Monday, April 16th, 2007...3:43 am
Jeremy Schoemaker On Contextual Advertising
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If any of you are interested in contextual advertising you should watch Jeremy Schoemaker’s (Shoemoney) presentation at the Search Engine Strategies Conference 2007.
Jeremy has been in the online business for a very long time and he really knows his stuff. The emphasis in this presentation is on Google Adsense but he does make mention of Yahoo! Publisher Network and Microsoft adCenter.
Some of the key points:
- Wait till you are getting steady stream of daily visitors before you start putting up advertising.
He says 1000 uniques a day. I think for blogs you can get away with much less but traffic isn’t the only consideration. When you start a blog you will want to build a user base. If you are using contextual advertising like Adsense you are potentially losing people because when they click on an ad they leave your site. You want them to stay, read your content, and hopefully bookmark your site or subscribe to your feed. As Jeremy says, you could be driving people away if you are running ads. The odd dollar you make from ads is not worth it when you are trying to establish your site.
- The biggest negative with contextual advertising - lack of editorial control.
Excellent point he brings up. Google allows you to block competitor’s ads but there is a limit on how many you can block and for some niches it can be completely ineffective.
- Keep a good correspondence record with your ad network.
If issues do come up, whether you notice something out of the ordinary, like a sharp increase in clicks, or you are issued a compliance notice, always get in touch with Google or whichever ad network you are using, and be prompt about it. If they can see you are making every effort to do the right thing and work positively with them, your chances of getting banned will decrease. Just the other day I noticed a really high amount of ad clicks on one of my sites and the first thing I did was email Google. The next day they got back to me and it was all sorted.
- Google’s targeted ads are far more accurate than YPN.
Google is the king of contextual advertising, so no surprises there.
- Use heat maps for testing the effectiveness of your ad positioning.
This is a good idea not just for ads but the design of your site in general. You can see what people are clicking on, what spaces are being wasted, what’s working, what’s not working, and you can adjust and test accordingly. Crazy Egg is the place to go if you want to play with heat maps.
If you want to watch the whole presentation I’ve added it below. It goes for 27 minutes but Jeremy is quite a compelling speaker so it never feels like it’s dragging.