NOTE: What I’m about to explain is probably something that most webmasters already do, and have always done – but hang in there until the end, there is a moral to the story.
For the last week or two I’ve been trying to figure out how to better monetize my forums. With only a single Adsense skyscraper displaying on the right-side of every forum post I’ve always known that CTR (and earnings) would be low – and it has been. Several months ago I added Kontera to the site to in an effort to increase my forum earnings and now Kontera is now bringing in an extra $1,000 or more per month – but with page-views approaching one-million per month, I knew I could do even better.
I initially wanted to add an additional Adsense leaderboard on every forum-post, just below the title. But accomplishing this with my current customized-mess of a Drupal install proved more difficult than it sounded. Finally, with a little help and encouragement from my good friend Joe, who runs SwimmingPoolKnowledge.com I was able to settle on a leaderboard at the top of every page (not just forum posts), just below the title. Up until now, I had Adsense on most pages, but many pages had no advertisements at all. This is because from the beginning I tried to keep GrownUpGeek.com as UN-spammy as i could, and I kept ads to a minimum. However, now that I only show Adsense and Kontera to guest visitors, and not members, I thought I could take the leap to having at least one leaderboard on every page.
The result ?
As I expected, I was getting more overall clicks from these additional Adsense impressions, but what I did not expect was the actual CTR%. Of course I can’t disclose what the actual CTR is, but let’s just say it’s about 4x higher than that single skyscraper in the forums. Multiply that 4x higher CTR by almost 30,000 pageviews per day and that comes up to just over 25% higher overall Adsense earnings.
So what’s the moral to this lame post that I promised you’d find here at the end?
I guess if there really was a point I was trying to get across it would be this:
Don’t become complacent (or lazy) with your site or your earnings
It would be very easy for me to kick-back and enjoy the $6,000/month that the site has been generating, but I knew I could do better. It would be very easy for me to just leave the site “as is” and let it run on autopilot, but I don’t.
Final note: I re-wrote this post twice to try and make it more exciting and more comprehendable but because I’m dead tired, I have a headache, and because my feet stink, this is the best I could do. If you think you can do better, please send me an email and you can be my next guest-blogger :-)~