult
for others to achieve: reader's trust, liking and involvement.
About the Author
Richard Warren is a
veteran user of Google Adsense and is skilled in the art of boosting
CTR and Adsense revenue. Visit AdsenseHowTos.com
for a complete Adsense how to guide.