Optimization Tip 4: Know your audience and find out who’s clicking on your ads (and who’s not) — and why

You've optimized your ads, advertised to drive traffic to your site, and still no one's clicking. What's wrong?

If you find yourself asking that question, it's time you analyze your audience and understand why and how they come to your site and what they do there. You should start searching for keywords that lead to your site, pages visitors usually go to, amount of time they spend on the site, and other information that will help you understand who's clicking on the ads in your site and who's not and why.

There are a lot of free online resources to help you with this, but Google is providing two free tools that you can easily and immediately use.

Google Sitemaps

Google Sitemaps is a free service offered by Google to help its crawlers better index web sites. A sitemap, according to Wikipedia, is:

… a webpage that lists the URLs for a site. It enables webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently.

Sitemaps are particularly beneficial in situations when it is difficult for users to access all areas of a website through the browseable interface. For example, a site with a large "archive" or "database" of resources that aren't well linked to each other (if at all), only accessible via a search form. The webmaster can generate a sitemap containing all accessible URLs on the site and submit it to search engines.

You need to create your sitemap first before submitting it to Google. You can use a variety of free online tools, including the all-in-one sitemap maker, AutoMapIt. After creating the sitemap, submit it to Google Sitemaps using your Google account.

How does Google Sitemaps help you increase Adsense earnings? One, it lets you see what keywords on the web are used to link to your site. This helps you understand why you rank high in certain keywords. You can also see which page/s in your site has a higher Google PageRank (PR). You'd be surprised to find out that most of the time this is not your homepage. To increase Adsense earnings, optimize the ads in these high PR pages.

Google Sitemaps also lets you see which pages on your site are not crawled or indexed by Google. This can help you fix your pages to improve overall coverage. It also shows you Google searches that created clickthroughs to your site and where you were positioned in each search query. If you're wondering whether a certain keyword will lead a visitor to your site, Google Sitemaps will show you that.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics generates detailed statistics and analysis of visitors to a site. It lets you see whether things are effective in the site so you can implement changes when necessary. All you need to do is add a couple lines of code to each page in your site. Reports are then generated showing you:

  • pageviews of each of individual web pages
  • the average time spent on each page
  • new vs. returning visitors
  • visitors' geographical location and language
  • their browser and platform choices
  • click path data

Google Analytics offers three dashboard views of data: Executive, Marketer, and Webmaster. In addition, there are currently over 80 distinct reports each customizable to some degree. These reports ultimately help you analyze who comes to your site, from where and why, what they do in your site, and how long they stay.

With Google Sitemaps and Google Analytics (and other site analysis tools), it's become easier to determine who your site audience is. Armed with this knowledge, you can now find ways to tweak your site to generate more ad clicks and, consequently, Adsense earnings.

See other Google Adsense Optimization Tips:

Optimization Tip 1: Test and track your ads using channels

Optimization Tip 2: Design the “perfect” ad

Optimization Tip 3: Increase earnings with other Adsense features

[tags]Google Adsense, adsense, optimization tips, increase ad clicks, Google Sitemaps, Google Analytics, adsense guide, adsense basics, adsense tips[/tags]

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