Sunday, March 9, 2008

Building With AdSense

When Les Kenny and his family launched their do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) website in 2001 solely as a hobby site, they had no idea of the impact Google AdSense would have on their lives.

Les had spent most of his life building in both Sydney and Auckland, but his hobby was designing projects and writing about them. This inevitably led to the Buildeazy website, where he posts D.I.Y. woodworking and building projects. He caters to a universal audience by using general terminology and incorporating both metric (mm) and imperial (ft and inch) measurements into all his projects. Les and daughter Roseanne also wrote two successful kids D.I.Y. books published in Australasia. They had intended to write more books, but AdSense proved to be more lucrative.

In early 2004, Les incorporated AdSense into his website. Around March 2005, to his amazement, optimisation of the AdSense ad units throughout the site doubled the earnings overnight. The income from AdSense allowed both Les and his wife Jenny to give up their day jobs and work solely on their passions and hobbies. It has also allowed all of the family to get involved.

Les has spent a lot of time experimenting with his ad layout and colour, making use of the Manage Ads feature and custom channels. He found that the 300x250 medium rectangle was overwhelmingly the best performing. Using custom channels, he was also able to remove some units which weren't performing as strongly to reduce clutter on his site.

"Most of my pages now consist of only two ad units -a 300x250 medium rectangle at the top of the page and a 336x280 large rectangle at the bottom of the page. I have found that a couple of well placed ads on a page do better than a cluster of ads all over the page - and I guess it is also more pleasing for the visitors."

Once the AdSense units are placed and optimised, everything takes care of itself -- leaving Les and family to get on with what they enjoy most.

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