As the AdSense popularity grows among Webmasters, it’s hard to find a site without at least one AdSense unit displayed.
And in my opinion, many Webmasters overdo it.
Because you want to get as many clicks as possible, it can be very tempting to lace your page header with multiple AdSense ads. After all, the more ads, the money you’ll make right?
… especially if your site is in a niche that targets Webmasters or other Internet savvy groups. These audiences are often immune to Internet ads in general and are twice as likely to ignore them.
So instead of AdSense becoming an additional revenue stream, it becomes a sign that may suggest you’re more interested in getting clicks than giving useful content.
Too Many Ads Looks Amateur-Ish
Arial of attackdepression.com told me she immediately thinks “amateur” when she comes across a site where the Google ads take up more real estate than the actual content.
And she really hates the sites where you have to scroll down just to see the first line of real content because the AdSense ads are in the way.
I have to agree. First impressions are everything. And if your visitors first impression of your site is “too many ads and not enough info”, you’ve immediately lost some interest, credibility and perhaps a repeat visitor.
Your visitors shouldn’t have to dig through your ads to find your content.
Maximize But Don’t Overdo It
Don’t get me wrong. I think you should maximize your AdSense revenue potential by using multiple AdSense units – that’s why Google allows up to three.
Just make sure they don’t overpower your site’s layout and you have good content to supplement the ads.
Remember, it’s your content relevance and site usability that keeps people interested and encourages them to return – not your advertisements.
So rather than being so eager to show off your AdSense ads with the contrasting bright yellow background, why not show them why your site is worthy of a bookmark and a return visit. There’s no better way to do that than through useful info and site usablity.
These days Web surfers are much more ad conscious than they were years ago. And with the media stories that have flooded newspapers and news programs, it’s getting harder to find people who don’t know a little something about “making money with Google ads.”
In other words, people are much more aware, and it’s getting easier for the average surfer to spot a greedy Webmaster.
A few years ago, more people would click ads out of curiosity or confusion. These days the only click many surfers are making is the “Back” button because they know exactly what this Webmaster is up to.
It’s all about balance. There’s nothing wrong with using 3 AdSense units on a page. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with having them highly visible to increase the chances of a click thru.
But if your ads overpower your content, and it becomes obvious you’re only out to make a fast buck, is it really worth the loss of credibility and a potential repeat visitor?
AdSense should supplement your content, not BE your content.
It doesn’t matter how you slice it. Content has and will always rule. And I’d much rather sacrifice a few clicks with the hopes they will find my site useful and want to return again.
And should they happen to click an ad in the process of browsing my site, that’s an added bonus!
And who knows, maybe on their next visit they’ll make a purchase that is worth a whole lot more to me in commissions than 8 cents from an AdSense ad click.
AdSense is a wonderful, lucrative program. But don’t let the dollar signs overshadow what it really takes to make a site succeed for the long haul.