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October 15, 2008

AdSense Sites: Correct This Basic Mistake

Far too many marketers of AdSense sites fail in one very fundamental aspect of marketing. They fail to think about or even consider “time on site”. When you install Google Analytics on your site (which I hope you have done already), you can see how much time visitors spend viewing your pages.

Of course when Google sends someone to your site via their search results, they know this information as well. Simply put, if most visitors only spend a few seconds on your page, Google assumes the page is not worthy of ranking well.

Poor time-on-page is a “double whammy”. Not only does it hurt with respect to search engine rankings, it kills AdSense income as well. You NEED people to spend time enough on your site to click an ad…or two!

Too many marketers are so preoccupied with optimization and link building that they forget it is HUMANS who they are counting on to click their ads. The site’s pages must offer enough interest to keep visitors engaged on the site for as long as possible. The longer the visitors are on the site, the more likely they will click an ad. Additionally, sites that keep visitors for longer periods of time are more likely to also generate returning visitors! Imagine the page views possible if a new visitor could also be counted on to return two, three, or more times!

Too often, the first thing clicked by a new visitor is the back button. All the great SEO done was just wasted. When the human visitor arrives, your page has 2 or 3 seconds (at most) to convince them to hang around for a while. Targeting the traffic well is the obvious method to insure they stay for a while. Providing visitors with exactly what they are looking for is a sure way to skyrocket time on the site.

Also remember, the page needs to look half-way OK. No, it does not have to be drop dead snazzy looking. Just a simple and clean look will be fine. Do not run off visitors by using moving gifs and bright colors! Keep it simple! I see too many beginners spending effort trying to show off new-found web design skills which have no place on simple AdSense pages. Flash and Fancy scripts simply clash too much with the basic fundamentals of what makes an AdSense site work.

A perfect example of a site with very high time-on-page is Steve Pavlina’s website. Steve uses tons of great content to keep visitors engaged. He has stated he earns over 30,000 dollars a month with Adsense. Virtually all of his visitors initially came from the search engines and word-of-mouth. His high time-on-page has proved to be a gold mine in all respects. One of the fundamental truths of Internet marketing success is providing value to the world.

Other methods used to increase time-on-page are placing targeted photos on the site. In fact, I have one site which gets traffic almost exclusively from Google image searches. That site is about a very niche area which is conducive for having great pictures which I have optimized the alt tags for. Other ways involve using bullets and attention-grabbing headlines to keep attention. Additionally, having well placed links on the page using targeted keywords to your other pages is a great way to keep visitors clicking within your site.

Take a long and honest look at your own sites. What can you do to improve the amount of time visitors will stay? Ask your spouse or a friend to visit your page as you watch. See where they click and where they don’t click. Plus, don’t forget that Google analytics has a feature which shows screen shots with the percentages of where visitors are clicking. With that information you can adjust your page design and take advantage of what is working well and get rid of the parts which are not working.

Imagine if your time-on-site is now 20 seconds. What if you could double that to 40 seconds? There is a very good chance your AdSense income would make dramatic increases as well! And don’t forget, if you can increase the time spent by visitors on your site, the search engines will think your site is more relevant. In turn, you will find your site ranking better and better!

Steve Weber quit the rat race and now works full time from his home. Want to learn how you can do it too? Click here for a free video =>