More Money From Your Web Site
If you've been running a website for a substantial amount of time, you've probably already put some thought in to monetizing your traffic. You've probably even joined an ad serving program such as Google's AdSense. And if you're like me, you've probably seen your earnings plateau. During a recent business trip, I came up with 3 related ideas to break through to the next level.
It's a reality that some of the users that come to your site are going to leave after viewing only one page. If these people don't leave your site through an ad, but rather by clicking the back button in their browser, you've missed out on an opportunity to convert the visit in to revenue.
StopBounce is one company that is looking to help with this situation. They offer a program where you are given a snippet of code that you place on all pages of your website. This code will then detect when a visitor comes to your site via a search engine. It will also detect when the user clicks the back button after visiting only one page and will present the user with a page of advertising. The ads should, in theory, be related to the original search term that the user used to get to your site. StopBounce indicates that even if users just view the ad page, you will still earn 1 cent. This works out to be a CPM of $10. Not bad.
The biggest drawback to this program is that you run the risk of upsetting your users. No one likes surprises and hijacking the behavior of the browser back button is surely going to be surprised.
Google's AdSense for Search - Idea 1
I don't quite like the StopBounce program described above, but after some thought I've come up with a variation that some may find more appealing. I'm still not sure it won't upset users though.
The idea is very similar to what StopBounce does. However, instead of displaying ads from StopBounce, you instead direct users to a search page from Google when they click their browser's back button. The search page would, of course, use the original search term that the user typed in to Google to get to your website in the first place. But this isn't a regular Google search results page. Instead, it is Google's search results, but with your AdSense for Search publisher ID embedded in the URL. With this ID, you will be entitled to any ad revenue that is generated from the ads displayed by the search results.
Assuming the user came from Google to begin with, this search results page might not be too annoying to users since they're getting back to what is more or less the original search results page. I would probably limit this technique to Google users only though. This technique also has the advantage of pulling ads that have been tagged for display on Google's Search Network which generally have a larger payout than ads tagged for display on Google's Content Network which are what appear on your website.
Disclaimer: Shortly after posting the above idea, a co-worker pointed me to a page on Google that indicated that even this idea probably violates Google's Terms and Conditions. Use at your own risk.
Google's AdSense for Search - Idea 2
If both of the above ideas are of no interest, I have one more that might suit you. It is customary for websites to link out to other sites that provide more information on a particular topic. This is a good thing. It's what makes the web work. But linking to other sites doesn't help you earn money.
So instead of linking to other sites, or at least in addition to linking to other sites, consider linking to a Google search results page. Like idea 1 above, this link to Google would include your publisher ID so that if the user happens to click on an ad, you will share in the revenue with Google.
This third idea shouldn't upset any users since you are simply hyperlinking words on your page just like you normally do. Plus, the results from Google are going to be relevant to the words that have been hyperlinked. And you should be within Google's guidelines because it requires two clicks before an ad is clicked and there's no way to trick users in to clicking an ad.
Disclaimer: Even though idea 2 is less deceitful than idea 1, it is probably still in violation of Google's Terms and Conditions. Again, use at your own risk