Google Adsense – Probably the first way many people try to monetize their content. I don’t blame them, Adsense has the highest earning rates of all. It can be argued that no other ad companies can beat them. Many guides and tips you see online now are for maximizing Adsense on your blog, website, etcetera. So, I thought I’d write up a some tips for all of you forum owners out there.
1. The most popular ad sizes currently are 300×250, 336×280, and 160×600. While 468×60 and 728×90 fit better in headers and footers, try other unique locations such as a sidebar, in posts, and under the first post. Remember, Google Adsense’s TOS only allows three (3) ads.
2. When planning on where to place ads, refer to an Adsense placement chart, better know as “hot spots”. Hot spots mean just that, places where you will get the most views, clicks, and ultimately conversions. Here is one chart I use: http://www.joburgent.com/adsense-tips-for-earning-maximum-money-from-google-adsense/, or you can just do a quick Google search of “Adsense placements” or “Adsense hotspot chart.” You’ll find plenty. Please take note, that some of the spots do not necessarily apply to forums.
3. Start using Google custom search instead of your regular forum search bar. Users will then see related ads when they search for something on your forum, and since most users search for very specific things, the ads are normally very targeted thus proving to be more useful, so the eCPM is higher. They are not very intrusive either; one or two ads at the most.
4. Match ads to your theme. In your Adsense control panel, you are able to mix-and-match fonts, colors, and sizes. Use this to your advantage, and try to have ads either blend in to the page background, or completely match your forum theme. Play around with the different ad units, such as text ads, which might be something that you might not think will work well because there is no image, but they do.
To wrap it up: Adsense is a great ad network, with many customization options and features, so use all of them to your advantage.