Thats seems to be a common question I see on the various forums. I generally see people shouting the big fat NO in regards to this question. I’ve also read Shoemoney saying the same thing.. basically you’re sending visitors away for pennies, when you could have gotten a much better payout via commissions. John Chow got rid of his AdSense block, as well as ProBlogger (watch what he has to say about this here), but these do not necessarily apply to affiliate store fronts.
So the big 3 say ‘no’, so why am I even blogging about this then? The answer has to be ‘no’ right? Well, I tend to disagree to a point here. One of the most useful tips I’ve read on the forums, was to be able to identify AND separate readers from buyers. We have to acknowledge that there are two kinds of people hitting your site.. readers or buyers. There can be a mix, but we need to focus on the extreme. The extreme, in my opinion is the ‘target’ when we refer to targeted traffic. We want to target ‘buyers’ to come to our site and click on product links. We don’t want ‘readers’. Readers are good for AdSense, since they’re clicking and surfing, but have no intention of actually buying anything. So store fronts, we want buyers, and blog type sites we generally work with readers.
So here is my strategy with AdSense on store front sites. No matter what, even with the best PPC ad, we’re going to attract some ‘readers’ to the site. These readers probably won’t buy anything, and are just browsing, my goal is to monetize that traffic with AdSense. Now, how do we keep our buyers from clicking on the AdSense blocks by accident or by intention? By proper placement. I keep my AdSense at the extreme bottom of the page, I’ll also play with blending or making them stand out. I also only use one ad block (468×60 usually). I pay attention to clicks to my affiliates and clicks to Google AdSense. The ratio should be lopsided, not 50/50, etc. I like to see a 1%-5%. So 100 clicks reported in CJ, I have 1-5 click in Adsense or so per day as an example.
I think that small percentage are ‘readers’ and are just surfing around and clicking. The buyers are definitely clicking on affiliate links. I try to make it a non-issue or encourage banner blindness to those buyers, but still receive some revenue from the buyers to the site.
Currently with my set up (primarily only using Yahoo for PPC), my meager earnings from AdSense pays for my PPC campaigns. Things will probably change in the near future for me, since I’m starting some new experiments with PPC, but for now, it’s nice to see those charges being covered by AdSense.
Of course, I might totally change my technique here. I’m very curious what people might have to say about this. Let me know?