If you are planning a venture into online business, affiliate marketing and Google AdSense are probably two strategies you have contemplated as primary income sources. Both of these business methods have made many online entrepreneurs very rich, but affiliate marketing is quickly becoming the far more viable option. For this reason, this article advocates the use of affiliate marketing, rather than AdSense ads, to monetise your website. And then further outlines the comparative benefits the affiliate method offers.
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To begin with we need to consider how you are actually pay under each income system – this helps to evaluate the returns you can project for your website. So firstly, for an AdSense campaign, you incorporate code into your website which shows advertisements specifically targeted to your content. These ads rotate to show different adverts on each page load and you are able to select a different style of ad and select the positioning. Most website marketers try to experiment with this ad placement in order to maximise the click through rate.
A constant struggle to improve the click through rate
However the first disappointment I have found is that the the click through rate has always been very low for my AdSense adverts – unless. That is, they are incorporated extremely seamlessly into the site’s appearance. This means them being almost unnoticeably placed between paragraphs and is very difficult to achieve effectively. There are many guides on how to do this, not least from Google itself. But it is unlikely you will ever achieve any significant gains.
This is in stark contrast to affiliate links which are included in the text and are therefore a far more natural method of advertising. The fundamental reason you need the kind of attention to detail mentioned above with AdSense is also important. The basic reason is because the click through rate determines depends directly on where it is, not the advert itself. So with AdSense you will inevitably be fiddling about with the quantity and placement of ads a lot of the time. This is time you would be far better dedicating to pushing the visitors you will almost certainly need to make any money at all from AdSense.
Some people don’t notice AdSense anymore
This reliance on click through rate, and the issues it poses, did not used to be the case to anywhere near the same extent however. In fact in AdSense’s early days the marketing method was new and exciting and enjoyed great purchase with internet users. It was revolutionary to see ads directly targeted to what you were reading but this has now changed unfortunately, as online marketing has evolved dramatically. The over exposure to advertising online, especially to AdSense ads. Has detracted from their popularity and hence that overall click-through-rate we mentioned. This is a continuing trend and unless Google improves the quality of their ads, AdSense will actually continue to make less marketing sense despite its name.
And some people don’t like it
The phenomenon of AdSense for the last few years has also detracted from its success in another way. As the adverts have spread to every corner of the internet. Not only have people stop clicking on them, they have also begun to be put off by them. You have probably seen the websites overloaded with adverts and you also probably instantly associate these with low quality content. People believe these websites to be poorly built and a lazy attempt to make money. And in the majority of cases I’d suggest they are right.
Therefore you are left in a position with AdSense where you need to include as many ads as possible, but, conversely, visitors just ignore the site if you include too many. Getting the balance right is very difficult and one of the reasons. Why so many people fail to make more than a few pennies with AdSense.
Low returns per click
Another of these reasons is the exceptionally low returns in many niches. If you consider a niche where you are pay $1 for every click you get. Which is actually quite a good AdSense pay out) then you can see how the figures really fail to add up. If you have a click through rate from all your adverts of 1%. It means every one hundred visitors to your site is only worth $1. If you get 10,000 hits a month this rises to $100 total revenue – not bad money.
But as it is your only income stream it is a pretty rubbish return for this amount of traffic. Now if you were managing to get many visitors in a particularly competitive niche AdSense starts to become more attractive. If you were receiving $5 per click for example. However I’d suggest that if you are successful in super competitive niches then there are advertising streams. Which will generate far greater revenues.
How to use affiliate marketing to improve your revenues
And the returns start to look even worse if you consider those in affiliate marketing. There are a huge range of affiliate products to promote and if you do a bit of research you are sure to find one that fits into your content. If we consider a product with a $20 commission for each sale made we can compare our stats side by side.
So if you are again getting 10,000 hits per month and the click through rate from your ads is 1%. You are sending 100 people to the sales page each month. If this too convers at a very unoptimistic 1% you are making exactly one sale each month (only a measly $20 then). Not so great so far is it? Well if you consider a few more factors then you start to see the true benefits affiliate marketing can offer.
Firstly if you have chosen a good affiliate product you can presell this product within your site content. If you have some talent as a reviewer or writer, and are subtle enough with your technique. This tactic can increase your click through rate rapidly. I have had single pages of sales copy which have sent over 20% of my visitors to my product’s sales page. When you add in that I was making $75 a sale. Not an unrealistic figure at all) then you see the revenue, with the same figure inputs as above, rise to $1500. This means I was making probably 15 times as much with affiliate marketing as I would with AdSense.
And affiliates don’t necessarily need huge traffic
And my final point is again based around the ability to target your readership more closely. Not only do you have free selection over the ads you use. Unlike with AdSense where you can often be give ads which are only loosely relate. For instance I run a Spanish language learning website and was given university ads of little interest to my readership.
You also have the ability to presell very closely to a smaller audience. This means a smaller affiliate site which only gets 1000 visitors can easily make 10 times as much as an AdSense site 10 times its size. If the traffic is highly targeted you can experience huge conversions with which AdSense just can’t compete. The difficulty in gaining the traffic required to make more than a few dollars with AdSense is just not worth it. You can increase the value of each customer if you simply make the inherent concept of your site content to advertise. Rather than to get more visitors to see peripheral advertising.
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Finally I’ll just reiterate my belief that the profitable era of AdSense is coming to an end. I believe the programme has failed to keep pace with more lucrative banner hosting. And furthermore, the rise of affiliate marketing. People have fallen out of love with both the advert content and appearance. And this means even running them alongside an affiliate campaign is risky. Your site can look nicer. Presell more and basically make a lot more money simply by ditching AdSense and incorporating a few appropriate affiliate links.